White Americans' Support for Prison-Industrial Complex Grows With Knowledge That It's Harder on Blacks



One of the rallying cries of the criminal justice reform crowd, including us here at Reason, is that American policing policies disproportionately harm blacks and other minorities. These days even mainstream politicians like Rand Paul have been sounding this alarm—he recently told a Rotary Club crowd in Shelbyville, Kentucky, that "the war on drugs has had a disproportionate racial outcome." The ostensible purpose of pointing to these disparities is to showcase how unfair and subjective our law enforcement can be. But according to a new study published in Psychological Science, this may not be what the average white person takes away. 

Being made aware of the racial composition of America's prisons actually bolsters white Americans' support for intrusive policing and harsh sentencing policies, according to Stanford University researchers Rebecca Hetey and Jennifer Eberhardt.

In one of their experiments, 62 white Californians watched a video showing mug shots of male prison inmates. Some saw a video in which only a quarter of the men were black; in another video, 45 percent were. Afterward, participants were given the opportunity to sign a real petition to amend California's severe three-strike sentencing statute, which currently mandates 25-years to life in prison upon a third felony offense with no exceptions. 

The results: More than half of participants who saw the video with less black men signed the petition. But only 27 percent of those who saw the video with more black inmates signed. 

In a second experiment, 164 white New Yorkers were given statistics about prison populations. Some heard about how blacks—who make up 12 percent of the U.S. population total—account for 40 percent of those in American prisons, with white Americans accounting for 32 percent. Others heard the New York City incarceration stats, where blacks make up 60 percent of those incarcerated and whites just under 12 percent.


Participants were then asked if they wanted to sign a petition to end New York City's stop-and-frisk policy. About a third (33 percent) of participants who heard the national statistic were willing to sign the petition, while only 12 percent of those who heard the New York City stat would do so. The second group was more likely to say concern over crime made them hesitant to support ending stop-and-frisk policies. 

"Many legal advocates and social activists seem to assume that bombarding the public with images, statistics, and other evidence of racial disparities will motivate people to join the cause and fight inequality," said Hetey. "But we found that, ironically, exposure to extreme racial disparities may make the public less, and not more, responsive to attempts to lessen the severity of policies that help maintain those disparities."

A good reminder to heed the work of British sociologist Stuart Hall and similar communication scholars: Never assume your audience will take away what you intend for them to take away. Between the producing ("encoding" in Hall-speak) and the receiving ("decoding") of a message, there's a lot of space for conscious or unconscious fears and prejudices to meander in. 

NEXT: Steve Chapman: The Intelligence Community's Secrets and Lies

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  1. The one thing that is too infrequently taken into account in these discussions of disproportionate outcomes is the unpopular possibility that black people just happen to commit more crimes that white people.

    That is not to say that our drug and minimum mandatory sentencing policies should not be amended, only to point out that inequality of outcomes does not necessarily demonstrate discrimination.

    1. B b b but slavery, Jim Crow, poverty, bad schools, discrimination, Emmett Till….

      1. How about min/wage, welfare, and yes, rotten schools.
        I’m just not buying that a certain amount of ‘black blood’ is the cause of lawlessness.

        1. Obviously all of those factors could have something to do with it. It’s possible that those factors are more prevalent in the black community (they are) and that that means the black community has a more criminal disposition. Or it could be discrimination. Neither has been proved in this article.

          Then again, maybe it is just black blood.

          The point is that it’s not convincing to conclude that a disproportionate prison population suggests discrimination until you first prove that blacks are not inherently, for whatever reason, more criminal than whites.

          1. Except there is no such thing as “black blood”. Black Africans are more genetically diverse than the entire rest of the world.

            1. I don’t know anything about blood honestly. Just that the argument that more inherent criminality in blacks is responsible for a higher percentage of inmates is just as defensible using the statistics provided in this article as the claim that discrimination causes it is.

              In fact, if we apply Occam’s razor, I think the first explanation is better as it only requires one assumption.

              1. I think you are correct in your major point. Disparate impact does not necessarily mean discrimination is happening. And I agree that it is not a great (or particularly libertarian) argument against the WOD.
                However, I think that there is a lot of evidence to support the idea that police in a lot of places tend to scrutinize black people more which makes them more likely to get picked up on relatively small drug offenses. But of course there are also cultural reasons, and who knows, maybe some genetic reasons for the disparities. I just like to steer clear of those arguments because it is useless information that gives ammunition to racist idiots who think that the fact that you can find statistical differences among broad racial groups means that you can assume things about individuals.

                1. you sir, are correct 🙂

                2. In addiiton, if you look at simple marijuana possesion arrests, you get many more arrests of blacks than whites even though whites use marijuana at least as much as blacks.

                  1. Proves nothing. Just as likely that whites hide their use better. At least based on the current assumptions.

                    1. How can you say it’s just as likely? Both are possible, but saying the probabilities are equal requires evidence just as much as saying either one is the definitive explanation.

                    2. What I’m saying is that, based on the evidence provided, that drug use is the same and that blacks are arrested more, there are some possible conclusions that each require only one assumption.

                      1) cops discriminate
                      2) blacks get caught more

                  2. Damn. Shoulda read the thread.

            2. Don’t know about that.

              Black African Americans have European and Black African “blood”.

              Diversity of African plus diversity of European diversity of African alone.

              Plus mixing of genes from US slavery is not the first time two peoples have mixed. I imagine Hispanics are pretty genetically diverse. Having ‘blood’ from two peoples that diverged up to 40,000 years ago.

          2. What the fuck is “black blood”?

        2. Throw in a the culture of dependence from various governmental efforts to “help” them, and I think you may be onto something.

        3. its not blood, Sevo – its culture. Its loose morals, its drug and alcohol abuse thats culturally based. Its lack of a culture of academic achievement.

          Despite the governments massive efforts to raise the black community up since the 1960s it stubbornly wishes to remain a violent underclass. Not only that the govenment has sold its own principles to institute patently immoral practices such as Affirmative Action which violates the principle of equal protection under the law.

        4. It’s not the blood, you moron. It’s the black culture.

          1. exactly…black blood? What kind of a fucking cunt would even say something like that?

      2. B b b but slavery, Jim Crow, poverty, bad schools, discrimination, Emmett Till….

        Yes, those things probably have something to do with the fact that black people commit crimes at a higher rate in the US.

        1. Forget that personal responsibility crap, our behavior is determined by the treatment of our ancestors.

          1. There’s a difference between explaining why something exists (like higher crime rates among black people) and saying it’s ok for black people to commit crimes. And not all of those things mentioned are ancient history.

          2. I think everyone is absolutely responsible for their behavior. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t historical reasons why certain groups and cultures tend to behave in certain ways. A reason for something is not necessarily an excuse.

          3. that is outright BS (I hope you are being sarcastic).

          4. Or so the liberals would have you believe.

    2. You’re not allowed to say that. Just like you’re not allowed to say that poor people might be poor because they make poor choices. That’s racist or classist or something.

      1. Everyone is where they are today because of choices they made in the past. You can argue that, but you would be wrong.

        1. No they aren’t….I inherited a shit load of money when I turned 18…that wasn’t a “choice” I was lucky. You however choose to be an idiot….

          1. What you did with your inheritance was certainly your choice. Being handed a big wad of money at 18 is hardly a guarantee of success in life. Your inheritance itself was the result of the good choices someone else made. It’s personal choices all the way down.

    3. I’ve heard that whites and blacks have about the same rate of drug usage, but blacks account for a much larger proportion of drug prosecutions and incarceration. That’s an example of unjust racial disparities that should have been included.


      1. You need to clear another hurdle. Maybe whites are better at hiding their drug use. I’m not saying that there isn’t disproportionate treatment of minorities by the justice system, just that claiming unequal outcomes demonstrates unequal treatment is not a fully developed argument.

        Like sarc said above, it’s like claiming that poor people are poor because they were discriminated against rather than because they’re not good at making money intrinsically.

        1. Maybe whites are better at hiding their drug use.

          More like whites are more likely to hire lawyers.

          OF course, African Americans will gladly support the prison-industrial complex if it follows racial quotas regardless of the possibility that black people might commit more crimes than white people.

          IOW, we’re all hypocrites.

          1. Could be the lawyers. Who knows? ENB is making way too many assumptions in this article. Why not just go with the easiest explanation even if it seems racist? It’s just as convincing from an objective perspective.

            1. Did you read a different article than I did? The main point of this article was that studies found that white participants supported tough on crime policies more heavily when those affected were more likely to be black. This article wasn’t about the disparities themselves. I also think the “easiest explanation” is at least up to debate.

              I also find it funny how reluctant you are to call something racist given how easily you were throwing around the anti-Semite card last night in the Gaza/Israel thread.

              1. I don’t even remember doing that. But just to clear things up, Jews aren’t people and the Holocaust didn’t happen!

                1. Reread the thread. You certainly did.

                  1. I remember saying that jews were the product of pigs and dogs, that they weren’t people, and that the Holocaust didn’t happen…but I was kidding to make the larger point that killing an Israeli should cause one to shed the same number of tears as killing a Palestinian. All life is valuable.

                    1. That seemed to imply that the reason Bo had the stance he did was because of anti-semitism. Why make that assumption? Not all Israelis are even Jewish anyways

                    2. Bo is a man?!?!?

                    3. And no. Actually Bo and I agree on the Israel Palestine issue pretty much entirely. I was just pointing out that frequently people who support Palestine don’t give enough value to Israeli lives. I never used the word Semite. I was doing hyperbole for effect, but all in all I’d say I’m on the side of not murdering innocent people more than anything else 😉

              2. I’m not reluctant to call something racist, by the way. I’m reluctant to call something racist with no actual evidence of racism. Just because there are fewer black doctors, it doesn’t mean med schools are racist. It means there are fewer black doctors. You need more evidence to get to a conclusion.

                Same thing here. The fact that there are more black prisoners tells you one thing and one thing only: that there are more black people in prison. Making any further conclusions requires more evidence.

        2. I’m not saying that there isn’t disproportionate treatment of minorities by the justice system, just that claiming unequal outcomes demonstrates unequal treatment is not a fully developed argument.

          Which is the reason for my OP, demonstrating unequal treatment.

          1. The purpose of government is unequal treatment.

          2. It doesn’t demonstrate unequal treatment at all. White people might be more careful with their marijuana use. I have no idea if that’s true, but it’s just as easy a conclusion to draw from those graphs as discrimination.

            1. briannnnn: It doesn’t demonstrate unequal treatment at all.

              Hmmm. Whites and blacks have about the same rates of marijuana usage. Yet, blacks have an arrest rate that is nearly four times that of the arrest rate for whites (over 700 arrests per 100,000 for blacks versus under 200 per 100,000 for whites). If there were equal treatment, the arrest rate would be about the same since they break the law about the same. But the arrest rate is much, much higher for blacks. Therefore, there is unequal treatment. Did I miss something?

              1. You missed the other possibility: that whites hide their use better. I don’t claim that that is the correct conclusion, but based on the current evidence that you provided, it is possible with only one assumption. Discrimination also requires one broad assumption, but if you did, it probably requires more assumptions to be supported than the simple explanation that white people don’t get caught.

                1. I didn’t make any claims about discrimination. My point was that blacks disproportionately get slammed with the law despite similar rates of usage, solidifying the point that the drug war disproportionately and unfairly affects people who are black.

                  1. maybe disproportionate, but not unfair. Just don’t get caught!

                2. There’s a billion other possibilities as well, such as cops happen to patrol predominantly black neighborhoods at higher rates because predominantly black neighborhoods happen to have higher crime rates than predominantly white neighborhoods. Which might have something to do with the relative differences in poverty in predominantly white vs predominantly black neighborhoods. Kinda the same reason why the public schools in predominantly black neighborhoods tend not to be on the top of the charts in terms of performance, where the public schools in predominantly white middle and upper class neighborhoods tend to have better achievement results. In fact, the two may just even overlap. Black student at school A with 2 cops posted at each exit and metal detectors at the door is probably more likely to get busted for a petty crime than white student at school B with the rent-a-cop who runs around on a golf cart writing up freshmen for going off campus for lunch.

          3. I have said this before. Many times. White people do not sell drugs outdoors. I have never seen a white person on the corner selling drugs. I have seen countless black people selling drugs outdoors in public. Why do they do that? because they are fucking stupid. You want to sell drugs and not get caught by the po po? Then transact business in your house like a white person does.

        3. Maybe whites are better at living where the crime isn’t, which makes them less likely to encounter the police in general, and, thus, less likely to get arrested for anything, including drugs.

          1. The purpose of my post was to point out that this sentiment by briannnn is wrong in this situation: The one thing that is too infrequently taken into account in these discussions of disproportionate outcomes is the unpopular possibility that black people just happen to commit more crimes that white people.

            Drug usage rates are similar between blacks and whites.

            1. Fair enough

            2. Must you come to a conclusion as an absolute? There is ample evidence to support that more than one factor at play here. Yes, there is discrimination. Yes, white people tend to be more discrete. I challenge you to find MLK boulevard (oh no, that’s racist!)in any city and find the dealers slinging. They are none too picky about making their intent and their presence known.

            3. Drug usage rates are similar.

              But are drug selling rates?

              And what about other crimes? We know that more than half of the murders committed in this country are committed by black people.

              Are there other crimes black people vastly commit more of than white people?

          2. Annnnnd, shoulda scrolled.

      2. Same amounts of drug use perhaps, but not necessarily the same rates of committing actual crimes (robbery, assaults, etc).

        Those kinds of activities generally invite police attention. And when they catch you in connection for one of those actual crimes they automatically tack on the drug stuff for good measure.

      3. actually that is patently false. Whites do not use illegal drugs as much as Blacks.

      4. You’ve heard? Well I guess that proves your case, doesn’t it. Duh.

    4. unpopular possibility that black people just happen to commit more crimes that white people.

      Not drug related crimes.

      1. It’s just a possibility. I don’t know if it is the case, just that the first argument to disprove is that blacks don’t make up a disproportionate percent of the prison population because they are more criminal than whites. Then you can move on to the conclusion that another factor, namely discrimination, is the reason for the disproportionate population.

        1. Why are we granting the assumption that the law is enforced in an unbiased manner?

          1. We’re not. It isn’t the more likely explanation that blacks are more criminal, but it is just as likely based on statistics demonstrating disproportionate incarceration. Either way assumptions have to be granted.

            1. The only assumptions we can grant are that drug use differs little among race, which many studies have shown, and that black people nonetheless are much more likely to be arrested and/or convicted for such crimes. The why is up to debate, but I don’t see any reason to assume that discrimination doesn’t play a role. It’s not like there isn’t a long history of discrimination against black people by law enforcement and the legal system in our country’s history.

              1. But the assumption is that discrimination does play a role. The burden of proof is on a person to prove the positive claim not the negative one. For example, I cannot make the argument that black people are inherently more criminal because I have no evidence to back it up. ENB can’t argue that there is discrimination, because her only evidence is that there are more blacks in prison. I used the criminality example as an alternative hypothesis that is just as likely, based on the evidence provided. Not hard to understand.

          2. we are not. But the statistics are so overwhelming that this factor can only be a tiny influence. Remember that in large cities, the proportion of cops that are black is very high so unless they are racially discriminating against their own race your thesis isn’t supported.

        2. It’s just a possibility.

          No it isn’t. Stats on incarceration vs stats on drug use prove that Blacks are incarcerated at higher rates then whites despite similar drug use and sales.

          1. But it doesn’t prove that there is discrimination. Another explanation, for example, would be that whites hide there consumption better.

            1. Can i start calling you by your real name Tulpa?

              1. How is this hard to understand? Disproportionate arrests despite similar use does not prove discrimination. It only proves that black people get arrested more than white people proportionately. That can either be because of discrimination or because they just get caught more. You can’t prove either with the simple stats you’re using. And I dont know or care what a Tulpa is.

              2. What’s Tulpa’s real name?

            2. It doesn’t really matter how many times you say it, “whites hide it better” is probably one of the stupidest arguments I’ve ever read down here not by Tony or shreek. Police have a long, documented history of targeting minorities, especially blacks. The war on drugs began as a war on minorities, and has remained so every step of the way. You’re being willfully obtuse.

    5. Another thing that is too infrequently taken into account in these discussions of disproportionate outcomes is the unpopular reality that white people all to often are in positions to arrest black people for crimes that they’re willing to look the other way on when the perp is white.

      Remember that 20/20 special on crime and perception that many didn’t want to talk about:

      That is not to say that blacks are absolved of social responsibility and that they don’t have an obligation to follow the social contract, only to point out that inequality of arrest & conviction rates does not necessarily demonstrate a lack of bias among those doing the arresting and convicting (as well as those passing the very laws defining exactly what shall constitute a crime or not).

      None of us can claim to be advocates of liberty? if we only engage when it comes to justice for those who look like ourselves. How are those traffic cameras littered across suburban, white neighborhoods working for the rest of you? When they were first introduced, they were put into black neighborhoods. And many said nothing because, “blah, blah, crime, black.” Either we advocate for just/equal treatment & liberty for everyone before the law or we’ll live long enough to see our children fall victim to the very injustice we turn a blind eye to today.

      1. 20/20 is a left wing “news’ outlet that has a vested interest it perpetuating the myth that blacks are being persecuted. This is a popular DNC talking point that is used to gin up black support in elections

        Truth of the matter is that Blacks have advantages that whites could only dream of – Vast social programs that pay for every aspect of their existence from housing food and education to job and educational placement. Hell, even their cell phones are paid for.
        The whites in the pre civil rights era had none of that and still had to work and run their own businesses.
        As far as the police go -they are in the black areas because that is where they are needed – if you are in that area do’t commit crime and you won’t go to jail. Cops can’t and don’t arrest you for murder, robbery or burglary if they can’t make the case. And if you are poor one of the worst things you can do is use drugs – only makes matters worse not better.

        1. Thank you. I agree 100%. I never watch that show anymore. In fact I hardly watch any of the networks.

        2. Why are you on this site? You are no libertarian. You are a fraud and people like you are why America will ultimately fail as a nation.

          I don’t watch/listen to ___. It’s left-wing/right-wing. You guys are like robots. No critical thinking whatsoever.

          “Blacks have advantages that whites could only dream of”

          (Umm, citation needed)

          “whites in the pre civil rights era.”

          Seriously? Did you really say “whites in a pre-civil rights era?” An era that’s only known as that era because large numbers of WHITES refused to act like decent human beings and wanted a two-tier society where blacks had no recourse to their civil rights whilst whites enjoyed the political and social advantage of being white? Really? You can’t really be that dense? ‘Murica, indeed.

          You know what… best of luck to you. I will wait patiently as the police state in America continues to grow and scores of whites keep their ears plugged and eyes closed until their children & grandchildren are eaten by the machine—at which point it will be too late to do anything.

          As a now defunct civil rights activist once said, “the chickens always come home to roost.” Too bad so many Americans never learn that lesson until it’s too late.

          1. TROLL…

    6. Yepper.

    7. But I must ask the question: Are African-Americans disproportionately more criminal than other ethnicities, or is their criminality a result of the welfare system that we often force them to live under?

      Unfortunately, mainly due to the horrific education system in inner-cities, a majority of African-American youth find that they have only 3 options to overcome the poverty that we have chained them to: sports, rap, and drug-dealing. The first 2 are not viable options for 99% of them, the latter ends with them in prison.

      This is what turns my stomach the most with the Democratic Party. The preach they are the savior’s of African-Americans, but nearly all of their policies work against them (ex. DeBlasio’s opposition to Charter Schools).

      1. ^THIS.

        Jay-Z and Cam’ron said it:
        “S.D.E.” – Sports, Drugs, and Entertainment

        Clueless people that never grew up in a housing project or the hood love to support the WOD, mandatory minimums and “3 Strikes” laws, the welfare state (which includes aforementioned projects); in addition to food stamps, SS Disability fraud also seemed quite popular, from what I saw growing up. Watch that documentary about the white trash family in West Virginia called the Whites to see how easy it is to qualify for a “crazy check”, aka taxpayer funds for you to sit around and watch teevee, snort pills, reproduce like fucking rabbits.

        Since athletics and arts/entertainment obviously skim only a small percentage of the youth and their parents/teachers fail them then of course you get a significant number engaging in distribution of illegal chemicals which brings with the black market violence.

        It’s just so fucking retarded all around it makes you want to scream.

        1. I tried snorting a pill once. Damn thing plugged up my nose for a week.

      2. “horrific education system in inner-cities”

        Why are they that way? because they are populated with blacks? so their community is self perpetuating in its misery.
        Why do you think that the black parents that care about their kids try to move their kids to white dominated schools.
        Because they know damn well that if their kids are surrounded by white kids and white culture their kids will do better in life.
        And what happens to these white schools when they become predominantly black- the school becomes as bad as the ones in the black areas, full of crime, drugs and teenage pregnancy.

        I live in Atlanta and this has happened in every community that blacks have moved into – Stone Mountain and the rest of Dekalb County, Clayton County and city of Atlanta schools. All of these school districts have either lost their accreditaion or are in perpectual danger of doing so and all of them have been taken over by the black community. They receive as much if not more money than the white public schools but perform less than half as well.

        1. I have lived in an Atlanta suburb for the last 40 years and that is exactly what has happened.

          It is the black culture that is to blame.

      3. Billy Bones|8.7.14 @ 1:14PM|#

        But I must ask the question: Are African-Americans disproportionately more criminal than other ethnicities, or is their criminality a result of the welfare system that we often force them to live under?”

        Are you saying that some of the black people in jail are there for refusing to take “the welfare system we often force them to live under” ?

    8. Here is what a search of Andrew Gelman’s website for the term “Psychological Science” turns up:

      Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the stuff published in that journal…

    9. I’ve always felt that family income, marital status of parents, and education history of parents are better indicators of criminal disposition than race. Of course, this is just my gut and experience, and is based heavily on living in a poor white urban neighborhood for several years.

      1. not so – go to West Virginia, – very poor and not well educated but extremely low crime rates, why? because despite having the same level of education and income as inner city black areas the state is overwhelmingly white.

        Its about culture not about income or education.

        1. Faulty logic again.

          Low crime rates does not indicate a lack of crime— it only signals that police don’t arrest as often. When “Mike The Cop” knows your family, he doesn’t bring you to jail. He drops you off at home and has a talk with your folks. Doesn’t make you less of a criminal. That really shouldn’t be hard to understand.

          Take a trip through rural Maine where 99% of the residents are white and you will often see “Neighborhood Watch” signs scattered about. Talk to the residents in those areas about their “non-existent” crime because of their “culture.”

        2. Low crime rates because they are almost all of them on government assistance. Dude you are a fucking clown. Talk to me about violent blacks when a group of blacks grab someone because they are white and hang them.

    10. Actually that is entirely the case. Not only that Blacks commit more violent crimes and crimes that involve drugs and guns.
      So it stands to reason that white people see black perpetrators as being more of a threat to society than whites.

      The drastic re designation of misdemeanors as felonies means that more crimes that in the past would be treated as minor are now enforced as felonies. Minor theft is now a felony. So the designation of felony doesn’t mean what it used to

  2. good lord this is disgusting

  3. This is more of a stunt than a study, and I don’t think it supports the headline at all. It’s pretty well known that people tend to identify with others who are like themselves, so it’s not surprising that white people were more likely to sign a petition to reduce prison sentences when it seemed to them as if more prisoners were white.

    If the same people were actually asked if they wanted policies known in advance to incarcerate more blacks, most of them would likely have said no.

    1. Exactly. In group, out group psychology is evolutionarily ingrained and well know to be so.

    2. Regarding the “study”, I agree.

      Any person who claims to be or aspires to be a critical thinker should always approach social science studies, and the “take away” therefrom, with skepticism.

      Here, even if you take the authors of the study at their word, a grand total of 226 white people participated in the experiments.

      Should not ENB have injected some skepticism about the “take away” suggested by the authors?

      1. Yeah, social science studies like this pretty much only tell you about how people behave while participating in social science studies.

    3. Yes, the headline suggested something far different than the study.

      How would these subjects react to the information about blacks being disproportionally harmed? Would they step back in horror and pledge to vote for reforms, or would they shrug? Their instinctive or subconscious reactions are not unimportant, but I’m much more interested in their conscious, informed reactions.

    4. Totally agree. It’s not necessarily some vindictive tendency, it’s “what’s best for me?”

    5. Had to take “sociology” in college – it was a joke!! Very little science in that “social science” class.
      Most “studies” have big enough holes in their research design to drive a truck through them. Learned that by taking statistics and Research design.

      Got to read the abstract in the study and look at how they set up the experiment. Unless you are directly observing subjects in their natural environment all inferences are highly speculative.(the subjects know they are “subjects” in an experiment) plus what kind of person wants to be in a sociological experiment in the first place – not the general public at large but kids on a college campus usually enrolled in the humanities.

  4. No excemptions?! none whatsoever?! That’s criminal. To grammar.


  5. Maybe the key is using welfare and recidivism rates of black felons. If you can’t hit them in the heart, aim for the pocketbook.

    Either way, it’s utterly disgusting having to make the case for liberty by using proximate standards like disproportionate arrest rates. The notion that locking people in cages for victimless crimes might itself be a bad idea doesn’t appear to register.

    1. That’s crazy Somalia talk right there!

    2. It’s not an argument either. Libertarians never make the argument that disproportionate outcomes suggest unfair treatment until they’re pointing out that black people make up a large percentage of the prison population.

      You have to clear a few hurdles before jumping to that conclusion.

      1. agreed – disproportionate outcomes are a fact of life and no amount of social engineering will changes that, nor should it be tried. The leveling of the playing field has only resulted in government being more intrusive, more opportunity for special interests to game the system and the same number of people getting cheated.

        1. As my grand dad used to say.. “Life isn’t fair. Deal with it and quit whining.”

    3. “it’s utterly disgusting having to make the case for liberty by using proximate standards like disproportionate arrest rates”

      It is a damn shame that that is what people have to resort to. But if you want to engage in practical politics, that’s what you have to do. People are far from ready to legalize heroin, etc. and that is the only logical conclusion of the pure liberty argument.

      1. I don’t begrudge someone like Paul making this argument because it is politically useful. But for ENB to do it? Comeon!!!

        1. Yeah, here I’d like to see a bit more nuance. But who has time to read the articles, anyway?

          1. I can do all of my work for a week in like 2 hours so…

        2. Have you ever considered that maybe part of reason’s mission isn’t just preaching to the choir, but trying to appeal to non-libertarians and increase support for non-libertarians. Furthermore, one can disagree with a policy on principle, and also object to the unfair enforcement of said law.

          1. Prove there is unfair enforcement. Maybe black people are just inherently criminal.

            1. Really? This isn’t vdare, you might be lost. Furthermore, many studies have shown that the crimes we are talking about (drugs) have little to no difference in usage among races. Lastly, what does this have to do with my point on why enb or reason would use this argument?

              1. It has to do with your point because it is the last point you made and it has to do with reason and enb because the article claimed it throughout regardless if that was the ultimate conclusion/

                Now you say that usage vs. arrests proves discrimination. Of course it doesn’t. It’s just as likely, based on your evidence, that white people are just more private about their drug use. I of course have no evidence of that, but hell, you and enb dont seem to worry about minor things like that so why should I???

                1. You want to bring somebody’s loyalties into question?

                  What is the point of defending New York and California’s racist, progressive voters?

                2. Just curious, briannnnnnnn, what is your academic field?

                  1. Currently I am teaching business communication.

                  2. In the past I have taught Operations management, strategy, and OB.

                3. Again, that wasn’t the main point of the article. Yes, she does and has claimed it, but that was bit the main point of the article.

                  Since one of the studies concerned stop and frisk in NYC, I will point out that despite the fact that stop and frisks required no actual evidence of wrongdoing, those stopped were overwhelmingly black and Hispanic. Whites who were stopped were more likely to be breaking the law. That’s pretty solid evidence that the police were discriminating against black and Hispanic people.

                  1. Good! Real evidence! Is this a first for you?

                    1. Are you always a condescending prick or just online?

                  2. *not

                    1. It was just that one time 😉 I feel like I was being pretty civil up until that one. Sorry for losing my temper. I was completely out of control :/

                    2. Apology accepted

            2. they are. there is vast poverty and poor education in Appalacia especially in West Virginia but very low crime. The racial demographics are overwhelmingly white.
              The same poverty and poor education exists in black urban neighborhoods and the crime is astronomical.
              For whatever reason black people have a propensity toward crime – violent crime in particular.

              1. Quoting Wade:

                “…Michael Vaughn of Saint Louis University…and his colleagues looked at the MAO-A promoters in African Americans. The subjects were the same 2,524 American youths in the study by Shih…Of the African American men in the sample, 5% carried two MAO-A promoters, the condition that Shih had found to be associated with delinquency. Members of the two-promoter group were significantly more likely to have been arrested and imprisoned than African Americans who carried three or four promoters…In white males…only 0.1% carry the two-promoter allele.

                A finding like this has to be interpreted with care. First, like any scientific report, it needs to be repeated by an independent laboratory to be sure it is valid. Second, a large number of genes are evidently involved in controlling aggression, so even if African Americans are more likely to carry the violence-linked allele of MAO-O promoters than are Caucasians, Caucasians may carry the aggressive allele of other genes yet to be identified. Indeed a variant of a gene called HTR2B, an allele that predisposes carriers to impulsive and violent crimes when under the influence of alcohol, has been found in Finns. It is therefore impossible, by looking at single genes, to say on genetic grounds that one race is genetically more prone to violence than any other. Third, genes don’t determine human behavior; they merely create a propensity to behave a certain way.”

    4. “The notion that locking people in cages for victimless crimes might itself be a bad idea doesn’t appear to register.”

      Agreed to some degree.
      there is an old saying that if all you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail. The Criminal justice system has a surprising lack of intelligence when it comes to crime and punishment.

      Its concept of justice is little changed since before the revolutionary war. Law always has been engineered to protect one class of individuals at the expense of others and while people’s concepts about sexuality and substance use has changed the law has not. I am not talking about changing the constitution – there is nothing wrong with it except the amendment allowing and Income tax. Its federal and state statutes that need to change and of course a change back to a libertarian form of government instead of a statist facist one

  6. “But we found that, ironically, exposure to extreme racial disparities may make the public less, and not more, responsive to attempts to lessen the severity of policies that help maintain those disparities.”

    Ironically? More like predictably. “Oh, it’s other people who are in danger from these policies, not me. Okay then!”

    1. That’s basically my takeaway as well, but I’m still curious about the particular mechanism by which this happens, you know, like on a neurological level. What is it about seeing the white prisoners that makes the respondent go, “Ack! That could be me!” and get all worried that doesn’t kick in upon seeing the black prisoners?

      1. Possibly the more whites they’re shown, the greater the chance one of them will resemble the observer. “That could be me” could be “that is me”.

    2. File this one under “conclusion so obvious only an intellectual could miss it”.

  7. What these people don’t realize is that trained attack dogs stay trained, and some day they will slip their leash. But in this case you can’t put them down…. Cuz they have the magic badge and a nuclear armed fed to back them up.

  8. mainstream politicians like Rand Paul

    You are an insane person.

    1. He did get elected to the Senate.

      1. And he is unique among them and among their former peers for the past 50 years.

        One out of perhaps 200 people is not mainstream.

    2. agreed – Paul is not mainstream for a politician . To be so is for him to be a Left leaning socialist or a right leaning neocon and he is neither.

  9. why is it always race? Some folks support the drug war no matter the color of the participants. Plenty of LEO boners out there along with plenty of folks who’ve been scared shitless through the years through hysterical crime reporting that leads them to believe the scourge of gangs is going to show up on their front lawn. It’s not; that type activity is confined to certain areas.

    I get that Rand’s trying to win over blacks who view the GOP with cynicism and he has some facts that are worth presenting. But everything isn’t, excuse the pun, black and white.

    1. If only more people thought like you. Sadly for most of the unwashed in America, race is the first thing they look at.

      1. Sadly for most of the unwashed in America


        1. Are you saying that blacks are not actually black but just unwashed?

    2. But everything isn’t, excuse the pun, black and white.

      It is in the voting booth, I can’t give portions of my vote to three candidates. And it’s not like the candidates get to split power based on the poll results.

    3. “why is it always race? Some folks support the drug war no matter the color of the participants.”

      I see two reasons.

      One of them is that the new Democratic Party has made it that way. We have a black president in the White House right now, and they want everyone to believe that anyone who opposes him only does so because of race. Remember too that, for all the baby boomers out there, who are in control of the Democratic Party, these days, the civil rights struggle wasn’t something that happened in the history books. They remember all that stuff! They remember segregation–and not just in the South. And the charge of racism still resonates with them.

      The other half of that is that so many activists on the right hand side of the spectrum, albeit perhaps unwittingly, have allowed themselves to be played right into the racist sights of the left’s racism charge. From being anti-gay marriage to being seen as anti-immigration, it’s easy to make Republicans seem intolerant–especially when so many people in the center-left already want to see them that way.

    4. I don’t see who’s saying it’s all about race. The point of this article is that these studies showed that the white participants were more likely to support tough on crime policies if more of the people affected were black. I think this is relevant more broadly to the point people here make about the tendency of people to support government action against others as long as is doesn’t affect them.

      1. but the us/them calculus is based on race. It’s not economic class, it’s not any other marker. Besides, whites tend to more supportive of police while blacks are more skeptical of them (speaking of those outside the ranks of the always skeptical of cops here).

        1. I see that it’s about race, but I think the main intent here is to throw it back in the face of the progressives who’ve made everything about race.

          The Democrats aren’t going to stop calling everyone who opposes them racists until it stops working.

          It won’t stop working until the people who oppose them start fighting back. One way to do that is to highlight the objectively racist policies that the Democrats support–and point to all the racists who support those policies because they’re racist.

          In other words, this is ultimately the solution to the problem you’re talking about. Everything will stop being about racism when the charges of racism have been finally answered.

          Leaving the charge of racism unanswered is perennial loser.

        2. What are you talking about? Sometimes it’s race, sometimes it’s something else. I’m not really following the point you’re making or what exactly your objection to this article is.

    5. “why is there always race”
      Are you actually that naive?
      The races in this country (as well as the rest of the world) have always been at odds with one another. It is the most obvious and inescapable form of tribalism that exists. One might hide their poltical or religious beliefs from one another but you can’t hide your race.
      In the case of Blacks and whites, the cultural divide is enormous with both sides having drastically different values. I am not going to go into these differences now as it would run too long but as long as there is this massive divide the two races will be at odds with each other.

  10. Yeah, we’re probably not going to get rid of the drug war by pointing out how racist it is–if a racist drug war is what voters in places like New York and California want.

    …but we might be able to undermine progressives on other issues if we point out what a bunch of disgusting racists the progressive voters are in places like New York and California.

    And they are a bunch of racists!

    Is it ironic that racist progressive voters think they’re lashing out at racists when they lash out at gun rights advocates, fiscal conservatives, civil libertarians, religious people, and others at the polls?

    It shouldn’t be. Politicians have been using racism to galvanize racist voters since before Stephen Douglas called Abraham Lincoln’s party the “Black Republicans”.

  11. I think some people in this comment section missed the point of this article.

    1. Why do you think that is, Calidissident?

      I think the Democrats have been so thoroughly successful in branding everyone who disagrees with them as racist, that the people who disagree with them are even starting to think of themselves that way.

      Is it still possible to condemn racism and not be thought of as a progressive?

      1. Interestingly enough, I kinda had such a moment the other day. Where I live, there are a lot of homeless people continually begging for change. Well, there’s one that I see around from time to time. A mid-20’s able-bodied white male skater kid who looks like he came from a middle-classish background. Whereas I don’t resent the 50 year old toothless black guy asking for change or the woman who constantly babbles to herself, when this kid asks me for change I just wanna say “no, fuck you. you’re an able bodied young white man. If you can’t feed yourself, you deserve to starve.”

        I can’t tell if that’s because I subscribe to some notion of privilege or if I’m actually a racist(and ageist, and classist) that just believes a 20-something white dude is more capable of performing the basic functions of a more-or-less economically productive existence.

        1. If you were doing what I was talking about, you’d think that everyone who complains about racism is a progressive.

          Since, you know, being a Democrat is all about opposing racism, and being a Republican is all about opposing Democrats.

          That calculus has to change. For any Republican to win the presidency again, that calculus may have to change, and I see Rand Paul as trying to change that.

          If you were doing what I was talking about, you’d be an establishment Republican looking at Rand Paul and thinking, “Rand Paul is over there talking about racism–is he really one of us?”.

          1. The “Republicans are racist and the Democrats nobly fight racism” idea has been so thoroughly and deeply pounded into peoples’ heads that it will never go away. If you were born in the last 40 years or so the education system and news media injected in your cranium under hydraulic fracking pressure and it permeates every cell of your grey matter.

            1. “The “Republicans are racist and the Democrats nobly fight racism” idea has been so thoroughly and deeply pounded into peoples’ heads that it will never go away.”

              It’s certainly not going to to go away by establishment Republicans answering the charge of racism with “No, we’re not!” and then bagging on everyone from Rand Paul to Elizabeth Nolan Brown for bringing up the issue.

              And the drug war is objectively racist–certainly by progressive standards, and it is supported by progressives. If we’re ever going to turn that thinking around? The drug war is the issue, and this really is our chance.

              And the progressives would love to keep marijuana illegal–for the same reasons they’d like to ban sugary soft-drinks, and keep as many people on the government payroll as possible.

      2. I said below what the point of the article was. It’s simply reporting on a study that found that white people were more likely to support tough on crime policies if the percentage of people affected was higher among blacks. I think it relates to the point people here make all the time about people being more likely to support government a action against others as long as they (or people they perceive as “like them”) are not affected.

        1. “I think it relates to the point people here make all the time about people being more likely to support government a action against others as long as they (or people they perceive as “like them”) are not affected.”

          Well, I appreciate that as a more general point; I think the point that this government action they support happens to take the form of racism in the drug war is also an important point.

          1. We are in agreement

        2. blacks are more likely to be soft on crime because either themselves or people they know have criminal records or are engaged in criminal activity.

          You are less likely to support anti bootlegging efforts if your uncle is involved in the practice.

          1. No need to bring the Kennedy’s or the Bush’s into this discussion. Let’s keep it classy. Those two criminal families happen to have put a number of American leaders into the White House, after all.

          2. How many blacks have you polled to get this amazing insight?

        3. Except that white people are more likely to support ‘tough-on-crime’ policies regardless.

          Which renders the whole thing kinda moot.

    2. I too frequently hear this “you miss the point of the article” crap to sweep under the floor misinformation in articles that might or might not be related to the point.

      ENB said the same thing to me on her article about the transgender dude yesterday. That the fact that she referred to the (obviously) male tranny as she throughout the article. It might have been unrelated to the point, but it was completely misleading.

      1. The article was about white people (according to studies) being more likely to support “tough on crime” policies if more of the people locked up (or stopped/frisked) were black. The crime rates of black people have nothing to do with the point of the article or study, but for some reason that was what you got from it and started going off on a tangent that was not the point of the article.

        Regarding the transgender article, it is not uncommon (and is generally considered polite, at least among younger people and in certain areas) to use the pronouns referring to a transgender person’s identified gender, and not their biological sex. If you refuse to do that, whatever, but there’s no reason to throw a hissy fit because enb decides to do so.

        1. First paragraph. The article clearly sets the tone that discrimination leads to disproportionate incarceration whether that is the ultimate point or not.

          Second paragraph. The article’s tone on the trans woman man whatever the fuck is COMPLETELY different if you think the article is about a woman for the first 90% and then are only told at the last moment that it’s about a cross dresser.

          1. A cross dresser is not necessarily transgender. It’s not the same thing. And how is the person’s sex or gender relevant?

            1. It’s relevant because the article was set up as a woman being arrested for prostitution for dressing too provocatively. That’s very different than a man being arrested for dressing like a lady. They’re both wrong (I love putting on a dress from time to time), but they aren’t even close to the same thing. The entire tone of the article changes when it goes from “she was arrested for looking like a hooker” to “he was arrested for dressing like a woman.”

              1. I don’t see that at all and I don’t see how you’re drawing the conclusion that she (yes I’m saying she if that bothers you ignore it) was arrested for being a biological male dressing as a woman and not for dressing “like a hooker.” A lot of hookers are transgender.

                1. To clarify, the first part of the first sentence was saying that I don’t see how being arrested for one thing is somehow fundamentally different from the other.

                  1. Because in one case you have a law that is discriminating against being a slut, and in the other discriminating against being a homosexual. They convey very different things.

                    For example, let’s say there was an article about someone being arrested for smoking. But at the end of the article we found out it was more smoking pot. Even though both of those things are absurd reasons for being arrested, they convey very different concepts.

                    1. In your example, only because one is legal and the other isn’t. That’s not the case here.

                      Furthermore, being transgender or a cross dresser is not the same thing as being homosexual. And you have failed to show that that was the reason for the arrest.

                    2. I’m not making a claim of what really happened. I’m making the claim that the tone of the article is completely different if we know that Monica is trans from the start. Omitting that fact has the reader thinking consistently that a cop arrested a woman for dressing like a slut. He didn’t. He arrested a man. I don’t care what the reason is. Men and women aren’t the same thing and it’s misleading to say they are.

                      I can claim to be a cat, but I am not a cat because I am a man even if I dress like a car. A man can claim to be a woman, but he is not a woman even if he dresses like one, because he’s a man. Words have meanings.

                    3. The tone of the article is not significantly different. You are assuming that being trans was the reason for the arrest, which is not supported. Furthermore, in either case the cop arrested her for choice of clothing. I fail to see what more is relevant.

                    4. Fraud?

        2. If I see Deirdre McCloskey, I think I’d just call her “Dr.” or “Prof.” I read her too much as Donald to switch easily to Deirdre. “Can I just call you Dee?”

  12. Cool, now I don’t have to go to The Nation or Salon to be branded a racist on specious grounds – I can get that at Reason now! Thanks, Elizabeth Nolan Brown!

    1. -1 ENB…wait, is that a thing?

    2. Where did she call you racist?

  13. Being made aware of the racial composition of America’s prisons actually bolsters white Americans’ support for intrusive policing and harsh sentencing policies, according to Stanford University researchers Rebecca Hetey and Jennifer Eberhardt.

    It all makes sense now. Rand Paul keeps talking about the disproportionate impact of drug laws on black people not because he wants those laws reformed, but because he wants to keep white people supporting these policies because he’s a racist.


    1. Ha, nice.

    2. he is pandering to blacks and the pro- legalization crowd. Even if you are pro-legalization you have to recognize when a politician is sucking up to you.

      Truth is blacks as a whole are more violent and commit a vastly disproportionate amount of crimes particularly violent crimes.
      The statistical data overwhelmingly support this to be true

  14. “One of the rallying cries of the criminal justice reform crowd, including us here at Reason, is that American policing policies disproportionately harm blacks and other minorities.”

    Bah. Either people are being locked up for crappy reasons (WoD, 4th Amendment being dead, etc) or not. I care not about race, class or any other “rallying cry”. I care about the law being just.

    1. Sometimes you have to adopt that language and tactics of the enemy (read: collectivists and identity politics types) in order to woo them to your cause. Once you’ve successfully demonstrated that you’re anti-racist, you can expound upon that to reveal how that’s a logical extension of being broadly anti-collectivist.

  15. “Racist” has no meaning anymore. I get called one all the time and I just. don’t. care. I won’t try to prove you wrong. I won’t deny it. I just shrug. Water on feathers.

    If someone calls you a racist to distract from your rational arguments, just say “OK.” It’s the same as if they called you a “horshog” or a “monovia”. It’s childish, totally devoid of any meaning and just used as a diversion to avoid defending an untenable position.

    What’s more ray-ciss, accepting objective observations about violent crime rates among specific demographics, or insisting that specific demographics need handouts and lowered standards in order to succeed?

    1. To further elaborate, Western guilt and fear of being labeled a racist has done a depressing amount of damage to society and negatively affected everyone residing in these societies, regardless of their personal tenets.

      1. What, are you trying to win some kind of intellectual argument?

        That’s great. I bet you win every time.

        We’re talking about trying to win an election. You think the Democrats are going to stop calling people racists–because it’s irrational?

        You know what’s irrational? Expecting the Democrats to stop using an election winning strategy because it’s based on an irrational argument.

        1. You’re talking about trying to win an election. And that’s fine, albeit quixotic. I’m talking about maintaining your sanity and dignity in the face of the moron horde.

          1. Good luck with that.

    2. “racist” never did mean anything. Its a meaningless term just like “fair” and “equal”.
      Its a term used to shut down free debate on controversial issues and demean facts that are uncomfortable to some people.

      1. Don’t forget “sustainable”!

        Is your lifestyle “sustainable”, bucko?

        1. love that one too DanD. Leftists greenies love their meaningless buzzwords. Two more are “green” and “organic.

          Sustainable is generally the opposite of what it means to the rest of us. “Sustainable” is not sustainable if you have to use government subsidies to keep it going. (electric cars like the Volt are prime examples)

      2. “racist” never did mean anything. Its a meaningless term just like “fair” and “equal”.

        That would be hilariously stupid if it wasn’t so painful for so many people.

        Do us all a favor, become a Democrat, and go embarrass the hell out of them for a while.

        1. Odd how half a dozen posters I’ve never seen before show up on this particular article spouting idiocy.

          Strange, that.

  16. I think the Sharpton stuff is retarded. Why would the abuses of the “justice” system be better if only a greater proportion of whiteys and Asians were screwed by it?

    1. Because he is playing to the emotions of simple minded blacks who have too much cognitive dissonance to admit that the main reason blacks are being prosecuted is because they engage in illegal activities and the black culture nurtures the criminal culture instead of one of education, responsibility and industry.
      Sharpton and race agitators like him make money by telling the black community lies such as the fact that blacks would be better off if whites where less better off which of course is the exact opposite of the truth.

      Richard Epstein has a saying that is appropriate her –
      ” the question is are you leveling UP or are you leveling Down”
      Blacks seem to want to drag white society down instead of rising up to meet societies expectations of respectability

      1. Half the time I just want to drag everything down.

  17. Half the homicide victims in the US are black men. In cities like Chicago and Detroit, that figure is often closer to 70%. Since interracial homicide is rare, that implies that black men commit a disproportionate number of homicides.

    A lot of that is due to the WOD and the gang warfare it engenders. Still, if black men commit more crime, it’s not surprising that there are more of them in prison.

    If anything the system may be too lenient on non-whites. 50% of murderers are black, but only 34% of death row inmates are.


    1. agreed. Blacks on a jury vote to acquit other blacks —See OJ trial.

      1. But then again, the black juror in the Treyvon Martin case found Zimmerman innocent.

  18. Less than one percent of the prison population is there only because they used pot. Most drug criminals in prison have committed more serous (drug related) crimes. So most of these black kids who get arrested won’t see significant prison time.

    In some places, the “arrests” might be citations or “noncustodial arrests”, meaning they were stopped but not detained.

    If the participants in these experiments were Asians or Latinos, the result would have been the same, more or less. They know blacks commit a lot of violent crimes and popular culture have depicted them as thugs.

    If you had to take 5 black guys for your basketball team over 5 non blacks, who would you take? Same idea. There are always subtle biases involved in our lives, it doesn’t always mean translate to larger crisis. There’s no way stop and frisk is popular in places like CA or NY.

    1. It actually takes multiple arrests to put black criminals away for any meaningful amount of time. So no, I would say that the criminal justice system has to be too soft on them.

  19. its the laws that make a person a felon that are a problem and not the jails

  20. I think that the bottom line on this on is this – for the last 40 plus years the Governments( State, Federal and Local) have been paying trillions of dollars in extortion money to the black community for them to behave and also in a misguided attempt to have them join the rest of acceptable responsible society.
    What has happened is the exact opposite – the black single mother households make up 70+ percent of all black households, black education and achievement has actually declined and black crime(both violent and non violent have accelerated. This is true despite cradle to grave entitlements, preferential quotas in hiring and education and a huge decline in institutional racism.
    Popular culture has also greatly promoted blacks – you cant have a commercial on television with more than three people without at least one of them being black and blacks on television shows are disproportional to actual racial demographics

    So perhaps its time to end the Great Society programs and stop trying to push blacks ahead. It hasn’t helped the vast majority of blacks and has deeply harmed our society. In a rush to be “non judgemental” of blacks we have accepted many of the worst characteristics of the rap/hiphop/ criminal culture and legitimized it causing a decay in morals and education in the white culture.

    This has all happened because the leftist statists in an attempt to co-opt the black vote and expand their control over our everyday lives.

  21. I mean, these were Californians and New Yorkers, why didn’t they attempt the study on a sentient group of people?

  22. Wait, the headline is in opposition to the content.

    Headline: Support grows with knowledge that it’s harder on blacks.

    Data point 1: A lower percentage of people who saw the sample with more black cons supported life imprisonment.

    Data point 2: A lower percentage of people who heard the stat with more black incarceration supported s&f.

    In both cases, support for hard penalties DECREASED when the racial disparity was made clear. Unless I somehow forgot how to parse text, someone screwed up here.

  23. White liberals would be fine with this… falls in line with affirmative action and stuff.

  24. If blacks are committing a disproportionate amount of crimes then they should be prosecuted and incarcerated in equal disproportion. But none of that has anything to do with arresting or incarcerating someone for cannabis. That is always wrong no matter who it is.

  25. “The public” are not just whites. So you cannot equate a survey of whites with “the public”.

  26. “responsive to attempts to lessen the severity of policies that help maintain those disparities”

    While drug decriminalization is a good thing, it won’t change those disparities much; African Americans also also hugely overrepresented among violent crimes, and we won’t be decriminalizing violence.

  27. One of the rallying cries of the criminal justice reform crowd, including us here at Reason, is that American policing policies disproportionately harm blacks and other minorities.

    If this is true then it’s really sad that anyone who would call themself ‘libertarian’ accepts the fallacy that disparate impact shows anything.

    No one seems to ask what black people are doing that gets them arrested more. Cops being lenient to whites cannot account for the entirety of the disparity(and I find it really odd that, on this site, anyone is suggesting that cops are being lenient on anyone).

    I have said, repeatedly, that is is not the usage that is the issue, but instead the nature of the usage. Black people tend to use pot more publically, they tend to sell pot more openly.

    This happens because pot is not as taboo in the black community as the rest of society pretends it is.

    But no one wants to hear this, this which is the simplest explanation. Far more want to ascribe racism and racist intent across an extremely broad segment of the population–and they do this without seeing the ridiculousness of their position.

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