Ellen White on Reparations

I’ve read a broad array of literature on this subject, and I disagree that the disparity statistics point to “structural racism” as opposed to pointing to effects of cyclical poverty and culture of violence in certain communities. I’ll dissect some of your claims just to give you a few examples where you attempt to derive “structural racism” by pointing to these statistical disparities.

[quote=“bness, post:19, topic:18798”]
I will mention just a few data points. First, how is it that even though blacks have been shown to be no more prone to violence than whites (and are also less likely to be carrying a gun), are 2.5 times as likely to be shot by police? The only reasonable explanation, and one that is also backed up by psychological and sociological research, is that police inherently assume that blacks are more likely to be violent and to carry a gun. [/quote]

That’s an oversimplified approach that doesn’t take into account regional complexity of these issues. Let’s look at Ferguson issue, for example and the broader Saint Louis PD when it comes to what they should expect.

In 2017 there were 205 murder victims. 192 were black. 1 Hispanic, and 12 white. All but one of the 138 listed suspects were black.

You can move on to Chicago. 75% of murdered were black, 71% of offenders were black.

NYC 62% victims - 61% offenders.

Philadelphia 78% murder victims 80% offenders.

I could go on and on and on. The reason why race is an issue in police shooting statistics is because police have to deal with the above reality of black homicide in places where this kind of violence is an everyday reality.

I agree with someone like Ta-Nehisi Coates when he says that he conditions of the black communities drive gang and drug-related violence up. But, it doesn’t change the fact that police has to confront offenders in these communities that are violent.

You can’t merely stack up bunch of numbers without context and then decide that the numbers conclude that system is racist. It’s like following nurses around and recording what they eat, and then concluding that the nurses that eat most almonds have less risk of diabetes. 2D stats never make for studies that reflect in-depth reality … even in case of the stats that I cited. These are detached from everyday reality of people who have to live through a rather violent pockets of certain cultures. Stats seldom tell the whole story.

There’s nothing incorrect about assuming that there’s a potential danger to a police officer on duty when they deal with a potential suspect in a community where predominant violent crime offenders are identified with race X.

You seem to think that there’s some kind of “false bias” given the break down of the crime statistics in certain areas? Would you expect the police force and numbers reflect those statistics in those specific areas? Why would you assume that police force actions are racist given that crime statistics slants towards racial minorities in certain areas?

Could we make a prediction and confirm that the areas with crime committed by predominantly white population, police action and use of force would reflect these statistics?

Drug use is again one of the complex issues where numbers will not tell you the whole story. In short, the poor black communities quickly turned into war-zones between competitive drug gangs. And black leaders were calling for stricter penalties.

“When you send a few men to prison for life, someone’s going to pass the word down, 'It’s not too good over here. So instead of robbery and selling dope, (they’ll think) ‘I want to go to school and live a good life.’”

“While we do not agree with every provision in the crime bill, we do believe and emphatically support the bill’s goal to save our communities, and most importantly, our children.”

“I believe the crime bill … is part of the answer, and the crime bill should be supported by us. We do need to send a signal throughout our communities that certain types of activities will not be tolerated, that people will be held accountable and that if there is evil manifested by actions taken by individuals who choose to prey upon our residents that that evil will be responded to quickly and correctly.”

So, the war on drugs was predominately created as an attempt to solve the problem of drug-related gang violence in black communities. It wasn’t a creation of “racist judicial system”. It was something that the community leaders were calling for and were in agreement with, along with harsher punishment for specific drug offenses that were outlined.

Of course, in hindsight the disparity of the punishment becomes “racist”, and the narrative changed. It then became a conspiracy to fill jails with black people for federal funding and cheap labor.

The logic makes no sense.

You should look up any viable judicial stats like:

Out of 1000 roberries, 619 are reported to police, 167 lead to arrest, 37 get referred to a prosecutor, 22 lead to felony convictions, and only 20 serve time.

Does it mean that we live in a systemic roberry culture and system?

No. Because as a society we specifically outline laws against that behavior and most people don’t rob each other. But judicial process itself makes it difficult to enforce these laws, because we have to be really sure someone comited a crime before we lock them up for it.


Overall I don’t dispute that individuals hold racist attitudes. But the the system we have IS NOT racist. You can’t claim systemic racism without pointing to the explicit structure that outlines such a system. Otherwise you are corellating 2d stats and attributing disparity to racial bias.

Does NBA have racial bias? How about soccer?

Based on the logic you provide… these do.

As long as you insist on cherry-picking the evidence, ignoring large swaths of data that disagree with your narrative, there is little sense in me trying to discuss this with you. I have read many similar arguments to the ones you share, and they simply do not hold water. I don’t find it productive to discuss this any further.

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I actually objected to cherry picking as a general methodology employed in this case. You are claiming that there is “structural racism” but all you are doing is pointing to 2d corelation picked from some aggregate.

Such approach really screws up the perception valid causal relationships. And the predominant causal factor is cyclical poverty induced by past structural racism. It’s not even a controversial point. And that’s something that we should be seeking to remedy.

Of course nothing will likely happen as long as “white people” today are demonized for “enjoying their privilege” . That kind of rhethoric is re-enforcing the actual white nationalism, because it throws this newly manufactured “whiteness” into the “white nationalism” mix the moment any objections are raised.

It’s a misplaced focus on things that will not help “black community” to get better. Blame game doesn’t work well. Just ask recently divorced couples.

I was raised and lived in Brazil for 40 years. Had heard about racism in the US, but I only understood the malignancy of the evident “structural racism” when I immigrated 30 years ago. It is shocking!

It is sad that those who cannot compare it to something else cannot see the obvious. Statistics are not necessary; just looking around and seeing the facts should be be enough. Should be… So simple.


Just looking around and seeing the facts is not always enough. I never fully understood how invasive structural racism is until i educated myself. This is mostly because i never encountered racism to any degree for the first 30 years of my life. I grew up in Western Washington in the suburbs of Seattle where I knew a small handful of blacks, and none of them well enough to know what their lives were like. I attended WWU (WWC when I was there), which was (and remains to some degree) a largely white campus. For the past 30 years I have been at PUC in the Napa Valley, where for many of my early years there were few blacks. PUC gradually increased the number of blacks attending over the last 20 years or so, and it was only over that period that I have been able to have more in depth conversations with blacks.

Of course, by that point I had already read enough to be well-acquainted with structural racism and white privilege. Talking with black students confirmed for me what I had been reading. The one that sticks out most is the problem of driving while black. Not one black student I talked to had not been stopped by police on pretense. For many it was a very negative experience, and it usually did not happen just once. I had to contrast that with my own experience of being stopped only a few times my entire life, and always for speeding, never for pretense. The police were always polite with me as well, although they did ticket me. I have also had students who had the common experience of being followed around the store because the store clerk suspected they might shoplift.

Blacks are reluctant to talk about these sort of things with whites because so often whites try and challenge their stories, minimize them and explain them away. Given the response I have gotten here from Arkdrey I am not surprised they don’t bother talking about their experiences.