In response to JMUFranco's comment:
In response to TexasPat's comment:
RESPONSE: This proves nothing about the country being racist. The majority of crimes are usually committed by those coming from economically deprived neighborhoods...as those folks living there strive to make a decent amount of money to support themselves and their families...and raise themselves out of poverty.
During the 20s , 30s, and 40s...it was the Irish and Italians immigrants who were the folks living and striving to escape those neighborhoods. Now, it's the African American, Hispanic, Russian, Asiatic, and Carribean folks inhabiting those neighborhoods. Over the past 20 years, there's been a large increase in ethnic based gangs, that pretty much run the drug trade, gambling, and prostitution.
Prejudice against those of different races are not the reason for lots of minorities inhabiting jails. The reason for the high stats are that the majority of criminals who commit violent offenses are arising from those economically deprived, minority groups.
I don't think anyone would deny that socioeconomic factors certainly play a large role in crime. The issue I have is that even when controlling for factors like social class, family income, geography, etc. statistics show that minorities tend to have a higher chance of being incarcerated and for a longer period of time than nonminorities. This leaves 3 possible explanations: 1) Minorities commit more crimes/worse crimes than nonminorities of the same socioeconomic status, 2) Minorities are more likely to be caught than non-minorities for the same crimes, or 3) Race plays a prejudicial role in the administration of justice. The first explanation would signal simply a correlation, but with no disparate impact of racial bias within the system. The second implies equal treatment, but could also be subject to racially-driven factors like racial profiling that results in more targeting of minorities.
RESPONSE: Could the second reason be because wealthier people live in areas which are better patrolled by police? Why must race always figure into the equation?
The third would obviously be a violation of equal protection. To assume that all jurisdictions fall within the first (and partially second) explanation is naive, much like assuming that they all are the explained by the third. It likely is some combination of the three, but that still means that race does affect the implementation of justice. Where I truly take issue is when individuals are punished disproportionately for the same crime (like the statistic I posted).
RESPONSE: People don't throw Hispanics or members of any other race in jail, just because of race. Poorer folks from ethnic groups are the people that are committing most of the violent crimes. This has always been the case...for years. This doesn't mean that all Hispanics, African Americans, or other ethnic minorities are all bad people...just those committing the crimes.
Of course not all minorities are bad people, as not all non-minorities are bad people or the contrary.
RESPONSE: Please show me your stats. They can be cited to indicate whatever you want them to indicate. Killing police officers is a capital offense. Gang members tend to be indiscriminate as to whom they shoot. How many of these killings were cop killings? How many were aggrevated robberies? How many of these victims were members of the Arian Brotherhood (a white supremacist gang)? What's the racial make-up today of the Florida population? Please...stop making excuses for bums like Hernandez...who is a disgrace to any race, and to humanity.
Please explain to me when I made an excuse for Hernandez.
RESPONSE: You're using race as an excuse for why more Hispanics end up in jail. Hernandez is Hispanic.
I even immediately stated afterwards that I didn't necessary think race played a role in his scenario.
RESPONSE: "Didn't necessarily think that race played a role"...in other words, you're not ruling it out. Please tell me how race could possibly have played a role in the Hernandez case?
I was speaking on a macro-level view that may or may not impact Hernandez's case (it likely did not).
RESPONSE: Okay. Then why get into the ravThank youce question any further...just because I used the election of O"Bama as an example of how race relations are no where near the problem that they once were? A great deal of Whites voted for him. If they were racists, why would they have done that? What you have to understand is that it's politically advantageous for a certain political party, and their willing accomplices in the Press, to keep race an issue.
Those numbers came from Hans Zeinsel's "Race Bias in the Administration of the Death Penalty: The Florida Experience" in the Harvard Law Review. It appears that's dated 1981, but the results are still relevant.
RESPONSE: Who is far more likely to commit capital murder? Ypur middle-upper class suburban neighbor, or some economically disadvantaged person who runs with a gang? Those stats are indicative of nothing.
If you want more evidence pertaining specifically to race's impact on the death penalty, a more recent study by Harmon shows that prosecutors are more likely to pursue the death penalty for minorities than for non-minorities for crimes with fewer types of evidence. He lists the four types of evidence as eyewitness testimony, confessions, circumstantial evidence, and expert testimony. Accordingly, cases with one or two types of evidence for nonwhites were tried for capital murder in 16% and 35% of the cases, respectively, whereas for whites those numbers were 7% and 18%, respectively. This study was performed in 2001, so it's a bit more recent. If you want more evidence, google is a wonderful friend.
RESPONSE: Who needs a study? Common sense tells you who are far more likely to commit capital murder.
RESPONSE: Than why bring this topic up? By "the numbers", you mean cherry picked stats from an unknown year in the State of Florida, which has a high amount of minorities. Many of the whites who live in Florida are older people, who moved to the warmer weather in their later years. Are those types likely to be criminals, or victims? Or, is the poorer, minority segment (which may no longer be a minority in Florida) more likely to commit crimes against the more well to do?
Well you have my sources that I references, you go ahead and do the reading and research those 114 cases. I've done extensive research in the area, as it is one of my two areas of study in school, so I don't need to re-immerse myself in material I already know or prove myself to you.
RESPONSE: So, they taught you at school that it has to be due to racism...rather than due to socio-economical reasons? Are you arguing that Whites are excused for capital murder...or that they never catch the right guys who perpetrated these henious crimes?
RESPONSE: I don't. But, evidently, you do.
RESPONSE: So...are you saying that when you see a Anglo or African American, you form an opinion as to whether they're friend or foe, based on race?
No, I think you grossly misunderstood me or grossly misrepresented what my point was.
RESPONSE: Go back and look at what you said...and tell me how I grossly misunderstood? Perhaps you failed to adequately express your true feelings?
In more general terms, appearance plays a large role in how we see others. So this more refers to the notion of "judging a book by its cover." I think it's fairly obvious that all people do this.
RESPONSE: How is this "fairly obvious"? Isn't this at the core of the exact thing you're complaining about...racism?
Perfect example is people referring to Hernandez's tattoos as some kind of negative reflection of his person.
RESPONSE: No. People are bothered by tons of tattoos because they are an indication that someone may be involved in a gang. That's quite different from looking at a man, and drawing a negative opinion of him just because he's African American, or Hispanic.
Race is a physical factor, one that is easily observed at first glance, and falls within the realm of what one would take in within the first few seconds of observing a stranger. All I was saying is that the reaction to "judge a book by its cover" likely stems from an evolutionary response humans had to have in order to survive in more primative times, like our early nomadic stage. Such a quick read could make the difference between life and death. It's a natural response now, but should not be an end all-be all response for us now. Such an inclination should be harbored until we can actually get to know a certain person. Unfortunately, we do not have the time nor the means to get to know all people we come in contact with, so initial first impressions based upon appearance (which includes one's race) serve as the majority of our interpretations of others. That is all.
RESPONSE: Sorry...no sale. If you have negtive feelings about a person just because they are Hispanic, that defines racism. Of course, there are degrees of racism. Not everyone who feels this way ends up being a member of the Klan.
RESPONSE: Sorry, but, evidently, and sadly, you do...by your own admission. You seem to hang an automatic strike on folks of other races...before you take the time "to rationalize the situation, one way or another."
This is a complete mis-statement of what I said. When did I ever say, or even imply, that I "hang an automatic strike on folks of other races?"
RESPONSE: By the following statements made in your previous post: "...And to be honest, I think that we all harbor some interalized notion of biases toward givens races and people. - it's a natural response that we've developed over thousands and thousands of years. Our most important sense is sight, and the ability to differentiate between friend or foe many times is what had made the difference between life and death in humanity's more primative years.