No Racial Bias, You Say?

Of course black people get convicted of more crimes. They commit more crimes.” The authoritarian rebuttal. “Authoritarian,” you ask, “Not racist?” Well, both racist and authoritarian. Incidentally, the research of Bob Altemeyer indicated that discrimination was found to be one of the strongest predictors of the authoritarian personality. We should not be surprised when authoritarians simultaneously defend the police and denigrate a racial out-group.

But let’s return to the question at hand; do black people commit more crimes? Do we need to peruse the statistics and find an answer? Well, it turns out they don’t. It also turns out that white people estimate black people commit more crimes than they actually do. But in a way this does not touch the root. If we ask who commits more crimes, we’re actually begging the question. Instead, we must ask if said “crimes” are truly wrong in the moral sense. Further, we may want to examine if a deontological should exists at all.

Not as you might think; not a should we follow the law, nor we should not commit crimes. Rather, does life not present circumstances where we should, where we are obligated – or at the very least where it is a rational decision – to commit a crime? Yes, it does. The law is a measure of nothing. Legal and illegal, as such, mean nothing.

While people of color are disproportionately arrested for crimes they do commit, then, this is not the only thing that demonstrates institutional racism. We don’t need the statistics to show it. All we have to do is ask a cop. According to Matthew Fogg, a US Marshal and special agent for the Drug Enforcement Agency, he received specific instructions not to investigate and arrest white people.

The special agent in charge, he says “You know, if we go out there and start messing with those folks, they know judges, they know lawyers, they know politicians. You start locking their kids up, somebody’s going to jerk our chain.” He said they’re going to call us on it, and before you know it, they’re going to shut us down, and there goes your overtime.

The demographic that commits more or less crimes, then, is irrelevant. At least in this instance, absolute proof of one racist policy within the DEA exists.


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