The sentencing laws had the desired effect of reducing crime. Are there flaws in the system and would I like some of the drug laws changed..? Sure, *but* I am not buying the idea that the majority of the disparity is related to a racist system.
In my experience in internet conversations, whenever there’s a *but* whatever coming after the *but* will effectively cancel out whatever came before the *but*. Those are the words from an anonymous poster over at Stuff White People Do. The poster must have been intent on making Macon D a prophet as s/he, ironically, commented in the thread titled, “Overlook the Racism of the Justice System.” As you probably guessed, the anonymous poster did just that.
The poster responded, in part, to the following video featuring renown anti-racist Tim Wise:
At the beginning of the clip, Wise basically makes the following observation:
In 1964, two thirds of Americans incarcerated in local, state and federal jails/prisons were White with only a third being people of color. By 1994, the numbers “flip-flopped” with two thirds of the people incarcerated being people of color while only one third were White.
Prior to the link to the Tim Wise video, that anon poster tipped his hand when he was asked directly about what he thought were the causes of the post-60’s skyrocketing out of wedlock births figures in the Black community and what that said about Black men and their character. The poster, Karen, who asked the question did so after characterizing the Anon poster’s position as denying the impact of racism “because there was more racism in 1940 [when the percentage of Black, out of wedlock births was low] than now.”
In fact, Anon responded to Kandee’s remarks about Whites who embraced Obama’s “tough love” talk to the Black community and Black fathers, in particular, during his 2008 Father’s Day speech with excited relief. Kandee suggested Obama’s warm reception among Whites for giving the talk had a lot to do with him saying things those Whites always wanted to say. Kandee added that those Whites forget how racism, and classicism, contribute to the social situation the castigated Black men/fathers find themselves in. Anon, someone who professed belief that racism exists, begged to differ stating “blaming them [the causes] on racism seems a little absurd.”
A whole string of denials followed. When Karen told a story about the manager/owner of an ice cream shop she worked at repeatedly turning down Black teenage males who responded to the shop’s “help wanted” sign, Anon insisted that it was a matter of class, not race/racism, at play. When I stipulated to the intergenerational wealth transfer that baby boomers and, specifically, their parents began accumulating when discrimination openly gave Whites clear, undeniable advantage… he dismissed that, too, as a class issue and not one of race/racism because somehow out of the 76 + million Americans referred to in the baby boom stats, mostly/all White mind you, only the top 1% or 5% would receive transfer significantly more than their debts. Anon even tried to maintain the position after I cited how Whites always had an Asset Poverty Level 20% or more less than Blacks with as many as 66% of Whites living above the APL even in the worst time in the period studied.
Anon even polished up the old, tried and truly racist Model Minority rhetoric as he tried to use Asian American immigrants and, later, Black immigrants from Africa and Haiti as reasons to question whether racism exists in the criminal justice system:
Since we are citing Tim Wise, if you go to his Myspace page he makes the argument that Haitian immigrants commit crime at lower rates than whites. I have read elsewhere that African immigrants commit crimes at very low rates. I wonder why they aren’t so affected by the racist system..?
On another occasion, Anon said:
It doesn’t sound like it’s because of a racist system. (although it doesn’t preclude racism in the justice system..)
Of course, Anon never expounded on the idea. Instead of identifying where racism seemed to exists, Anon constantly denied its existence whenever and wherever other posters said it was.