Is the criminal justice system racist?

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Heather Mac Donald says no in an interesting piece in today's City Journal.

The black incarceration rate is overwhelmingly a function of black crime. Insisting otherwise only worsens black alienation and further defers a real solution to the black crime problem.

I find her discussion compelling, but would still argue that the criminal justice system is disproportionate. There's too many people of all types in prison, black, white, Hispanic, men and women. It seems reasonable to take the next step that the over-carceral nature of the criminal justice system is felt more harshly by poorer and more minority populations.

I agree with Mac Donald that this is not racism, but it is a problem. Her facts are accurate that blacks commit an overwhelming majority of the violent crime in America, but what she fails to comment on is that prisons are politically promoted and assumed to be a salve for this ailment. Where are the great deterrent effects of increased incarceration, harsher penalties and cracked down drug policies? Obviously such efforts are falling short from their expectations amongst the activist community. Lacking any real viable outlet to express their unease with the current system, lacking any real mechanism to effect the system to meet their unique needs, activists are left to entertain the theories that Mac Donald argues to be unsupported by the facts.

2 Comments

EQ said:

The INjustice system indeed has racist and class-bias undercurrents. Ultimately capital sees no color so it is more class-based.

Access to capital in this country is restricted and that means those who are squeezed in this meat grinder end up with a crumbling piece of the pie. Black men are disproportionately in prison because economics affecting the black community are deteriorating and have been for decades. Black men, as is also the case for growing white poverty, do not choose to work. Do not choose to not participate productively in society. Much of the US was built on black labor. Instead, crime is generally based on economics and restricted access to capital therefore reinforces ingorant beliefs like those above that black people are lazy and if you commit the crime you do the time. In other words, this restricted access to capital breeds racism hence the undercurrents of both. Hence we get writers like the one above writing completely ludicrous blather based on lies, damn lies and statistics. But, ultimately, it is restricted access to capital that is the primary root of the problem.

Here is the reality. In a fair and free society, the sovereign would view the majority of crime as a function of economic opportunity. And, therefore the answer by society and the government would be increased economic opportunity. Contrast that with the reality of today. The state answers crime with force. The state's answer to crime is more police. Police do not serve the sovereign, they serve the needs of the state. More police to put more people in prison.....to serve the state and not the sovereign.

You must realize society is currently at war with the state. Not to be confused with the government, which is the will of the sovereign. The whole system is a freaking sham and one day the sovereign will wake up to this fact. That day is likely closer than anyone might imagine - including the sovereign.

EQ said:

Oops, I caught some sentences I didn't proofread in that last one that said just the opposite of what I meant to say.

The INjustice system indeed has racist and class-bias undercurrents. Ultimately capital sees no color so it is more class-based.

Access to capital in this country is restricted and that means those who are squeezed in this meat grinder end up with a crumbling piece of the pie. Black men are disproportionately in prison because economics affecting the black community are deteriorating and have been for decades. That is due to restricted capital not because black people are lazy, which is the state perpetrated story. Black men, as is also the case for growing white poverty, do not choose not to work. Do not choose to not participate productively in society. It has been chosen for them by restricting capital. Much of the US was built on black labor.

Instead, crime is generally based on economics and restricted access to capital therefore reinforces ignorant beliefs like those above that black people are lazy and if you commit the crime you do the time. In other words, this restricted access to capital breeds racism hence the undercurrents of both. Hence we get writers like the one above writing completely ludicrous blather based on lies, damn lies and statistics. But, ultimately, it is restricted access to capital that is the primary root of the problem.

Here is the reality. In a fair and free society, the sovereign would view the majority of crime as a function of economic opportunity. And, therefore the answer by society and the government would be increased economic opportunity. Contrast that with the reality of today. The state answers crime with force. The state's answer to crime is more police. Police do not serve the sovereign, they serve the needs of the state. More police to put more people in prison.....to serve the state and not the sovereign.

You must realize society is currently at war with the state. Not to be confused with the government, which is the will of the sovereign. The whole system is a freaking sham and one day the sovereign will wake up to this fact. That day is likely closer than anyone might imagine - including the sovereign.

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This page contains a single entry by Dan published on May 1, 2008 10:26 AM.

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