Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

For the second time in less than a year, a case in Florida that involved a young black man losing his life to gunshots fired in “self-defense” by a white man has captured the nation’s attention.

Leonard Pitts asks a pretty simple question about the death of Jordan Davis:

If Davis had been a white kid in an SUV full of same playing their music too loudly, does anyone really think the confrontation with Dunn would have escalated to the point of gunfire? And if for some reason it had, is anyone so naive as to believe the jury would have failed to convict Dunn of murder?

We’ll never know, but Simple Misfits pulled a little prank to see how people react to two young men — one African-American, one not — committing the same crime. It’s hardly scientific and designed to be comic. But it makes a point.

If you’re looking for a more substantial example, check out this chart from MSNBC’s Chris Hayes comparing arrests for marijuana possession between black and white people:

As you look at this, consider that black and white people smoke marijuana at the same rate.

With this in mind, The Daily Show has some advice for black youths.

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • daniel bostdorf

    It is very important that “the media’ do what Jason has done, and get the REAL facts about who gets prosecuted more.

    There is a remarkable University dissertation by Kelly Welch of Villanova University.

    It is a must read. 14 pages chocked full of dead on insights and stats.

    From the dissertation:

    “The racial stereotyping of criminals has been an enduring and unfortunate feature of American culture. However, following the civil rights movement, the linkage between Blacks and crime was galvanized. The stereotyping of Blacks as criminals is so pervasive throughout society that “criminal predator” is used as a euphemism for “young Black male.” This common stereotype has erroneously served as a subtle rationale for the unofficial policy and practice of racial profiling by criminal justice practitioners. This article details the theoretical elements contributing to the development of Black criminal typification to understand how this has been used to justify racial profiling…….The current recognizability of the image of a young Black criminal has been the result of various representations of crime. Contributions to this relationship that many identify between African Americans and criminality include actual involvement in crime, especially crack cocaine violations and violent offenses. Blacks do account for a disproportionate amount of crime arrests and are disproportionately convicted and incarcerated. But public estimates of Black criminality surpass the reality. The media perpetuate ideas linking race with criminality, which have also been reinforced by political agendas. The temporary efficacy of using a racial hoax to mislead law enforcement and the public has capitalized on and strengthened views about race and crime. All of these phenomena have served to solidify the stereotype of the young Black man as a criminal threat among the public in contemporary American society, which then fuels the practice of racial profiling by criminal justice officials. The prevalent typification of Blacks as criminals seems to justify law enforcement tactics that exploit race in criminal investigations. Only when criminal justice personnel recognize that the sources of these stereotypes are flawed or based on discriminatory practices themselves will the rationale for maintaining the unofficial policy and practice of racial profiling of criminals be negated. When the association between race and criminality ceases to be compelling, it will be apparent that racial profiling serves no useful purpose.”

    Can’t state it any better than Kelly Welch.

    • Sand_Cat

      Well, to make it short but sweet: if 90% of the people you stop, search, or otherwise investigate are black, it’s true that you’ll find far more black criminals than white.

    • ThomasBonsell

      PBS had a program several months ago about the idea that blacks were more prone to crime than were whites.

      It concentrated more on the era after the Civil War and well into the 20th Century. It used one incident to illustrate how blacks came to accumulate more arrests and convictions than whites (percentage wise). A law-enforcement office in Dixie stopped a young black man and demanded to know, “When are you going to repay me the money you owe me?”

      The black man owed no such debt, but was arrested as a deadbeat, jailed, then “rented” out to a mining firm to slave away in the mines for no pay while the county received some compensation for him being “rented.”

      This was a common practice throughout the South and most young black males were victimized by it in their lifetimes. It was then reported that blacks were more prone to crime than whites by official statistics when, in reality, no crimes were committed. Those “statistics” still dominate some minds today.

  • Pamby50

    This video did not surprise me. I have watched my husband & son subjected to some pretty stupid stuff and when I think about it, I still get mad.

  • DurdyDawg

    Why is this happening? When will red necks realize that human beings come in all colors.. This is worse than the witch hunts of Salem simply because it’s happening again.. Different era, same bigots.

  • Barbara Morgan

    When I was working I drove a transit bus in a middle sized city and interacted with all races. I could never understand the fear that many whites have when it comes to young black males because I less trouble less with them than I did from young white males the 22 years I drove that transit bus. Since there are thugs in all races why do so many just call black males that and why don’t they understand that they as much to fear from a well dressed young white male as they do from a sagging pants young black male wearing a hoodie? Evil and dangerous people exist in all races and ages so stop trying to say it is just one race that consists mainly of such people and realize that all races are capable doing wrong that some of them are dressed in suits instead of baggy pants.