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These Crime Misery Graphs Don't Imply What Ta-Nehisi Coates Thinks They Imply
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Crime Misery Index 2

Back in 2005, I invented the concept of the Crime Misery Index, which I modeled on the Economic Misery Index common in political discourse during the Carter Years: the inflation rate plus the unemployment rate. My 2005 graph of the Crime Misery Index added the homicide rate to the imprisonment rate, with both indexed so that 100 would be equal to the average of the 1950s.

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ giant article in The Atlantic on the “enduring myth of black criminality,” “The Black Family in the Age of Incarceration” (which I reviewed in Taki’s Magazine this week in “Occam’s Rubber Room“), features a graph much like mine from a decade ago (this new graph uses violent crimes while mine uses homicides, but the take-away lesson is the same):

To Ta-Nehisi and his editors, this graph just proves that locking violent criminals up doesn’t deter crime.

(By the way, as a commenter asks, why use two somewhat different y-axes in this Atlantic graph? The point of using an index is to be able to compare disparate measures versus some starting point on one Y-axis.)

Yet, by eliminating the pre-1960s years, their graph does a better job than mine of making the obvious more obvious: liberals wrecked the cities in the 1960s and 1970s by being soft on crime.

In the Sixties, the imprisonment rate went down as the crime rate went up, meaning that, increasingly, crime did pay. According to The Atlantic’s own graph, the imprisonment rate was no higher in 1970 than in 1960 even though close to 3.5X violent crimes were being committed. In other words, assuming all else being equal, your chance of doing time for committing a violent crime was only about 2/7ths in 1970 of what it had been back in 1960.

Why? Because the Sixties.

Like I said in “Occam’s Rubber Room:”

Coates’ autodidacticism is personally admirable, but it’s also embarrassing in that he doesn’t notice what he doesn’t notice. For instance, if you ask people what the most famous decade in the history of the world is, many would say: the ’60s. Everybody has a different opinion on the ’60s, but at least they have an opinion. Except Coates, for whom the sheer existence of the ’60s is an embarrassment for the tale he’s trying to tell.

It would be easier to take the fashionable conventional wisdom about how we have to let so many felons out of prison more seriously if it were first offered with an apology for what happened the last time liberals were handed the key to the national criminal justice car: “We’re sorry about what we did to America in the 1960s and 1970s. We really, really messed up. But we’ve learned from our mistakes and we promise not to do it again.”

But, instead, we get the bumptious, semi-educated Ta-Nehisi Coates turned into America’s Foremost Public Intellectual.

That’ real reassuring.

It’s interesting that Coates is semi-aware that he is rejecting Occam’s Razor in favor of Occam’s Rubber Room. In an interview with Vox’s Ezra Klein, Coates spells out his tribalistic emotion for rejecting scientific reasoning:

I think it’s a lot easier to talk about individual behaviors, to just say that if people would act better it would all be okay.

To me, that logic leads to racism. And let me try to make that plain for you, so I’m not being extreme. If you say the problem in the African-American community is a lack of individual responsibility, you’re talking about 40 million people. If you’re saying there’s less responsibility among those people, well, why would that be? And you say, a culture has developed in the last 30 or 40 years. But the problem is the crime rates have been higher in the black community at least since the time we came out of slavery. Was something wrong with the culture of those people, too?

It quickly and easily leads to the idea that something must just be wrong with those people. And I just reject that. I guess I have to reject that.

TNC concludes his interview by saying his goal is to see whites imprisoned as much as blacks:

If by some feat of magic we returned to 1970 levels of incarceration, it’s not enough for me to see those levels reduced but still see a 5-to-1, 6-to-1, 7-to-1 black-to-white incarceration ratio. How do you get to a place where the black-to-white incarceration ratio is 1-to-1? That hasn’t ever existed in post-slavery in America. It’s never happened. But if that’s what you want ultimately to happen, that’s a bigger conversation than imprisonment. It’s a bigger conversation than drug laws.

As you probably have noticed by now, “conversation” is SJW for “I’m going to lecture you some more, and I don’t want any of your impertinent backtalk.”

 
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  1. Steve, what about today, though? Are we putting too many people in prison?

  2. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Are the numbers they are using for imprisonment the fraction of the population currently imprisoned?

    If so, of course there is a big time lag. For violent crimes like murder, you could easily be in prison for 20 or 40 years, and there are potentially a few years between when you commit the crime and when you begin your sentence. Crime and imprisonment shouldn’t be in lock-step even if the rate and extent of punishment is completely unchanged.

  3. “TNC concludes his interview by saying his goal is to see whites imprisoned as much as blacks”

    More black kids suspended from school.

    It be ‘racist’.

    • Agree: Jeff77450
  4. Tanking the bottom 50% of black men on the IQ and agreeability distribution in prison during their prime years will eventually have a eugenic effect, which will reduce racial disparities and thus tensions in the long term. Sterilising them without imprisoning them would be still more efficient.

    • Replies: @Stan D Mute

    Tanking the bottom 50% of black men on the IQ and agreeability distribution in prison during their prime years will eventually have a eugenic effect, which will reduce racial disparities and thus tensions in the long term. Sterilising them without imprisoning them would be still more efficient.
     
    Less than you think since they're sexually mature at 12/13 and not imprisoned for that 20-30 year stretch until they're 18-25. The prisons are full of African fathers.

    I don't know if officially sanctioned eugenics will ever return to the West. We have the sort described well by Charles Murray due to assortative mating, but China will certainly be far ahead of us in cognitive engineering of humans either via genetic manipulation or through overt traditional eugenic breeding. And of course the central problem remains of the Gap. If we are able to improve human IQ by say 50 points, we will then have whites with IQ's of 150, Africans with 115, Jews with 165, and Chinese with 155. IQ doesn't seem to be the only cause of African dysfunction (although surely a major contributing factor) so would we just have much smarter violent criminals and fatherless children borne at taxpayer expense?
  5. Well, a (white) guy in San Francisco has been arrested, with $155,000 bail, for allegedly spray-painting “No more Chinese” in a couple places in the city’s raggedy Bayview and Portola neighborhoods.

    So maybe that’s what America’s Foremost Public Intellectual (TM, Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.) has in mind. Be black and rape a white woman–a slap on the wrist and a presidential thanks for diversifying the gene pool. Be white and make one of Big Mother’s field agents mad–go directly to jail.

    What this low-IQ dimwit cannot comprehend is that the blacks who bullied him when he was a fat shy smarter-than-black-average kid will not live long outside of highly structured settings that protect them from their own amygdala hijacks until their testosterone levels peak and start to fall off in their 30s.

    This was the entire reasoning behind criminalizing marijuana in places like the city where I grew up, which was 60% black even in the 1970s. May I also note that of the yoofs of my generation/acquaintance who did time, in prison they got all manner of social services of which they wouldn’t begin to partake in their feral state.

    Coates is a dimwit, but like N deG Tyson and BH Obama, he appeals to those desperate to pretend that “civil rights” was anything other than an ochlocratic power grab.

    • Replies: @dude
    Please stop saying that TNC is stupid. Sure, he's wrong about a lot of things, and he's not as smart as some people are saying. I certainly wouldn't call him a great thinker.

    But "low IQ dimwits" do not write 80,000 word articles that get published in the Atlantic. They just don't. That kind of thing takes a certain amount of cognitive ability that puts you well above the average. And obviously even high-IQ people can end up espousing wrong ideas for various reasons. Constantly talking about TNC's "low IQ" just makes you look like the stupid one.
    , @WGG
    I'm not too egotistical to admit I had to look up "ochlocratic." Thanks for the new word!
    , @Jeff77450
    Well said.
  6. At the Alcatraz Island gift shop, I flipped through some old picture books and, strikingly, almost all the prisoners shown were white. Or Google “alcatraz inmates” and select “images”: they’re all white!

    Were there special prisons for blacks, back in the 20s, 30s and 40s??

    • Replies: @5371
    California's population was less than 1% black in 1920, still less than 2% black in 1940.
  7. Steve, what about today, though? Are we putting too many people in prison?

    No, we are not.

    It is a myth there are a bunch of non-violent drug offenders in jail or prison. Most people in prison are there for violent felonies.

    The problem with prisons in America is there are too expensive. We should send our prisoners to Mexico to be operated at American standards but with far lower Mexican construction and labor costs.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    For an understanding of traditional Mexican prisons, watch Mel Gibson's "Get the Gringo:"

    http://takimag.com/article/post_apocalypto_steve_sailer/print#axzz3lx3FIpNc

    Get the Gringo is set in one of those staggering Latin American penal shantytowns (like the jail in Hector Babenco’s Carandiru, only funnier) where the prisoners can’t leave but anybody else can enter for a modest fee. Since crime is the mainstay of the local economy, prison is the hottest ticket in town. El Pueblito held 5,000 inmates, plus as many wives, children, whores, shopkeepers, taco-stand operators, realtors, cable-TV installers, carnival-ride operators, and gangsters holing up from the law as cared to bribe their way in.

    This factual prison epitomizes the Mexican entrepreneurial knack: “You can buy anything, except your way out.” As Mel’s character notes on a Sunday when the prison yard fills up with even more small children running amok amid the (literally vibrant) pup tents set up by entrepreneurs for conjugal visits: “It’s visiting day, so take the whole family to the crappiest place on Earth.”
    , @gruff
    Don't worry, big American companies are reaping the profits. The prison industry is one of the few things the Chinese don't do for us yet.
    , @timothy
    I know about about drug vs. violent offenders. (Incidentally, Carly Fiorina repeated a common canard in the debate by citing the offender composition of the federal prisons as the overall composition.) Violent offenders are about half of state and federal inmates put together, so that doesn't really justify disregarding my question. Granted, many drug offenders are sent to jail because the prosecutors can't nail them on violent or property offenses they suspect they've committed and so get them with a lesser offense.

    Even relatively well-informed people on this subject don't know much about, say, the dramatic changes in substantive criminal law, which became at once broader and more specific as a means of inducing more guilty pleas (itself a way of evading the procedural rights created by the Warren Court). Or the impact of the legal theory of textualism on criminal law. Or, etc., etc. Some of these changes were bad, and should be reevaluated now that crime has dropped and mass incarceration seems to have hit diminishing returns of usefulness. ("Incapacitation" of crime-prone men helps a lot, but prison as an effective deterrent depends on the social stigma of being a prisoner. When all your friends in the neighborhood have gone to prison, it's no longer much of a deterrent.)

    , @Former Darfur
    A staggering amount of land value is wasted in California alone by the use of some of the state's prime real estate for prisons. Build them in the desert or in the national forests (surely if all California's US Representatives went along, they could force the fedrerales to let them) and raze the prisons and sell the land at auction...or better yet, lease the land to developers for 99 years, with an easement (is that the right term?) for the state to get a percentage of the profits from selling or renting buildings there. What state deficit??
  8. @Lot

    Steve, what about today, though? Are we putting too many people in prison?
     
    No, we are not.

    It is a myth there are a bunch of non-violent drug offenders in jail or prison. Most people in prison are there for violent felonies.

    The problem with prisons in America is there are too expensive. We should send our prisoners to Mexico to be operated at American standards but with far lower Mexican construction and labor costs.

    For an understanding of traditional Mexican prisons, watch Mel Gibson’s “Get the Gringo:”

    http://takimag.com/article/post_apocalypto_steve_sailer/print#axzz3lx3FIpNc

    Get the Gringo is set in one of those staggering Latin American penal shantytowns (like the jail in Hector Babenco’s Carandiru, only funnier) where the prisoners can’t leave but anybody else can enter for a modest fee. Since crime is the mainstay of the local economy, prison is the hottest ticket in town. El Pueblito held 5,000 inmates, plus as many wives, children, whores, shopkeepers, taco-stand operators, realtors, cable-TV installers, carnival-ride operators, and gangsters holing up from the law as cared to bribe their way in.

    This factual prison epitomizes the Mexican entrepreneurial knack: “You can buy anything, except your way out.” As Mel’s character notes on a Sunday when the prison yard fills up with even more small children running amok amid the (literally vibrant) pup tents set up by entrepreneurs for conjugal visits: “It’s visiting day, so take the whole family to the crappiest place on Earth.”

    • Replies: @Mark Minter
    My cue:

    http://www.solarmovie.cz/watch-get-the-gringo-2012-online.html

    Actually this is a damn good movie, very entertaining, very Mel. He is probably the best comedic action actor probably ever.

    I was wondering last night given all the support Ann Coulter got from the alt-right guys, and now how Roosh has sort of reversed his views and pointed how there always seems to be some Jewish person behind whatever civilization busting idea, and then coupled with the sheer hypocrisy of Jews going all yeah yeah yeah for European countries to take in Migrants, but build a bigger, better wall for Israel to keep the purity of the tribe, that maybe there might be a Mel Gibson Rehabiliation. Anti-Semitism is definitely on the rise. There was this single episode where some Twitter person wrote a tweet to ADL to report Roosh for "hate" for posting an image of the fence going up in Hungary. All the caption said was something like "Hungary putting up the fence and forcing migrants toward Croatia". And ADL wrote back that its "Cyberhate team was looking into it". And those alt-right guys were all jokey defiant like giving them the raspberries. It seemed that real life offered better parodies than intended parodies.

    So maybe Trump voters might all think "Mel Gibson? Why not? He don't seem so nuts now." All it would take is one American Sniper grossing sort of movie and he could right back in thick of it all.

    Anyway, watch Get The Gringo. And tweet about it. "Hey Moishe, I'm watching Mel."

  9. @Lot

    Steve, what about today, though? Are we putting too many people in prison?
     
    No, we are not.

    It is a myth there are a bunch of non-violent drug offenders in jail or prison. Most people in prison are there for violent felonies.

    The problem with prisons in America is there are too expensive. We should send our prisoners to Mexico to be operated at American standards but with far lower Mexican construction and labor costs.

    Don’t worry, big American companies are reaping the profits. The prison industry is one of the few things the Chinese don’t do for us yet.

    • Replies: @Lot
    I'm OK with outsourcing imprisonment to China in theory too. In practice only Mexico will work. It is a democratic country that is capable of running prisons to appropriate American standards and the logistics are reasonable too. I'd start by making it voluntary, probably many Mexican nationals would be OK serving in Mexico.

    I am not talking about mixing American prisoners in with Mexican prisoners in existing Mexican jails.
  10. How do you get to a place where the black-to-white incarceration ratio is 1-to-1?

    I recall hearing discussions of the differences in the meaning of equality espoused by our Founders versus the French revolutionaries. The former sought equal opportunity while the latter equal results. With affirmative action, disparate impact, etc., it’s clear that equality of results has taken precedence in America. I guess it only seems logical that TNC has extended this concept to failure too.

    • Replies: @Kyle McKenna

    How do you get to a place where the black-to-white incarceration ratio is 1-to-1?
     
    It's pretty simple. Blacks have to start committing a whole lot less crime. So how about it?
    , @res

    differences in the meaning of equality espoused by our Founders versus the French revolutionaries. The former sought equal opportunity while the latter equal results. With affirmative action, disparate impact, etc., it’s clear that equality of results has taken precedence in America.
     
    This captures where I think American liberalism has gone off the rails. Consider https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberalism which contrasts the two phases (classical and social liberalism) of liberty and equality before the law. Perhaps equality of results/outcomes should be called third phase liberalism.

    Wikipedia seems a bit muddled on this. The contrast above links equality to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equality_before_the_law which contains the sentence "Classical liberalism calls for equality before the law, not for equality of outcome." Contrast that with "Liberalism is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. The former principle is stressed in classical liberalism while the latter is more evident in social liberalism." from the Liberalism wiki.

    Can anyone recommend a good reference discussing this contrast between the American Founders and the French revolutionaries?
  11. @Lot

    Steve, what about today, though? Are we putting too many people in prison?
     
    No, we are not.

    It is a myth there are a bunch of non-violent drug offenders in jail or prison. Most people in prison are there for violent felonies.

    The problem with prisons in America is there are too expensive. We should send our prisoners to Mexico to be operated at American standards but with far lower Mexican construction and labor costs.

    I know about about drug vs. violent offenders. (Incidentally, Carly Fiorina repeated a common canard in the debate by citing the offender composition of the federal prisons as the overall composition.) Violent offenders are about half of state and federal inmates put together, so that doesn’t really justify disregarding my question. Granted, many drug offenders are sent to jail because the prosecutors can’t nail them on violent or property offenses they suspect they’ve committed and so get them with a lesser offense.

    Even relatively well-informed people on this subject don’t know much about, say, the dramatic changes in substantive criminal law, which became at once broader and more specific as a means of inducing more guilty pleas (itself a way of evading the procedural rights created by the Warren Court). Or the impact of the legal theory of textualism on criminal law. Or, etc., etc. Some of these changes were bad, and should be reevaluated now that crime has dropped and mass incarceration seems to have hit diminishing returns of usefulness. (“Incapacitation” of crime-prone men helps a lot, but prison as an effective deterrent depends on the social stigma of being a prisoner. When all your friends in the neighborhood have gone to prison, it’s no longer much of a deterrent.)

    • Replies: @Lot

    mass incarceration seems to have hit diminishing returns of usefulness
     
    I agree the returns of additional incarceration are diminishing. They are still, in my view, extremely positive.

    “Incapacitation” of crime-prone men helps a lot, but prison as an effective deterrent depends on the social stigma of being a prisoner.
     

    Deterrence also requires a minimum degree of future time orientation. Each year dysgenic fertility and migration patterns makes such deterrence less effective.
  12. @Olorin
    Well, a (white) guy in San Francisco has been arrested, with $155,000 bail, for allegedly spray-painting "No more Chinese" in a couple places in the city's raggedy Bayview and Portola neighborhoods.

    So maybe that's what America's Foremost Public Intellectual (TM, Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.) has in mind. Be black and rape a white woman--a slap on the wrist and a presidential thanks for diversifying the gene pool. Be white and make one of Big Mother's field agents mad--go directly to jail.

    What this low-IQ dimwit cannot comprehend is that the blacks who bullied him when he was a fat shy smarter-than-black-average kid will not live long outside of highly structured settings that protect them from their own amygdala hijacks until their testosterone levels peak and start to fall off in their 30s.

    This was the entire reasoning behind criminalizing marijuana in places like the city where I grew up, which was 60% black even in the 1970s. May I also note that of the yoofs of my generation/acquaintance who did time, in prison they got all manner of social services of which they wouldn't begin to partake in their feral state.

    Coates is a dimwit, but like N deG Tyson and BH Obama, he appeals to those desperate to pretend that "civil rights" was anything other than an ochlocratic power grab.

    Please stop saying that TNC is stupid. Sure, he’s wrong about a lot of things, and he’s not as smart as some people are saying. I certainly wouldn’t call him a great thinker.

    But “low IQ dimwits” do not write 80,000 word articles that get published in the Atlantic. They just don’t. That kind of thing takes a certain amount of cognitive ability that puts you well above the average. And obviously even high-IQ people can end up espousing wrong ideas for various reasons. Constantly talking about TNC’s “low IQ” just makes you look like the stupid one.

    • Replies: @MSP
    Dude, I agree. I was listening to him on NPR the other day, and he came across as an earnest, reasonably intelligent person. He's clearly brighter than average.
    , @unit472
    T.N. Coates 'article' is mostly a mass of quotes taken from any black studies syllabus. Its the sort of padding any college student does for a sociology or history paper. Most any literate person could assemble an article of this type...especially if they got paid for it and it was on a general topic that requires no specialized knowledge.

    Let's say you needed to come up with an article on the 1972 Miami Dolphins season. Well you simply pile on the contemporaneous quotes from Bob Griese, Don Shula, Larry Czonka, Jim Kiick and Mercury Morris! That's just off the top of my head. Toss in team and individual statistics and some play off and Super Bowl details and pretty soon you'd have an 80,000 word article that would make you seem an expert on the NFL.
    , @SPMoore8
    First of all, it's a 17,000 word article, not an 80,000 word article.

    I don't think TNC is stupid, I think his IQ is certainly above 100, but he has two other problems. One, he is ignorant. As it is, he's learning what he knows on the fly, and therefore has little time for reflection, and trying to shake off the biases of those who are trying to influence him. He also just doesn't know much about the historical context of anything. To his credit, he admits it frequently.

    The second problem is that he has absorbed an unapologetic black nationalist perspective and everything he writes is tortured by it. Thus, he wants a 1:1 BW prisoner ratio, which can only mean a quota system, because he's convinced that anything less would be racist. He wants more whites, because, on the premise of equality, there simply must be more whites in prison. And, as the son of a Black Panther, he will always find time to throw in a good word or a mitigating word on behalf of some black guy who just happened to murder someone else.

    He wants "a prison population that looks like America" -- OK, that would be 13% black, 45% white, 1% Asian, and and 41% hispanic, half of whom broke into prison illegally.

    I'm waiting for the "Carcereal" Bakke decision, in which SCOTUS determines that racial quotas for admission to our institutions of higher learning incarceration are constitutional.

    , @Max

    Please stop saying that TNC is stupid. Sure, he’s wrong about a lot of things, and he’s not as smart as some people are saying. I certainly wouldn’t call him a great thinker.

    But “low IQ dimwits” do not write 80,000 word articles that get published in the Atlantic. They just don’t. That kind of thing takes a certain amount of cognitive ability that puts you well above the average. And obviously even high-IQ people can end up espousing wrong ideas for various reasons. Constantly talking about TNC’s “low IQ” just makes you look like the stupid one.
     
    "Stupid" is a relative concept. If TNC has an IQ of 130, I would be surprised. Yet that would still make him pretty "stupid" compared to many people who think and write seriously about race.
    , @Stan D Mute

    Please stop saying that TNC is stupid. Sure, he’s wrong about a lot of things, and he’s not as smart as some people are saying... Constantly talking about TNC’s “low IQ” just makes you look like the stupid one.
     
    Even worse, it makes you and (by associative property of guilt) this site look like the Left's boogeyman "racist" who hates Africans "for the color of their skin." By African averages, Coates is pretty darn bright. By American overall averages he's probably a bit above average. Had I to guess, I'd venture between 100-110. No worry to the Mensa membership, but pretty far from "stupid." As you noted, there are plenty of people, not a few much smarter than Coates, who espouse the same incredibly stupid *ideas* he does.
  13. Without mass immigration – so the non-criminal black males had jobs and dating money- then the very high black incarceration rate would probably have worked on its own as hot house evolution as the baby mommas would be having kids with the working men rather than the gangstas.

    • Replies: @Former Darfur
    Make the dindu baby daddys pay child support, or the choice is vasectomy or detention til the kid is 18....or 21 or 23 or whenever it is working men have to pay child support.
    , @Harry Baldwin
    Wouldn't it be remarkable if Ta Nehisi realized that mass immigration was bad for black people? I imagine that the Atlantic would quickly rustle up another premier black intellectual.
  14. @International Jew
    At the Alcatraz Island gift shop, I flipped through some old picture books and, strikingly, almost all the prisoners shown were white. Or Google "alcatraz inmates" and select "images": they're all white!

    Were there special prisons for blacks, back in the 20s, 30s and 40s??

    California’s population was less than 1% black in 1920, still less than 2% black in 1940.

    • Replies: @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "California’s population was less than 1% black in 1920, still less than 2% black in 1940."

    Yes, but Alcatraz was a Federal prison, not a California prison.
  15. WGG [AKA "World\'s Greatest Grandson"] says:
    @Olorin
    Well, a (white) guy in San Francisco has been arrested, with $155,000 bail, for allegedly spray-painting "No more Chinese" in a couple places in the city's raggedy Bayview and Portola neighborhoods.

    So maybe that's what America's Foremost Public Intellectual (TM, Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.) has in mind. Be black and rape a white woman--a slap on the wrist and a presidential thanks for diversifying the gene pool. Be white and make one of Big Mother's field agents mad--go directly to jail.

    What this low-IQ dimwit cannot comprehend is that the blacks who bullied him when he was a fat shy smarter-than-black-average kid will not live long outside of highly structured settings that protect them from their own amygdala hijacks until their testosterone levels peak and start to fall off in their 30s.

    This was the entire reasoning behind criminalizing marijuana in places like the city where I grew up, which was 60% black even in the 1970s. May I also note that of the yoofs of my generation/acquaintance who did time, in prison they got all manner of social services of which they wouldn't begin to partake in their feral state.

    Coates is a dimwit, but like N deG Tyson and BH Obama, he appeals to those desperate to pretend that "civil rights" was anything other than an ochlocratic power grab.

    I’m not too egotistical to admit I had to look up “ochlocratic.” Thanks for the new word!

  16. “To Ta-Nehisi and his editors, this graph just proves that locking violent criminals up doesn’t deter crime.”

    Locking violent criminals up prevents crime, but considering that the recidivism rate for blacks is about 80%, I’m not sure it could be called a material deterrent. Moreover, normalizing locking blacks up makes it even less of a deterrent for them and more like a right of passage, often rather like a reunion of sorts.

    The one thing that absolutely deters crime in the ghetto is being armed, and I’m kinda surprised there aren’t more law-abiding black neighbors in zero-tolerance cities demanding their 2nd Amendment rights be restored. (You did hear from some of them when DC’s gun ban got struck down.) And I’m convinced it was guns that, perversely, saw the crime rate drop across the nation. The general notion that crime fell because the criminals were incarcerated misses the decisive condition—that so many shooters were dead, and the grave doesn’t suggest itself to the up and coming as any right of passage. That may say something about a generation that knows those memories much less, and maybe this recent spike was ultimately inevitable that way. (I’ve also often wondered how black criminals would become less aggressive when there is less competition for females, so many black men being incarcerated.)

    That said, skeptical as I am of incarceration as a deterrent for violent crime, Jared Taylor’s insightful essay, recently published here, made the argument that all inter-racial crime ought to be prosecuted as hate crimes, since that’s what toxifies race relations, and that seems eminently sensible. I had never heard that point made and I can actually imagine liberals sponsoring the idea enthusiastically. The reality is that mandatory minimums are going away, and such a policy would obviously get to the heart of the issue.

    • Replies: @Devil's Advocate
    "That said, skeptical as I am of incarceration as a deterrent for violent crime, Jared Taylor’s insightful essay, recently published here, made the argument that all inter-racial crime ought to be prosecuted as hate crimes, since that’s what toxifies race relations, and that seems eminently sensible."

    Pat, let's get serious here. You know as well as I do that getting liberals on board with this program would mean, in practice, that all inter-racial crimes would be hate crimes EXCEPT any crime in which a white person is a victim.
  17. @timothy
    I know about about drug vs. violent offenders. (Incidentally, Carly Fiorina repeated a common canard in the debate by citing the offender composition of the federal prisons as the overall composition.) Violent offenders are about half of state and federal inmates put together, so that doesn't really justify disregarding my question. Granted, many drug offenders are sent to jail because the prosecutors can't nail them on violent or property offenses they suspect they've committed and so get them with a lesser offense.

    Even relatively well-informed people on this subject don't know much about, say, the dramatic changes in substantive criminal law, which became at once broader and more specific as a means of inducing more guilty pleas (itself a way of evading the procedural rights created by the Warren Court). Or the impact of the legal theory of textualism on criminal law. Or, etc., etc. Some of these changes were bad, and should be reevaluated now that crime has dropped and mass incarceration seems to have hit diminishing returns of usefulness. ("Incapacitation" of crime-prone men helps a lot, but prison as an effective deterrent depends on the social stigma of being a prisoner. When all your friends in the neighborhood have gone to prison, it's no longer much of a deterrent.)

    mass incarceration seems to have hit diminishing returns of usefulness

    I agree the returns of additional incarceration are diminishing. They are still, in my view, extremely positive.

    “Incapacitation” of crime-prone men helps a lot, but prison as an effective deterrent depends on the social stigma of being a prisoner.

    Deterrence also requires a minimum degree of future time orientation. Each year dysgenic fertility and migration patterns makes such deterrence less effective.

    • Replies: @Bill

    Deterrence also requires a minimum degree of future time orientation
     
    Deterrence via incarceration requires a pretty substantial degree of future time orientation. Deterrence via the cops beating you to within an inch of your life requires much less. The latter was likely common in the US prior to the 1960s. I doubt that the increase in crime in the 60s was mostly down to the reduction in incarceration. I think it was mostly down to the reduction in beatings. Notice that the violent crime rate has not gone back down to 1950s levels even as the incarceration rate has greatly increased.
  18. @Lot

    Steve, what about today, though? Are we putting too many people in prison?
     
    No, we are not.

    It is a myth there are a bunch of non-violent drug offenders in jail or prison. Most people in prison are there for violent felonies.

    The problem with prisons in America is there are too expensive. We should send our prisoners to Mexico to be operated at American standards but with far lower Mexican construction and labor costs.

    A staggering amount of land value is wasted in California alone by the use of some of the state’s prime real estate for prisons. Build them in the desert or in the national forests (surely if all California’s US Representatives went along, they could force the fedrerales to let them) and raze the prisons and sell the land at auction…or better yet, lease the land to developers for 99 years, with an easement (is that the right term?) for the state to get a percentage of the profits from selling or renting buildings there. What state deficit??

    • Replies: @jon

    A staggering amount of land value is wasted in California alone by the use of some of the state’s prime real estate for prisons.
     
    For those who have never been to California, this is the infamous San Quentin - Bay Area beachfront.

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=san+quentin&t=ffnt&iax=1&ia=images
    , @Jim Don Bob
    Prison guards in California have a very powerful union and are well paid.
    , @Marty
    Alioto's, one of the venerable restaurants at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, has a 99-year lease with the city at a rent of $1 per year (hey! he wasn't mafia!). The Republican candidate should promise to use the Supremacy Clause to bring that figure up to market value, and use the proceeds to train black neurologists.
  19. @anon
    Without mass immigration - so the non-criminal black males had jobs and dating money- then the very high black incarceration rate would probably have worked on its own as hot house evolution as the baby mommas would be having kids with the working men rather than the gangstas.

    Make the dindu baby daddys pay child support, or the choice is vasectomy or detention til the kid is 18….or 21 or 23 or whenever it is working men have to pay child support.

    • Replies: @anon
    That doesn't solve the problem of mass unemployment which is the workingman types not having any money because they don't have jobs.

    What I'm saying is if there had been no 1965 act - so the workingman types had jobs - plus lots of prisons for the others then the workingman types would have sired the kids and not the gangstas and the problem would be a lot less.

    High speed evolution.
  20. @gruff
    Don't worry, big American companies are reaping the profits. The prison industry is one of the few things the Chinese don't do for us yet.

    I’m OK with outsourcing imprisonment to China in theory too. In practice only Mexico will work. It is a democratic country that is capable of running prisons to appropriate American standards and the logistics are reasonable too. I’d start by making it voluntary, probably many Mexican nationals would be OK serving in Mexico.

    I am not talking about mixing American prisoners in with Mexican prisoners in existing Mexican jails.

  21. @iSteveFan

    How do you get to a place where the black-to-white incarceration ratio is 1-to-1?
     
    I recall hearing discussions of the differences in the meaning of equality espoused by our Founders versus the French revolutionaries. The former sought equal opportunity while the latter equal results. With affirmative action, disparate impact, etc., it's clear that equality of results has taken precedence in America. I guess it only seems logical that TNC has extended this concept to failure too.

    How do you get to a place where the black-to-white incarceration ratio is 1-to-1?

    It’s pretty simple. Blacks have to start committing a whole lot less crime. So how about it?

    • Replies: @Bill
    Nah. Incarcerate whites for rolling stop signs.
  22. “How do you get to a place where the black-to-white incarceration ratio is 1-to-1?”

    The White male to Black male incarceration ratio will be 1-to-1 when Black males stop committing so much crime. Unless Ta-Nehisi Coates believes that all races commit crimes at the exact same rate, but Black criminals are more likely to get caught by law enforcement than White criminals.

    If he believes that, TNC is basically saying that White criminals on average have higher IQ’s than Black criminals, hence why they are better at avoiding getting arrested. Ta-Nehisi Coates probably believes there are millions of White criminals in this country who will go their whole lives without ever getting caught and thus not add to the White male incarceration statistics.

    • Replies: @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "Unless Ta-Nehisi Coates believes that all races commit crimes at the exact same rate..."

    Laughably, I'm pretty sure that is exactly what ol' Tennessee believes.
    , @Alfa158
    Black people are unusually susceptible to wacko myths. A huge percentage of them believe that the government lies about how often whites commit crimes , and white people do commit these crimes they don't get arrested as often because most cops are in black neighborhoods when the whites are committing these crimes. Some even believe that the police lie actually about white murders and re-classify many murder victims as traffic crash victims in order to reduce the official white murder rate.
  23. Ta’s discussion of the graph is quite profoundly ignorant. The graph actually proves that today’s incarceration rates are not a departure from past incarceration rates.

    After about 45 seconds of thought, a reasonably thoughtful person would notice that: (1) violent crime went up about 3.5x starting in 1965, (2) after a lag, incarceration also went up about 3.5x, and (3) prisons take time to build. So, a reasonable person would find all this completely unsurprising. When crime surges, you can’t immediately put all the new criminals in prison because there isn’t enough room for them all. You let out some criminals earlier, and you put fewer new criminals in prison. Over time, voters get upset, and grudgingly vote more money for prisons, so incarceration rates goes up after a lag. Completely predicable and obvious.

    Instead Ta has a bizarre discussion whose logic seems to run something like this:

    (1) crime rates rose dramatically starting in the 1960s (hum-dee-dum-dee-dum, let’s just kind of glide on past any mention of things that happened in the 1960s such as the Civil Rights movement and Great Society welfare programs and increased sympathy for criminals),

    (2) since incarceration rates didn’t go up immediately, the later increase in incarceration rates couldn’t possibly be caused by the increase in crime (hum-dee-dum-dee-dum, I’m not gonna think too hard about tedious details like prison capacity or how long it takes to build prisons or boring (i.e., non-racial) stuff like that),

    (3) No! The increase in incarceration was due to a dramatic and racist change in policy, and slavery, and Jim Crow, and slavery, and the Fugitive Slave Act, and racism! (Hum-dee-dum-dee-dum, not gonna think about why Jim Crow would increase incarceration in 1990 rather than 1920, and definitely not gonna notice that a 3.5x increase in incarceration in response to a 3.5x increase in crime actually implies NO change in policy),

    (4) someone found a sociologist who thinks putting criminals in prison has almost no effect on crime (hum-dee-dum-dee-dum, thinking too much about why this is relevant just makes my big brain hurt),

    and (5) Reparations! (Of course! All roads lead to reparations!)

  24. @Former Darfur
    A staggering amount of land value is wasted in California alone by the use of some of the state's prime real estate for prisons. Build them in the desert or in the national forests (surely if all California's US Representatives went along, they could force the fedrerales to let them) and raze the prisons and sell the land at auction...or better yet, lease the land to developers for 99 years, with an easement (is that the right term?) for the state to get a percentage of the profits from selling or renting buildings there. What state deficit??

    A staggering amount of land value is wasted in California alone by the use of some of the state’s prime real estate for prisons.

    For those who have never been to California, this is the infamous San Quentin – Bay Area beachfront.

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=san+quentin&t=ffnt&iax=1&ia=images

    • Replies: @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "For those who have never been to California, this is the infamous San Quentin – Bay Area beachfront."

    San Quentin is pretty close to the sole exception* in this regard. Most California prisons are already located in former agricultural land along Highway 99, or out in the desert waste somewhere.

    *Its difficult to be definitive, as California has so very many prisons.
  25. How do you get to a place where the black-to-white incarceration ratio is 1-to-1?

    Barack Obama – 2012: “You didn’t build that”

    Ta-Nehisi Coates – 2015: “You didn’t steal that”

    • Agree: Kylie
  26. @anon
    Without mass immigration - so the non-criminal black males had jobs and dating money- then the very high black incarceration rate would probably have worked on its own as hot house evolution as the baby mommas would be having kids with the working men rather than the gangstas.

    Wouldn’t it be remarkable if Ta Nehisi realized that mass immigration was bad for black people? I imagine that the Atlantic would quickly rustle up another premier black intellectual.

    • Replies: @anon
    Yeah, if he said it they'd ditch him and then he wouldn't have a platform. If he keeps the platform he can't say anything that might actually help.

    Catch 22.
  27. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Former Darfur
    Make the dindu baby daddys pay child support, or the choice is vasectomy or detention til the kid is 18....or 21 or 23 or whenever it is working men have to pay child support.

    That doesn’t solve the problem of mass unemployment which is the workingman types not having any money because they don’t have jobs.

    What I’m saying is if there had been no 1965 act – so the workingman types had jobs – plus lots of prisons for the others then the workingman types would have sired the kids and not the gangstas and the problem would be a lot less.

    High speed evolution.

  28. @Harry Baldwin
    Wouldn't it be remarkable if Ta Nehisi realized that mass immigration was bad for black people? I imagine that the Atlantic would quickly rustle up another premier black intellectual.

    Yeah, if he said it they’d ditch him and then he wouldn’t have a platform. If he keeps the platform he can’t say anything that might actually help.

    Catch 22.

  29. @dude
    Please stop saying that TNC is stupid. Sure, he's wrong about a lot of things, and he's not as smart as some people are saying. I certainly wouldn't call him a great thinker.

    But "low IQ dimwits" do not write 80,000 word articles that get published in the Atlantic. They just don't. That kind of thing takes a certain amount of cognitive ability that puts you well above the average. And obviously even high-IQ people can end up espousing wrong ideas for various reasons. Constantly talking about TNC's "low IQ" just makes you look like the stupid one.

    Dude, I agree. I was listening to him on NPR the other day, and he came across as an earnest, reasonably intelligent person. He’s clearly brighter than average.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
    He's far smarter than average - or at least far more fluent. But he has his weaknesses and blind spots, like most people. I just cannot stand the man, nor his crackpot spin which I dub "body English."
  30. The quote from TNC about how he understands black crime rates have historically been higher than the rest of the population but chooses to ascribe it to institutional racism rather than culture (because if it were culture that would justify racism) sort of says it all. He signals that he is automatically ruling one one possible reason because he doesn’t like where it leads him so he is forced to construct an alternate theory, which for him seems to be housing and possibly the police.

    Another thing he doesn’t touch is that over half of the people in prison are there for violent crime, so the only way we get anywhere near to his dream of a 1 to 1 black/white imprisonment rate is a huge reduction in the amount of violence committed by black bodies. How does that occur? He seems to imply reparations would suddenly result in blacks’ behavior mirroring that of whites but isn’t asked to explain that.

    Finally, I did notice that Ezra Klein partly ascribes black problems to 1) poor impulse control that may or may not be associated with lead, 2) their families, 3) genes and makes the statements that many of these people are not equipped to make good decisions. Naturally the conclusion is that we just can’t hold them accountable through the justice system.

    • Replies: @MEH 0910

    The quote from TNC about how he understands black crime rates have historically been higher than the rest of the population but chooses to ascribe it to institutional racism rather than culture (because if it were culture that would justify racism) sort of says it all.
     
    Read the quote again, Coates is a bit opaque in what he is saying. He doesn't use the word "genetics", or "heredity", but that is what he is instinctively rejecting, not differences in culture. He doesn't believe the culture has been identical from era to era, thus leading to the cause being ascribed to the unthinkable (and unspeakable) genetic differences.
  31. who will do forced sterilization.

    • Replies: @joni

    who will do forced sterilization.
     
    Not forced. Incentivized. $100k lump sum payment. It is cheaper than the cost of the children that would be born and would have to be fed, sheltered, given healthcare and education.
  32. @dude
    Please stop saying that TNC is stupid. Sure, he's wrong about a lot of things, and he's not as smart as some people are saying. I certainly wouldn't call him a great thinker.

    But "low IQ dimwits" do not write 80,000 word articles that get published in the Atlantic. They just don't. That kind of thing takes a certain amount of cognitive ability that puts you well above the average. And obviously even high-IQ people can end up espousing wrong ideas for various reasons. Constantly talking about TNC's "low IQ" just makes you look like the stupid one.

    T.N. Coates ‘article’ is mostly a mass of quotes taken from any black studies syllabus. Its the sort of padding any college student does for a sociology or history paper. Most any literate person could assemble an article of this type…especially if they got paid for it and it was on a general topic that requires no specialized knowledge.

    Let’s say you needed to come up with an article on the 1972 Miami Dolphins season. Well you simply pile on the contemporaneous quotes from Bob Griese, Don Shula, Larry Czonka, Jim Kiick and Mercury Morris! That’s just off the top of my head. Toss in team and individual statistics and some play off and Super Bowl details and pretty soon you’d have an 80,000 word article that would make you seem an expert on the NFL.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Hold it, hold it. What about HOFer Nick Buonoconti? How could you forget him?
    , @Bill
    You're right that Ta is not noticeably brighter (or dumber) than the average college student. On the other hand, college students have above average intelligence. So, dude is right also.

    I want to say that Ta is dumber than the average public intellectual, but is that really true any more? He's certainly much, much dumber than William Safire was. Is he dumber than John Podhoretz?
  33. On the “THREE ERAS” chart I’m failing to see any reason why they shifted the Y-axis the way they did.

    • Replies: @ic1000
    Can you clarify what you mean? Both Y-axes start at zero (bottom of graph), so the trends look the same as in Steve's 'Misery Index' graph.
    , @Veracitor
    The two vertical scales are to make the two curves in the frame "look nice together" to the editor, who doesn't know how to rescale data since they laid off the only numerate editorial assistant to save money. And I would bet you a nickel that TNC also lacks skill in this area.
    , @Veracitor
    I figured out why the vertical scales are different. It is about the “look” of the graph but not “because poor math skills.”

    The Atlantic used different scales because if the curves are plotted on the same scale (they could be; the units are the same and the magnitudes not much different), then the incarceration-rate line is much closer to the crime-rate line and looks much more responsive to it.

    So TNC and his editors draw graphs they way they write prose: tendentiously.

    (I apologize for double-posting. On my last attempt I put a typo in my screen-name, so that post went to the moderation queue. This post is partly to check whether that cost me the privilege of bypassing moderation sometimes.)
  34. And then there is Alex Tabarrok’s latest anti-prison screed.

    Does anyone else get the impression that he is super emotionally invested in this issue? I’ve been reading Marginal Revolution since it started, and I get this vibe when he writes about it – like he is on the verge of tears or something.

  35. @Olorin
    Well, a (white) guy in San Francisco has been arrested, with $155,000 bail, for allegedly spray-painting "No more Chinese" in a couple places in the city's raggedy Bayview and Portola neighborhoods.

    So maybe that's what America's Foremost Public Intellectual (TM, Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.) has in mind. Be black and rape a white woman--a slap on the wrist and a presidential thanks for diversifying the gene pool. Be white and make one of Big Mother's field agents mad--go directly to jail.

    What this low-IQ dimwit cannot comprehend is that the blacks who bullied him when he was a fat shy smarter-than-black-average kid will not live long outside of highly structured settings that protect them from their own amygdala hijacks until their testosterone levels peak and start to fall off in their 30s.

    This was the entire reasoning behind criminalizing marijuana in places like the city where I grew up, which was 60% black even in the 1970s. May I also note that of the yoofs of my generation/acquaintance who did time, in prison they got all manner of social services of which they wouldn't begin to partake in their feral state.

    Coates is a dimwit, but like N deG Tyson and BH Obama, he appeals to those desperate to pretend that "civil rights" was anything other than an ochlocratic power grab.

    Well said.

  36. @Steve Sailer
    For an understanding of traditional Mexican prisons, watch Mel Gibson's "Get the Gringo:"

    http://takimag.com/article/post_apocalypto_steve_sailer/print#axzz3lx3FIpNc

    Get the Gringo is set in one of those staggering Latin American penal shantytowns (like the jail in Hector Babenco’s Carandiru, only funnier) where the prisoners can’t leave but anybody else can enter for a modest fee. Since crime is the mainstay of the local economy, prison is the hottest ticket in town. El Pueblito held 5,000 inmates, plus as many wives, children, whores, shopkeepers, taco-stand operators, realtors, cable-TV installers, carnival-ride operators, and gangsters holing up from the law as cared to bribe their way in.

    This factual prison epitomizes the Mexican entrepreneurial knack: “You can buy anything, except your way out.” As Mel’s character notes on a Sunday when the prison yard fills up with even more small children running amok amid the (literally vibrant) pup tents set up by entrepreneurs for conjugal visits: “It’s visiting day, so take the whole family to the crappiest place on Earth.”

    My cue:

    http://www.solarmovie.cz/watch-get-the-gringo-2012-online.html

    Actually this is a damn good movie, very entertaining, very Mel. He is probably the best comedic action actor probably ever.

    I was wondering last night given all the support Ann Coulter got from the alt-right guys, and now how Roosh has sort of reversed his views and pointed how there always seems to be some Jewish person behind whatever civilization busting idea, and then coupled with the sheer hypocrisy of Jews going all yeah yeah yeah for European countries to take in Migrants, but build a bigger, better wall for Israel to keep the purity of the tribe, that maybe there might be a Mel Gibson Rehabiliation. Anti-Semitism is definitely on the rise. There was this single episode where some Twitter person wrote a tweet to ADL to report Roosh for “hate” for posting an image of the fence going up in Hungary. All the caption said was something like “Hungary putting up the fence and forcing migrants toward Croatia”. And ADL wrote back that its “Cyberhate team was looking into it”. And those alt-right guys were all jokey defiant like giving them the raspberries. It seemed that real life offered better parodies than intended parodies.

    So maybe Trump voters might all think “Mel Gibson? Why not? He don’t seem so nuts now.” All it would take is one American Sniper grossing sort of movie and he could right back in thick of it all.

    Anyway, watch Get The Gringo. And tweet about it. “Hey Moishe, I’m watching Mel.”

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    +1. Get The Gringo is a very funny movie, and Mel is great.
  37. This is from his article:

    “African Americans in our data are distinct from both Latinos and whites,” Robert Sampson told me. “Even when we control for marital status and family history of criminality, we still see these strong differences. ……… even independent of all the characteristics we think are protective.”

    Why?

    TNC says on account of white people; others say on account of black people.

    Back to square one.

  38. T. Greer posted Honor, Dignity, and Victimhood: A Tour Through Three Centuries of American Political Culture, a commentary on a Jonathan Haidt essay on a sociology paper entitled “Micro-aggression and Moral Cultures.” Its authors (Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning) describe three cultural systems for resolving disputes.

    The one with ancient roots is the Culture of Honor.

    “In honor cultures, it is one’s reputation that makes one honorable or not, and one must respond aggressively to insults, aggressions, and challenges or lose honor. Not to fight back is itself a kind of moral failing… people are shunned or criticized not for exacting vengeance but for failing to do so… people socialized into a culture of honor will often shun reliance on law or any other authority, refusing to lower their standing by depending on another to handle their affairs.”

    Over centuries, the Northwestern Europeans invented a Culture of Dignity (Hi, hbd*chick!).

    “Dignity exists independently of what others think, so a culture of dignity is one in which public reputation is less important… It is even commendable to have “thick skin” that allows one to shrug off slights and even serious insults… in general an ethic of self-restraint prevails… The ideal in dignity cultures is thus to use the courts as quickly, quietly, and rarely as possible.”

    Greer notes that dignity is the preferred conflict resolution device for those who identify as members of a community instead of as a clan. (Hi, JayMan!).

    The Culture of Victimhood is our own, modern innovation.

    It is “characterized by concern with status and sensitivity to slight combined with a heavy reliance on third parties. People are intolerant of insults, even if unintentional, and react by bringing them to the attention of authorities or to the public at large… rather than emphasize either their strength or inner worth, the aggrieved emphasize their oppression and social marginalization… the moral status of the victim, at its nadir in honor cultures, has risen to new heights… Naturally, whenever victimhood confers status, all sorts of people will want to claim it.

    Greer paints Coates as a poster child for the Culture of Victimhood — hardly a stretch. But he goes on to make a connection between this transformation of American values, and the themes of Robert Putnam’s “Bowling Alone” and Charles Murary’s “Falling Apart”.

    …over the last five decades American social capital has fallen apart. Americans are less likely to volunteer, participate in local political parties or caucuses, join civic, religious, or self improvement associations, attend church, have group hobbies, vote, read local newspapers, organize neighborhood gatherings, play cards, spend time on social visits, or have as many friends now as they did in 1960. At the same time many organizations which once gave average men and women the chance to work together or serve in local leadership roles disappeared–or have been consolidated to heights far beyond the reach of the average citizen… The businesses, associations, congregations, and clubs that once made up American society are gone. America has been atomized; her citizens live alone, connected but weakly one to another. Arrayed against each is a set of vast, impersonal bureaucracies that cannot be controlled, only appealed to.

    “A ‘Culture of Victimhood’ is a perfectly natural response to this shift in the distribution of power,” claims Greer. He wraps up with a quote of Alexis de Tocqueville that foreshadows the rise of America’s Foremost Public intellectual, and his ilk.

    • Agree: Harry Baldwin
    • Replies: @Ozymandias
    Arrayed against each is a set of vast, impersonal bureaucracies that cannot be controlled, only appealed to.

    “A ‘Culture of Victimhood’ is a perfectly natural response to this shift in the distribution of power,” claims Greer.
    __________

    Cause and effect. The culture created the bureaucracy to administer to it, not the other way around. This is the backbone of progressive policy, convince people that they are being unfairly held back, and that the legitimate solution to their woes is more government.
    , @Harry Baldwin
    Re: Dignity. I am currently reading Houllebecg's The Elementary Particles. The main character, Michel, muses on how promiscuous homosexuals who contract AIDS are treated so reverently on the television news. He writes,

    They had multiple partners, fucked each other in back rooms, sometimes the condom split or slipped off and they died of AIDS. Even then their deaths seemed radical, dignified. Television gave lessons in dignity, especially TF1 [French news channel]. As a teenager, Michel believed that suffering conferred dignity on a person. Now he had to admit he had been wrong. What conferred dignity on people was television.
     
  39. Coates is delusional and as such a danger to the black community. There is no “Myth” about the current levels of black on black crime, it is all factual and documented. As of yesterday, eight black men shot and killed in the last seven days in Buffalo, a city with a downward trending crime rate and upward trending gentrification. And tragically, in Cleveland within the last week, two black boys, one five and the other three, were both shot and killed in drive-by shootings. Three weeks ago, in St. Louis, the site of the Gentle Giant riots, a nine year old black girl suffered the same fate. Myths my ass. TNC, I have news for you, criminals belong in prison, and the murders of children deserve worse. The black community needs some real leaders with real direction, not sloganeers such as BLM. Buffalo,with a majority minority school system, now graduates less than 50%. The new school superintendent ( a black , as have been three of the last four) stunned the community by disclosing that only one out of 100 ninth graders who start in the Buffalo Public School system goes on to graduate college in six years. The president of the school board did the math and that one graduate of college costs taxpayers $30 million dollars! I don’t have the answers, but pretending that problems are myths is a step in the wrong direction.

  40. @Anonymous
    On the "THREE ERAS" chart I'm failing to see any reason why they shifted the Y-axis the way they did.

    Can you clarify what you mean? Both Y-axes start at zero (bottom of graph), so the trends look the same as in Steve’s ‘Misery Index’ graph.

  41. How do you get to a place where the black-to-white incarceration ratio is 1-to-1?

    Drive to Oklahoma? That’s as close as you’ll ever get.

    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "Drive to Oklahoma? That’s as close as you’ll ever get."

    Oklahoma Whites can not even compete with Russian Whites in the thug category, let alone compete with African Americans.

    Even if law enforcement in this country started arresting and putting in prison every White person who commits minor crimes like jaywalking and littering, you would still not have a Black to White incarceration ratio of 1 to 1.

    Blacks are to American crime like what The New England Patriots are to the NFL. Blacks are to American crime like what Steve Jobs is to Silicon Valley. Blacks are the MVP franchise players of the American criminal world.

  42. @Anonymous
    On the "THREE ERAS" chart I'm failing to see any reason why they shifted the Y-axis the way they did.

    The two vertical scales are to make the two curves in the frame “look nice together” to the editor, who doesn’t know how to rescale data since they laid off the only numerate editorial assistant to save money. And I would bet you a nickel that TNC also lacks skill in this area.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I was wrong a minute ago, realized it in plenty of time, but editing my comment failed (Hey, RON UNZ!) because I was using iPhone Safari. It's not the first time but I when it happened before I thought it was just a one-time glitch.

    Anyway, I have figured out why the vertical scales are different. It is about the "look" of the graph but not "because poor math skills."

    The Atlantic used different scales because if the curves are plotted on the same scale (they could be; the units are the same and the magnitudes not much different), then the incarceration-rate line is much closer to the crime-rate line and looks much more responsive to it.

    So TNC and his editors draw graphs they way they write prose: tendentiously.

  43. @MSP
    Dude, I agree. I was listening to him on NPR the other day, and he came across as an earnest, reasonably intelligent person. He's clearly brighter than average.

    He’s far smarter than average – or at least far more fluent. But he has his weaknesses and blind spots, like most people. I just cannot stand the man, nor his crackpot spin which I dub “body English.”

  44. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Veracitor
    The two vertical scales are to make the two curves in the frame "look nice together" to the editor, who doesn't know how to rescale data since they laid off the only numerate editorial assistant to save money. And I would bet you a nickel that TNC also lacks skill in this area.

    I was wrong a minute ago, realized it in plenty of time, but editing my comment failed (Hey, RON UNZ!) because I was using iPhone Safari. It’s not the first time but I when it happened before I thought it was just a one-time glitch.

    Anyway, I have figured out why the vertical scales are different. It is about the “look” of the graph but not “because poor math skills.”

    The Atlantic used different scales because if the curves are plotted on the same scale (they could be; the units are the same and the magnitudes not much different), then the incarceration-rate line is much closer to the crime-rate line and looks much more responsive to it.

    So TNC and his editors draw graphs they way they write prose: tendentiously.

  45. @Pat Casey
    "To Ta-Nehisi and his editors, this graph just proves that locking violent criminals up doesn’t deter crime."

    Locking violent criminals up prevents crime, but considering that the recidivism rate for blacks is about 80%, I'm not sure it could be called a material deterrent. Moreover, normalizing locking blacks up makes it even less of a deterrent for them and more like a right of passage, often rather like a reunion of sorts.

    The one thing that absolutely deters crime in the ghetto is being armed, and I'm kinda surprised there aren't more law-abiding black neighbors in zero-tolerance cities demanding their 2nd Amendment rights be restored. (You did hear from some of them when DC's gun ban got struck down.) And I'm convinced it was guns that, perversely, saw the crime rate drop across the nation. The general notion that crime fell because the criminals were incarcerated misses the decisive condition---that so many shooters were dead, and the grave doesn't suggest itself to the up and coming as any right of passage. That may say something about a generation that knows those memories much less, and maybe this recent spike was ultimately inevitable that way. (I've also often wondered how black criminals would become less aggressive when there is less competition for females, so many black men being incarcerated.)

    That said, skeptical as I am of incarceration as a deterrent for violent crime, Jared Taylor's insightful essay, recently published here, made the argument that all inter-racial crime ought to be prosecuted as hate crimes, since that's what toxifies race relations, and that seems eminently sensible. I had never heard that point made and I can actually imagine liberals sponsoring the idea enthusiastically. The reality is that mandatory minimums are going away, and such a policy would obviously get to the heart of the issue.

    “That said, skeptical as I am of incarceration as a deterrent for violent crime, Jared Taylor’s insightful essay, recently published here, made the argument that all inter-racial crime ought to be prosecuted as hate crimes, since that’s what toxifies race relations, and that seems eminently sensible.”

    Pat, let’s get serious here. You know as well as I do that getting liberals on board with this program would mean, in practice, that all inter-racial crimes would be hate crimes EXCEPT any crime in which a white person is a victim.

    • Replies: @Pat Casey
    I was imagining a policy that binds prosecutors by the law, no exceptions. And that liberals could disingenuously hock the policy as pro-black without exactly contradicting the letter of the law. The FBI says currently 22 percent of hate crime cases are ant-white hate crimes, so it's not unimaginable anyways. I've thought about the problem before, because I do happen to think blacks shouldn't be held to white standards in certain legal areas as long as whites aren't the victims (and in practice I think that often is the case, especially with black juvenile offenders) so I figured ideally that would mean separate sovereign judicial systems, where interracial crime is adjudicated in the victim's courts. But Taylor's idea is far more elegant.
  46. @Anonymous
    On the "THREE ERAS" chart I'm failing to see any reason why they shifted the Y-axis the way they did.

    I figured out why the vertical scales are different. It is about the “look” of the graph but not “because poor math skills.”

    The Atlantic used different scales because if the curves are plotted on the same scale (they could be; the units are the same and the magnitudes not much different), then the incarceration-rate line is much closer to the crime-rate line and looks much more responsive to it.

    So TNC and his editors draw graphs they way they write prose: tendentiously.

    (I apologize for double-posting. On my last attempt I put a typo in my screen-name, so that post went to the moderation queue. This post is partly to check whether that cost me the privilege of bypassing moderation sometimes.)

    • Replies: @res
    Another factor might be that changing the scales emphasizes the imprisonment rate. In my initial glance I was surprised that the imprisonment rate looked so much higher than the violent crime rate at present. Turns out by looking at the numbers they are closer than they look.

    Does anyone have statistics with incarceration rate broken down by violent/nonviolent offense? How about average length of time the current prison population has been there? I think a graph showing the rate of violent crimes versus the rate of imprisonment that year for violent crimes would be interesting (perhaps use case closure or conviction rate?).

    Looking at The Atlantic article again it appears to be important to be careful about terminology (imprisonment versus incarceration):

    America’s imprisonment rate hovered at about 110 people per 100,000. Presently, America’s incarceration rate (which accounts for people in prisons and jails)
     
    Actually it looks more complicated. See http://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-incarceration-and-vs-imprisonment/

    The other number that sometimes shows up in the media is "under the control of the criminal justice system" (aka "correctional supervision" or "correctional control" population) which includes all of prison, jail, probation or parole.
    , @Veracitor
    Now I am covered in shame. I read the chart wrong and therefore misstated the relative effect of putting both curves on the same scale. So much for commenting before morning coffee.

    If the curves were on the same scale the incarceration rate would look smaller, not larger, which would undermine TNC's point-and-sputter at incarceration, but that is not the motive I ascribed to him a few minutes ago, since the curves would be further apart, not closer.
  47. @dude
    Please stop saying that TNC is stupid. Sure, he's wrong about a lot of things, and he's not as smart as some people are saying. I certainly wouldn't call him a great thinker.

    But "low IQ dimwits" do not write 80,000 word articles that get published in the Atlantic. They just don't. That kind of thing takes a certain amount of cognitive ability that puts you well above the average. And obviously even high-IQ people can end up espousing wrong ideas for various reasons. Constantly talking about TNC's "low IQ" just makes you look like the stupid one.

    First of all, it’s a 17,000 word article, not an 80,000 word article.

    I don’t think TNC is stupid, I think his IQ is certainly above 100, but he has two other problems. One, he is ignorant. As it is, he’s learning what he knows on the fly, and therefore has little time for reflection, and trying to shake off the biases of those who are trying to influence him. He also just doesn’t know much about the historical context of anything. To his credit, he admits it frequently.

    The second problem is that he has absorbed an unapologetic black nationalist perspective and everything he writes is tortured by it. Thus, he wants a 1:1 BW prisoner ratio, which can only mean a quota system, because he’s convinced that anything less would be racist. He wants more whites, because, on the premise of equality, there simply must be more whites in prison. And, as the son of a Black Panther, he will always find time to throw in a good word or a mitigating word on behalf of some black guy who just happened to murder someone else.

    He wants “a prison population that looks like America” — OK, that would be 13% black, 45% white, 1% Asian, and and 41% hispanic, half of whom broke into prison illegally.

    I’m waiting for the “Carcereal” Bakke decision, in which SCOTUS determines that racial quotas for admission to our institutions of higher learning incarceration are constitutional.

    • Replies: @iffen
    So you are going on record as disagreeing with Slate's assessment that Coates is a polymath?
  48. @wolfy
    who will do forced sterilization.

    who will do forced sterilization.

    Not forced. Incentivized. $100k lump sum payment. It is cheaper than the cost of the children that would be born and would have to be fed, sheltered, given healthcare and education.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    How are you going to raise the funds for $100,000 per, without taxing the rest of us?

    Oh, you are going to tax the rest of us.

    So the "forced" part is shifted from sterilization to paying for sterilization. And the "forcee" from the oversexed to the overtaxed.

    Though the amount of the tax isn't really the issue.

    , @Former Darfur
    Actually, the 1930s-1960s eugenists of states like California had it very right. People were not sterilized just because of a low test result: they were sterilized because they were genuinely crazy or had repeatedly committed crimes. This system worked, it worked well, and both society in general and most of the sterilized persons were better off as a result.

    Oliver Wendell Holmes was exactly correct in saying that "three generations of imbeciles are enough", and he should be celebrated, not excoriated for it.

    We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. ”

    Holmes concluded his argument by declaring that "Three generations of imbeciles are enough".[6] The sole dissenter in the court, Justice Pierce Butler, a devout Catholic,[7] did not write a dissenting opinion.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_v._Bell
  49. @dude
    Please stop saying that TNC is stupid. Sure, he's wrong about a lot of things, and he's not as smart as some people are saying. I certainly wouldn't call him a great thinker.

    But "low IQ dimwits" do not write 80,000 word articles that get published in the Atlantic. They just don't. That kind of thing takes a certain amount of cognitive ability that puts you well above the average. And obviously even high-IQ people can end up espousing wrong ideas for various reasons. Constantly talking about TNC's "low IQ" just makes you look like the stupid one.

    Please stop saying that TNC is stupid. Sure, he’s wrong about a lot of things, and he’s not as smart as some people are saying. I certainly wouldn’t call him a great thinker.

    But “low IQ dimwits” do not write 80,000 word articles that get published in the Atlantic. They just don’t. That kind of thing takes a certain amount of cognitive ability that puts you well above the average. And obviously even high-IQ people can end up espousing wrong ideas for various reasons. Constantly talking about TNC’s “low IQ” just makes you look like the stupid one.

    “Stupid” is a relative concept. If TNC has an IQ of 130, I would be surprised. Yet that would still make him pretty “stupid” compared to many people who think and write seriously about race.

  50. @iSteveFan

    How do you get to a place where the black-to-white incarceration ratio is 1-to-1?
     
    I recall hearing discussions of the differences in the meaning of equality espoused by our Founders versus the French revolutionaries. The former sought equal opportunity while the latter equal results. With affirmative action, disparate impact, etc., it's clear that equality of results has taken precedence in America. I guess it only seems logical that TNC has extended this concept to failure too.

    differences in the meaning of equality espoused by our Founders versus the French revolutionaries. The former sought equal opportunity while the latter equal results. With affirmative action, disparate impact, etc., it’s clear that equality of results has taken precedence in America.

    This captures where I think American liberalism has gone off the rails. Consider https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberalism which contrasts the two phases (classical and social liberalism) of liberty and equality before the law. Perhaps equality of results/outcomes should be called third phase liberalism.

    Wikipedia seems a bit muddled on this. The contrast above links equality to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equality_before_the_law which contains the sentence “Classical liberalism calls for equality before the law, not for equality of outcome.” Contrast that with “Liberalism is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. The former principle is stressed in classical liberalism while the latter is more evident in social liberalism.” from the Liberalism wiki.

    Can anyone recommend a good reference discussing this contrast between the American Founders and the French revolutionaries?

  51. @unit472
    T.N. Coates 'article' is mostly a mass of quotes taken from any black studies syllabus. Its the sort of padding any college student does for a sociology or history paper. Most any literate person could assemble an article of this type...especially if they got paid for it and it was on a general topic that requires no specialized knowledge.

    Let's say you needed to come up with an article on the 1972 Miami Dolphins season. Well you simply pile on the contemporaneous quotes from Bob Griese, Don Shula, Larry Czonka, Jim Kiick and Mercury Morris! That's just off the top of my head. Toss in team and individual statistics and some play off and Super Bowl details and pretty soon you'd have an 80,000 word article that would make you seem an expert on the NFL.

    Hold it, hold it. What about HOFer Nick Buonoconti? How could you forget him?

  52. @Veracitor
    I figured out why the vertical scales are different. It is about the “look” of the graph but not “because poor math skills.”

    The Atlantic used different scales because if the curves are plotted on the same scale (they could be; the units are the same and the magnitudes not much different), then the incarceration-rate line is much closer to the crime-rate line and looks much more responsive to it.

    So TNC and his editors draw graphs they way they write prose: tendentiously.

    (I apologize for double-posting. On my last attempt I put a typo in my screen-name, so that post went to the moderation queue. This post is partly to check whether that cost me the privilege of bypassing moderation sometimes.)

    Another factor might be that changing the scales emphasizes the imprisonment rate. In my initial glance I was surprised that the imprisonment rate looked so much higher than the violent crime rate at present. Turns out by looking at the numbers they are closer than they look.

    Does anyone have statistics with incarceration rate broken down by violent/nonviolent offense? How about average length of time the current prison population has been there? I think a graph showing the rate of violent crimes versus the rate of imprisonment that year for violent crimes would be interesting (perhaps use case closure or conviction rate?).

    Looking at The Atlantic article again it appears to be important to be careful about terminology (imprisonment versus incarceration):

    America’s imprisonment rate hovered at about 110 people per 100,000. Presently, America’s incarceration rate (which accounts for people in prisons and jails)

    Actually it looks more complicated. See http://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-incarceration-and-vs-imprisonment/

    The other number that sometimes shows up in the media is “under the control of the criminal justice system” (aka “correctional supervision” or “correctional control” population) which includes all of prison, jail, probation or parole.

  53. @5371
    California's population was less than 1% black in 1920, still less than 2% black in 1940.

    “California’s population was less than 1% black in 1920, still less than 2% black in 1940.”

    Yes, but Alcatraz was a Federal prison, not a California prison.

    • Replies: @Christopher Anderson
    Exactly. During the Alcatraz era, there were relatively few federal crimes. Mostly financial (Al Capone) and interstate fugitives (20's gangsters). Ordinary murderers and thugs didn't go to Alcatraz. So unless you were Jack Johnson (Leavenworth), you didn't get sent to federal prison.
  54. @Arclight
    The quote from TNC about how he understands black crime rates have historically been higher than the rest of the population but chooses to ascribe it to institutional racism rather than culture (because if it were culture that would justify racism) sort of says it all. He signals that he is automatically ruling one one possible reason because he doesn't like where it leads him so he is forced to construct an alternate theory, which for him seems to be housing and possibly the police.

    Another thing he doesn't touch is that over half of the people in prison are there for violent crime, so the only way we get anywhere near to his dream of a 1 to 1 black/white imprisonment rate is a huge reduction in the amount of violence committed by black bodies. How does that occur? He seems to imply reparations would suddenly result in blacks' behavior mirroring that of whites but isn't asked to explain that.

    Finally, I did notice that Ezra Klein partly ascribes black problems to 1) poor impulse control that may or may not be associated with lead, 2) their families, 3) genes and makes the statements that many of these people are not equipped to make good decisions. Naturally the conclusion is that we just can't hold them accountable through the justice system.

    The quote from TNC about how he understands black crime rates have historically been higher than the rest of the population but chooses to ascribe it to institutional racism rather than culture (because if it were culture that would justify racism) sort of says it all.

    Read the quote again, Coates is a bit opaque in what he is saying. He doesn’t use the word “genetics”, or “heredity”, but that is what he is instinctively rejecting, not differences in culture. He doesn’t believe the culture has been identical from era to era, thus leading to the cause being ascribed to the unthinkable (and unspeakable) genetic differences.

  55. @jon

    A staggering amount of land value is wasted in California alone by the use of some of the state’s prime real estate for prisons.
     
    For those who have never been to California, this is the infamous San Quentin - Bay Area beachfront.

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=san+quentin&t=ffnt&iax=1&ia=images

    “For those who have never been to California, this is the infamous San Quentin – Bay Area beachfront.”

    San Quentin is pretty close to the sole exception* in this regard. Most California prisons are already located in former agricultural land along Highway 99, or out in the desert waste somewhere.

    *Its difficult to be definitive, as California has so very many prisons.

  56. @Lot

    mass incarceration seems to have hit diminishing returns of usefulness
     
    I agree the returns of additional incarceration are diminishing. They are still, in my view, extremely positive.

    “Incapacitation” of crime-prone men helps a lot, but prison as an effective deterrent depends on the social stigma of being a prisoner.
     

    Deterrence also requires a minimum degree of future time orientation. Each year dysgenic fertility and migration patterns makes such deterrence less effective.

    Deterrence also requires a minimum degree of future time orientation

    Deterrence via incarceration requires a pretty substantial degree of future time orientation. Deterrence via the cops beating you to within an inch of your life requires much less. The latter was likely common in the US prior to the 1960s. I doubt that the increase in crime in the 60s was mostly down to the reduction in incarceration. I think it was mostly down to the reduction in beatings. Notice that the violent crime rate has not gone back down to 1950s levels even as the incarceration rate has greatly increased.

    • Replies: @Qasim
    Damn, what an insightful comment! I never thought about that before...

    But also exceedingly depressing. I think liberals are generally deranged, but the implications of HBD even scare me sometimes.

    If, due to their minimal degree of future time orientation, jail has little deterrent effect on most criminals, then that means this country needs to get back to having ghettos policed by racist cops with a billy club and a sadistic streak, does it not? Were those cops in the Rodney King case right??? I can't deal...

    As an aside, this whole line of reasoning also implies that imprisoning white-collar criminals (who likely have at least some future time orientation) amongst similar nonviolent offenders is completely asinine. If some greedy finance dude had to worry about becoming some tatted up gangster's involuntary girlfriend at Rikers Island, I am guessing most white-collar crime would cease immediately.
  57. @unit472
    T.N. Coates 'article' is mostly a mass of quotes taken from any black studies syllabus. Its the sort of padding any college student does for a sociology or history paper. Most any literate person could assemble an article of this type...especially if they got paid for it and it was on a general topic that requires no specialized knowledge.

    Let's say you needed to come up with an article on the 1972 Miami Dolphins season. Well you simply pile on the contemporaneous quotes from Bob Griese, Don Shula, Larry Czonka, Jim Kiick and Mercury Morris! That's just off the top of my head. Toss in team and individual statistics and some play off and Super Bowl details and pretty soon you'd have an 80,000 word article that would make you seem an expert on the NFL.

    You’re right that Ta is not noticeably brighter (or dumber) than the average college student. On the other hand, college students have above average intelligence. So, dude is right also.

    I want to say that Ta is dumber than the average public intellectual, but is that really true any more? He’s certainly much, much dumber than William Safire was. Is he dumber than John Podhoretz?

  58. @Jefferson
    "How do you get to a place where the black-to-white incarceration ratio is 1-to-1?"

    The White male to Black male incarceration ratio will be 1-to-1 when Black males stop committing so much crime. Unless Ta-Nehisi Coates believes that all races commit crimes at the exact same rate, but Black criminals are more likely to get caught by law enforcement than White criminals.

    If he believes that, TNC is basically saying that White criminals on average have higher IQ's than Black criminals, hence why they are better at avoiding getting arrested. Ta-Nehisi Coates probably believes there are millions of White criminals in this country who will go their whole lives without ever getting caught and thus not add to the White male incarceration statistics.

    “Unless Ta-Nehisi Coates believes that all races commit crimes at the exact same rate…”

    Laughably, I’m pretty sure that is exactly what ol’ Tennessee believes.

  59. @Kyle McKenna

    How do you get to a place where the black-to-white incarceration ratio is 1-to-1?
     
    It's pretty simple. Blacks have to start committing a whole lot less crime. So how about it?

    Nah. Incarcerate whites for rolling stop signs.

  60. @Veracitor
    I figured out why the vertical scales are different. It is about the “look” of the graph but not “because poor math skills.”

    The Atlantic used different scales because if the curves are plotted on the same scale (they could be; the units are the same and the magnitudes not much different), then the incarceration-rate line is much closer to the crime-rate line and looks much more responsive to it.

    So TNC and his editors draw graphs they way they write prose: tendentiously.

    (I apologize for double-posting. On my last attempt I put a typo in my screen-name, so that post went to the moderation queue. This post is partly to check whether that cost me the privilege of bypassing moderation sometimes.)

    Now I am covered in shame. I read the chart wrong and therefore misstated the relative effect of putting both curves on the same scale. So much for commenting before morning coffee.

    If the curves were on the same scale the incarceration rate would look smaller, not larger, which would undermine TNC’s point-and-sputter at incarceration, but that is not the motive I ascribed to him a few minutes ago, since the curves would be further apart, not closer.

  61. @SPMoore8
    First of all, it's a 17,000 word article, not an 80,000 word article.

    I don't think TNC is stupid, I think his IQ is certainly above 100, but he has two other problems. One, he is ignorant. As it is, he's learning what he knows on the fly, and therefore has little time for reflection, and trying to shake off the biases of those who are trying to influence him. He also just doesn't know much about the historical context of anything. To his credit, he admits it frequently.

    The second problem is that he has absorbed an unapologetic black nationalist perspective and everything he writes is tortured by it. Thus, he wants a 1:1 BW prisoner ratio, which can only mean a quota system, because he's convinced that anything less would be racist. He wants more whites, because, on the premise of equality, there simply must be more whites in prison. And, as the son of a Black Panther, he will always find time to throw in a good word or a mitigating word on behalf of some black guy who just happened to murder someone else.

    He wants "a prison population that looks like America" -- OK, that would be 13% black, 45% white, 1% Asian, and and 41% hispanic, half of whom broke into prison illegally.

    I'm waiting for the "Carcereal" Bakke decision, in which SCOTUS determines that racial quotas for admission to our institutions of higher learning incarceration are constitutional.

    So you are going on record as disagreeing with Slate’s assessment that Coates is a polymath?

    • Agree: SPMoore8
  62. @Mark Minter
    My cue:

    http://www.solarmovie.cz/watch-get-the-gringo-2012-online.html

    Actually this is a damn good movie, very entertaining, very Mel. He is probably the best comedic action actor probably ever.

    I was wondering last night given all the support Ann Coulter got from the alt-right guys, and now how Roosh has sort of reversed his views and pointed how there always seems to be some Jewish person behind whatever civilization busting idea, and then coupled with the sheer hypocrisy of Jews going all yeah yeah yeah for European countries to take in Migrants, but build a bigger, better wall for Israel to keep the purity of the tribe, that maybe there might be a Mel Gibson Rehabiliation. Anti-Semitism is definitely on the rise. There was this single episode where some Twitter person wrote a tweet to ADL to report Roosh for "hate" for posting an image of the fence going up in Hungary. All the caption said was something like "Hungary putting up the fence and forcing migrants toward Croatia". And ADL wrote back that its "Cyberhate team was looking into it". And those alt-right guys were all jokey defiant like giving them the raspberries. It seemed that real life offered better parodies than intended parodies.

    So maybe Trump voters might all think "Mel Gibson? Why not? He don't seem so nuts now." All it would take is one American Sniper grossing sort of movie and he could right back in thick of it all.

    Anyway, watch Get The Gringo. And tweet about it. "Hey Moishe, I'm watching Mel."

    +1. Get The Gringo is a very funny movie, and Mel is great.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    I'm wary of commenters' movie recommendations since two iSteve commenters recommended Cold in July, which I then watched, and which was one of the dumbest movies I've ever seen.
  63. @Former Darfur
    A staggering amount of land value is wasted in California alone by the use of some of the state's prime real estate for prisons. Build them in the desert or in the national forests (surely if all California's US Representatives went along, they could force the fedrerales to let them) and raze the prisons and sell the land at auction...or better yet, lease the land to developers for 99 years, with an easement (is that the right term?) for the state to get a percentage of the profits from selling or renting buildings there. What state deficit??

    Prison guards in California have a very powerful union and are well paid.

    • Replies: @Ivy
    And those guards helped get good ol' Gray Davis elected.
    Then he got recalled and we got Ahnold.
    Politics doesn't make much sense in California, and provides only the occasional brief entertainment.
  64. Unrelated:

    Shaq turned down a deal with Starbucks because black people don’t drink coffee.

    http://www.nj.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2015/09/shaquille_oneal_starbucks_deal_black_people_dont_d.html

    I had noticed this a few years back when McDonald’s starting pushing their coffee as an attraction. In my area, their ads often feature black people, and the new coffee ads did too. It sounded funny to me — thirty-something-year-old black men talking about their cup of joe and the like. I remember thinking that I had almost never seen a black person drinking coffee, and I grew up with and later worked with many of them, of all different classes. Soda or juice, yes. Tea, very occasionally. If there is something to this, I wonder what it is.

  65. @joni

    who will do forced sterilization.
     
    Not forced. Incentivized. $100k lump sum payment. It is cheaper than the cost of the children that would be born and would have to be fed, sheltered, given healthcare and education.

    How are you going to raise the funds for $100,000 per, without taxing the rest of us?

    Oh, you are going to tax the rest of us.

    So the “forced” part is shifted from sterilization to paying for sterilization. And the “forcee” from the oversexed to the overtaxed.

    Though the amount of the tax isn’t really the issue.

    • Replies: @Former Darfur
    That is what governments do, tax and spend.

    You may not like it and I may not like it, but that's what it is.

    And anyway, if my taxes went up a little to sterilize a few million of America's stupidest and most useless people, I would not complain. But that's just me.
  66. @Bill

    Deterrence also requires a minimum degree of future time orientation
     
    Deterrence via incarceration requires a pretty substantial degree of future time orientation. Deterrence via the cops beating you to within an inch of your life requires much less. The latter was likely common in the US prior to the 1960s. I doubt that the increase in crime in the 60s was mostly down to the reduction in incarceration. I think it was mostly down to the reduction in beatings. Notice that the violent crime rate has not gone back down to 1950s levels even as the incarceration rate has greatly increased.

    Damn, what an insightful comment! I never thought about that before…

    But also exceedingly depressing. I think liberals are generally deranged, but the implications of HBD even scare me sometimes.

    If, due to their minimal degree of future time orientation, jail has little deterrent effect on most criminals, then that means this country needs to get back to having ghettos policed by racist cops with a billy club and a sadistic streak, does it not? Were those cops in the Rodney King case right??? I can’t deal…

    As an aside, this whole line of reasoning also implies that imprisoning white-collar criminals (who likely have at least some future time orientation) amongst similar nonviolent offenders is completely asinine. If some greedy finance dude had to worry about becoming some tatted up gangster’s involuntary girlfriend at Rikers Island, I am guessing most white-collar crime would cease immediately.

  67. Marty [AKA "coot veal or cot deal"] says:
    @Former Darfur
    A staggering amount of land value is wasted in California alone by the use of some of the state's prime real estate for prisons. Build them in the desert or in the national forests (surely if all California's US Representatives went along, they could force the fedrerales to let them) and raze the prisons and sell the land at auction...or better yet, lease the land to developers for 99 years, with an easement (is that the right term?) for the state to get a percentage of the profits from selling or renting buildings there. What state deficit??

    Alioto’s, one of the venerable restaurants at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, has a 99-year lease with the city at a rent of $1 per year (hey! he wasn’t mafia!). The Republican candidate should promise to use the Supremacy Clause to bring that figure up to market value, and use the proceeds to train black neurologists.

  68. @ic1000
    T. Greer posted Honor, Dignity, and Victimhood: A Tour Through Three Centuries of American Political Culture, a commentary on a Jonathan Haidt essay on a sociology paper entitled "Micro-aggression and Moral Cultures." Its authors (Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning) describe three cultural systems for resolving disputes.

    The one with ancient roots is the Culture of Honor.

    "In honor cultures, it is one’s reputation that makes one honorable or not, and one must respond aggressively to insults, aggressions, and challenges or lose honor. Not to fight back is itself a kind of moral failing... people are shunned or criticized not for exacting vengeance but for failing to do so... people socialized into a culture of honor will often shun reliance on law or any other authority, refusing to lower their standing by depending on another to handle their affairs."
     
    Over centuries, the Northwestern Europeans invented a Culture of Dignity (Hi, hbd*chick!).

    "Dignity exists independently of what others think, so a culture of dignity is one in which public reputation is less important... It is even commendable to have “thick skin” that allows one to shrug off slights and even serious insults... in general an ethic of self-restraint prevails... The ideal in dignity cultures is thus to use the courts as quickly, quietly, and rarely as possible."
     
    Greer notes that dignity is the preferred conflict resolution device for those who identify as members of a community instead of as a clan. (Hi, JayMan!).

    The Culture of Victimhood is our own, modern innovation.

    It is "characterized by concern with status and sensitivity to slight combined with a heavy reliance on third parties. People are intolerant of insults, even if unintentional, and react by bringing them to the attention of authorities or to the public at large... rather than emphasize either their strength or inner worth, the aggrieved emphasize their oppression and social marginalization... the moral status of the victim, at its nadir in honor cultures, has risen to new heights... Naturally, whenever victimhood confers status, all sorts of people will want to claim it.
     
    Greer paints Coates as a poster child for the Culture of Victimhood -- hardly a stretch. But he goes on to make a connection between this transformation of American values, and the themes of Robert Putnam's "Bowling Alone" and Charles Murary's "Falling Apart".

    ...over the last five decades American social capital has fallen apart. Americans are less likely to volunteer, participate in local political parties or caucuses, join civic, religious, or self improvement associations, attend church, have group hobbies, vote, read local newspapers, organize neighborhood gatherings, play cards, spend time on social visits, or have as many friends now as they did in 1960. At the same time many organizations which once gave average men and women the chance to work together or serve in local leadership roles disappeared--or have been consolidated to heights far beyond the reach of the average citizen... The businesses, associations, congregations, and clubs that once made up American society are gone. America has been atomized; her citizens live alone, connected but weakly one to another. Arrayed against each is a set of vast, impersonal bureaucracies that cannot be controlled, only appealed to.
     
    "A 'Culture of Victimhood' is a perfectly natural response to this shift in the distribution of power," claims Greer. He wraps up with a quote of Alexis de Tocqueville that foreshadows the rise of America's Foremost Public intellectual, and his ilk.

    Arrayed against each is a set of vast, impersonal bureaucracies that cannot be controlled, only appealed to.

    “A ‘Culture of Victimhood’ is a perfectly natural response to this shift in the distribution of power,” claims Greer.
    __________

    Cause and effect. The culture created the bureaucracy to administer to it, not the other way around. This is the backbone of progressive policy, convince people that they are being unfairly held back, and that the legitimate solution to their woes is more government.

  69. @ic1000
    T. Greer posted Honor, Dignity, and Victimhood: A Tour Through Three Centuries of American Political Culture, a commentary on a Jonathan Haidt essay on a sociology paper entitled "Micro-aggression and Moral Cultures." Its authors (Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning) describe three cultural systems for resolving disputes.

    The one with ancient roots is the Culture of Honor.

    "In honor cultures, it is one’s reputation that makes one honorable or not, and one must respond aggressively to insults, aggressions, and challenges or lose honor. Not to fight back is itself a kind of moral failing... people are shunned or criticized not for exacting vengeance but for failing to do so... people socialized into a culture of honor will often shun reliance on law or any other authority, refusing to lower their standing by depending on another to handle their affairs."
     
    Over centuries, the Northwestern Europeans invented a Culture of Dignity (Hi, hbd*chick!).

    "Dignity exists independently of what others think, so a culture of dignity is one in which public reputation is less important... It is even commendable to have “thick skin” that allows one to shrug off slights and even serious insults... in general an ethic of self-restraint prevails... The ideal in dignity cultures is thus to use the courts as quickly, quietly, and rarely as possible."
     
    Greer notes that dignity is the preferred conflict resolution device for those who identify as members of a community instead of as a clan. (Hi, JayMan!).

    The Culture of Victimhood is our own, modern innovation.

    It is "characterized by concern with status and sensitivity to slight combined with a heavy reliance on third parties. People are intolerant of insults, even if unintentional, and react by bringing them to the attention of authorities or to the public at large... rather than emphasize either their strength or inner worth, the aggrieved emphasize their oppression and social marginalization... the moral status of the victim, at its nadir in honor cultures, has risen to new heights... Naturally, whenever victimhood confers status, all sorts of people will want to claim it.
     
    Greer paints Coates as a poster child for the Culture of Victimhood -- hardly a stretch. But he goes on to make a connection between this transformation of American values, and the themes of Robert Putnam's "Bowling Alone" and Charles Murary's "Falling Apart".

    ...over the last five decades American social capital has fallen apart. Americans are less likely to volunteer, participate in local political parties or caucuses, join civic, religious, or self improvement associations, attend church, have group hobbies, vote, read local newspapers, organize neighborhood gatherings, play cards, spend time on social visits, or have as many friends now as they did in 1960. At the same time many organizations which once gave average men and women the chance to work together or serve in local leadership roles disappeared--or have been consolidated to heights far beyond the reach of the average citizen... The businesses, associations, congregations, and clubs that once made up American society are gone. America has been atomized; her citizens live alone, connected but weakly one to another. Arrayed against each is a set of vast, impersonal bureaucracies that cannot be controlled, only appealed to.
     
    "A 'Culture of Victimhood' is a perfectly natural response to this shift in the distribution of power," claims Greer. He wraps up with a quote of Alexis de Tocqueville that foreshadows the rise of America's Foremost Public intellectual, and his ilk.

    Re: Dignity. I am currently reading Houllebecg’s The Elementary Particles. The main character, Michel, muses on how promiscuous homosexuals who contract AIDS are treated so reverently on the television news. He writes,

    They had multiple partners, fucked each other in back rooms, sometimes the condom split or slipped off and they died of AIDS. Even then their deaths seemed radical, dignified. Television gave lessons in dignity, especially TF1 [French news channel]. As a teenager, Michel believed that suffering conferred dignity on a person. Now he had to admit he had been wrong. What conferred dignity on people was television.

  70. @Jim Don Bob
    +1. Get The Gringo is a very funny movie, and Mel is great.

    I’m wary of commenters’ movie recommendations since two iSteve commenters recommended Cold in July, which I then watched, and which was one of the dumbest movies I’ve ever seen.

  71. @Jim Don Bob
    Prison guards in California have a very powerful union and are well paid.

    And those guards helped get good ol’ Gray Davis elected.
    Then he got recalled and we got Ahnold.
    Politics doesn’t make much sense in California, and provides only the occasional brief entertainment.

  72. How do you get to a place where the black-to-white incarceration ratio is 1-to-1?

    Clearly we need to promote a lot more white criminality.

  73. @Devil's Advocate
    "That said, skeptical as I am of incarceration as a deterrent for violent crime, Jared Taylor’s insightful essay, recently published here, made the argument that all inter-racial crime ought to be prosecuted as hate crimes, since that’s what toxifies race relations, and that seems eminently sensible."

    Pat, let's get serious here. You know as well as I do that getting liberals on board with this program would mean, in practice, that all inter-racial crimes would be hate crimes EXCEPT any crime in which a white person is a victim.

    I was imagining a policy that binds prosecutors by the law, no exceptions. And that liberals could disingenuously hock the policy as pro-black without exactly contradicting the letter of the law. The FBI says currently 22 percent of hate crime cases are ant-white hate crimes, so it’s not unimaginable anyways. I’ve thought about the problem before, because I do happen to think blacks shouldn’t be held to white standards in certain legal areas as long as whites aren’t the victims (and in practice I think that often is the case, especially with black juvenile offenders) so I figured ideally that would mean separate sovereign judicial systems, where interracial crime is adjudicated in the victim’s courts. But Taylor’s idea is far more elegant.

  74. @ben tillman

    How do you get to a place where the black-to-white incarceration ratio is 1-to-1?
     
    Drive to Oklahoma? That's as close as you'll ever get.

    “Drive to Oklahoma? That’s as close as you’ll ever get.”

    Oklahoma Whites can not even compete with Russian Whites in the thug category, let alone compete with African Americans.

    Even if law enforcement in this country started arresting and putting in prison every White person who commits minor crimes like jaywalking and littering, you would still not have a Black to White incarceration ratio of 1 to 1.

    Blacks are to American crime like what The New England Patriots are to the NFL. Blacks are to American crime like what Steve Jobs is to Silicon Valley. Blacks are the MVP franchise players of the American criminal world.

  75. @Oliver Cromwell
    Tanking the bottom 50% of black men on the IQ and agreeability distribution in prison during their prime years will eventually have a eugenic effect, which will reduce racial disparities and thus tensions in the long term. Sterilising them without imprisoning them would be still more efficient.

    Tanking the bottom 50% of black men on the IQ and agreeability distribution in prison during their prime years will eventually have a eugenic effect, which will reduce racial disparities and thus tensions in the long term. Sterilising them without imprisoning them would be still more efficient.

    Less than you think since they’re sexually mature at 12/13 and not imprisoned for that 20-30 year stretch until they’re 18-25. The prisons are full of African fathers.

    I don’t know if officially sanctioned eugenics will ever return to the West. We have the sort described well by Charles Murray due to assortative mating, but China will certainly be far ahead of us in cognitive engineering of humans either via genetic manipulation or through overt traditional eugenic breeding. And of course the central problem remains of the Gap. If we are able to improve human IQ by say 50 points, we will then have whites with IQ’s of 150, Africans with 115, Jews with 165, and Chinese with 155. IQ doesn’t seem to be the only cause of African dysfunction (although surely a major contributing factor) so would we just have much smarter violent criminals and fatherless children borne at taxpayer expense?

  76. @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "California’s population was less than 1% black in 1920, still less than 2% black in 1940."

    Yes, but Alcatraz was a Federal prison, not a California prison.

    Exactly. During the Alcatraz era, there were relatively few federal crimes. Mostly financial (Al Capone) and interstate fugitives (20′s gangsters). Ordinary murderers and thugs didn’t go to Alcatraz. So unless you were Jack Johnson (Leavenworth), you didn’t get sent to federal prison.

  77. @dude
    Please stop saying that TNC is stupid. Sure, he's wrong about a lot of things, and he's not as smart as some people are saying. I certainly wouldn't call him a great thinker.

    But "low IQ dimwits" do not write 80,000 word articles that get published in the Atlantic. They just don't. That kind of thing takes a certain amount of cognitive ability that puts you well above the average. And obviously even high-IQ people can end up espousing wrong ideas for various reasons. Constantly talking about TNC's "low IQ" just makes you look like the stupid one.

    Please stop saying that TNC is stupid. Sure, he’s wrong about a lot of things, and he’s not as smart as some people are saying… Constantly talking about TNC’s “low IQ” just makes you look like the stupid one.

    Even worse, it makes you and (by associative property of guilt) this site look like the Left’s boogeyman “racist” who hates Africans “for the color of their skin.” By African averages, Coates is pretty darn bright. By American overall averages he’s probably a bit above average. Had I to guess, I’d venture between 100-110. No worry to the Mensa membership, but pretty far from “stupid.” As you noted, there are plenty of people, not a few much smarter than Coates, who espouse the same incredibly stupid *ideas* he does.

    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "Even worse, it makes you and (by associative property of guilt) this site look like the Left’s boogeyman “racist” who hates Africans “for the color of their skin.” By African averages, Coates is pretty darn bright. By American overall averages he’s probably a bit above average. Had I to guess, I’d venture between 100-110. No worry to the Mensa membership, but pretty far from “stupid.” As you noted, there are plenty of people, not a few much smarter than Coates, who espouse the same incredibly stupid *ideas* he does.

    If you believe Ta-Nehisi Coates has an IQ of 110, what do you think Ben Carson's IQ is? There is no way Coates has a higher IQ than the brain surgeon Carson.

    Also who do you believe has a higher IQ between Steve Sailer and TNC?
  78. @Jefferson
    "How do you get to a place where the black-to-white incarceration ratio is 1-to-1?"

    The White male to Black male incarceration ratio will be 1-to-1 when Black males stop committing so much crime. Unless Ta-Nehisi Coates believes that all races commit crimes at the exact same rate, but Black criminals are more likely to get caught by law enforcement than White criminals.

    If he believes that, TNC is basically saying that White criminals on average have higher IQ's than Black criminals, hence why they are better at avoiding getting arrested. Ta-Nehisi Coates probably believes there are millions of White criminals in this country who will go their whole lives without ever getting caught and thus not add to the White male incarceration statistics.

    Black people are unusually susceptible to wacko myths. A huge percentage of them believe that the government lies about how often whites commit crimes , and white people do commit these crimes they don’t get arrested as often because most cops are in black neighborhoods when the whites are committing these crimes. Some even believe that the police lie actually about white murders and re-classify many murder victims as traffic crash victims in order to reduce the official white murder rate.

  79. anon • Disclaimer says:

    The media is full of intelligent people deliberately lying for the benefit of some factional agenda or other – so in effect they’re all stupid.

    Anyone telling the truth would be out of a job.

    Just watched “Get the Gringo” – not bad, I’d always assumed it was gonna be the standard prison movie but not – interesting as a travel documentary as well.

    .

    The increasing disparity in crime rates is partly due to the eradication of the white working class as a result of mass immigration.

  80. @Stan D Mute

    Please stop saying that TNC is stupid. Sure, he’s wrong about a lot of things, and he’s not as smart as some people are saying... Constantly talking about TNC’s “low IQ” just makes you look like the stupid one.
     
    Even worse, it makes you and (by associative property of guilt) this site look like the Left's boogeyman "racist" who hates Africans "for the color of their skin." By African averages, Coates is pretty darn bright. By American overall averages he's probably a bit above average. Had I to guess, I'd venture between 100-110. No worry to the Mensa membership, but pretty far from "stupid." As you noted, there are plenty of people, not a few much smarter than Coates, who espouse the same incredibly stupid *ideas* he does.

    “Even worse, it makes you and (by associative property of guilt) this site look like the Left’s boogeyman “racist” who hates Africans “for the color of their skin.” By African averages, Coates is pretty darn bright. By American overall averages he’s probably a bit above average. Had I to guess, I’d venture between 100-110. No worry to the Mensa membership, but pretty far from “stupid.” As you noted, there are plenty of people, not a few much smarter than Coates, who espouse the same incredibly stupid *ideas* he does.

    If you believe Ta-Nehisi Coates has an IQ of 110, what do you think Ben Carson’s IQ is? There is no way Coates has a higher IQ than the brain surgeon Carson.

    Also who do you believe has a higher IQ between Steve Sailer and TNC?

  81. “”How do you get to a place where the black-to-white incarceration ratio is 1-to-1?””

    Lock up white people up for hate/thought crimes.

    This TnC guy is way behind on the curve.

  82. @joni

    who will do forced sterilization.
     
    Not forced. Incentivized. $100k lump sum payment. It is cheaper than the cost of the children that would be born and would have to be fed, sheltered, given healthcare and education.

    Actually, the 1930s-1960s eugenists of states like California had it very right. People were not sterilized just because of a low test result: they were sterilized because they were genuinely crazy or had repeatedly committed crimes. This system worked, it worked well, and both society in general and most of the sterilized persons were better off as a result.

    Oliver Wendell Holmes was exactly correct in saying that “three generations of imbeciles are enough”, and he should be celebrated, not excoriated for it.

    We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. ”

    Holmes concluded his argument by declaring that “Three generations of imbeciles are enough”.[6] The sole dissenter in the court, Justice Pierce Butler, a devout Catholic,[7] did not write a dissenting opinion.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_v._Bell

  83. @Reg Cæsar
    How are you going to raise the funds for $100,000 per, without taxing the rest of us?

    Oh, you are going to tax the rest of us.

    So the "forced" part is shifted from sterilization to paying for sterilization. And the "forcee" from the oversexed to the overtaxed.

    Though the amount of the tax isn't really the issue.

    That is what governments do, tax and spend.

    You may not like it and I may not like it, but that’s what it is.

    And anyway, if my taxes went up a little to sterilize a few million of America’s stupidest and most useless people, I would not complain. But that’s just me.

  84. How come Ta-Nehisi Coates does not want the male to female incarceration rate to be 1 to 1 as well?

    If TNC can accept the fact that men are more likely than women to be criminals, why can’t he accept the fact that Blacks are more likely than Whites to be criminals?

    Noticing that men on average are less law abiding than women seems to be the only type of noticing that does not offend the Left Wing.

    Even the most hardcore politically correct Left Wing social justice warriors have no problem admitting to the fact that males and females do not commit crimes at the exact same rate.

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