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CharonY

The case for reparations

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I had never heard of her either, and it is certainly interesting.
Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

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8 hours ago, zapatos said:

I was not trying to make any kind of statement at all by posting the story. I had never heard of Henrietta and thought people in this thread would find the story interesting like I did.

If anything I was surprised she did not seek criminal charges against the perpetrator(s).

Hadn't heard of her either but did read the link. (and thanks)

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On 9/17/2019 at 2:20 AM, CharonY said:

The policy can be mechanistically race blind, yet in the outcome it can be heavily biased. For example, the decision to have higher penalties for consumption of cocaine vs crack seems to be independent of race. Yet, since cocaine is more commonly consumed by white folks, it created a huge disparity in drug-related penalties. In other words, if you want to employ fair policy that are race-neutral in outcome, it requires a mechanism that take race-differences into account. 

A measure that can elevate a white family out of poverty, can fail a poor black family. In contrast, certain other actions, including measures improving generational wealth, which could include criminal justice reform, could disproportionately benefit black folks. In other words, if we only use poverty as measure, the likelihood is high that specific issues pertaining to specific groups are simply not addressed, resulting in ineffective policies.

Think of it that way, if I wanted to prescribe you medicine but only diagnose based on your body temperature, I will probably prescribe you stuff that actually won't help you. Whether folks like it or not, the difference between black and white has more factors than one (i.e. poverty). Poverty is only the culmination of many other factors, such as elevated temperature could be the result of all sorts of inflammation reactions. I order to find a cure, a diagnosis is needed. 

This is true. I'm not entirely advocating we use poverty as the only thing to push for in reparations, though I can definitely see how my posts would come off like that.

What I'm trying to say with my posts, is that we should focus on fixing the things that are holding African Americans back if you want to pay them reparations. This does not however, require that you include race in those measurements. For example, we need criminal justice reform. That will disproportionately help African Americans. But it is still race blind in practice. It's just not as race blind when you're picking out what to fix.

 

Additionally, as I was trying to explain earlier, I'd venture to say that Americans are more likely to support race blind initiatives, even if they'll primarily benefit African Americans, then they will non race blind.

This may be an extremely unfair comparison, however a quick example is the support behind criminal justice reform(~90%) vs the support behind affirmative action(~60%).

While both enjoy the support of the majority, Criminal justice reform is supported much more, while still being race blind. This is an example, in my opinion, that you don't need reparations to focus on race.

Criminal justice reform will help everyone. It just won't help everyone equally. And I'm fine with that.

 

 

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18 hours ago, Raider5678 said:

This does not however, require that you include race in those measurements. For example, we need criminal justice reform. That will disproportionately help African Americans. But it is still race blind in practice. It's just not as race blind when you're picking out what to fix.

So this is a tricky bit. The criminal justice is currently disproportionately affecting African Americans negatively because the implemented policies (at least individually) were race-blind. A key example is the high penalties for crack vs cocaine. And it works on all levels, African Americans are more likely to be stopped and searched, for example, and were more frequently convicted for possession of drugs, despite the fact that drug use is pretty much the same between black and white communities. The only policy managing to adjust it a little bit was to take those statistics showing that for similar offenses African American were more likely to be receive more severe punishments. On the policy level it has led to some adjustments, e.g. looking into how judges punish folks depending on ethnicity, for example.

A criminal justice reform that does not explicitly address these biases could result in a reversal of these band-aid policies. In other words, just to reform the criminal justice system does not automatically benefit African American, especially if race is not a factor. Considering in the past the criminal justice system was able to overpenalize black communities without implementing race, I am not sure that enacting new policies will automatically improve the situation.

Specifically, it is recognized that the system has systemic issues that run across racial boundaries and while laws (of course) where all race blind. What some suggest (and maybe that is what you mean) is to look into laws that are overapplied to African American (say prosecution of youths as adults for minor crimes). In that case it would benefit African American, but the changes would not be race blind per se. After all they would need to take the racial disparities into account in order to implement them properly. I.e. I do not see a way to address racial inequalities without targeting them specifically.

However, if you mean with race-blind that the laws should not target race in language, then that is rather trivial, AFAIK laws are not allowed to discriminate by race so there should not be any to begin with. Affirmative actions are something else entirely and are only allowed under a relatively narrow legal window (specifically, allowing employers to create a diverse environment, should they choose so).

 

Edit: I should also add that criminal justice specifically also overpenalizes Hispanics, which would be another factor to take into account.

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On 10/1/2019 at 12:52 PM, CharonY said:

So this is a tricky bit. The criminal justice is currently disproportionately affecting African Americans negatively because the implemented policies (at least individually) were race-blind. A key example is the high penalties for crack vs cocaine. And it works on all levels, African Americans are more likely to be stopped and searched, for example, and were more frequently convicted for possession of drugs, despite the fact that drug use is pretty much the same between black and white communities. The only policy managing to adjust it a little bit was to take those statistics showing that for similar offenses African American were more likely to be receive more severe punishments. On the policy level it has led to some adjustments, e.g. looking into how judges punish folks depending on ethnicity, for example.

Yet in my eyes, by taking Crack and Cocaine, and putting them on a 1:1 ratio when it comes to punishments, would be a good step in the right direction.

And there are numerous other steps we could take, including repealing minimum sentencing laws that prevent judges from using their judgement, and instead requires them to issue a minimum sentence.

 

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3 hours ago, Raider5678 said:

Yet in my eyes, by taking Crack and Cocaine, and putting them on a 1:1 ratio when it comes to punishments, would be a good step in the right direction.

Yes, but that would mean laws are being reformed because they have a race-based effect and as such are not a race-blind measure. 

 

3 hours ago, Raider5678 said:

And there are numerous other steps we could take, including repealing minimum sentencing laws that prevent judges from using their judgement, and instead requires them to issue a minimum sentence.

That is actually also potentially difficult as there are studies out there indicating that black felons are getting higher sentences for the same crimes as their white counterparts. I think the impact of minimum sentencing laws are less because of the law itself, but because of its connection with a) the difference in sentencing due to the type of drug, which as noted has a skewed race effect, and b) the higher likelihood to convict black addicts and dealers compared to white counterparts. In other words, an effective reform package would have to take a closer look into which laws are unevenly or unfairly applied and remedy those. While one might argue that it is kind race blind in the end, it would require a race-conscious approach to spot those issues in the first place.

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Speaking of reality TV, the key witness in the trial of Amber Guyger for the murder of Botham Jean has been killed (in a "drug deal gone wrong" per CNN).  Any re-trial will be even more tainted now.  It's like watching a highly charged football game playing out on a densely foggy football field.  If somebody said that Neo from The Matrix ran across the wall, I suppose the duped fans would still be as enthused and enthralled as any movie-goer.  If somebody lit a firecracker, certain people would immediately and unthinkingly duck or vigilantly scan.  For the sake of society, I think we should be more assured that we all are watching the same game, and it comes to how we verify information, how we verify the relationships that aren't within seconds gathered, merged, and double-checked by efficient sensory/perceptual processing.

We all can identify faces, so imagine one.  Now, try to imagine any specific part of the face.  Your expectations are absolutely fulfilled by the first request, but the latter attempt is more jarring.  What did you think you were imagining that you could not imagine again?  Some things are just "seen", perceptually processed as stand-alone and entire.  Faces are, including their easily perceivable color.  Courts address laws that are just the opposite.  Nobody is good guy or bad guy, nor an ally except my lawyer, but a specific clause of the legal agreement might have been violated.  In videogames, we have allies and enemies and everyone gets killed (no comma), and this is how emotions like resentful anger or traumatic fear are tuned.  The behavior may or may not have consequences, but the behavior always reflects on the behaver, who will ever receive our admonishment, admiration or fear, our "first impression", which is anchored by that face of theirs (plural or singular). If stereotyping or racism are as automatic as I have suggested, then what other recourse does a minority have except to make corrections after the fact?  If we can't correct all of the cases on their individual merits, then should we make broader, more approximate corrections?  Maybe we should, but this Vox video on the failure of Batson vs Kentucky (5:40) shows that sometimes we don't even institute common-sense reforms that could prevent these errors to begin with.  I certainly think that would be the preferred reform, and moreover, any broad-brush reform will certainly enrage some ignorant people who won't need any technical knowledge to realize that those people are getting a boost.  If we can have our cake and eat it too, we should.  If it comes down to well-researched designs rather than brute-force political action, maybe the path of least resistance is, coincidentally, the best path.  On that note, I know Bernie has been criticized for policies that don't specifically mention race, but maybe that is what an informed policy will look like.  Personally, I would be interested in appropriately enforcing the law, and that means being more objective in all matters.  If Amber Guyger made a mistake, we can learn from that.  If racism is a pervasive problem, we can learn from that.  Everybody wins.  If everybody wins, the opposition might not be so fierce.

October 10th, 4:58 PM CST

minus a few minutes

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Apparently a few universities decided to create funds as an acknowledgement of their ties to slavery:

Quote

The Princeton Theological Seminary is pledging to spend nearly $28 million on reparations over its ties to slavery, an effort believed to be one of the largest of its kind.

In addition, Georgetown intends to create fundraisers for similar purposes.

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It will be interesting to see exactly how they go about applying/distributing these reparations.

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