• Drek
    I had an argument with a friend of mine... He claims that black people commit more crime and are therefore are more likely to commit crime. Following his premises, and he is white, we should fear black people and be suspicious.

    I say he is arguing that being black causes you to be a criminal... which is a load of shit in my book.

    He uses the statistics on US prisons to say blacks are proportionally more likely per capita to commit crime.

    I argue that there could be other factors for their reason for being in jail. Racism, environment, mental illness, culture (as in respecting gang members and the pressures to conform)

    Can you use a social statistic to classify a group of people like that?

    If it were something more countable such as income or a matter of physics/science (such as a pathology) I think you can. But, using a statistic to predict that the next group of black people are going to steal from your store seems retarded to me.

    He's comfortable being biased, and says it is only natural.

  • Noah Te Stroete
    I think it just goes to show that racism is common among police officers, judges, and juries. Nothing else.
  • Emmanuele
    I had some black friends in my stance in the US. They're kind of aggressive but they're good. Besides that I also admire some very intelligent black people who are youtubers and speak about women, politics, etc.

    Still though, statistics are statistics. If 13% of blacks present 50% of the crime. I'm not going to moralize anyone who believes that using statistics is an accurate way of perceiving circumstances and reality.

    Retarded? In what way is using evidence as a way of measuring, retarded? Oh yeah, the moment we didn't like the outcome. Gotcha
  • Drek
    So you can class a people like that... that's what I was wondering. It seemed useless to me because each person is different. Then, am I suppose to be weary of blacks because 13% cause 50% of the crime? That's kinda the connotation that goes with it.

    Statistics can be made up or contorted to the one creating them. So statistics are not definitive it's still saying probably. Then you have to study the methodology.
  • Drek
    Or the moment we do.
  • Emmanuele

    Frankly the 13% is sketchy to me. I'm not even living in the US anymore. The place where I'm at is Mexico and here there's rarely any blacks.

    I see your point but I still find the assumption to be good reasoning.

    We would like to think that we're all different and special in our own ways. But let's think this through.

    In a planet with billions of people only a very selective few were the ones to write the future of humanity. There's a handful of people who concluded correctly about gravity. Who did the correct experiments to assess reality in different subjects, etc.

    Then there's IQ for example. The spectrum is a bell curve that expands from what is the average IQ. If it's proven that all our brains are different then why did only a few shape history? Why is there even an average to begin with in any cognitive test? Well the answer is because there actually is an average. Thus, no we do not think so differently from one another.

    If the average of a certain culture did such action provided the average religious beliefs and cultural preferences, then is it logical to say that we're all special and different and so we don't acknowledge this pattern? No.
  • DingoJones
    Can you use a social statistic to classify a group of people like that?Drek

    It depends on how you mean “classify”.
    Your friend is referencing FBI statistics I believe, which show disproportionate rates of violent crime amongst black, male youth. This doesnt mean that all black people or black people in general are more likely to commit crimes so if your friend is classifying it that way then I think he is wrong.
    “All violent crime is commited by human males so humans are more likely to commit violent crime” follows the same bad logic.
    On the other hand, certain bias’s are healthy and totally justifiable. Bias against someone for being a liar if that person has lied over and over. Its not the villagers who are at fault when they didnt believe the boy crying wolf, it was the boy who cried wolf’s fault when the sheep got eaten. This is true about any trait, race included. You may feel like a racist if your bias is something negative, But it also works in positive traits. Black people tend to do much better in sports, chinese are generally much better at academics etc.
    Its not racist to notice these trends, its not even racist to allow them to be factors in your rational
    analysis...I think it becomes racist when those trends are used by racists to justify racism.
  • BrianW
    He claims that black people commit more crime and are therefore are more likely to commit crime. Following his premises, and he is white, we should fear black people and be suspicious.Drek

    This shows you how small-minded he is. For example, white people commit more racism and white-collar crimes, does this mean we should assume all white people belong to the kkk and are conmen?

    I argue that there could be other factors for their reason for being in jail. Racism, environment, mental illness, cultureDrek

    You should teach him how to analyse statistics. The problem isn't the information he has, it's the faulty interpretation he uses to extract utility from it. Regardless of race, country, colour, culture, religion, etc, there are different people in different situations and a blanket opinion about all of them based on a distinct and a comprehensively un-representative sub-set is outright wrong.
  • Drek
    It's hard to think of bias as positive, that makes sense.

    @BrianW He feels suspicious of blacks and he works in retail. He is kinda saying he has a better sample of people. Would this be a hasty generalization? And small sample size? Correlation and causation?
  • unenlightened
    He feels suspicious of blacks and he works in retail. He is kinda saying he has a better sample of people. Would this be a hasty generalization? And small sample size? Correlation and causation?Drek

    Try generalising the other way. Most white people are suspicious of blacks, and therefore they teat them with suspicion. They watch them more closely in shops, they are less inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt, or offer them positions of trust, or generally treat them as full members of society.

    This suspicion has a double effect; firstly, white folks will more often get away with their crimes, because they are not being watched as much, and secondly, black folks will be more likely to be resentful to society at their ill-treatment and exclusion, and thus be motivated to commit crime.

    Such suspicions, when generalised, become a self-fulfilling prophecy both by appearance and in reality. One obtains one's identity from society: if every one treats you as ugly or a maths genius, or whatever, you are almost inevitably going to believe yourself to be so, and if you believe you are a maths genius, you will persist in the effort to solve problems when others give up, and thus solve more problems and become what you believe you are. White Americans are very fond of this notion of self-belief, but do not like to think that it is a social facilitation, imagining themselves to be rugged individualists - because that is what they have been taught to believe of themselves.
  • TheMadFool
    Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics.

    In defense of your friend, statistics is particulary concerned with human biases. In fact it is designed to eliminate bias of all kinds.

    So, if the numbers show that black people are criminally inclined, it must be so.

    If your friend were biased I think he would've said the opposite as I think there are more white people behind bars than black people.

    Also, what about the people who don't get caught. It is possible that white criminals don't get caught as often as black people because of racial biases.

    A pinch of salt is in order here.
  • ssu
    Poor men make more thefts, burglaries and violent crimes than rich men (or women). Hence your friend should be against low income men. They obviously should be locked up to make the World a better Place.

    According to the World Bank, a simple measure of inequality predicts about half of the variance in murder rates between American states and between countries around the world. When inequality is high and strips large numbers of men of the usual markers of status – like a good job and the ability to support a family – matters of respect and disrespect loom disproportionately.

    Inequality predicts homicide rates “better than any other variable”, says Martin Daly, professor emeritus of psychology and neuroscience at McMaster University in Ontario.

    According to the FBI, just over half of murders in which the precipitating circumstances were known were set off by what is called the “other argument” – not a robbery, a love triangle, drugs, domestic violence or money, but simply the sense that someone had been dissed.

    Besides, when your friend admits to be Aporophobic, it is better than admitting to be racist (as the term isn't well known). If he is a male and poor, then there's a problem...
  • DingoJones

    Even amongst poor people, violent crime is disproportionately commited by black youths. There is actually alot more poor white people than black people in the US yet the stats show a pretty large gap in between the two. If it was just socioeconomics we would expect the numbers to at least be closer.
  • tim wood
    He's comfortable being biased, and says it is only natural.Drek

    Here's the problem, and it's not his statistics or conclusions (although as presented they're all flawed, as folks are pointing out).

    He's committing a most common fallacy that I call because-I-don't-know-therefore-I-know-QED, the refuge of the ignorant. He doesn't understand statistics; he probably knows that he does not understand statistics, yet he supposes his conclusions accurate and important. It's more than an education problem, it's an ignorance problem. Unfortunately, while education is reasonably good for education purposes, it also gets ignorance of your friend's type dumped on it. People like him are a problem, and no easy fix - outside of fantasy.
  • ssu
    Even amongst poor people, violent crime is disproportionately commited by black youths.DingoJones
    Doesn't matter. As they are far more whites than blacks, povetry in general is a good statistic. Hence if your income is lower than mine, then you are more likely to commit crimes. And if you are younger than me (and also a male), those statistics also puts the probability higher. Perhaps Drek's friend should be worried about coming across you in a dark alley.

    Sounds a bit offensive? Well, I tried to be.

    But the statistics are true. And here the issue is that people generally go with the statistics that conform their prejudices or their World views. It has gone to level that just what statistics (that are true) you pick or adhere to are seen as a political stance: if you speak about race and crime, naturally you are a right-wing racist bigot. If you don't and take other statistics, obviously you are some SJW.

    My favorite statistic is that before as a young man, I lived in the part of the Capital here where a) the crime rate was the highest in the Capital and b) there were well armed foreigners that the police didn't interfere with at all, basically the areas these foreigners controlled where no-go areas for the local police.

    Yep. I lived in the most prestigious and expensive part of Helsinki, that is the City center, and there the crime rate indeed was high as there is a ton of people more than anywhere else every day and night. And the well armed foreigners? The US and Russian embassies (among other) where in my neighborhood. And I assume that the local police will never try to disarm the US Marines stationed in the US Embassy.
  • Drek
    Even if these statistics were true, crime is a pretty broad spectrum. Either murder or selling marijuana are lumped in as crime. Thank you all for sense of clarity.

    I think it is also equivocating ALL crime. Petty to the grandiose of stealing a pack of gum to murder, rape etc.

    I've looked at the stats a little, and the variation between whites and blacks is under 10% per capita... is that statistically significant to state that about black people? It could be a mere sample deviation. Like the next batch shows the opposite.
  • DingoJones

    Thats actually huge, since blacks make up such a small minority of the population, like 13% compared to 60% whites. So 10% difference is vastly disproportionate to the population.
    Remember, that is for violent crime, mostly murder and assault. Other kinds of crimes have different stats. Reference the FBI crime stats.
    Your friend is wrong on how to react to the stats, but he DOES have a point, he is just wrong about a real problem. It doesnt make him a racist either, to have taken notice. These days, the term “racist” gets thrown around alot. I'm surprised I haven't been called a racist tbh, I guess people are waiting to see the color of my skin first. (Racism? )
  • Drek

    So, there is something going on in the black community. That's what it is saying. The rest is left to interpretation? All speculative at that point?

    That's really hard to interpret at the first few glances... plus with all the hype around racism itself. It's misleading is that correct to say whether intentional or not? I think my emotions got the best of me. I had a flicker of "hey that's racist." Especially given the context that the stat was presented.


    This article explains one's economic class as more likely to commit crime. By my own logic I'd be saying that's discriminating the poor? When it's just the reality? Like Emanuele was saying when you don't like the outcome?

    Even in my small town, a lot of the guys (regardless of race) who didn't do too well in high school are on the jail rooster. So, I suppose there is a correlation. Is that THE POINT - There is a correlation?

    Some blacks are really naughty is about all I get out of that statistic.
  • Drek
    That's how I feel. Either you are a SJW or a fascist. I hate how it's divided like that. Communist vs Fascist I mean Democrat Republican... I mean blood vs Crips... I mean white vs black? No it's rich vs poor. Take the polar opposites and have them duke it out... The maddening culture.

    On education and ignorance: I think he takes the case liberal arts AS liberal in the political term. Marxist drivel. College is left-wing etc. etc. While never even gave it a go. I think HE is in most need of the liberal arts... and a lot of people say it has no point in society or is unmarketable. I fear the internet is brainwashing people because they reinforce their ideas too much without discussion or "the other side".

    It fuels itself, and self-fulfilling prophecy it is. It's like what about all these good people that dn't fit the stereotype. Or dress a certain way because it is "cool" but get scrutiny because they dress that way. Life's not fair but life is what you make it too.

    I consider him small minded on this issue yes. He's even had blacks as friends (ooooo ahhh) which really stuns me because he should know firsthand that even if a small minority of blacks commit a lot of crime not even most blacks commit crimes like that. I just don't get what he was trying to prove. What action should be done with this statistic? What are we to believe?

    Thank you all for replying, some of you have busy days!
  • Drek

    If he is a male and poor, then there's a problem

    Well... He comes from an engineer father so he got stuff, but I'd say his upbringing was lower middle class... he lived in a trailer park for a good portion of his life. Still lives with his parents.

    I'm a poor (government helps me I'm a Veteran - I feel it was a fair trade) white guy myself so you can understand my POV, and I think some of these white collar crimes are just as bad and affect a lot more people. Like Enron for example. Then the legal bailouts of people who should have failed, and said if you don't bail us out, the economy would tank. Isn't it a self-correcting system anyway? So, to me, the statistic is trying to point blame on someone when it goes all around. America is my home and I want to make it better anyway I can. Express my ideas to intelligent people... and learn a thing or two on the way. I am barely out of diapers intellectually. I'm enjoying the journey. A little politically heated but love this country, it's not horrible and we still have so much going for us.
  • Bitter Crank
    had an argument with a friend of mine... He claims that black people commit more crime and are therefore are more likely to commit crime. Following his premises, and he is white, we should fear black people and be suspicious.

    I say he is arguing that being black causes you to be a criminal... which is a load of shit in my book.

    He uses the statistics on US prisons to say blacks are proportionally more likely per capita to commit crime.

    I argue that there could be other factors for their reason for being in jail. Racism, environment, mental illness, culture (as in respecting gang members and the pressures to conform)

    Of course your friends is prejudiced. Yes, most blacks do not commit crimes. Blacks are disproportionately imprisoned. Etc.

    Your friend's prejudices are not novel, and they used to be much more common than they are now, and were, in many cases, more extremely prejudicial. Times have changed. Polite white folks do not openly express these sorts of prejudices nowadays. Politically correct, liberal, woke, whatever... people pride themselves on not expressing, and not even having these prejudices.

    Everybody has prejudices. It's quite impolitic these days to express prejudices about blacks, gays, trans, women, and various others. It is OK, maybe even mandatory, to have prejudices against white men--especially white men who have a small amount of power. It's also OK, maybe even obligatory, to have prejudices against religious people, especially conservative religious people.

    It is quite possible that even politically correct, liberal, woke, sensitive, etc. people have prejudices against blacks, gays, fat people, women, poor people, uneducated people, and so on, as well as against well off white men, conservative religious people, Republicans, and so on. You won't catch them voicing these prejudices, though, most of the time. The prejudices are more likely to be detected by long-term observation: Where do they choose to live? What so their closest friends look like? Who do they hang around with, and who do they not keep company with?

    Are people who claim to be without these prejudices merely hypocrites? Quite possibly; hypocrisy is as much a feature of human behavior as handedness or having more hair when one is younger than when one is older.
  • BrianW
    What action should be done with this statistic?Drek

    Nothing but the usual. Keep your guard up, not just against black people but against all types of menace.

    What are we to believe?Drek

    The facts as they are, logic as it relates to reality, reason if it's aimed at unity and harmony, practice without ill-intent, words when necessary and appreciated, etc.
  • Drek

    Don't get me started on the contempt he has for Jews. No one is to blame maybe life's hard maybe. All you can really do is take care of yourself... I'm not perfect no sirry! I got an axe to grind just from my experience of living... no matter how flawed. I can't forget you guys reasoned this stuff out too when you were younger.

    The irony for me is someone can be openly accepting of gays but not blacks, or hate fat people but stand up for the poor. People are strange lol and Immensely complicated, then put them in a group.

    Yeah, I have prejudice against intolerant people for one. It's kind of a "Tolerate my intolerance" You can't win! I rather be prejudice over something you can change like a mindset than something you had no choice in being born as. He has Asperger's so do you generalize about autism off him? I don't think so.

    White men get it too. White privilege. I've heard, "Who wants to learn about dead white men? [references to Socrates to the Founders of America to insert white person here]. That's just as prejudice and stuff.

    I think in some ways since they have some power, people feel they should use it to end XYZ. Their lack of doing anything might says to the others they don't want change. They have no moral obligation to help maybe, but SEEM in the best position to do so either financially or politically (but at the expense of themselves and their hard work). I think that burns people rightfully or not. There are entrepreneurs that are highly philanthropists so it's not like it never happens. Then it gets down to "You think you can do better?" It's hard!

    Like my other post, it wasn't white men exclusively, but I blamed the ultra wealthy for such and such. So I have a prejudice against the top 1% (what I meant by socialism for capitalists, not the mom and pop shop). Who knows if they even are doing what the internet says at all. At some point I took someone's word for it. It's hard not to catch on waves of social movements either. Ron Paul got me thinking so it all stemmed from there and Milton Friedman got my juices flowing. They made such intuitive sense that nothing else really mattered, and it happened to coincide with some of the great people of history. They were all saying roughly the same thing to me.

    Thank you for your post!

    Side note irrelevant to the question: You are older than me I take it. I wish I could sit with you older folk and learn about our past and just absorb what we are about. I'm incredibly shy and wouldn't know where to begin. I'm less experienced, I'd say than other people my age at least in the realm of working. I talk to my Grandpa here and there, he's a Korean Vet. It's interesting how things were back then to now. $75 a month in the middle 50's for a recruit to live off of. He grew up in the great depression so he'd actually sew shoes together instead of just buying new ones. Makes me think of how much I take for granted myself.
  • Josh Alfred
    Statistics can prove that a group or race of people are more likely do something - crime or not. I don't know rather it should be used as a benchmark to make judgments about particular races or that it is no more than a bias confirmed by empirical evidence. In any case, the question arises, "Will you treat a group or race of people differently based on such evidence?" I am not certain if I would or wouldn't. I have had many friends of many races and I didn't use statistics to make my primary decision to engage with them.

    What happens when this classification takes place in a judicial setting? I'd like to know if this kind of classification should be used in the court room, or if it is a standard prejudice. Is it right?
  • Baden
    Statistics can prove that a group or race of people are more likely do something - crime or notJosh Alfred

    Generally what such statistical studies measure are the behaviours of a contextualized group of a larger group e.g. Black [larger group="race"] men [contextual factor 1] between the ages of 20 and 30 [contextual factor 2] in urban areas [contextual factor 3] in America [contextual factor 4] and so on. The argument then centres over the degree that the results can or should be generalised. And those who carry out such empirical research are usually conservative in such generalizations (realizing that each level of context reduces, for obvious reasons, what can sensibly be said in a decontextualized way about the larger group) whereas those with a political agenda are usually very liberal in their interpretations often because reason for prejudice is not something they can discover scientifically but something they are actively trying to find justification (however feeble) for creating. Your comment suggests the strategy works.
  • Baden
    Put another way, the only thing that can ever be "proved" (or at least demonstrated as scientifically likely using an appropriate confidence interval) are the average tendencies towards particular behaviours of the sample and the limited larger population reflecting the same/similar conditions/context of/to the sample.
  • Josh Alfred
    What they're are tendencies. One could even claim statistical averages (they) are a bias, and how harmful that bias is, would have to be a sum of other statistical data....it probably carries on like that, all these analytics depending on one another. It can get confusing if your kind of dumb about these things to begin with; as I am with no formal education in statistics.
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