Thursday, August 12, 2010

Elites and criminal justice

It is interesting how elites have worked so hard since the 1960s to reform the criminal justice system in response to minority complaints about bias and mistreatment. But when the white majority and white police officers complain that the courts are incompetent at controlling crime, and feel that ordinary citizens must take defensive actions like keeping a handgun, elites respond that their concerns are just expressions of racism and nativism. This reveals that, in the eyes of the powerful, minority complaints have a moral claim, while white concerns do not. Dark skin carries with it moral weight. Any toughness in the system is there because of popular demand, not because it reflects elite priorities.  

4 comments:

TGGP said...

I don't know if they kept working from the 1960s. Conviction rates started increasing in the 80s (I think fairly early on).

Speaking of minority complaints, one of the ones which has gotten a lot of attention recently is the crack vs powder sentencing disparity (which I've yet to hear anyone defend). But the whole reason the government went crazy about crack was in response to demands from the Congressional Black Caucus after some basketball player died.

Severn said...

Different drugs seem to affect different populations in different ways. For instance, American Indians are susceptible to alcoholism.

By the same token, blacks seem to be more susceptible to the effects of cocaine than are whites. It's been suggested that the big decline in crime rates in American cities starting in the mid-nineties was due to the crack epidemic "culling the herd" of criminally inclined people.

FuturePundit said...

It has taken me a long time to come to terms with the extent to which the elites are our enemies.

Anonymous said...


Different drugs seem to affect different populations in different ways. For instance, American Indians are susceptible to alcoholism.


This is true of any population that has not had several thousand years of exposure to agriculture. Australian Aborigines are the same, and I would imagine the Inuit are, and so forth.

On a different topic, I think that the Inductivist's claims that the Elites see this in moral terms reflects a faulty understanding and poor analysis.

They employ moralistic reasoning in order to manipulate the herd, but it is clear that they understand what they are doing and do not think of these things in moral terms.