Saturday, March 27, 2021

Crime and Discrimination

 For my first topic on this blog, I wanted to talk about crime and discrimination.  So, I will present both side's arguments and where we can agree.

Discrimination

The argument on the left is that there are persistent stereotypes of minorities, which drives cops to assume negative things about individuals, based upon their neighborhood or color of their skin.  A higher percentage of African Americans make up the prisons, for example, and their cars are followed by cops that concentrate in their neighborhoods, while many white figures face less police scrutiny.

Crime

However, the right points out that there are more reports of crime IN those neighborhoods and minorities make up a significant part of criminal gangs and traffic of drugs in those areas.  Further, if you defund the police you end up with less prevention against things like the raids at the Capital and the shootings that have dominated the news over the last week, since it the police that would be needed to COUNTER that violence.

The Middle

I think it's easy to see that both of these can be true.  Indeed, when I had to live in an inner city motel for months, last year, I saw first hand what it is like to live where you can hear gunshots and see police presence more often.  One of the things that I saw what that ALL races hate the violence that is being done in that area, often by minorities against minorities.  

Also, while there can be the case made that a history of living in poverty can make it difficult for ANYONE to rise above it and to escape the violence of the area, and more African Americans find themselves in those conditions than White people due to a history of discrimination.  

However, I wonder if it couldn't be the POVERTY that is the cause.. not the race.  Wouldn't a White person living in that poverty ALSO face the violence?  They would.  I also know first hand that if you drive a vehicle in those areas, you are followed.. whatever your race.. and you are faced with a larger police presence than IS seen in richer neighborhoods, which happen to be White from past discrimination.  The police know that pulling over someone in that area can result in big names getting involved and donations being withheld.

Since poverty is such a motivator to both crime AND discrimination, maybe instead of blaming each other, we should do something about people having to live in such dire situations... whatever their race.  Doing so might reduce the incentive for them to be involved in the drug trade and help them to not be driven by poverty anger to steal or other crimes; however, it must be given in such a way to both offer them a lifeline but not discourage work, since the end goal that ALL those involved want is self sufficiency to have freedom over their life and pride in their accomplishments.

Then, as we lift the poor that live IN those communities, we can see both less discrimination AND less crime, which will benefit us all.

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