Tag Archives: right wing
Here we go again with the annual battle of the “Crime statistics”…
Some good counters here for the right wing’s race baiting.
Beware the murder stats: Why the right will use them to smear Black Lives Matter and how the left can fight back
Forthcoming FBI statistics will likely reveal a murder uptick in 2015, but it wasn’t caused by Black Lives Matter
It is a fact that murder rates in many cities rose last year. The full nationwide picture, however, will only become clear on Sept. 26, when the FBI publishes its 2015 crime data. As it turns out, that’s the same day as the first presidential debate, as Lois Beckett observed at The Guardian. The data will convey a lot of information, and a fast-moving political circus will likely engulf it in confusion.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, running a hysterical law-and-order campaign, will likely point to a rare fact to bolster his case. Other conservatives, who since last year have blamed urban bloodshed and the murders of police officers on Black Lives Matter, will no doubt claim vindication. But reporters shouldn’t let anyone get away with such quick inferences. The overall murder rate is still way down from the worst years of the early 1990s, and the current spike is being driven by a small number of cities.
A recent New York Times analysis found that the murder rate rose sharply in 25 of the nation’s 100 largest cities, confirming a trend identified in a June report for the National Institute of Justice conducted by criminologist Richard Rosenfeld. Experts estimate that the FBI will report a nationwide increase of between 6 percent and 13 percent, according to Beckett. Numbers, however, don’t speak for themselves.
Many conservatives have been peddling a theory known as the “Ferguson effect,” which posits that Black Lives Matter protests are causing the police to pull back from doing their jobs, leading to increased crime. Such commentators and some credulous reporters will claim that this data proves their case. But the Ferguson effect theory, aimed at delegitimizing the movement against police violence, remains as unsubstantiated and implausible as ever. What follows is a handy guide for fighting politically motivated disinformation in the weeks and months to come.
The Ferguson effect doesn’t make any sense
The Ferguson effect theory, as I wrote in June, doesn’t make sense because it lacks a plausible causal theory as to how so-called de-policing (to the extent that it has taken place) leads to more people shooting one another to death. Much gun violence is the result of personal and intergroup disputes, and purveyors of the theory don’t explain how decreased police enforcement would lead to more shooting. Notably, gun seizures — which criminologist David Kennedy called “the one kind of day-to-day policing that one might expect would have the most direct impact on homicide and gun violence” — have been high in Baltimore and Chicago, two of the bloodiest cities.
In regard to a causal mechanism, Kennedy told me, “none of the people claiming there is a Ferguson effect have any idea” what it might be. “Most of the people behind that have essentially said, ‘Violence is up. People are mad at the police. Therefore people being mad at the police is driving violence up,’ and then left people to challenge them about why that might make sense.”
Kennedy, director of John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s National Network for Safe Communities and a leading gun violence expert, added, “But there isn’t much of a story, and there’s certainly next to nothing in terms of real facts or analysis that says, ‘This is what’s going on in the streets, and these are the ways it’s leading to increased violence.’ It’s really not an analysis. It’s more a position.”
The murder spike is not a nationwide phenomenon
According to the Times, just seven cities— Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Milwaukee, Nashville and Washington — were responsible for half of the murder rate increase. In five cities, murder rates actually decreased significantly. In 70, they were mostly stable. The real story is thus embedded in a series of local circumstances and cannot be explained by easy recourse to the national debate over policing.
In Baltimore, for example, the murder rate is particularly out of control. In fact, it’s horrific: Last year’s was the city’s highest rate on record. But as the Times noted, “Some experts attribute the sudden spike in violence largely to a flood of black-market opiates looted from pharmacies during riots in April 2015.” It’s possible that decreased police enforcement played some role. It could also be that the riots caused a lot of young men already involved in gun violence to encounter one another in the streets, leading to more violence. The correlation that researchers have found between decreased enforcement in Chicago and Baltimore and rising murder, as Iexplained at length in June, does not demonstrate causation.
Three of the cities that drove the upsurge — Baltimore, Chicago and Cleveland — have been centers of widespread protests. Yet all seven have poverty rates above the national average. And cities like Baltimore, Chicago and Cleveland also contain something else: large, geographically contiguous segregated concentrations of black poverty. More reporting and research is necessary to discover why murder is spiking in certain cities—and also why it is dropping or holding steady in others.
Murder rates continued to decline in the nation’s two largest cities, Los Angeles and New York. In New York, crime has continued to fall even after it implemented one of the largest de-policing measures in history under massive public and legal pressure: ending mass stop-and-frisk practices. Contrary to the New York Post, the sky did not fall.Beware of headlines that blare, “Murder rate increase highest since 1990.” Beckett wrote that “overall murders would have to spike 73 percent, not 6 percent, to actually put the U.S. back at the record-breaking murder totals of the early 1990s.”
Because murders have declined so much in recent decades and the crime rate is currently so low, a relatively small increase in the absolute number of murders can make for a dramatic percentage increase in the murder rate.
If there is a Ferguson effect, it might not be what you think
Many experts have long believed there is a relationship between policing and gun violence but it’s not the relationship that many people might presume to exist. Instead, a lack of police legitimacy in poor black communities might fuel shootings because when people don’t trust police to solve their problems they are more likely take matters into their own hands. And so rather than protests against police violence causing more gun violence, the protests may instead be highlighting one of the causes behind increased violence.
After University of Missouri St. Louis criminologist Richard Rosenfeld conducted his June research showing rising murder rates in certain cities, he was reported to be having second thoughts about the Ferguson effect, which he initially thought to be implausible. This is not quite right.
In fact, Rosenfeld told me at the time that he is unaware of any research “that suggests de-policing could have such a powerful effect on firearm violence — except maybe if the police all went on strike and stayed home.” Rosenfeld said, “There are two versions of the Ferguson effect. One emphasizes the role of de-policing in the homicide rise. The other, which I favor, suggests that longstanding grievances with the police in minority communities are activated by controversial and heavily publicized incidents of police use of force, resulting in more killings as community members settle grievances or respond to crimes without recourse to the police.”… Read the rest here…
In the School Textbook industry, the State of Texas has out sized influence because books are standardized throughout the state by an appointed Commission. The textbook manufacturers don’t make separate textbooks for every state, they instead make a few standard versions, one based on Texas, which they sell to the nation’s school systems more cheaply than the school systems cost to develop a new book.
Conservative majorities on the Texas Textbook commission the last decade or so have resulted in textbooks following the conservative, and often racist beliefs of the far right.
You get not only the Southern Myth (slaves were well treated and happy), but the introduction of their own perverted “christian” beliefs…And now Mexicans are lazy drunks, and Hispanics are inferior to whites.
Texas college and high school teachers say a textbook that has been proposed for Mexican-American Studies high school class is chock-full of errors and omissions. If that isn’t enough, it’s also racist.
According to Fusion, Texas State Board of Education member Ruben Cortez Jr. demanded that the board reject the textbook on the basis of the racism but also on the 68 factual errors, 42 interpretive errors and 31 omission errors.
“It is an utter shame we must deal with racially offensive academic work,” said Cortez Jr. at a press conference.
The Texas Tribune cites one passage in the commission report that states, “Stereotypically, Mexicans were viewed as lazy compared to European or American workers … Mexican laborers were not reared to put in a full day’s work so vigorously … It was also traditional to skip work on Mondays, and drinking on the job could be a problem.”
South Texas College history professor Trinidad Gonzales called the book nothing but “a web of racist assertions.”
“It was very difficult to get through it because of the significant errors that kept popping up,” he said. He said that one passage was “anti-Catholic” because it claims that Catholics’ only loyalty is to the Pope.
But Republican board member David Bradley saw racism in the fact that the teachers were bringing up racism to begin with.
“Are we not being a little discriminatory in singling out one group?” he said. “I am French-Irish, and you don’t see the French or the Irish pounding the table wanting special treatment, do you?”
He believes that the course isn’t a required class and schools should be more focused on preparing students for college. Because the course isn’t required, school districts also have an option to choose whatever textbook they want for the class. Still, the members of the commission are hoping to ban the book from being used.
The full report goes line by line through the textbook with examples of attacks on Native people in North, Central and South America being far less “civilized” than Europeans. It claims that Mexicans and Mexican-Americans with “Indian heritage remain skeptical of modern society.”
The book’s racist stereotypes shouldn’t be surprising because the book was crafted by a textbook company run by former school board member Cynthia Dunbar. She is infamous for admitting that during her time on the board she worked to correct a “biblically illiterate society.” Dunbar now works at the right-wing Christian college Liberty University and worked on Ted Cruz’s campaign in Virginia.
She claimed that she tried to work with the commission but was turned away and to this day has only been told of one error in the book. The commission report, however, details all 141 errors and racist citations. She swears that she wants to create objective textbooks.
As if there was any question these guys are rats and domestic terrorists…
Yet another member of the Bundy militia is in trouble with the law again.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that 57-year-old William Keebler was arrested this week and charged with attempting to detonate a bomb at a Bureau of Land Management facility in Arizona.
Keebler, who took part in the 2014 standoff with federal land administrators near Cliven Bundy’s ranch, told undercover FBI agents that he planned to target a BLM building in Mount Trumbull, Ariz. The FBI agents, in turn, created a non-working explosive device for Keebler to use at the facility, which Keebler first started scouting as a target in October 2015.
Keebler planted the device at the BLM building on Tuesday and tried to detonate it, without luck. He was arrested the next day.
If convicted, Keebler could face between five to 20 years in federal prison.
The truth of the matter of Domestic Terrorism…
The vast majority of mass murder, mass shooting, and serial murders committed in America are by young white men. Removing inner city Drug wars as the motivation, a shocking 90% of all mass shootings/murders are done by white males, frequently due to right wing political motivation, racial animosity, and family issues. So…If you are going to racially profile – you would have to look for a white male in their 20’s, typically with right wing leanings, and socialization issues.
Now we know, from Police experience in stopping innocent black folks in the cities, that stopping every white male under 30 wearing cammies would be pointless. At my home in the country, come fall there is nothing unusual about white folks running around in camouflage T-shits, coats or pants – especially in the fall and winter. The vast majority of these folks are not criminals (other than having a 6 times greater probability than a black person of having a little meth or heroin in their pocket), and pose no threat to run around shooting their neighbors at the local WalMart.
Which is why profiling, when used as a method of “Broken Windows” policing is such an abject failure.
There is an entire subculture on the right which is in the day to day business of making up lies about people of color. It is the old Lynch Mob mentality, where horrific “facts” about a supposed crime are made up to stir racial rage among whites. This lurid material gets circulated in the right wing racist press, and despite being totally dis[proved and discredited, takes on a life of its own. Even the Chumph has repeated some of these lies as part of his political “truth”.
An Idaho prosecutor denied lurid reports promoted by anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists about the alleged gang rape of a young girl by three Syrian refugees.
The reports, which claim three boys sexually assaulted and then urinated on a 5-year-old special needs girl, have circulated on right-wing blogs and social media for a couple of weeks — but the county prosecutor said nearly every aspect of those claims was fabricated, reported the Idaho Statesman.
“There were no Syrians involved, there was no knife involved, there was no gang-rape,” said Grant Loebs, the Twin Falls County prosecutor.
The shocking reports are based on a real incident which has resulted in juvenile charges against two boys, but the prosecutor said few of the details reported on sites such as InfoWars and Creeping Sharia match evidence uncovered by investigators.
Three boys from Iraq and Sudan, ages 7, 10 and 14, were involved in the incident, which authorities said was recorded on cell phone video, but Loebs said the 5-year-old victim was not gang-raped.
The older boy did not touch the victim, Loebs said, and only one boy allegedly touched the girl.
The boys have been in the U.S. less than two years, officials believes, although police aren’t certain yet whether they’re refugees.
“It’s all absurd — there is no coverup at all,” Loebs said. “There is no motive to cover up. If they were Syrians, I would tell you they were Syrians and that we’re prosecuting three Syrian refugees. It wouldn’t bother me a bit to say that, but it bothers me if it’s not true.”
Police denied that it took officers two hours to arrive at the low-income apartment building, and Loebs said the initial call reported a possible crime that was “something a lot less serious than a sexual assault or lewd and lascivious conduct.”
Loeb knocked down reports that the boys’ fathers celebrated the attack with high-fives, and he blamed the inaccurate claims on anti-Muslim groups active in the Twin Falls area.
“There is a small group of people in Twin Falls County whose life goal is to eliminate refugees, and thus far they have not been constrained by the truth,” Loebs said. “They have not been constrained by the truth in the past, and I don’t expect them to be constrained by the truth in the future.”