Patterico's Pontifications

1/31/2021

Constitutional Vanguard: Why Does Race Matter?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:31 pm



The latest edition of my newsletter seems bound to upset someone.

We appropriately hear a great deal from Big Media about the endless stream of lies that helped foment a riot at the Capitol building. But when does Big Media ever apologize for fomenting riots on the streets due to overhyping police incidents and playing them up as racist?

. . . .

I never hear that kind of introspection by Big Media when a police shooting proves to be justified, after initially being reported to be an indefensible slaughter of a black man.

Even the George Floyd murder — and it was a murder, in my view — is commonly assumed to have been an event that occurred solely because of the color of George Floyd’s skin. Why, police officers would never get on top of a prone, helpless white guy and squeeze the breath out of him until he died! If that happened, surely Big Media would bring it to our attention!

Except . . . they don’t. After all, have you ever heard of Tony Timpa?

Read it all, become righteously outraged by my unacceptable opinions, and sign up for free to get more Pieces Certain to Get Patterico Conceled direct to you inbox, here.

74 Responses to “Constitutional Vanguard: Why Does Race Matter?”

  1. This is the type of thing I might end up requiring an inexpensive mongthly subscription for. The thought is: maybe I do one email a week that goes to everyone, and another email available to paying subscribers only — an email that tackles topics that are more difficult to talk about because of the tendency of the woke left to deliberately twist any non-conforming position. The benefit of having people pay a nominal fee for such a piece would be that the type of people who love to fly into an outrage and try to cancel you are unlikely to shell out $5 a month for the privilege. Comments on such posts would be restricted to subscribers, and it’s possible you could get honest discussions going in an environment where it’s far less likely that someone will be reading with the intention of taking your words out of context.

    Let me know what you think. Is there any appetite for such a structure?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. Big media might go after cops who did that to a white guy who had connections (money, family, influential friends, etc). A homeless white guy who refused to be still? Probably not even make the police blotter.

    They probably would have beat the crap out of a white Rodney King, but maybe not as much, and they surely would not have been talking about “Gorillas in the Mist” and the like. If he’d come out of a new Mercedes and not a wrecker they might have started with an entirely different plan.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  3. Here’s a case that many blacks (I cannot bring myself to capitalize the word) would point to as uneven treatment. You’ve probably seen this before, where a old white guy confronts police clearing a street, clearly attempting to berate them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bX7j3xUB3A

    To me, this is a clear act of presumed white privilege. No black man would approach police in this manner, nor would they be surprised at the result — the man is so flabbergasted by the police not all stopping to listen his important point-of-view that he trips over his own feet, falls down and smacks his head on the pavement.

    The two officers involved were suspended, yet another indication of white privilege. 57 other officers took themselves off of the crowd-control duty list after the suspensions.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  4. I am more selective about the websites I read, as well as the media I watch, because IMO most tend to focus on the “outrage of the day” to elicit an emotional response. There are outrageous things happening in the world but the point should not be to emotionally react but tothink about the issues involved. I will gladly subscribe to your newsletter because I believe you want to reach people who think.

    DRJ (aede82)

  5. Let me know what you think. Is there any appetite for such a structure?

    Patterico (115b1f) — 1/31/2021 @ 3:38 pm

    I think it’s a great idea.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  6. There are pros and cons to subscription bases…sort of like the Substack model. The good news is that there are fewer trolls, and you can feel good about banning them. The bad news is that some folk might feel that, because they pay a fee, they can argue more.

    Me, I am feeling outrage fatigue. I’m willing to try other approaches.

    Simon Jester (5ed314)

  7. Let me know what you think. Is there any appetite for such a structure?

    I also think it’s a good idea. I like the idea that there could be more freedom to discuss the subject with a smaller, perhaps more intimate group too.

    I think there are a number of outrageous things currently happening in the world today, and to react to them emotionally isn’t a problem, in and of itself. For me, the goal is to move past the emotionalism and think hard about the issue while attempting to look at it from all sides. We become more informed as a result, think with a more clear head, and sometimes, we might even be persuaded to change our minds. I think it’s always good to have our points of view challenged. But we are human, and we react emotionally to tragedy, to seeing our Capitol breached, to witnessing a steady flow of unchecked corruption coming from the White House, to wars and conflicts, and to the innocent being hurt. It would be unnatural to not react with emotion, I think. But again, the goal is to move past that and work through the issue with critical thought and reflection.

    I point this out because, as a guest contributor, I often write about issues of the day that are unfortunately, outrageous. And yet it is frequently these very events that impact us and determine the direction of our country.

    Dana (fd537d)

  8. Time is money. OTOH opinion platforms are ubiquitous; subs may elevate yet isolate and just drive traffic to other sites. Why take a ‘toll road’ when you can get there on the ‘freeway.’

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  9. Related: https://www.manhattan-institute.org/taking-stock-of-a-most-violent-year

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/taking-stock-of-a-most-violent-year-11611525947

    The local murder increases in 2020 were startling: 95% in Milwaukee, 78% in Louisville, Ky., 74% in Seattle, 72% in Minneapolis, 62% in New Orleans, and 58% in Atlanta, according to data compiled by crime analyst Jeff Asher. Dozens of children, overwhelmingly black, were killed in drive-by shootings. They were slain in their beds, living rooms and strollers. They were struck down at barbecues, in their yards, in malls, in their parents’ cars, and at birthday parties. Fifty-five children were killed in Chicago in 2020, 17 in St. Louis, and 11 in Philadelphia. In South Los Angeles alone, 40 children were shot, some non-lethally, through September….

    …An Oakland, Calif., officer who has arrested dozens of known murderers and gang members over his career tells me he is scared for the first time, “not because the criminals are necessarily more violent, even though they are.” But if he has to use force on a resisting suspect, he could lose his career, his life, or his liberty, he says. A “simple cost-benefit analysis” recommends simply responding to calls for service and collecting a paycheck. “All cops now understand this.”

    …Mr. Biden’s presidency augurs no turnaround. During the campaign, he claimed without justification that African-Americans rightly feared that their loved ones could be killed by a cop every time they stepped outside. His criminal-justice blueprint promises to eliminate racial disparities in law enforcement. Given vast racial disparities in the commission of crimes, that can be done only by eliminating law enforcement itself….

    ….Those 15 “unarmed” blacks will represent 0.17% of all black homicide deaths in 2020, assuming a black murder toll of about 8,600 victims in 2020, as seems probable.

    The police aren’t the problem in the black community, criminals are. The many law-abiding residents of troubled areas know this and beg for vigorous law enforcement. High-profile homicide trials of police officers will take place this year in Minneapolis, Atlanta, Louisville and Rochester, N.Y. If there are acquittals, more riots—followed by an even greater shooting surge—seem likely. It is urgent that public officials stop demonizing the police.

    Heather MacDnald has been writing things like this for a year and more.

    But nobody wants to dissent. Misleading statistics win and there is no way out so long as they continue t be use.

    I disagree that public officials stop demonizing the police. They are, by and large, not doing that. They have to start demonizing Black Lives Matter, and anybody who echoes their arguments, but in a coherent manner. And they must not back down. It has got to get unmistakably clear that all these arguments, which are mostly statistical arguments, are not only wrong, but pernicious.

    Sammy Finkelman (7bb55f)

  10. Big media doesn’t do self-introspection, even when they promise they will. Remember after the 2016 election, when the liberal media was shell shocked that Hillary lost? Several prominent journalists promised to visit “fly-over” country to figure out what went wrong. Nothing came of it.

    The only introspection the liberal media does is introspection on The Others – why are they so bad? Why are they not like us? Why do they hate.

    Typical tripe. If you think they’ll change, I’m sorry. They won’t. Not when their paychecks and pride say otherwise.

    Hoi Polloi (139bf6)

  11. 60 years ago the media rarely mentioned crime unless the police were attacking civil rights workers. It was the watts riots that force the media to start to address policing issues.Things slowly change as do demographics. The media reflects these changes. Fox and talk radio for the right. Msnbc and internet for the left.

    asset (81a9ec)

  12. This is the type of thing I might end up requiring an inexpensive mongthly subscription for. The thought is: maybe I do one email a week that goes to everyone, and another email available to paying subscribers only — an email that tackles topics that are more difficult to talk about because of the tendency of the woke left to deliberately twist any non-conforming position. The benefit of having people pay a nominal fee for such a piece would be that the type of people who love to fly into an outrage and try to cancel you are unlikely to shell out $5 a month for the privilege. Comments on such posts would be restricted to subscribers, and it’s possible you could get honest discussions going in an environment where it’s far less likely that someone will be reading with the intention of taking your words out of context.

    Let me know what you think. Is there any appetite for such a structure?

    Patterico (115b1f) — 1/31/2021 @ 3:38 pm

    I would pay 5$ a month for it, the main benefit IMO would be to apply a filter to the discussion.

    Time123 (af99e9)

  13. You lead with the question “why does race matter.”

    Race matters for 3 reasons.

    1. There’s a huge correlation between race and outcomes in education, income, health and other areas.
    2. For over 200 years the was a legal structure that explicitly enforced these outcomes.
    3. Once the legal structure began to be altered social conventions continued to enforce these outcomes. A bank in Indiana settled a DOJ suit about redlining black neighborhoods.

    The redlining claim was based, in part, upon the allegation that First Merchants established and maintained a discriminatory Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) assessment area that was “horseshoe-shaped,” “excluding Indianapolis-Marion County and its 50 majority-Black census tracts from the Bank’s [CRA] assessment area, while including overwhelmingly white counties.” Even after an acquisition that resulted in the addition of Indianapolis-Marion County to its assessment area, the bank allegedly failed to open or operate a bank branch in any of the county’s majority-Black census tracts. The DOJ also claimed that the bank failed to meaningfully advertise in such census tracts. According to the complaint, First Merchants’ lending practices discouraged applicants in such census tracts from applying for loans, resulting in a disproportionately low number of applications and originations from such census tracts as compared to its peer institutions.

    I’m not pointing to this as the worst example I could find, but it was 2019 and it doesn’t take a degree in sociology to see how access to loans affects business starts, housing prices, and school funding (Which in Indiana is a function of home value). Free market and personal choice fix a lot of problems but here’s an example of the market not functioning, because some people didn’t want to do business with black people.

    That’s why race still matters.

    Time123 (b87ded)

  14. wish I could edit my typo’s

    Time123 (b87ded)

  15. 13. As Thomas Sowell has pointed out over and over again, many of black prosperity (college attendance/graduation, unemployment et. al) were better before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, and have been in a steady decline ever since.

    Yes, race does matter, but only insofar as it’s been weaponized by the race hustlers. Most of the problems in the black community writ-large are self-inflicted. There. I said it.

    Gryph (f63000)

  16. Gryph, College graduation rates for non-whites have no been going down sine the civil rights act.

    https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2016/06/27/1-demographic-trends-and-economic-well-being/

    After we allowed black people to participate more fully in society outcomes have improved for them at roughly the same rate they’ve improved for other races.

    You’re wrong on the facts.

    Time123 (b87ded)

  17. I had not heard of Tony Timpa, but I have heard of Kelly Thomas and Daniel Shaver. I wish I could say that the false egalitarianism of the last fifty years, which lowered recruitment and training standards in order to include more cops from “historically disadvantaged” groups, is at fault, but unfortunately I know the shameful history of police in America.

    Historically, the police in America have been no better than bully-boys, crooks, and thugs themselves, hiding behind their badges. That heritage is what is innate, inbred, and systemic. The attempts at professionalism, often opposed and stymied by the same political maneuvering which prompted them, are mostly for appearance’s sake.

    They have been getting away with it because they have taken care not to scare white people more than absolutely necessary. Now that black people are scaring white people, I expect the police to get worse, not better.

    We’re f***ed.

    nk (1d9030)

  18. You lead with the question “why does race matter.”

    Race matters for 3 reasons.

    1. There’s a huge correlation between race and outcomes in education, income, health and other areas.
    2. For over 200 years the was a legal structure that explicitly enforced these outcomes.
    3. Once the legal structure began to be altered social conventions continued to enforce these outcomes. A bank in Indiana settled a DOJ suit about redlining black neighborhoods.

    The redlining claim was based, in part, upon the allegation that First Merchants established and maintained a discriminatory Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) assessment area that was “horseshoe-shaped,” “excluding Indianapolis-Marion County and its 50 majority-Black census tracts from the Bank’s [CRA] assessment area, while including overwhelmingly white counties.” Even after an acquisition that resulted in the addition of Indianapolis-Marion County to its assessment area, the bank allegedly failed to open or operate a bank branch in any of the county’s majority-Black census tracts. The DOJ also claimed that the bank failed to meaningfully advertise in such census tracts. According to the complaint, First Merchants’ lending practices discouraged applicants in such census tracts from applying for loans, resulting in a disproportionately low number of applications and originations from such census tracts as compared to its peer institutions.

    I’m not pointing to this as the worst example I could find, but it was 2019 and it doesn’t take a degree in sociology to see how access to loans affects business starts, housing prices, and school funding (Which in Indiana is a function of home value). Free market and personal choice fix a lot of problems but here’s an example of the market not functioning, because some people didn’t want to do business with black people.

    That’s why race still matters.

    Time123 (b87ded) — 2/1/2021 @ 6:16 am

    I’m not saying racism doesn’t happen… of course it does. Bigotry exists all around us and we much remain vigilant.

    But, I disagree with the framing all of this.

    1. There’s a huge correlation between race and outcomes in education, income, health and other areas.

    No, not really.

    There ARE correlation in “outcomes in education, income, health and other areas.”

    You see the same sort of challenges on Indian reservations, in predominately-white Ozarks of Missouri/Arkansas and in the Appalachias as you do with inner-city poor black neighborhoods.

    As to your example of the First Merchants, I haven’t dived into that to really form an opinion. But, I’m familiar with that area and I can certainly see *why* the bank may not want to open up a branch in those areas. I see the same sort of thing here in the St. Louis region, and it may simply boil down to property insurance (there could be other non-racial rationales). The ironic thing, is that the banks is pretty accessible anyway via cars and public transportation, so its not like folks living outside the horseshoe couldn’t get there if they wanted to. The other thing to consider in cases like these, is that settling doesn’t necessarily mean the Bank agreed with the prosecution. It means both sides reached an agreement that both were happy with and that the bank surely calculated that the settlement was better than continuing to fight in court.

    This reminded me of the original accusations that the Ferguson Police department was accused of being a raging racist department in the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting.

    One of the arguments to support this, was that blacks were more likely to encounter policing activities than whites (ie, profiling) due to the fact that more tickets were written to blacks by a factor 5 (or something like that) than whites. The media lapped this up and they had their ‘outrage’ story to milk.

    But, if you knew the area, as I do, you’d realize that Ferguson was an eclectic mix of older white family living in suburb-ish neighborhood and the blacks, who were younger, were living in apartment/condo complexes in a specific area in Ferguson.

    Of the residents, which are more like to loiter in public, cruise throughout the night and generally be nuisance?

    We just need to inject some common sense into these sort of things.

    Unfortunately, racial outrage is big money in the news industry. Until that incentive is mitigated, I don’t think we’ll move on from this in journalism.

    To wrap this up, no, race don’t matter. All lives matters. That is not to minimize any challenges that blacks may fact today, but to move on from these racial tension, we much move on from the idea that skin color must matter. There are other factors in play that are colorblind.

    whembly (ee52fd)

  19. No, not really.

    There ARE correlation in “outcomes in education, income, health and other areas.”

    You see the same sort of challenges on Indian reservations, in predominately-white Ozarks of Missouri/Arkansas and in the Appalachias as you do with inner-city poor black neighborhoods.

    I’m not sure what you’re saying here. There’s a pretty clear pattern with both groups being disseminated against. Sounds like you’re agreeing with me.

    As to your example of the First Merchants, I haven’t dived into that to really form an opinion.

    I picked that one because it was recent. If you’re willing to go back more then 2 years you can find more examples of banks not operating in minority areas and changing higher interest rates in minority areas then they do other, non-minority areas that are otherwise similar.

    But, if you knew the area, as I do, you’d realize that Ferguson was an eclectic mix of older white family living in suburb-ish neighborhood and the blacks, who were younger, were living in apartment/condo complexes in a specific area in Ferguson.

    Of the residents, which are more like to loiter in public, cruise throughout the night and generally be nuisance?

    We just need to inject some common sense into these sort of things.

    As long as race is good predictor of outcomes it will continue to matter. As it should.

    One working definition of ‘systemic racism’ is that the system as it exists creates disparate outcomes by race without anyone involved in the process thinking “I’m going to harm this person just because of their race.”

    Time123 (b87ded)

  20. 15. Gryph (f63000) — 2/1/2021 @ 6:47 am

    Most of the problems in the black community writ-large are self-inflicted. There. I said it.

    Because they elect the wrong people?

    Basically, they’re not the cause of underpolicing and under-prosecution. They are not the cause of public education officials not caring about bad outcomes in education and opposing charter schools and other competition. They didn’t stop the “gifted and talented” programs operating in some schools, which at least educated some black public school children, even if the beneficiaries were disproportionately not black.

    Sammy Finkelman (7bb55f)

  21. The root cause of all the problems in the black community is crime, and the root cause of high crime is differences in policing and the differences are the opposite of what is commonly claimed.

    They’ve been written off.

    Sammy Finkelman (7bb55f)

  22. @21

    No, not really.

    There ARE correlation in “outcomes in education, income, health and other areas.”

    You see the same sort of challenges on Indian reservations, in predominately-white Ozarks of Missouri/Arkansas and in the Appalachias as you do with inner-city poor black neighborhoods.

    I’m not sure what you’re saying here. There’s a pretty clear pattern with both groups being disseminated against. Sounds like you’re agreeing with me.

    No. We disagree.

    You said:

    1. There’s a huge correlation between race and outcomes in education, income, health and other areas.

    I said:

    There ARE correlation in “outcomes in education, income, health and other areas.

    I’m disagreeing with you that “there’s a huge correlation” with regards to race. I’m saying there are other factors more powerful than just the skin color that describes much of the racial/social-economic strife. And there are legions of problems, and we’d be much better served when addressing these challenges w/o the racial subtext.

    Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman are a little bit mavericks in the black community, in that they’ve often said (and I’m paraphrasing) that to move on from race, is to stop talking about race. They’re not saying to ignore bigotry when it happens… they’re basically saying people to stop making everything about race. And they’re right.

    whembly (fd0490)

  23. I’m disagreeing with you that “there’s a huge correlation” with regards to race. I’m saying there are other factors more powerful than just the skin color that describes much of the racial/social-economic strife. And there are legions of problems, and we’d be much better served when addressing these challenges w/o the racial subtext.

    So you don’t think race is a factor in who lives in an Indian reservation from your example? I’m struggling with that a little.

    Time123 (b87ded)

  24. Even when it’s race, it’s not really race.

    Sammy Finkelman (7bb55f)

  25. @25

    I’m disagreeing with you that “there’s a huge correlation” with regards to race. I’m saying there are other factors more powerful than just the skin color that describes much of the racial/social-economic strife. And there are legions of problems, and we’d be much better served when addressing these challenges w/o the racial subtext.

    So you don’t think race is a factor in who lives in an Indian reservation from your example? I’m struggling with that a little.

    Time123 (b87ded) — 2/1/2021 @ 8:43 am

    No.

    Why are you struggling? The social-economic strife that we can see on the reservations also exists in the Appalachian areas who are a white majority. We see the same sort of things in the rural Ozarks. It’s more than just the skin color Time123.

    Whether it’s single-family fatherless homes…

    Rampant addictions…

    Lack of social mobility…

    These are things that happens despite skin color and if we’d attack the underling issues without the subtext of race, we’d be better off.

    whembly (fd0490)

  26. @25 Let me flip the script a bit.

    Consider the City of St. Louis.

    Did you know the teachers are among the highest paid public school teachers in the State? Even by most private schools as well?

    Did you know that the City of St. Louis Public school systems has the highest budget per student head than all of Missouri? That makes sense as St. Louis is the largest city in Missouri with a large resident and corporate tax base.

    Yet, St. Louis students in a mostly black city lags behind by most educational standards compared to the rest of the state.

    Its not because of lack of resources. Especially when you can recruit good teachers for the higher-than-average teacher pay elsewhere.

    …and it’s definitely not because of racism or skin color.

    My point is, there are other factors that play a much larger role to any strife in a community. Blaming racism is simply an easy scapegoat to avoid addressing the real issues and it’s almost impossible to address them when it’s sensationalized in the media.

    whembly (fd0490)

  27. Race is a distraction that causes many people not to see or mention what is really going on. There is indeed something that correlates with race, but it’s not systemic racism.

    Sammy Finkelman (7bb55f)

  28. No.

    Why are you struggling? The social-economic strife that we can see on the reservations also exists in the Appalachian areas who are a white majority. We see the same sort of things in the rural Ozarks. It’s more than just the skin color Time123.

    Whether it’s single-family fatherless homes…

    Rampant addictions…

    Lack of social mobility…

    These are things that happens despite skin color and if we’d attack the underling issues without the subtext of race, we’d be better off.

    I’m following you now.

    I agree it’s not just race and there are people of all races that are impacted by those issues.
    Race, however, is a powerful predictor of if those issues will impact you.

    Once it’s not, I’ll agree that race doesn’t matter. Until then, I don’t really see how arguments that a major predictive variable doesn’t matter make sense.

    It’s like arguing that parents income or education level isn’t a factor when you can clearly see that is.

    Time123 (af99e9)

  29. Why Does History Matter?

    Leviticus (efada1)

  30. Time123 (af99e9) — 2/1/2021 @ 9:59 am

    Race, however, is a powerful predictor of if those issues will impact you.

    There’s a Jimmy Dore video recently where he interviews an old black panther about the time they worked with the KKK to deal with an issue in NV. Whatever you think about Dore the lady he interviews makes a very compelling point.

    The narrative that whites and blacks are each other’s biggest enemies is like the narrative that Jews and Romani were each other’s biggest enemies in 1930’s Germany.

    frosty (f27e97)

  31. 28. Time123 (af99e9) — 2/1/2021 @ 9:59 am

    Race, however, is a powerful predictor of if those issues will impact you.

    Race and location.

    Bit mainly type of housing and location, and personal factors.

    Once it’s not, I’ll agree that race doesn’t matter. Until then, I don’t really see how arguments that a major predictive variable doesn’t matter make sense.

    We don’t want artificial intelligence to use it because it is very unfair and not a true correlation, and can change with time. Many sociological observations will change with time, and the degree if correlation will change.

    It’s like arguing that parents income or education level isn’t a factor when you can clearly see that is.

    Those are probably a proxy for other things. Even formal education is not the education we are interested in.

    One thing that was correlated with good outcome was mother’s age when she had her first child (not when the child in question was born)

    But even that is a proxy, which sometimes means other things are true, and sometimes doesn’t. Barack Obama’s mother was 18 when he was born.

    Sammy Finkelman (7bb55f)

  32. One thing that was correlated with good outcome was mother’s age when she had her first child (not when the child in question was born)

    But even that is a proxy, which sometimes means other things are true, and sometimes doesn’t. Barack Obama’s mother was 18 when he was born.

    Using math to understand how people interact and life outcomes is tricky. It’s not easy and the predictive error of any analysis, let alone singe variable, is high. That doesn’t mean that the variable isn’t useful in prediction.

    Time123 (af99e9)

  33. Time123 (af99e9) — 2/1/2021 @ 9:59 am

    Race, however, is a powerful predictor of if those issues will impact you.

    There’s a Jimmy Dore video recently where he interviews an old black panther about the time they worked with the KKK to deal with an issue in NV. Whatever you think about Dore the lady he interviews makes a very compelling point.

    The narrative that whites and blacks are each other’s biggest enemies is like the narrative that Jews and Romani were each other’s biggest enemies in 1930’s Germany.

    frosty (f27e97) — 2/1/2021 @ 11:15 am

    Per Goodwin’s law you lose this comment. Nice job Frosty, one comment and you lose. 😀

    Time123 (af99e9)

  34. Is Giannis Antetokounmpo black or Greek? It’s a self-test, every score is passing.

    nk (1d9030)

  35. Time123 (af99e9) — 2/1/2021 @ 11:38 am

    Per Goodwin’s law you lose this comment. Nice job Frosty, one comment and you lose. 😀

    I’m still wondering who’s keeping track of this stuff. At least you didn’t note it.

    Do you even know what I’m referring to or are your blinders just that effective?

    frosty (f27e97)

  36. Neither…he’s a cheesehead until he temper tantrums out of town like James Harden or DeShawn Watson.

    urbanleftbehind (372f97)

  37. Why Does History Matter?

    Leviticus,

    I’m certain I’d be more interested in your argued-out opinions in response than I am in flip four-word responses like that.

    If you read my position as saying history doesn’t matter, you’re wrong. The problems we so often discuss when we discuss race issues are often linked to some degree to poverty, which in turn is obviously linked to some degree to the terrible history of racism, slavery, and oppression of which this country is undeniably guilty.

    I continue to believe that a focus on race to the exclusion of other factors causes a misdiagnosis of the problem. Take David Brooks’s argument. What is the problem? Well, there’s the immediate problem of opening schools and why that is not happening, and then there is a far murkier problem of the disparate effects that the data apparently show these policies are having on children and families. The former issue is clear; the latter one is very tough and susceptible of no ready and obvious solution. Also, plenty of white children are being harmed, too. My proposed solution, then, is that in addressing this issue, we shut up about race and address the immediate problem.

    If the deeper problem were easily solvable, I’d favor that, too — but I don’t think it is. And I think you and I might disagree to some extent about the nature of the deeper problem and the nature of any likely solutions.

    The deeper and more intractable problem may have more immediate and important causes than historical racism — and even if the immediate causes are to some degree a result of the history, which is plausible, the focus should be on the immediate problems. What those problems are, I may be discussing more with subscribers.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  38. Time123 (af99e9) — 2/1/2021 @ 11:38 am

    Per Goodwin’s law you lose this comment. Nice job Frosty, one comment and you lose. 😀

    I’m still wondering who’s keeping track of this stuff. At least you didn’t note it.

    Do you even know what I’m referring to or are your blinders just that effective?

    frosty (f27e97) — 2/1/2021 @ 12:05 pm

    I assume you’re referring to the habit of asserting that a comment means something or another and then saying that meaning is noted?

    I put the smiley face in to show that I was kidding around. I hope you took it that way.

    Time123 (af99e9)

  39. I continue to believe that a focus on race to the exclusion of other factors causes a misdiagnosis of the problem. Take David Brooks’s argument. What is the problem? Well, there’s the immediate problem of opening schools and why that is not happening, and then there is a far murkier problem of the disparate effects that the data apparently show these policies are having on children and families. The former issue is clear; the latter one is very tough and susceptible of no ready and obvious solution. Also, plenty of white children are being harmed, too. My proposed solution, then, is that in addressing this issue, we shut up about race and address the immediate problem.

    From what I’ve read the impact of the problem is not evenly distributed.

    Children who live in areas with well funded schools, parks, kids their own age within easy distance, and motivated teachers are still impacted. Their parents might be more likely to help them with homework, or by hiring tutors for the summer to help them catch up.

    Children who live in areas with less resource right schools, limited outdoor play areas, or no peers to interreact with are much more impacted. Additionally their parents may not have the ability to help them recover from the set back.

    If you think about the differences between how middle class kids in the burbs are dealing with this vs. lower income kids in high density arears and rural kids it really isn’t the same story and the solutions are likely to be very different for each of those groups.

    Time123 (af99e9)

  40. Once the legal structure began to be altered social conventions continued to enforce these outcomes. A bank in Indiana settled a DOJ suit about redlining black neighborhoods.

    Time123,

    Thomas Sowell has convincingly argued over the years that such suits are fundamentally flawed:

    A major factor in the housing boom and bust that created the present economic predicament was massive government intervention in the housing market, supposedly to correct discrimination in mortgage lending. How did they know that there was discrimination? Because blacks were turned down for mortgage loans at a higher rate than whites.

    It so happens that whites were turned down for mortgage loans at a higher rate than Asian Americans, but that fact seldom made it into the newspaper headlines or the political rhetoric. Nor did either the mainstream media or political leaders mention the fact that black-owned banks turned down black mortgage loan applicants at least as often as white-owned banks did.

    There was never the slightest reason to expect the different racial or ethnic groups in the United States to have the same credit ratings or the same behavior or performance in any other way, when both racial and non-racial groups of various sorts have for centuries had radically different patterns of behavior and performance in countries around the world.

    I would have to dig it up from one of his books — maybe I’ll do that in a subscription-only email — but my very distinct recollection is that he said, in more than one of his books, that the default rates were typically higher for blacks than whites in environments that were supposedly discriminatory. You have to put on your economics thinking cap for a moment to see why this is counter-intuitive and evidence of an absence of redlining. Namely, if redlining is true, that means that banks are irrationally denying loans to qualified black applicants, solely because of their race, and thus raising the standards for blacks above what the cold hard numbers would require those standards to be. (Maybe some small banks in racist areas of the deep South have acted this way, but my experience is that loans are purely a numbers game, and if a banker thinks he will make money by loaning you money, he will loan you money. But put that aside and assume it’s happening for the sake of argument.) But if the standards for blacks were truly higher, you would see better performance by those debtors and fewer defaults, not more defaults. (And by the way, if you think a bank wants the hassle of a default, you don’t understand mortgage lending. They want everyone to pay up and pay on time, and that’s all they care about. A foreclosure is to be avoided.) The fact that blacks have had higher default rates suggests the opposite of what all these lawsuits have alleged about lending standards and redlining.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  41. Children who live in areas with well funded schools, parks, kids their own age within easy distance, and motivated teachers are still impacted. Their parents might be more likely to help them with homework, or by hiring tutors for the summer to help them catch up.

    Children who live in areas with less resource right schools, limited outdoor play areas, or no peers to interreact with are much more impacted. Additionally their parents may not have the ability to help them recover from the set back.

    If you think about the differences between how middle class kids in the burbs are dealing with this vs. lower income kids in high density arears and rural kids it really isn’t the same story and the solutions are likely to be very different for each of those groups.

    You keep identifying income and resources. Income and resources are not race.

    So if black and brown kids in well to do areas (you realize they exist, right?) are not going to school, and whites in poor areas also are not going to school, do we prioritize the black and brown kids because they are black and brown? Or do we try to assess the real problem — lack of household and community resources — and address those issues without regard to race?

    If diagnosing the problem correctly and helping out the people who need it most happens to benefit black and brown people more than white people, that should not matter pro or con, as long as the people who need the help are getting it/ The race should be irrelevant. Such a policy would still be good because it addresses the real issue. If addressing the real issue helps out more blacks and browns I guess you will be happy. If addressing the real issue helps out the kids who need it most regardless of race, I will be happy. If there is overlap between your happiness and mine, great.

    What I don’t want to see is race itself used as a substitute for other factors that are more relevant to the problem.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  42. Time123 (af99e9) — 2/1/2021 @ 12:26 pm

    I assume you’re referring to the habit of asserting that a comment means something or another and then saying that meaning is noted?

    No, I’m wondering if you know what I’m referring to in my original comment.

    frosty (f27e97)

  43. Patterico (115b1f) — 2/1/2021 @ 12:49 pm

    The race should be irrelevant. Such a policy would still be good because it addresses the real issue.

    It would be good if this were a wider sentiment. Too many people see this as a zero-sum game and others see it in terms of some sort of reparations.

    frosty (f27e97)

  44. Patterico,

    Sowell may well be right about the utility of such suite. I would be interested in learning more about what he had to say there. It’s an interesting and complex topic.

    But, if I stipulate that in the current century market efficiency would make race a non-factor in lending and housing I only have to go back to 1967 to find a time when such discrimination was legal and lending guidelines explicitly stated that loaning to minorities, immigrants, and Jews should be avoided. If the case in Indiana is a flawed example I can find another, but if would be more interesting to see Sowell’s argument then bounce back a long list of popular media summaries.

    There’s a tendency to say “we fixed the law or we did the thing now we’re done.” But if the problem, that race is a strong predictor of outcome, is still there then those actions weren’t enough. I don’t mean this to justify some far left wish list, but it’s hard to look at the data and not see there’s a problem. That the left focuses on race too much is a legitimate complaint by conservatives. But that’s about the only thing conservatives have to say on the subject.

    Time123 (b87ded)

  45. Time123 (af99e9) — 2/1/2021 @ 9:59 am

    Race, however, is a powerful predictor of if those issues will impact you.

    There’s a Jimmy Dore video recently where he interviews an old black panther about the time they worked with the KKK to deal with an issue in NV. Whatever you think about Dore the lady he interviews makes a very compelling point.

    The narrative that whites and blacks are each other’s biggest enemies is like the narrative that Jews and Romani were each other’s biggest enemies in 1930’s Germany.

    frosty (f27e97) — 2/1/2021 @ 11:15 am

    You may have to take more time to spell out what you’re trying to say. It seems like lately when I’ve assumed I understood your point or assertion from context I’ve been off target. This part: whites and blacks are each other’s biggest enemies is an assertion I don’t think anyone is seriously making so the whole thing feels like it’s arguing against a straw man.

    Time123 (b87ded)

  46. You keep identifying income and resources. Income and resources are not race.

    So if black and brown kids in well to do areas (you realize they exist, right?) are not going to school, and whites in poor areas also are not going to school, do we prioritize the black and brown kids because they are black and brown? Or do we try to assess the real problem — lack of household and community resources — and address those issues without regard to race?

    If diagnosing the problem correctly and helping out the people who need it most happens to benefit black and brown people more than white people, that should not matter pro or con, as long as the people who need the help are getting it/ The race should be irrelevant. Such a policy would still be good because it addresses the real issue. If addressing the real issue helps out more blacks and browns I guess you will be happy. If addressing the real issue helps out the kids who need it most regardless of race, I will be happy. If there is overlap between your happiness and mine, great.

    What I don’t want to see is race itself used as a substitute for other factors that are more relevant to the problem.

    Patterico (115b1f) — 2/1/2021 @ 12:49 pm

    There’s strong correlation between income, resources and race.

    Where the services are delivered is a factor, a big one, as is household income. Once you add those in your proposal; to assess the real problem — lack of household and community resources, becomes; lack of household and community resources in urban areas for low income families.

    We could make the same assertion for rural areas, but the solution sets are likely to look very different.

    So if the problem brooks identifies; that this is a large problem for non-white kids, is solved by addressing lack of household and community resources in urban areas for low income families then I’m not sure we have much to disagree on.

    Time123 (b87ded)

  47. raising the standards for blacks above what the cold hard numbers would require those standards to be.

    Some economist argued that, if that were so, the default rates for loans to blacks should be lower.

    Patterico (115b1f) — 2/1/2021 @ 12:49 pm

    If diagnosing the problem correctly and helping out the people who need it most happens to benefit black and brown people more than white people, that should not matter pro or con, as long as the people who need the help are getting it/ The race should be irrelevant.

    Except maybe in terms of politics.

    Sammy Finkelman (7bb55f)

  48. Why would we add “in urban areas” if “we could make the same assertion for rural areas”?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  49. Some economist argued that, if that were so, the default rates for loans to blacks should be lower.

    Yes, that is what I said above.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  50. Time123 (b87ded) — 2/1/2021 @ 1:18 pm

    This part: whites and blacks are each other’s biggest enemies is an assertion I don’t think anyone is seriously making so the whole thing feels like it’s arguing against a straw man.

    Based on this I’m thinking we are nowhere near the same book much less on the same page. Where do you think racism comes from? Even if you believe in systemic racism it has to come from the interactions between people. Any solution to racism is going to come from people doing things differently. Even if you believe it’s something baked into an institution or the system it was baked in by the people who were part of the institution.

    But I think I’m misunderstanding you because there absolutely are people claiming the black man’s biggest enemy is the white man and vice versa.

    frosty (f27e97)

  51. There are a lot of factors in success, economics, family history, addiction, etc, but race is one of them and we know it because we look at those factors. One main one is generational wealth. What that means in terms of race is that if one or two or three generations ago one group had an extra higher difficulty in accessing good education or good jobs or even good neighborhoods and real-estate, then the current generation is affected by that. And I think that we can all agree that, when compared with white people of the same socio-economic status and geographic area, black people generally had a harder time accessing those things in past generations.

    But what about today?

    There are still clear racial concerns today.

    In job applications, applicants who have an ethnic first name or who have been involved in ethnic extra-curricular activities get significantly fewer interview calls than applicants who don’t. (if you just want the resume audit, start on pg 26.)

    If you look at housing, it can be a problem as well. When they do paired testing research, it shows that people in minority groups are told about and shown significantly fewer units than similar white people.

    Anecdotally, a coworker of mine is married to a black man. They lives in a pretty comfortable middle/upper-middle class neighborhood. He’s an educated professional who looks like it and isn’t a particularly big guy and he drives a mid-range family sedan in a normal driving kind of way. He is occasionally stopped in his own neighborhood because “he looks like he might be lost.” My coworker has never been stopped for “looking lost” in their neighborhood. I don’t know how often such things have happened to you, but it’s never ever never ever never ever happened to me, including in their neighborhood when I was actually lost (or, well, didn’t know quite where I needed to go next).

    When you control for everything else, it becomes apparent that race is still a problem factor.

    Nic (896fdf)

  52. Nic (896fdf) — 2/1/2021 @ 2:20 pm

    When you control for everything else, it becomes apparent that race is still a problem factor.

    No, it means that you cannot control for everything else – too many factors are intangible.

    Now there are a lot of places where subjectivity comes in. It can probably be the case with every detail.

    Sammy Finkelman (7bb55f)

  53. Why would we add “in urban areas” if “we could make the same assertion for rural areas”?

    Patterico (115b1f) — 2/1/2021 @ 1:37 pm

    I think as we’re discussing it I’m assuming that the solution sets would need to be different for rural and urban areas. That’s probably something that needs to be made explicit and justified.

    Time123 (b87ded)

  54. Time123 (b87ded) — 2/1/2021 @ 1:18 pm

    This part: whites and blacks are each other’s biggest enemies is an assertion I don’t think anyone is seriously making so the whole thing feels like it’s arguing against a straw man.

    Based on this I’m thinking we are nowhere near the same book much less on the same page. Where do you think racism comes from? Even if you believe in systemic racism it has to come from the interactions between people. Any solution to racism is going to come from people doing things differently. Even if you believe it’s something baked into an institution or the system it was baked in by the people who were part of the institution.

    But I think I’m misunderstanding you because there absolutely are people claiming the black man’s biggest enemy is the white man and vice versa.

    frosty (f27e97) — 2/1/2021 @ 1:38 pm

    Personal enmity based on race is a problem. But I don’t know that it’s as big of a problem as structural issues that lead to disparate outcome. I think the biggest issue with it would be resistance to making structural changes or seeing issues that impact differently based on race and wanting to take action on them. I think in a lot of cases the baking was done so long ago that the cooks are long dead.

    I don’t think there’s much we can do about how people feel or the prejudices they hold based on stereotype or limited interaction. I don’t really think that’s a public policy issue to be honest. But if we could get some of the key outcomes around education, health and income to parity that would be great.

    Time123 (af99e9)

  55. Nic (896fdf) — 2/1/2021 @ 2:20 pm
    When you control for everything else, it becomes apparent that race is still a problem factor.
    No, it means that you cannot control for everything else – too many factors are intangible.

    Now there are a lot of places where subjectivity comes in. It can probably be the case with every detail.

    Sammy Finkelman (7bb55f) — 2/1/2021 @ 2:49 pm

    Sammy, let’s talk income gap. Look at the attached and tell me at what point do you think race stopped being a factor on income? When do you think the data shows that blacks had ‘caught up’ from the impact of slavery and jim crow?

    https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2016/06/27/1-demographic-trends-and-economic-well-being/

    Time123 (af99e9)

  56. @52 Actually, in a resume audit, you can control for everything on the applicant side. You are making up the resumes. They can be exactly the same except for the name on the top if you want. On the reviewer side you create the controls by sending them out to a wide range of reviewers (which they did) and if there weren’t any broad-based societal viewpoints, it would even out into nothing being statistically significant. Since that did not happen and there was a statistical significance in responses, we know that race was an issue.

    Nic (896fdf)

  57. nk,

    I have to give you applause for this line from the weekend thread: “I see the snake as defanged and gumming its own tail.” You are one hilarious dude.

    norcal (b4d7b1)

  58. Thank you, norcal.

    nk (1d9030)

  59. This guy doesn’t realize it’s already well underway in terms of population shifts and jobs acquired; though Georgia-style electoral hijinks are not necessarily a net positive:

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/blacks-should-move-to-the-south-to-gain-greater-political-economic-power-nyt-columnist-charles-blow-140625014.html

    urbanleftbehind (8404e3)

  60. Probably not. As much as the absence of trolls might be nice, it sounds too much like an echo chamber.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  61. I agree, Kevin. rcocean and beer n pretzels gave some good arguments for the other side.

    norcal (b4d7b1)

  62. I don’t think my response was “flip” at all. Race matters because history matters. Historically, race mattered because race was what allowed for the oppression of a large population. Eventually, our legal system developed mechanisms to try to prevent that historically prevalent oppression. Those mechanisms include heightened scrutiny for certain adverse actions taken against racial minorities. I think tiers of scrutiny associated with protected classes are appropriate, historically and culturally and legally.

    The history of race in America informed the efforts to prevent racism in America. Race dictated oppression in many ways, and now race dictates mitigation and intervention in many ways. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on heightened scrutiny for protected classes. Do you think it is bad policy?

    Leviticus (617dc1)

  63. Kelly Thomas Wiki:
    On September 21, 2011, Orange County district attorney Tony Rackauckas held a press conference to announce the results of the investigation. Rackauckas announced that according to the Orange County coroner, the cause of death was “asphyxia caused by mechanical chest compression with blunt cranial-facial injuries sustained during physical altercation with law enforcement.” Rackauckas said Thomas died because of the force of the officers on his chest, which made it impossible for him to breathe, causing Thomas to become unconscious. He then became comatose, and died when taken off life support five days later.

    According to Rackauckas, the coroner stated that the injuries to Thomas’ face and head contributed to his death. Also contributing to his death were brain injuries, facial and rib fractures, and the extensive bruising and abrasions he suffered during the beating, which left him lying in a “growing pool of blood”, Rackauckas said. The toxicology report shows that Thomas had no illicit drugs or alcohol in his system.[65] Thomas was bleeding severely, and struggled while pleading, “I can’t breathe”, and “Dad, help me.” The DA stated that the officers did not reduce their level of force during the nearly 10-minute assault.[66]

    In contrast, Dr. Gary Vilke (a professor of clinical emergency medicine at UC San Diego) testified for the defense during the trial. He has investigated in-custody deaths for 20 years and has published studies on “mechanical compression.”[67] He testified, “I know he was breathing when the officers got off him because he was still talking.” “As far as the cause of death, it’s not asphyxiation.” [68] The defense also implied medical treatment could have played a part in Thomas’s death (hospital records reportedly showed that a tube placed down his windpipe to assist his breathing had been pushed too far).[69] The prosecution dismissed these claims, saying they did not apply and their value was not great enough.[67]

    steveg (43b7a5)

  64. Douglas Zerby Wiki:
    At 4:45 pm, LBPD Officers Jeffrey Shurtleff and Victor Ortiz shot Zerby as he was sitting on a step of an apartment complex in the Belmont Shore neighborhood playing with a hose nozzle. He was at the apartment to visit his friend. A neighbor had called police reporting that a man had a “six-shooter” gun in a backyard and was waving it around. Zerby was drunk with a blood alcohol content of 0.42 percent and was reportedly pointing the nozzle at the officers who arrived at the scene, according to authorities. The two officers claimed to have mistaken the device for a gun and opened fire without warning. The officers fired a shotgun and a handgun, hitting Zerby 12 times. Zerby suffered from four fatal wounds. He was struck in the lower leg and chest areas.

    steveg (43b7a5)

  65. Of these two incidents, I was the most outraged by the Kelly Thomas incident. One of the officers (who I will not name) stopped talking with Thomas to pull on gloves and told him “I am going to f*** you up” Then Thomas was beaten to death. “I can’t breathe” he said as six large cops sat on him and punched in his nose and face.

    steveg (43b7a5)

  66. Zerby was drunk and did not deserve to die, but it was a pistol style hose nozzle and am inclined to give the cops a break. That said, I like to think I can see the difference between a “six shooter” and a hose nozzle from a distance that amounts to across my garage but gave cops a break because:
    A. I knew what I was looking for
    B. I was not there to see how the hose nozzle was gripped and how clear it could be seen
    My expectations of police being keen observers was not met, but god forgive me I’d have voted not to convict.
    Point is white people get shot for stupid s*** too

    steveg (43b7a5)

  67. steveg (43b7a5) — 2/1/2021 @ 8:43 pm

    Initial reports claimed that Thomas had been very combative with officers and two had suffered broken bones. Later, the police department confirmed that no officers had suffered any broken bones, and that no one other than Thomas had any significant injuries. Department supervisors were criticized for allowing the involved officers to watch the video of the incident before writing their reports. In 2020 it was also revealed supervisors had subsequently made changes to these reports.

    Given the beating inflicted I’m surprised the officers didn’t have at least some broken bones in their hands.

    frosty (f27e97)

  68. steveg (43b7a5) — 2/1/2021 @ 8:43 pm

    Initial reports claimed that Thomas had been very combative with officers and two had suffered broken bones. Later, the police department confirmed that no officers had suffered any broken bones, and that no one other than Thomas had any significant injuries. Department supervisors were criticized for allowing the involved officers to watch the video of the incident before writing their reports. In 2020 it was also revealed supervisors had subsequently made changes to these reports.

    Given the beating inflicted I’m surprised the officers didn’t have at least some broken bones in their hands.

    frosty (f27e97) — 2/1/2021 @ 9:09 pm

    I don’t think we do a good enough job with managing officers who make mistakes around use of force. I don’t have the answer, but the results don’t seem in line with what we’d want.

    Time123 (36651d)

  69. I don’t think we do a good enough job with managing officers who make mistakes around use of force.

    Way to go out on a limb, there, with leftist, socialist, liberal, radical, extremist, anti-police rhetoric, Time123.

    I don’t have the answer, but the results don’t seem in line with what we’d want.

    Increase the number of people who are not badge-lickers and reduce the number who are, to the point where a police union’s or fraternal association’s support of a politician is a liability and not an asset. Which is what Black Lives Matter is trying to do. I don’t hold out much hope.

    nk (1d9030)

  70. He police are worse, and sometimes much worse, in many other countries. There may be something in the nature of police work that can cause bad results.

    Sammy Finkelman (5b302e)

  71. Patterico @40:

    Namely, if redlining is true, that means that banks are irrationally denying loans to qualified black applicants, solely because of their race, and thus raising the standards for blacks above what the cold hard numbers would require those standards to be….

    Redlining hand racial discrimination has been illegal since the late 1960s. But in the era when it was legal, it was rational, because mortgages were very long term plans, and in many places, blacks could not buy, and when they suddenly could, it was a predictor of problems in the future in that neighborhood, because of the way, real estate brokers and municipal and county governments worked. Naturally, this is not a proper way to deal with this. But the everpresent desire to curb government spending played a role in writing off communities.

    Nowadays there is an attempt to prove racial discrimination by statistical means.

    But if the standards for blacks were truly higher, you would see better performance by those debtors and fewer defaults, not more defaults.

    Not necessarily. It could be that the standards” for granting mortgages were largely irrelevant and the lack of competition in banks taking a different approach resulted in all banks using the same rules.

    They did begin to compete in the 1990s.

    It turned out that the only factor that mattered was a loan applicant’s credit score (and credit scored are ad were were devised in way that did not include income, which is hard to verify and predict).

    A secondary factor was income (again, not a factor in a credit score) and income in relation to payment (a very crude calculation existed that ignored different tax rates in different states) but income and ability to pay only mattered for the first year. If someone got through one year, they didn’t intend to default and it was rarely fraud because fraudsters had less patience.

    The reason defaults increased starting in 2007 was because of another input banks used in deciding whether or not to make loans: appraisals of the value of a house. The system they used had no way of recognizing that the cost of housing was in a massive, years long bubble.

    The bubble was caused by the Federal Reserve Board first lowering interest rates and then raising them, combined with a proliferation of adjustable rate mortgages (which so long as housing prices were going up, was not a problem, because a homeowner unable to meet payments would either re-finance or sell) and a trend toward making houses more and more affordable for people by reducing the amount of equity needed.

    At first, the effect of foreclosures was to delay the forced sale of houses in foreclosure or otherwise but eventually the market crashed and loans went bad.

    Sammy Finkelman (5b302e)

  72. It was thought that technical factors absolutely prevented housing prices from declining because the selling price of a house was not fixed but was the result of a negotiation, and nobody would voluntarily sell for less than the value of the mortgage. They’d just bargain harder.

    Sammy Finkelman (5b302e)

  73. #51
    I’ve been stopped in LA for driving in a black neighborhood
    At first they thought I was looking to buy drugs, but after we got that settled, I was happy to get a guided tour back to the freeway. It helped that I am from 120 miles to the north

    steveg (43b7a5)

  74. #70
    I also got lost in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and was going the wrong way on a one way street around the national prison back in 1980. It was also turned out to be a restricted area to all traffic which is why it seemed like a great place to turn and get out of traffic.
    The people at the church we were helping heard about it and started poking me and asking if I was hurting from the beating that must have ocurred. Very happy Uncle Sam was paying more than a few bills in Honduras at the time and no one wanted to beat the hell out of me and run the risk of screwing some luminaries grift.
    Posted this before about getting flagged by a .50 cal M2 twice in El Salvador. Once by a guy in the back of a US Army surplus Troop carry truck and another time by the door gunner in a Huey… the wall behind me was already shot to shit. Having your life and safety in the hands of the authorities seems better in the USA, but have to admit part of that feeling is due to familiarity with the process and US privilege. Simply by virtue of my credit card, I am the richest person for miles….

    steveg (43b7a5)


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