Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

RE: Black and Blue at Slate

Jamelle Boui makes a huge blunder over at Slate:
The glib response to stats on blacks and police is to cite so-called “black crime” or “black criminality.” But this depends on a major analytical error. Yes, blacks are overrepresented in arrest and conviction rates. At the same time, “criminal blacks” are a tiny, unrepresentative fraction of all black Americans. If you walked into a group of 1,000 randomly selected blacks, the vast majority—upward of 998—would never have had anything to do with violent crime. To generalize from the two is to confuse the specific (how blacks are represented among criminals) with the general (how criminals are represented among blacks). Statisticians call this a “base rate error,” and you should try to avoid it.
What Jamelle should avoid doing is not understanding the point about "black crime".

While it is certainly the case that the vast majority of black people do not commit crimes. That is not the point at all when it comes to policing and "black crime". First lets deal with one problem with Jamelle's point:

1)"If you walked into a group of 1,000 randomly selected blacks, the vast majority—upward of 998—would never have had anything to do with violent crime."

Well actually:

For Black males in their thirties, 1 in every 10 is in prison or jail on any given day.
And the rest of the nifty chart:

So I don't know where Jamelle got her information from but it's wrong. I'm not surprised though because the vast majority of black folks who are up trying to defend the dignity of black folks (which is a noble thing) are really not clued in to just how messed up our group is. They really have not sat down with the statistics and reports and seen how bad it is, particularly for those of us who are poor. One of the reasons for this is because the media, where many people get their impressions on who does crime, particularly murder, the race of individuals who commit these crimes are regularly and purposely left out or the crime simply not discussed. If you want to know who committed a crime in a given place you usually have to know the neighborhood or city.

Take St. Louis since it's on people's minds: in 2013, of 113 homicides, 111 of them were black people. When you have that kind of situation, you simply cannot, in anything resembling good faith, write what Jamelle wrote.

The truth of the matter is that in many places, crime committed by black males constitutes the vast majority of the crime committed in those jurisdictions. Having said that, lets directly address Jamelle's confusions claim:

To generalize from the two is to confuse the specific (how blacks are represented among criminals) with the general (how criminals are represented among blacks). Statisticians call this a “base rate error,” and you should try to avoid it.
How blacks are represented among criminals: Way out of proportion to their population in the country. How criminals are represented among blacks: Way out of proportion to their population in the country as compared to other populations in the US.

Hopefully that clears things up. Probably not, it's been shown that left leaning individuals have a hard time with maths.