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see, the problem is - Sisyphus Shrugged
Lasciate ogni speranza and put your feet up.
see, the problem is
there's an argument making its way around wonkish circles which claims that Mr. Bennett's unpleasant ruminations on race and crime were merely an extreme illustration of a point he was trying to make about the immorality of abortion.

This I do not buy. If you want a strong statistical correlation between birthstate and crime prevention, the most obvious form of useful infanticide would be killing boys. Odd that didn't occur to him.

However: Mr. Bennett made it clear today that he was not exploring his listeners' prejudices, he was expressing his own
TAPPER: But why immediately link blacks and crime? Bennett told me on the phone that race was on his mind because of recent stories in the media about New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

BENNETT (audio clip): Stories about looting and shooting and gangs and roving gangs and so on. ... I'm sorry if people are hurt, I really am. But we can't say this is an area of American public policy that we're not allowed to talk about race and crime.

Yep. Stories about looting and shooting and roving gangs.

Except that as it turned out, what there really was in New Orleans was almost none of the violence we heard about (except mostly for the Gretna Sheriff's Dept) and people who were left to die by the federal government engaging in that activity which in white people is referred to as "finding food"

Bennett wasn't trying to make a point. He was playing poke the liberals, and he said something foul and racist, which, amazingly, people who should know better are giving him a pass on.

They shouldn't.

edit: Still think he might have a point? Well, read this and see if you think that the wildly disparate treatment given to black and white first offenders, from referral to prosecution to sentencing makes you think that the problem is something intrinsic to black children rather than a criminal justice system with an attitude like Mr. Bennett's.

What's most interesting here is that he claims he was making reference to Freakonomics. Here, the author of Freakonomics on the abortion question raised in his book
As an aside, it has been both fascinating and disturbing to me how the media have insisted on reporting this as a study about race, when race really is not an integral part of the story. The link between abortion and unwantedness, and also between unwantedness and later criminality, have been shown most clearly in Scandinavian data. Abortion rates among African-Americans are higher, but overall, far more abortions are done by whites. None of our analysis is race-based because the crime data by race is generally not deemed reliable.

and yet somehow Bennett got to race. Fancy that.
ahhhs. -- hmmm?
jackiejj From: jackiejj Date: October 1st, 2005 12:01 am (UTC) (linkie thing)
Ultimately, he won't get a pass on this.

It's too disgusting and too visual and totally insensitive...

Those who pass him on it will pick up the muck on their own shoes.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 1st, 2005 12:47 am (UTC) (linkie thing)

I know I'm not the first to notice this . . .

. . . but there seems to be these twin processes that came out of Katrina: (1) A poor, overwhelmingly black population that had previously been pretty much out-of-sight-out-of-mind suddenly comes front-and-center; accompanied by

(2) the Right's publicly vomiting forth the inherent racism that they usually manage to keep to themselves (or at least, away from microphones). Don't want to get too airy-fairy here, but it's as if their hatred was one more filthy effluent flushed in with the storm, along with the rats, chemicals and feces.
jmhm From: jmhm Date: October 1st, 2005 01:22 am (UTC) (linkie thing)

Re: I know I'm not the first to notice this . . .

it's the same process that started the ranker of their pundits trashing 9/11 survivors when the Jersey Girls started making noise. They can only be seen to be behaving immorallly to someone they have convinced everyone else is Bad.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 1st, 2005 02:58 pm (UTC) (linkie thing)

Re: I know I'm not the first to notice this . . .

That was, of course, a political process... kind of like "swift-boating"... no group, no matter how previously perceived as loyal, gets to criticize the Imperium, even a little...

No, no: what Bennett is doing is far more explicit: we have the likes of John Roberts on the high court, merrily trying to continue Bill "Polling Place Thug and Opponent of Brown v. Bd of Ed" Rehnquist's tradition of trying to keep the swarthy in their place... and we have the hurricane, which, as you noted, washed away the veneer.

Bennett's point could just as easily have been stated in an utterly "p.c." way, simply by saying, "take the prior ten year's crime statistics, and isolate the characterstics of perpetrators of crimes, and simply abort all children from those groups, and you'll probably lower the crime rate in the future..."

Note how inconvenient it might be to actually ask WHY one particular group remains in a state of poverty and in a state where they are most likely to be the victims of crimes, as well as the most likely perpetrators, about the entire concept of drug crimes and sentencing structures that punish, say, crack cocaine far harder than powdered cocaine...

No, no... TOO inconvenient...

--the talking d og
jmhm From: jmhm Date: October 1st, 2005 03:02 pm (UTC) (linkie thing)

Re: I know I'm not the first to notice this . . .

or, you know, that convicted first time black offenders are six times more likely to go to prison than convicted first time white offenders for the same crime, which statistically puts them in line for far higher rates of reoffence, inability to get a job, increased probability that their kids will offend - because nobody wants to be the one who puts an end to a white kid's chances, but they don't figure a black kid who has committed a crime has a future.

And then they make it so.
bugsybanana From: bugsybanana Date: October 1st, 2005 04:44 am (UTC) (linkie thing)
Thanks for saying this. I'd been contemplating posting about how dangerous it is to cut Bennett any slack in an environment where Modest Proposals can so easily be taken literally, regardless of whether he was intending it as such or not (I do not want to accord him any dog-whistle style plausible deniability ex post facto), but I never got around to it. Keep it up as long as it needs to, and you can handle it. This shit is how Rwandas get started.
jmhm From: jmhm Date: October 1st, 2005 04:54 am (UTC) (linkie thing)
I don't really feel a need to be balanced with people who have their thumb on the scale.
jmhm From: jmhm Date: October 1st, 2005 05:03 am (UTC) (linkie thing)
and you know, I grew up in Greenwich Village. We moved into one of the first buildings of the co-op boom. Some friends of mine from school lived in the same building. We all lived with our divorced moms, lived in the same building, went to the same nursery school, kindergarten, elementary, intermediate

but their dad was black and mine wasn't.

And unless we were with them, the cops used to roust them from our stoop.

I can keep it up.
ahhhs. -- hmmm?