Re: Social Engineering (was: Different patriarchy Model)

Gerold Firl (
17 Jan 1995 13:04:47 -0800

In article <3eunco$> (Camilla Cracchiolo) writes:
>Gerold Firl ( wrote:

>: afro-american culture has been comparitively unsuccessful at socialising
>: its members in such a way as to avoid incarceration. Most people agree that
>: the slammer is no fun; I don't think I'm being particularly ethnocentric by
>: using criminality as a measure of social disfunction. Do you disagree?

>To begin with, all studies agree that 1) the majority of people in prison
>are there for petty drug possession

I would be very interested in seeing your references for this claim. I have
read that nearly half of all people in prison were convicted on "drug
related" charges, but I do not believe that you will find that they are in
for simple possesion.

>2) that African Americans use drugs
>at a *lower* rate than the white population and 3) that African Americans
>are represented in prison in much higher percentages than the rest of the
>population. This suggests to me (and to many other intelligent folks)
>that what we have here is a problem of selective enforcement rather than
>poor socialization.

Lets look at murder rates. My data is from the economist magazine, several
weeks ago. And in case you were wondering, almost all murders are "solved";
the killer is found. (Note: this is from memory). In western europe, murder
rates are around 1 per 100,000 males. In the US, they are much higher, but
largely due to the extremely high rates among blacks; the white murder rate
is around 2/100,000, while the rate for blacks is something like
10-14/100,000 (uncertainty due my memory, not the actual data).

This is not selective enforcement. This is an objective statement of the
fact that blacks commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime. We were
trying to understand the how and why; how this phenomenon evolved out of
the social realities on american race relations. Many people are unable to
deal with this question. They are so concerned about avoiding any semblence
of racism that they can not acknowledge any responsibility on the part of
the oppressed groups in generating maladaptive behavior. And when I use the
term "responsibility", I do not use in a legalistic sense, implying
culpability. I simply mean that the end results were a consequence of
factors *internal* to the culture.

>I'll dig up my statistics and sources and post them. How bout you?

My statistics are pretty anecdotal, though the reference from the economist
is recent and presumably reliable. If you can add more complete data,
please do. Note however that your earlier claim that "most" people in
prison were in for "petty drug possesion" is probably false.

Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf