“The drug war has been brutal — complete with SWAT teams, tanks, bazookas, grenade launchers, and sweeps of entire neighborhoods — but those who live in white communities have little clue to the devastation wrought. This war has been waged almost exclusively in poor communities of color, even though studies consistently show that people of all colors use and sell illegal drugs at remarkably similar rates. In fact, some studies indicate that white youth are significantly more likely to engage in illegal drug dealing than black youth. Any notion that drug use among African Americans is more severe or dangerous is belied by the data. White youth, for example, have about three times the number of drug-related visits to the emergency room as their African American counterparts.”
How the War on Drugs Gave Birth to a Permanent American Undercaste - RaceTalk (via tiredofbeingignored) (via clingtomymouth)
Let’s stop for a second here - don’t white people in America outnumber black people 7-to-1? Shouldn’t then American white youth have 7 times the number of drug-related visits to the emergency as their African American counterparts - if population susceptibility is to be the same? This article doesn’t state whether it 3x as many visits per capita, or 3x as many visits overall.
If it is indeed 3x as many visits overall, then black youth are still making more drug-related hospital visits per capita, since they are 1/7th the white population, but equal 1/3rd the rate of white admissions.
And this my friends is another botched case of statistical reporting without raw figures and ham journalism.
[emphasis added for effect. I’m lacking sensationalist headlines today]
How so? The article was not saying one group is better or worst because they do more drugs. They are making the argument that the drug war disproportionately affects one group and that legislation presented to curb one problem in reality actually further perpetuates the problem. And enforcement is selective.
Let us use your numbers and logic.
# of whites : # of blacks = 7:1
Assuming hospital rates are total and not per capita
drug-related hospital visits - white : black = 3:1
therefore expected ratio of arrested for drug-related offences - white:black = 7/3 : 1
And yet the actual ratio in some states - white:black+brown+other=1:5 to 1:10
You really need a refresher in statistics if you think this doesn’t reflect some inherent bias (intentional or otherwise) on behalf of those responsible for arresting and prosecuting these offenders.
That article also says, “There are more African Americans under correctional control today — in prison or jail, on probation or parole — than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began.”
In 1850 America’s population was only 23 million people. It’s over TEN TIMES that. Correspondingly, no shit there are now more black people in correctional facilities. There are also now more gay people, more of latinic origin, and more of everything.
I just don’t see what point you’re trying to make. That this statistic is irrelevant? Fair enough. Of course that doesn’t really take away from any of the other arguments. It’s part of a broader narrative, excerpted from the book. You essentially found one sentence in this article that is irrelevant. Alright. How exactly does it weaken her other arguments?