Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The OLD TRUMP Was Right About Crime, Race, And Incarceration

Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
On Thursday, coinciding with Kanye West’s visit to the Oval Office, President Trump made a bizarre and shocking comment that we need to support legislation that, among other things, retroactively releases drug traffickers, because it “is very unfair to African-Americans.”
The comment was bizarre because Trump previously mocked the purveyors of this talking point for the simple reason that there is a racial disparity in rates of violent crimes across the board. Drug trafficking in a vacuum has very little to do with it. Supporters of jailbreak claim that black people are disproportionately incarcerated, particularly for what they believe to be “low-level” or “nonviolent” crimes or drug charges. But the sad reality is that, as Trump himself used to say, black people commit a disproportionate share of violent crime and are also disproportionately the victims of those crimes. Thus, incarceration is just the natural symptom of the broader problem.
Here is a sampling of what Trump used to say:
Sadly, the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our major cities is committed by blacks and hispanics-a tough subject-must be discussed.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2013
When it comes to violent crime, and if we are going to solve the problem, we must stop being so politically correct-must tell it like it is!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2013
Likewise, the primary victims of violent crimes are in the African American and Hispanic communities. These people want LAW AND ORDER now!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2013
The reality that Trump once understood is that black people are incarcerated more than white people because they commit crimes at much higher rates, commensurate with their incarceration rate. He also understood that most of this crime was violent crime, not simple drug possessions, and that overwhelmingly, the victims of that violence are also black. So why is Trump suddenly buying in to this nonsense?
And nonsense it is. As Charles Lane wrote in the Washington Post a few years ago, “Blacks make up 37.5 percent of all state prisoners, about triple their share of the population as a whole, according to the Justice Department. If we released all 208,000 people currently in state prison on a drug charge, the proportion of African Americans in state prison would still be 37 percent.”
So this has nothing to do with drug charges. It’s all about violent crime rates. While black people compose roughly 37.5 percent of the prison population, they have consistently accounted for at least 39 percent of the violent-crime arrests.
So what is the latest crime data on violent crime categories?
Read the rest from Daniel Horowitz HERE.

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