What??? writes:

oxEph – Stop the sophistry, it’s transparent. I’m sure you’re smart enough to know that the “state of public safety” in any particular area is determined almost entirely by the behavior of the citizenry. I live in NYC. Last year black people committed 182 murders here. White people committed 8. “Systems of policing” don’t begin to explain such an appalling disparity. Armed robberies? About 15,000 committed by black people, fewer than 1,000 committed by whites. NYC is 1/3 white and 1/4 black.

You are correct that the current state of affairs is both heartbreaking and unacceptable, but I’m not convinced that actually addressing the problem is your first priority. The first step in managing a problem is acknowledging it – with honesty. You refuse to do that. In this case, given the stakes, that’s quite appalling.

OxEph notes:

You’re correct that disparate outcomes don’t necessarily indicate the existence of structural/systemic racism. There may be other explanations. The question really is: how persuasive are the alternative explanations (not very) and how much non-empirical evidence is there for structural racism (lots). It might be a logical fallacy to rest one’s argument for structural racism solely on the existence of differential outcomes, but it’s no stronger of a position to dismiss those differential outcomes outright. In academic field after academic field, experts have evaluated these sorts of questions in great detail and concluded that structural racism provides the best explanation for a wide range of differential outcomes. You might think that you’re smarter than public health experts and legal experts and sociology experts (and on and on). I, for one, don’t.

I may have this thread out of order and OxEph may not be arguing with What??? My point is that these two positions are worth exploring in depth. So, let’s explore them!

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