You there, reading this blog. You are a racist. A racist, biased, bigoted bastard!
Didn't know that, did you? That's because you're not conscious of your racism. But you are. You are unconsciously biased, you miserable rednecked throwback.
That is the conclusion of the Dane County Task Force on Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System.
Why does the Task Force come to this conclusion? Because too many people of minority races are being arrested and sent to jail.
What do you mean, "too many?" Are innocent people being rounded up and sent to the hoosegow for no other reason than their pigmentation? No, but minorities are being arrested and jailed in proportions greater, relative to their total populations, than the majority race. If you define that as racist, then Dane County is racist.
And the Dane County Task Force on Racial Disparities defines this statistic as proof of racism.
The Task Force issued its report last September. Now the Democrat/Progressive Dane leaders of our county have appointed a group of liberals to implement its recommendations. There are all kinds of recommendations. Hang onto your wallets while our liberal friends spend valuable resources trying to fix what ain't broken.
Here are some of the Task Force's findings:
- Roughly half of adults and 53 percent of juveniles arrested by the Madison Police Department are black though they only make up 6.4 percent of the population.
- Black men in Dane County are 21 times more likely to be incarcerated than white men.
- Blacks in Dane County were 100 times more likely to be imprisoned on a drug conviction than whites, the second highest disparity in the nation, and 23 times more likely to be sentenced for a non-drug offense, the nation's highest.
The most racist in the nation?
Does this pass the smell test? Dane County is the most racist in the nation? That's too wild even for Mr. Z-Exclamation Point, isn't it?
This is a county that voted for a black man for President by almost a 3 to 1 margin. This is a city whose cops are led by a black chief of police. I live in an aldermanic district that elected a Vietnamese immigrant to the Common Council.
Well, says the task force, at fault is the phenomenon of "unconscious bias." This "unconscious bias" can "to some extent" be overcome with something called "conscious thought ... but only with effort," it says on Page 7 of the Task Force report.
Paging Jack Handy. These are deep thoughts!
Here is why the entire premise is flawed: bad methodology. Let's turn to Page 5 of the Task Force Report.
In 2006 there were 201 whites and 301 blacks admitted to prison from Dane County. Dividing the white number by the total number of white adults in Dane County (228,683) and then multiplying by 100,000 yields the white prison admission rate of 88 per 100,000. The same calculation for blacks (population 13,368) yields a rate of 2,252 per 100,000 in Dane County.
What the Task Force discovered was that more black people are arrested and go to prison from Dane County relative to their total population than white people. What it does not say is why that is a miscarriage of justice.
Let us understand the word "disparity." It means only "dissimilar, different." It does not mean "unjust" or "inequitable" or "unfair." So, yes, there is a disparity. The question is this: Are the people doing the crime being arrested or are they being set free due to racial considerations? The Report never makes that case.
Are people doing the time for the crime? Or are they being scapegoated? Are murderers, bank robbers, heroin dealers, burglars, muggers, scam artists and bike thieves being set free when the investigating officer discovers their pale white skin? That is the logical inference.
Otherwise, the conclusion of the Task Force, unintentionally racist though it may be, is that black people should be cut some extra slack for criminal activity because of their ... their ... Folks, do we really want to go there? Is reverse discrimination the answer? Who does that benefit? No one.
Take out your checkbooks
All this would be merry melodies and loony tunes if it wasn't for The Kathleen and Scott McDonell's intention to implement these shibboleths on the backs of the taxpayers.
Yeah, the task force has made more than 80 recommendations, the sure sign of a shotgun approach. throw up enough buckshot and maybe you'll hit something.
- Despite "significant use" of deferred compensation programs in Dane County, the committee recommends "additional funding" for still more.
- Hire a criminal justice grant writer.
- Increase funding for community-based organizations to prevent entry or reentry into the criminal justice system.
- More mental health treatment.
- "Invest" in "pro-active neighborhood-based initiatives in low-opportunity neighborhoods." (What the hell is that?)
- Encourage the Sheriff NOT to contact Immigration and Customs Enforcement for inmates jailed on minor offenses.
- Hold classes "targeted at communities of color to help people have a basic understanding of their rights."
What? That's the problem? "Communities of color" don't understand their rights? Some of us think society today, regardless of race, is more concerned about rights to the detriment of responsibilities. Madame Brenda must be ecstatic. Madison doesn't need more cops on the street; it needs more ACLU lawyers.
I have saved the best (worst) for last: Racial impact studies. Yes, before you write a law or an ordinance, county board members "as well as other decision makers should routinely develop written racial impact statements" before passing ordinances or implementing policies.
In other words, if you think more (pick the racial/gender classification) might be snared in the legal dragnet then don't pass the law. Under that reasoning, let's legalize embezzlement. True fact: women are disproportionately arrested for embezzlement. That's a "disparity."
I did unearth one Task Force proposal that makes some sense: "community education" "teaching strategies to help people take personal responsibility to keep themselves free of the criminal justice system"
We used to call that "church" and "mom and/or dad." We used to call that "school" back when teachers could teach morality, back when discipline was the first lesson.
Who are the real racists?
Well, you get what you pay for -- and who you assign to your task forces.
Firstly, make certain there are no conservatives among the 21 appointees. Name a Doyle political appointee as chair, stir in two NAACP activists and two university sociologists, add Prog Dane Sup. Barbara Vedder, a public defender, and a couple of Madison-area Urban Ministry types and you have a Task Force. For good measure, staff it with the Dane County Office of Equal Opportunity.
Why is the color of the criminal's skin important to anyone but a racist?
The influx of criminals into our community is documented. "People are being funneled up here from Illinois with heavy weapons violations ... Gangster Disciples and other groups are coming up here and they are used to 'taking care of business' in a different way. The level of violence and the threat of violence is greater than normal," Meadowood community police officer John Amos reported last summer.
The Task Force comes dangerously close to the real answer when it writes, on Page 5, that "Dane County's white residents are, on average, highly educated and relatively affluent, while a large proportion of its black and Latino residents live in poverty and nearly half ... do not graduate from high school."
Personal responsibility? What's that?
Isn't that the solution? Not dumbing down the criminal justice system but, to the contrary, enforcing laws so that strivers are free to learn, to graduate from school, to work, to save, to prosper free from intimidation by gangs or the societally corrosive effects of drug use.
How about sending the unambiguous message that real men respect the lives and property of others.
Police Chief Noble Wray shined a Wray of sunlight into the Task Force proceedings in a statement that survived the editorial bias of the Task Force authors:
While officials work to reduce disparities within the system, (Madison Police Chief Noble) Wray stresses that there also needs to be a sea change in the attitudes of the offenders.
"This will not change unless there is personal responsibility on the part of the people who are being arrested," he says.
Yes, "a sea change." Instead, the Dane County Task Force on Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System wants the State of Wisconsin to quit suspending drivers' licenses for things like failure to pay child support, drug violations and unpaid traffic citations.
Hey, you can't make me pay for that kid, I might lose my driver's license!
Advisory to Platinum Subscribers: Blaska's Blog will be taking a hiatus later this week; the Squire will return to the Stately Manor (figuratively speaking) after Independence Day.