Instigator / Pro
4
1668
rating
61
debates
67.21%
won
Topic

The majority of current policing racial disparities in the United States are a result of police racism.

Status
Voting

Participant that receives the most points from the voters is declared a winner.

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Politics
Time for argument
Three days
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1757
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31
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Description
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Resolution: The majority of current policing racial disparities in the United States are a result of police racism.

A racial disparity is a statistical disparity between two racial groups that can be caused by a number of factors. The majority will be established as over 50% for this debate. Policing racial disparities are racial disparities that pertain only to the actions and conduct of the United States police force in interaction with society and the community at large. Police racism is racism committed by the United States police alone pertaining to their actions or conduct/interaction with society at large. With respect to "current," in this debate, police racism can be evaluated from the year 2000 and upwards. Pro argues that these disparities are majorly due to police racism, con argues against this.

The police are the civil force of a national or local government, responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and the maintenance of public order. No other system will be debated in this engagement. Attempting to do so will result in a conduct violation. As a default, sources may not be posed in the comments, and doing so will result in an automatic loss.

Factors or variables outside of racism are factors that are not racism. Racism will be defined as prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized. Our debate places the burden of proof on pro. Conclusively, these definitions set the framework of our debate, and con accepts all terms and definitions upon acceptance of this challenge.

Round 1
Pro
Incarceration and Crime
 
Blacks are being contained at a severely inappropriate and alarming rate. There is no explanation for this besides the systemic inequality in the system.
 
One scholarly article goes well into depth about this problem. It opens up with a strong statistic. "while making up only approximately 12% of the U.S. population, African Americans constitute 49% of its inmates." [CRI1] The expert continues on government actions taken against police’s racist judgments. The proportion of minorities arrested is alarming, especially since it is unreasonably high, with over 35% cars pulled over with only 13% containing the passenger or driver. 
 
The author then provides extra context, adding on the war on drugs as an additional problem. "the federal sentencing guidelines … dispense more severe punishments for ... African Americans, than for ... White Americans." The disproportional rate of guilty to the arrest is appalling. The author highlights that African Americans are only 13% of the population and drug users, "however, [they] constitute 35% of drug arrests, 55% of drug convictions, and 74% of drug imprisonments." This is no longer a mere correlation, this is causation due to the police’s natural biases getting in the way of their jobs. 
 
After this, the author notes how the amendments do not protect minorities. There is an impossible way to enforce Equal Protection, displaying that the judicial branch didn't help reduce systemic racism. "Even in the United States v. Clary,153 … the district court [failed to focus on] actual results by attempting to prove that its purpose was subconsciously discriminatory.."  
 
Silton further follows through with the nail in the coffin, noting how the Supreme Court's interpretations precisely destroyed the Constitutional amendments themselves, by lowering the standard to "mere articulable suspicion."
 
Though opponents suggest that blacks may commit more crimes, more in-depth research proves that Hispanics are the ones especially at risk in this argument. Within the point of black-and-white prison rates, the true overrepresentation is due to Hispanics inherently having a disadvantage. The key takeaway to a lengthy study display that due to their inability to understand the law, lack of resources, and poorness, they are overrepresented in prison [CRI2]. In the expert's words, officials believe they are less likely to rehabilitate -- despite lack of backing for this, lacking resources against sanctions, and especially limited English language skills. And so they conclude, "the white–Hispanic gaps in arrest and incarceration are large." Remember that my argument is primarily that we are partially at fault with assuming minorities to be criminals or evil, merely due to the societal disparities. 
 
In summary, the standards for arrest are lower for blacks and other minorities, thus, the systemic racism is contributed through our laws’ loose restrictions. 

Impacts
 
There are also inherent problems within the police themselves, causing inequality and enforcing the racial profiling stereotype that we have in the US. In yet another study, it's noted that "...the Police Services and local media discourse enact gaslighting... included a sense of alienation, disenfranchisement from the community, and distrust toward the police." [CRI5] This has long been used and is continued to be allowed in the US. And police further yet another reason behind systemic racism. The impact of the police's bias is clear and has caused the public to also believe that serving as part of the system, the police are part of the systemic racism. 
 
David Williams is a famous researcher who proved my precise point here. The inherent problems of racism on multiple levels have caused countless deaths and jailing in terms of crimes. Socioeconomic inequality alone cannot explain this statistic [CRI3]. The combination of structural, cultural, and individual racism makes up the undeniability of Systemic racism.
 
Addressing Concerns
 
Some opponents may argue with the well-known study by David Johnson that white police are no more likely to shoot minorities, however, this has received much criticism. As Science Magazine tells, Knox and Princeton political scientists noticed that the conclusion was too hasty. It was possible that all police could be biased against blacks, and that the study assumes the “black and white officers encounter black civilians in equal numbers” [CRI4]. With the counter study from 2015 that “unarmed black men are 3.5 times more likely to be killed by police than unarmed white men”, the relationship of benchmark to population or crime rate is much clearer here. Furthermore, the authors had retracted the article, stating that they do not speak of issues regarding racial biases in fatal shooting or policing. “Our data and statistical approach… are inadequate to address racial disparities in the probability of being shot”. [CRI7] Johnson’s study is flawed as a result.
 
Senior applied scientist, Laura Bronner also addresses similar concerns. Roland Fryer, and economist at Harvard, finds the similar idea that whites, Blacks and Hispanic are shot at equal rates, giving illusion of equal treatment. However, since Black and Hispanic are stopped more often in the first place, this leads to bias. The White persons were more likely to carry weapon and have contraband. Despite seemingly equal treatment, the different hit rate means the discrimination is clear. [CRI6] Thgough the use of force among those who were stopped is equal, the use of force among all observed people is not.

CRI5. Sustaining Systemic Racism Through Psychological Gaslighting: Denials of Racial Profiling and Justifications of Carding by Police Utilizing Local News Media - Heston Tobias, Ameil Joseph, 2020 (sagepub.com)
CRI6. Why Statistics Don’t Capture The Full Extent Of The Systemic Bias In Policing | FiveThirtyEight
CRI7. Retraction for Johnson et al., Officer characteristics and racial disparities in fatal officer-involved shootings | PNAS


Con

x. Overview
  • Our framework is set by the description of the debate, and likewise the scope and parameters of our discussion. Peculiarly, pro chooses to make contentions that are utterly irrelevant to such, speaking about incarceration, which relates to our judicial system. This is critical to the instigator, noting our burdens, given that pro holds the burden of proof. 

y. Case controls/negations
  • Our debate resolution is proposition x
P1) If significant factors exist, which when controlled for, explain the majority of policing racial disparities, proposition x is false. 
P2) Significant factors exist, which when controlled for, explain the majority of racial disparities. 
C) Proposition x is false. 

y.1 Control for crime
  • Blacks commit significantly more violent crimes than any other race in the United States. The police do not compel black people to commit crimes, these are the actions of individual agents and consequently explain the majority of these racial disparities. This is so significant that one of the largest police-civilian interaction studies "did not find evidence for anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparity in police use of force across all shootings" (Officer characteristics and racial disparities in fatal officer-involved shootings). 

y.2 Control for age

Disparity rebuttal(s)
I. Incarceration
  • As stated above, pro here provides us with information that is irrelevant to the resolution. Incarceration relates to our judicial system. The police arrest people and interact with their community. The rules clearly outline: "the police are the civil force of a national or local government, responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and the maintenance of public order. No other system will be debated in this engagement. Attempting to do so will result in a conduct violation." I kindly ask the voters to document this as a conduct violation and factor it into their decisions. 

II. Drugs
  • Pro argues from a disparity in police arrests in relation to drug crimes. It is given that for the parameters of our debate, only the arrests are relevant. Pro also claims without justification (dogmatically) that this is a result of "the police’s natural biases." This disparity is explained by many factors which pro does not consider. 

III. Police stops
  • Pro makes imprecise notions at a police stop racial disparity without giving us any specific data to analyze. Regardless, this disparity has clear factors we need to evaluate. 
  • These are all imperative factors that need to be addressed but are weirdly missing from pro's analysis. 

Epistemological rebuttal(s)
b. Impacts
  • Pro here cites a source that is irrelevant to the resolution of our debate by establishing its scope in Canada when we are deliberating over the United States as per our resolution. Even if it was relevant, it establishes no testable evidence, and uses vague caveats like "gaslighting." Worse, it amounts to ridiculous cherry-picking, by analyzing 27 random online articles to reach its conclusion. 
  • Pro then appeals to authority, to a random researcher, "David Williams," who goes through ideas like "self-reported racism." The 21-page paper con cites for a police racism debate only mentions the police twice and only cites sources on how people perceive the police/certain police actions, cumulatively useless to any aspect of the resolution.

c. Addressing Concerns
  • I have not cited any of the critiqued studies pro mentioned here, which allows us to discard these remarks. 
  • Pro cites a broken link that supposedly establishes a racial disparity in police shootings, and this is already refuted (see y.1) by my previously cited study. His argument can be discarded so long as he has not provided such evidence. 

Conclusion
  • Pro gives us many authority appeals, unfounded assertions, broken links, bad sources, and irrelevant arguments. I encourage our voters to read the description and implement the rules that are included within it. Most imperatively, pro removes all these important factors from his considerations, labeling every disparity to the boogie man known as "racism." Recall that pro holds the burden of proof in this debate, and it has far from been upheld. 

Sources

Round 2
Pro
Thank Novice.

y1. Addressed in Addressing Concerns paragraph 1. Voters should be careful to trust Con, as he has not even seemed to read my argument and just sent whatever source comes first to his mind. 

y2. Novice states Young persons account for 40% of arrests despite being only 14% of the population. Does he imply that, all African Americans are within 15~24 age range? Since they too, consist of the same gap for arrests (more than 35% drug arrests). Of course, this is not true due to simple common sense. [Average age for Blacks is 32] If the 14% of population miraculously overlapped with Young persons and African Americans, this might explain the cause.

Incarceration

I am quite insulted, as Police must follow the federal sentencing guidelines for arrests, conviction, and leading them into imprisonment. If the Supreme Court lowered the standard and the police was still upholding high standards, it would defeat my case. However, police have little choice but to follow the established standards from law-makers. Thus, they inevitably display the racial bias formed from policy makers as well. The judicial is intricately related to the police system. How can police punish someone if there is no law to do so?

Drugs

As Con has not stated *how much more likely* they are, he has failed to address the statistics. He must prove that they use drugs with such a high percentage that it matches the 35-55-74% attributes listed upwards. He has also not addressed the Hispanic overrepresentation within prison. 

Driving

Con's source with Olsen's "Texting while driving" contradicts his argument, stating that "The prevalence of any TWD also varied by race/ethnicity (P , .001); prevalence washighest among white students (50.7%)and lowest among black students(30.1%)." I do not see any remarks on if Younger black men represent the majority, and even if they did, it seems the white persons still did Texting-while-driving far more.

As for the study, not everything is completely clear. A Justice Department attorney states the survey results have not been shown to be valid or reliable [source]. They note that the survey was merely of speeding, not of profiling, since you also needed data about the police. 

Terribly sorry about the broken link, the proper link is here. It was made *after* David Johnson's study, to criticize and note the problems within it.

Novice complains about the potential bias of surveying 20 random articles, but doesn't say what kind of bias they committed. Extend the argument.

As you can see my argument still stands strong, and Con's is blurry at best. Even if we buy his partial sources, the overview is clear. a meta analysis from Ojmarrah Mitchell delves into more than a hundred studies combined about sentencing practices. Despite the variation and different methodologies, she found “even when consideration is confined to … employing key controls and precise measure of key measures, unwarranted racial disparities exist.” [CRI8] If this wasn't enough, another meta-analysis of 42 studies highlighted that participants were more quicker to shoot armed black targets, and the false alarm shooting rate for blacks was higher. [CRI9] Hence, the problem is made clear on a broad level.

Con
x. Overview
  • Most of my arguments are extensive, pro has the burden of proof, yet he has not controlled for any of the factors imperative, and overall has very flawed arguments, and poor sourcing. 

y. Case controls/negations
  • Pro does not object to any premise of my syllogism, entailing that he drops and accepts each premise as well as its following conclusion. 

y.1 Control for crime
  • We have already established that crime controls alleviate any disparity in police killings of black individuals. Pro finally cites his broken link, however, this does not deal with police shootings/killings, only unarmed ones, which make up only 6% of them. Even if we granted this would not make up close the majority of racial disparities, but we will not. Pro's study is flawed. When controlling for crime rates it only makes use of "race-specific assault- and weapons-related arrest data compiled by the United States Department of Justice," only, as if these are the only violent or serious crimes that exist. This study does not account for drug crimes or even homicide, crimes we already know that blacks are more likely to commit such crimes across the board
  • Secondly, pro's study does not even control for age, and we already know that young people are more likely to commit them. My source does not control for age either, and this only strengthens my argument. If policing racial disparities between races disappear when only controlling for crime rates alone and not age, this eviscerates any epistemic argument for police racism. 

y.2 Control for age
  • Pro's response to this contention indicates a broad lack of critical analysis. He does not dispute that young people are more likely to be caught in virtually any crime. 
Does he imply that, all African Americans are within 15~24 age range?
  • They are more likely to be in this age range as they are significantly younger on aggregate (see population pyramid from round one) Extend this control variable. None of pro's sources even account for age despite it being a criminological fact that age is a significant factor behind such. Pro has only given us insufficient evidence, and the burden is on him. 

I. Incarceration
  • Recall that we are debating the police, not the judicial system responsible for sentencing. I will remind the voters of specific provisions in the rules: 
    • "The police are the civil force of a national or local government, responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and the maintenance of public order. No other system will be debated in this engagement. Attempting to do so will result in a conduct violation." (b) "Policing racial disparities are racial disparities that pertain only to the actions and conduct of the United States police force." 
  • This is a conduct violation in its most evident form. Even if we were debating this, people who commit crimes at different rates, so the disparity is explained by this truism. are incarcerated at different rates. Vague appeals to authority from so-called "experts," are insufficient to make a relevant argument for pro or even a logical one that relates to the resolution. 

II. Drugs
As Con has not stated *how much more likely* they are, he has failed to address the statistics. He must prove that they use drugs with such a high percentage that it matches the 35-55-74% attributes listed upwards.
  • I do not hold the burden of proof in this debate, pro does. It is his onus to demonstrate that the majority of police racial disparities are caused by racism. Secondly, his statement is erroneous and shows he did not even read my argument or sources. I cited a paper that clearly shows African Americans are twice as likely to buy drugs outdoors as well as three times as likely to buy them from a stranger, as a consequent explaining the vast majority of this disparity. Forget about 35% we could, from this, expect the disparity to be 200% consistent with these rates. Ignore pro's argument that things he chooses not to observe are actually fake. 
  • Pro also drops that blacks take drugs in riskier/more crime-prone/dangerous areas, with significantly more police, according to literal reports from the Department of Justice just as he drops that Blacks are much younger on average and younger people are more likely to be caught using drugs across the board. Extend both of these points. This disparity is clearly, self-evidently a result of these factors. 

III. Police stops
  • Contrary to what pro asserts my source does not contradict my argument as the rate by proportion of the population is what it analyzes. My argument is also consistently found in various credible studies showing that blacks are significantly less likely to wear seat beltsone of the top reasons why anyone is pulled over
  • Pro, cites a CNN article in response to a study briefing, where a random attorney claims that he thinks the study is unreliable, but weirdly does not say how or why. This should be dismissed as simply a fallacious appeal to authority unless a valid criticism is made. 
They note that the survey was merely of speeding, not of profiling, since you also needed data about the police. 
  • The study showcases that blacks are significantly more likely to engage in speeding, and people who speed at higher rates get pulled over at higher rates. These results are consistently found across studies (racial differences in speeding patterns: Exploring the differential offending hypothesis) and explain the racial disparity in police stoppage, most especially considering that speeding is the number one reason drivers are pulled over. Pro has the burden of establishing a disparity that is a result of racism and not the actions of individuals. If this is the case, pro's arguments do not take into account the behavior of respective groups. 
  • Pro also drops that younger people are more likely to be pulled over by the police, and black people are younger on average than white people, thus, a larger proportion of them will be pulled over. 

Epistemological rebuttal(s)
b. Impacts
  • We are debating over the United States, not Canada. As long as our voters can read, we can ignore con's source as well as his subsequent strawmen in response to his poor methodology. The idea of bias was not relevant to my critique: more so I address the sample and methodology as one with functional eyesight may observe. I stated in quote: 
Pro here cites a source that is irrelevant to the resolution of our debate by establishing its scope in Canada when we are deliberating over the United States as per our resolution. Even if it was relevant, it establishes no testable evidence, and uses vague caveats like "gaslighting." Worse, it amounts to ridiculous cherry-picking, by analyzing 27 random online articles to reach its conclusion. 
  • The section of 27 random news articles is cherry-picking and does not indicate anything of value or of relevance to the police conduct. and as long as the voters can recognize that Canada is not the US, we can allow pro to repeat himself injudiciously.

Conclusion
  • While holding the burden of proof, pro does not refute any of my counter-arguments, nor has he proven that the majority of these disparities are caused by racism. Currently, I have shown that hardly any of them, if at all, are.  


Round 3
Pro
I am not managing time very well and I realize my research was a bit flawed since it was difficult to tell if the police were the real cause behind the problem. I will definitely have to do more research to figure out what’s going on. For now, I will have to concede. Congrats, Novice.
Con
  • I initially made this debate in response to a forum thread because I observed people were saying things that are crazy. I challenged a lot of top 10 debaters yet none of them seemed to be interested, so I very much do appreciate that you were willing to debate this. I also wanted to say, I was not trying to sound rude or condescending in my arguments, and I hope you didn't take it that way. I just exhibit different modes of expression when in debates vs when not. 

Round 4
Pro
Tralala. Perhaps next time.

I’ve improved my economic argument in my free time to overcome fellows like Thomas sowell. If my opponent agrees with Mr. Sowell, he can feel free to challenge me regarding his stance on systemic racism. Till next time!
Con
  • Well, it depends as to what specifically you disagree with Sowell on. His general stance of systemic racism seems to be supported by most evidence, if the idea is that systemic racism does not exist, on balance, in the United States. Most people, conservatives generally, will not argue the exact same way as Sowell simply because of the amount of new evidence they have in place, they will just use his epistemic methodology.