If, as TAWE (The Ass With Ears) would have it, and the Department of Justice’s Ferguson report “evoked the kind of abuse and disregard for citizens that spawned the Civil Rights Movement”—then, by logical extension, the Civil Rights Movement was spawned by not much at all. Since we know this to be untrue, what do you suppose is missing from the Ferguson report, according to which there exists “‘a pattern or practice of’ racial bias in both policing and the court system, searches and seizures in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and interference with the free expression rights of all peaceful protesters”?
“African Americans experience disparate impact in nearly every aspect of Ferguson’s law enforcement system,” the report asserts.
Here’s what’s going on: To advance propaganda, pseudoscience must be deployed. After all, the Idiocracy will be none the wiser. Yes, black are more likely to be stopped by law enforcement than whites. But the Ferguson report fails to control for the fact that there are differences in rates of offense between blacks and whites (and Asian, by the way, who’re conveniently omitted from the “disparate impact” formula used by our racism-spotters).
“The Justice Department’s research arm, the National Institute of Justice, explains that differences in traffic stops can simply be attributed to ‘differences in offending.'”
But federal data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that blacks violate traffic laws at higher rates than whites in every offense, including driving with an invalid license.
Yet Holder makes it sound as if Ferguson police target blacks at random for stops for no other reason than “driving while black,” and then pile on the tickets. …
It is one thing to demand that traffic and other laws be repealed because blacks are more likely to fall foul of them. (I certainly think drug laws should be repealed together with all unjust laws, irrespective.) But it is quite another thing to shout racism when blacks are stopped more frequently, because cops are obliged to enforce laws against offenders. People are sick of it.
UPDATE: The brilliant Heather Mac Donald on “The Disparate Impact Gambit”:
… Disparate-impact analysis obviates the need to find intentional discrimination in a civil-rights case; a policy or practice can be wholly color-blind, but if, in its application, it falls more heavily on a particular racial group, it is illegal under certain federal regulations. A job requirement that employees have a high-school degree is a classic example of a policy that has a disparate impact, if the high-school-degree requirement disqualifies more blacks than whites for the job. Never mind that the employer applies his job threshold without racial bias, he can be held liable for racial discrimination anyway if he is unable to justify the high-school requirement as a business necessity.
The Obama administration’s aggressive use of disparate-impact theory against schools for their disciplinary practices has been a disaster for classroom safety and order. That school-discipline crusade has meant that schools cannot remove unruly black students from the classroom under neutral behavioral codes without triggering potential legal liability, simply because more black students violate those codes. But as destructive as the application of disparate-impact theory to school authority has been, applying it broadly to law enforcement is a recipe for anarchy. There are few criminal laws that do not have a disparate impact on blacks, because the black crime rate is more elevated than the white crime rate.