Crime, cont.

It’s not a coincidence that the context of the Clinton Crime Bill is lost on younger folks. After all, they have enjoyed a massive drop off in crime since (coincidentally or not) the time of that bill. They don’t remember what the older generation remembers and apparently dismiss what they read in books about it as the construct of a racist system.

The problem is not addressing crime, I would contend, is more harmful to more minorities. You see, they are disproportionately the victims. This is why so many black leaders, for example, not only pushed for Clinton’s Crime Bill but for the higher sentences for crack versus powder cocaine which later came to be seen as racist. There is simply no denying that the crack epidemic was like setting bombs off in inner cities. The fact that more of the offenders were minorities was secondary to the problem.

The same could be said of guns. I imagine if there is a major crackdown on guns, that too will come to be seen as having a disparate racial impact even though we associate “gun people” with working class whites.

It would be helpful to look not only at who is impacted by penal measures but who is helped. In the end, is there any denying that the dramatic drop in crime that has revitalized so many cities served to benefit those city’s residents the most?

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