Violence as a measure of racism

The blog’s pet gadfly/troll made a confused point in response to this post. He suggested using measures of violence as a way of testing whether racism had been a factor in the Brexit vote rather than just directly observing what had occurred on the campaign:

I propose an external reality check: violence! Look and see what group or set of groups is doing the majority of violence out there in England, Scotland and Wales, and against who. If its white people randomly attacking non-white people, then I think your accusation of racism has some merit.

It was not a well thought out remark. Aside from anything else he had just finished claiming that only “double blind” studies could really show anything. Also, it ignores all the other reasons why there might be violent crime. While we can’t conduct a controlled experiment (either practically or ethically) any such examination needs to make some degree of control by looking at the relevant crime.

The right kind of study to conduct would be to look at how violent crime at groups being targetted by racist rhetoric is changing either in quantity or in kind or in severity. While not conclusive, that allows a degree of like-for-like comparison.

This is where the comment, perhaps made flippantly, touches on a tragic element of the campaign. Organisations and the police have been collecting data on such changes. One such organisation was due to have a report on rises in such attacks discussed in parliament by a person who had a long history of work in refugee rights. Sadly and appallingly the person was Jo Cox – the British MP murdered during the course of the campaign.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jun/20/jo-cox-was-working-on-report-into-anti-muslim-attacks-before-death

She was planning to address parliament later this month to introduce a report she had been working on with the Islamophobia watchdog Tell Mama (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks), the group’s director said. The study is expected to conclude that there were about 80% more attacks on Muslims in Britain in 2015 than the year before.

“She met us to talk about how people could report attacks; particularly women in her constituency,” said the founder and director of Tell Mama, Fiyaz Mughal, on Sunday.

The report is the latest in an annual series on the prevalence of Islamophobic attacks. “We were hoping she would highlight the impact on Muslim women; particularly given the targeting [that exists],” Mughal said. “The majority [of incidents] at street level were [on] women and she was going to raise that.”

He added that the study was based on data from his organisation and three police forces.

Mughal expects to conclude that Tell Mama saw 1,100 Islamophobic attacks in 2015 – an 80% increase on the previous year. The three forces reported a further 1,200, from which the watchdog had extrapolated to give a national estimate, he added. Mughal also said many attacks are never reported.

So possibly if we use increases in violent attacks on groups targetted by racist rhetoric as a measure we do see an increase – I don’t think the report is published yet. Was there such an increase during the campaign itself? That is also too early tell.

Now one thing that is notable in terms of reported cases of verbal and physical abuse of Muslims outside of the internet is the other side of who is attack whom. By the ‘other side’ I mean another factor in the disparity in violence which the comment alluded to. I’ll quote it again “Look and see what group or set of groups is doing the majority of violence out there in England, Scotland and Wales, and against who.”

In the case of data collected on Muslims, it is notable that Muslim *WOMEN* are more likely to be targetted and the perpetrators are more likely to be *MEN*. Which is both notable, appalling and sadly expected. Who? Men. Against who? Women.

But let’s put the racism aside for a moment. In society IN GENERAL where is the bigger disparity, whether we look at racist violence or violence within a given community? It remains men attacking women. That does not mean there is not lots of violence between men nor does it mean there are no cases of women being violent to men but that is not what was proposed as a measure. Who against who.

The disparity is so big and so consistent that it always should be noted. Indeed if we compare the extreme rhetoric we see from the right about certain ethnic groups in response to violence, I am struck by how moderate even the most vocal of feminists are in comparison.

 

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17 comments

  1. thephantom182

    Camestros, here’s where I do what you always do: “You’re quoting the Guardian as a reliable source?”

    Annoying, isn’t it?

    While it is a shame that MP Jo Cox died, it is hard to impute racism as the proximate cause, since she and her murderer were the same race. I expect as more information comes out it will be mental illness, as with the Jared Loughner case in Tucson Az. some years ago.

    As well, while one does not like to speak ill of the dead, perhaps it would not be in too bad taste to recall that politicians generally do things for -political- reasons, rather than pursuing pure research for it’s own sake.

    I notice that you still haven’t said a single thing about who is beating up who out there. It leads me to suspect you can’t find much evidence of hordes of racist white assholes targeting non-whites in England. As Iamzemu helpfully pointed out in the other thread, race hatred against blacks in 1960’s America was quite self evident. There were prominently displayed signs, among other things.

    Are we seeing that kind of thing in England these days? Random beatings, kids getting roughed up at school, race motivated rape? One would expect to see that accompanying a deliberate campaign of “racist fearmongering about immigration,” yes? Lack of same does not -disprove- the existence of racism of course, you are quite right. They could all be quietly racist.

    Not a thing one generally sees though, historically speaking.

    Like

      • thephantom182

        Are we accepting official police statistics now? I recall someone in the other thread viewing official FBI statements as categorically false.

        If we are, here’s an interesting datum from Pg. 2, “Hate crimes are a subset of notifiable crimes that are recorded by the police and make up around one per cent of all crimes (based on police recorded crime figures for 2014/15, see Crime in England and
        Wales, Year Ending March 2015).”

        So you’re talking about a 1% sample of the whole population of crime victims, which sample was selected by police.

        Therefore, the statistics represent the police selection criteria, not what was observed from criminal activity overall.

        If we assume the police never miss an instance, are never biased, never politically motivated, and are never mistaken, this is excellent evidence.

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    • Mark

      “One would expect to see that accompanying a deliberate campaign of “racist fearmongering about immigration,” yes?”

      No. There is a spectrum, and you can assert things are happening at one part of the spectrum without needing to examine other parts. Examining those other parts may help back up your case, but not doing so doesn’t automatically weaken what you are saying about one specific part.

      “Lack of same does not -disprove- the existence of racism of course, you are quite right. They could all be quietly racist.”

      Nice job on excluding the middle, there. People can be actively racist without being violent.

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      • thephantom182

        No? Meaning we would -not- expect to see people attacking the objects of their hatred, despite being exhorted to go forth and do so by numerous demagogues?

        Evidence? Historical precedent, perhaps? Or are you positing a Schrodinger’s cat sort of hypothetical thought experiment?

        I supposed it is possible that a whole population of humans, seething with race hate, could keep it in their pants and never act on their seething hatreds despite incitement, if that’s your theory. But really, can you think of an example?

        My counter example is the Hutus and the Tutsis, who despite being identical in appearance hacked 800,000 of each other to death with machetes. (No ammunition, apparently. Poor country. While Canadian soldiers stood by and did nothing, because they were ordered to do so. Liberals in power, you know. Great humanitarians, the Liberals.)

        Or we could look at the blacks in the American South post civil war, the Indians in 1960s Canada, the Japanese in 1940s Canada, the French in 1950s Canada, the Balkans any time since Dracula, and so forth. Lots of violence to go along with the overt and officially supported racism.

        My point, as you well know, is that IF there is great racial hatred present, historically we expect to see a noticeable amount of violence coming along with it. So IF as Camestros posits, the Brexit vote was based on racial hatred and demagoguery of same, whites doing violence against non-whites would support his argument.

        So, is there any Mark? Inquiring minds want to know.

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      • Mark

        Phantom, I notice you’ve gleefully fled from the thread where your mendacity was exposed and restarted the same argument here. As you know, I’m simply declining to engage with your point because it’s not capable of falsifying the claim that there is racism at play.

        Nothing you’ve said is capable of diverting from the very clear evidence of racism (and/or xenophobia, if you wish to be picky) being one of the drivers (but not the only one) in Leave.

        Address the actual point with actual evidence. If you can.

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      • thephantom182

        “Phantom, I notice you’ve gleefully fled from the thread where your mendacity was exposed and restarted the same argument here.”

        On the internet, no one can hear you giggle. And yes, I “restarted the same argument here” because that is what this post is for. This argument.

        One might almost think, Mark, that between the dodging of the question and the unsupported accusations of “mendacity”, that you can’t think of anything to address the actual argument, and are therefore flinging poo and screeching, in the hope that no one will notice.

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      • Mark

        Phantom, how clever of you to claim I’m doing the things that you actually are. However, your inability to address any points – in either thread – is obvious.
        We can now return to our regular schedule of me ignoring your diversions while occasionally pointing out your more egregious factual errors.

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      • thephantom182

        “Phantom, how clever of you to claim I’m doing the things that you actually are.”

        It would be clever, if I was doing that. What I’m doing is making an argument and supporting it with examples. What you’re doing is dodging a question you don’t want to answer.

        So please, go ahead. Point out an egregious factual error. Just one. Or, if you’re feeling brave, maybe try answering my original question.

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      • Mark

        Tell you what, I’ll just copy and paste shall I?

        “As you know, I’m simply declining to engage with your point because it’s not capable of falsifying the claim that there is racism at play. Nothing you’ve said is capable of diverting from the very clear evidence of racism (and/or xenophobia, if you wish to be picky) being one of the drivers (but not the only one) in Leave.”

        and

        “On the second point, I see you just repeated your original statement, and added the gross idiocy of “Practically the whole of Scotland is on welfare at this point, the place is a wreck” – in fact the Scottish jobless rate is now 6.2%, compared with 5.1% for the UK as a whole, so that’s just wrong. Scotland’s attitude to Brexit was shared by central London, are they also a wasteland of shattered industrial dreams? I honestly don’t know how you can type that utter drivel and hit ‘post’ without at least googling to see how easily you will be proved wrong.”

        If you feel the urge to repeat yourself, save us the trouble by just reading this again.

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      • thephantom182

        By the way, in case you’d forgotten, this is what actual institutionalized hate looks like:

        https://www.yahoo.com/news/german-politicians-detained-istanbul-gay-demo-173543403.html?ref=gs

        Institutionalized hate is when kids show up for a pride parade, and get shot at by the cops. Rubber bullets this time, because news cameras probably. No word on what happened to those “detained” who weren’t super duper German MPs. I’m thinking that from a purely mental hygiene standpoint I don’t want to know even a general outline. You can’t un-see shit like that.

        Come on Marky, make with the evidence, man. Surely you’ve got a boatload of it to back up the bullshit you’ve been saying the last three days, right?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. thephantom182

    I just noticed this bit here: “In society IN GENERAL where is the bigger disparity, whether we look at racist violence or violence within a given community? It remains men attacking women.”

    Yes, men do attack women. Quite often. Plenty of men are cowardly scum, they like a smaller, weaker target.

    That’s why I am a proponent of encouraging women to learn self defense, encouraging them to carry weapons for their self defense, and changing the laws to allow them to do so lawfully.

    I’m also a big fan of extended incarceration for men convicted of attacking women. Because cowardly scum deserve an extra special helping of whup-ass.

    Liked by 1 person

    • snowcrash

      ….did you just like your *own* post? I must admit, the word “wanker” comes up quite often when I see your posts, but this is a whole new level….

      Liked by 1 person

      • thephantom182

        Crashy, I am cut to the quick!

        No, I did not intentionally “like” my own post The like button on this website commonly misbehaves, as the hitbox extends right across the screen and is invisible. I do not generally click “like” buttons, and you will notice you’re also got “liked.”

        Like

  3. iamzenu

    Polling as a measure of racism? I look at the new ABC poll and Racist Trump is getting pounded. But it should be worse. It’s old white guys that is his base proclaiming loudly “I’m with racist”. Let me just apologize for old white guys. Further delving shows that a lot of them are less educated and as Trump said, they love the uneducated. So I can make a bit of an excuse for them.

    On the bright side, old white guys are dying off and the country is becoming more diverse and less religious. So … if we can get past this one….

    Liked by 1 person