George Soros took to the Wall Street Journal this week to defend his financial support for “procuratori di riforma.” Ha iniziato affermando che “Americans desperately need a more thoughtful discussion about our response to crime.” I couldn’t agree more. That’s why I wrote a book (out last week) on our ongoing national debate about crime and justice.
Purtroppo, Soros’s piece failed to deliver that thoughtful discussion. Anziché, the philanthropist offered a shallow, essentially data-free collection of platitudes—”If people trust the justice system, it will work”—and incomplete observations.
Soros highlights the statistic that “black people in the U.S. are five times as likely to be sent to jail as white people.” Questo è, he says without explanation, “an injustice that undermines our democracy.” Such a contention is meant to persuade the reader that these incarcerations are mostly (if not overwhelmingly) illegitimate—the product of racial animus more than anything else.
What else could it be? Bene, how about disparate rates of criminal offending? A Bureau of Justice Statistics study of homicides between 1980 e 2008 found that Blacks commit homicide offenses at a rate “almost eight times higher than the rate for whites.”
Presenting a disparity without any mention of what its causes might be is not a responsible way of arguing that “ingiustizia” is afoot. That’s a serious charge, e, as we’ve seen over the last few years, many who believe it will push (often successfully) for serious policy changes couched in breezy phrases like “reimagining public safety.”