Race-baiting in Vermont

A slight elevation of black inmates over whites relative to Vermont’s underlying demographics has been “judged” to be due to “systemic racism.”  There has been no thorough analysis of what proportion of these “inmates of color” are out-of-state transplants who have availed themselves of the lucrative fentanyl and heroin trafficking industry that is destroying Vermonters.

A recent study seeks (p. 28) to "Explore opportunities to better analyze and reduce racial disparities in the criminal justice system." This is assisted by the previously-created “Racial Disparities in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice System Advisory Panel” (p. 34):

Racial minorities are oftentimes in the position of defending themselves against the practice not only of intentional racism, but also of biases that are so embedded in our common ways of being that many people… are absolutely unaware of the exercise of these selfsame biases.

This language displays the “selfsame” racial bias of assuming that white people in Vermont, and the judiciary, are racially biased (at p.35):

The role and focus of both the Racial Disparities Advisory Panel and the Sentencing Commission offer the potential for two existing entities to analyze and consider where and how statutes might guide criminal justice actors toward more consistent and equal treatment of individuals.”

Yet, the sole evidence of disparate treatment is disparate outcomes -- slightly more black people are in prison than whites.

This study is biased.  It seeks not to stem crime (let alone drug trafficking) but to alleviate a presumed disparity in equal racial treatment as the solution to an actual disparity in racial commission of crime.  National and state statistics show clearly that crime is higher in urban areas and among those suffering from poverty -- blacks and Hispanics.  The solution is not to stop incarcerating those who commit violent crimes (of either race) but to alleviate the social conditions which motivate people to desperation.  The Vermont study reveals the many problems restoring offenders to community, the severe mental illness and drug addiction that exacerbate such efforts, and the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that underlie both.  Assuming inmates are incarcerated because of racism actually avoids addressing those deeper problems, enabling more crime while reversing progress in race relations.

This “Justice Reinvestment II” study bears out this logical criticism: it reveals that blacks and whites in Vermont receive equal lengths of probation (p. 33); it does not address prior out-of-state convictions of minority inmates (those who relocated here and are counted as Vermont residents); it states (p. 30) that “Black people who are identified as residents of other states make up a small number but a larger proportion of non-residents within Vermont corrections populations.”  When we examine this last group, we see (p. 30) that 19% of black out-of-state convictions are for drug-related offenses; versus 5% for white out-of-staters.

A recent Vermont criminal case reveals a serious problem with Vermont’s presumption of white guilt with no chance to prove innocence.  Leroy Headley, a Jamaican with a history of assault and domestic violence, was facing allegations of sexual assault against two minors in Vermont when he shot and killed Anako Lumumbo, a nurse and mother of two.  If Headley is convicted and sentenced to prison, his incarceration will increase the number of blacks in Vermont prisons -- this will in turn be used to assert that police and Vermont courts are racist, and to promulgate laws to counter this non-problem.

Our police must arrest, our courts must convict, and our prisons must incarcerate people who murder, rape, or deal narcotics, regardless of their racial identity.  To presume that disparate rates of incarceration stem from inherent racism, with no supporting evidence, is to divert attention away from real problems, while creating a new one -- racial tension and an inherently racist worldview, employing government to cast all whites and the judiciary as racist. 

A slight elevation of black inmates over whites relative to Vermont’s underlying demographics has been “judged” to be due to “systemic racism.”  There has been no thorough analysis of what proportion of these “inmates of color” are out-of-state transplants who have availed themselves of the lucrative fentanyl and heroin trafficking industry that is destroying Vermonters.

A recent study seeks (p. 28) to "Explore opportunities to better analyze and reduce racial disparities in the criminal justice system." This is assisted by the previously-created “Racial Disparities in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice System Advisory Panel” (p. 34):

Racial minorities are oftentimes in the position of defending themselves against the practice not only of intentional racism, but also of biases that are so embedded in our common ways of being that many people… are absolutely unaware of the exercise of these selfsame biases.

This language displays the “selfsame” racial bias of assuming that white people in Vermont, and the judiciary, are racially biased (at p.35):

The role and focus of both the Racial Disparities Advisory Panel and the Sentencing Commission offer the potential for two existing entities to analyze and consider where and how statutes might guide criminal justice actors toward more consistent and equal treatment of individuals.”

Yet, the sole evidence of disparate treatment is disparate outcomes -- slightly more black people are in prison than whites.

This study is biased.  It seeks not to stem crime (let alone drug trafficking) but to alleviate a presumed disparity in equal racial treatment as the solution to an actual disparity in racial commission of crime.  National and state statistics show clearly that crime is higher in urban areas and among those suffering from poverty -- blacks and Hispanics.  The solution is not to stop incarcerating those who commit violent crimes (of either race) but to alleviate the social conditions which motivate people to desperation.  The Vermont study reveals the many problems restoring offenders to community, the severe mental illness and drug addiction that exacerbate such efforts, and the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that underlie both.  Assuming inmates are incarcerated because of racism actually avoids addressing those deeper problems, enabling more crime while reversing progress in race relations.

This “Justice Reinvestment II” study bears out this logical criticism: it reveals that blacks and whites in Vermont receive equal lengths of probation (p. 33); it does not address prior out-of-state convictions of minority inmates (those who relocated here and are counted as Vermont residents); it states (p. 30) that “Black people who are identified as residents of other states make up a small number but a larger proportion of non-residents within Vermont corrections populations.”  When we examine this last group, we see (p. 30) that 19% of black out-of-state convictions are for drug-related offenses; versus 5% for white out-of-staters.

A recent Vermont criminal case reveals a serious problem with Vermont’s presumption of white guilt with no chance to prove innocence.  Leroy Headley, a Jamaican with a history of assault and domestic violence, was facing allegations of sexual assault against two minors in Vermont when he shot and killed Anako Lumumbo, a nurse and mother of two.  If Headley is convicted and sentenced to prison, his incarceration will increase the number of blacks in Vermont prisons -- this will in turn be used to assert that police and Vermont courts are racist, and to promulgate laws to counter this non-problem.

Our police must arrest, our courts must convict, and our prisons must incarcerate people who murder, rape, or deal narcotics, regardless of their racial identity.  To presume that disparate rates of incarceration stem from inherent racism, with no supporting evidence, is to divert attention away from real problems, while creating a new one -- racial tension and an inherently racist worldview, employing government to cast all whites and the judiciary as racist.