Wilson wrote: Statistically, a black or Hispanic man stopped at random is way more likely to be involved in illegal activity, so there's some logic in doing so...
Please provide me with some evidence that a black or Hispanic man is more likely to be involved in illegal activity. More likely than whom?
Wilson wrote: I'm in favor of three strikes, as long as it's done fairly.
What is your definition of 'fairly'?
Wilson wrote: But the percentage of sociopaths is much higher in those groups, which leads them into crime, and it's a vicious circle.
Again, please provide me with some evidence of this otherwise, it's merely opinion. This is all very fine but I think you really ought to indicate as such not make such broad pronouncements.
Wilson wrote: What I'm really talking about is lack of empathy, because that allows someone to rape, kill, assault, or steal without feeling bad for the victim.
I agree that a lack of empathy means that you don't feel bad for the victim but I suppose that would apply to anyone who acts in the above manner. Lack of empathy is not racially divided; most serial killers tend to be white men.
Wilson wrote: I live in California, near the towns of Santa Cruz and Watsonville. Santa Cruz is mostly white, Watsonville is mostly Hispanic (Mexican and a few Salvadorians), and the populations are fairly even in number. The crime page of our local newspaper, which covers both towns, has about 80-90% Hispanic names. Santa Cruz is starting to see Hispanic gang activity, and there have been a couple of unprovoked killings of white kids. It's hard to draw any conclusion except that Hispanics are involved in a dramatically higher percentage of illegal activities than the white folks.
So, you're telling me that based on the names in the local newspaper, you've decided that the Hispanics are engaging in dramatically higher illegal activities. Hmm, let's look at the statistics collected for 2006, for example, in both places. For Santa Cruz, if we are looking at aggravated assault the number is 454.3 per 100,000. The same crime for Watsonville, the one you say is filled with criminals is: 411 per 100,000. Gee, if I didn't know better I'd say that Santa Cruz had more violent people. For the crime of rape: Santa Cruz has 68.8 and Watsonville has a whopping 35.2. Lot more rapists in Santa Cruz; the town of white people. http://santacruz.areaconnect.com/crime1.htm
Wilson wrote: The Wire and his novels have the ring of authenticity about them and might give you a new perspective on what things are like there. I should point out that the writing by Pellicanos is brilliant, and the dialog, plotting, acting, and directing in The Wire is astoundingly good.
Thanks for the suggestions. I almost never watch TV but I might make an exception. Novels are fun to read but the reason why they are called novels is because the truth is perhaps slanted in certain ways to make for better reading. Nobody would buy a novel with the stats I produced above because it's not exciting enough. Maybe the novels are based on real life so they're probably an interesting read. But I live in a big enough city to have seen it all from all walks of life and from all races. No particular culture is immune to crime although you might find that whites tend to have higher white collar crime rates because they are the predominant group in that sector.