Pokemon GO Could Be A Death Sentence For A Black Man

Last week was a catastrophe for Blackness. Two men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, were killed by police officers within 24 hours of each other. Neither had committed a crime that was punishable by death nor did they put any officers lives at risk. It's inexcusable, unjustifiable, and is perpetuated by a system that disproportionately targets Black Men. Then in the same week, police officers in Dallas were killed during an otherwise peaceful protest about those killings. Image via Shutterstock

Those are the facts.

In another sector of the internet, Pokémon GO was released. Being of the geekish human variety, I was inexplicably excited about this game. They were giving me a chance to catch 'em all once again, this time in the real world using an obvious combination of technology and magic. I downloaded it immediately when I saw the news of its release.

Even in the wake of such sadness, the iconic theme music started and it was impossible for me to prevent the delighted grin from taking over my face. As I was introduced to Professor Willow, who tasked me with assisting him with his research by catching as many Pokémon that I could, I giggled like a middle school girl being approached by her secret crush on the schoolyard.

After capturing my first Pokémon, I started taking notes on the interface and how the game would work. It seemed straightforward enough. Using GPS, my avatar marks my position on a simplified version of what is essentially Google Maps. Little grass confetti animations show me where Pokémon might be located nearby. Seems reasonable that I should walk there and potentially this would allow me to catch one. I see a few that seem to be located in my apartment complex, but unfortunately it's getting late (around 10:30PM) and I have a good ole' American nine-to-five job. Like a normal adult, I started up my computer, played a couple hours of Overwatch, poked around on Facebook for another hour while in bed, then went to sleep.

Early the next morning, shortly after my partner left for work, I couldn't help but to give Pokémon GO another shot. I had about an hour before I needed to be at work so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I threw some clothes on, fired up the app, and set out for an adventure.

I spent less than 20 minutes outside. Five of those minutes were spent enjoying the game. One of those minutes I spent trying to look as pleasant and nonthreatening as possible as I walked past a somewhat visibly disturbed white woman on her way to the bus stop. I spent the other 14 minutes being distracted from the game by thoughts of the countless Black Men who have had the police called on them because they looked "suspicious" or wondering what a second amendment exercising individual might do if I walked past their window a third or fourth time in search of a Jigglypuff.

When my brain started combining the complexity of being Black in America with the real world proposal of wandering and exploration that is designed into the gameplay of Pokémon GO, there was only one conclusion. I might die if I keep playing.

The breakdown is simple:

  • There is a statistically disproportionate chance that someone could call the police to investigate me for walking around in circles in the complex.
  • There is a statistically disproportionate chance that I would be approached by law enforcement with fear or aggression, even when no laws have been broken.
  • There is a statistically disproportionate chance that I will be shot while reaching for my identification that I always keep in my back right pocket.
  • There is a statistically disproportionate chance that more shots will be fired and I will be dead before any medical assistance is available.

The premise of Pokémon GO asks me to put my life in danger if I choose to play it as it is intended and with enthusiasm. Let's just go ahead and add Pokémon GO to the extremely long list of things white people can do without fear of being killed, while Black people have to realistically be wary.

Honestly, I wish this was a joke post or satire of some sort. It isn't. Something needs to change.


This article originally appeared on Medium. Republished with permission.

Omari Akil is a North Carolina-based writer.


Comments

    While I didn't expect this to pop up on the site, props to the original writer for this compelling read.

    There's literally nothing else I can really add, as it'd serve absolutely no purpose here whatsoever.

      You could add that he's FAR more likely to be killed by a civilian for being outside under any circumstances than he is by a cop, let alone for playing Pokemon. That applies to anybody of any colour.

      Also his murderer is disproportionately likely to be black by a factor of 8 or more.

      America has issues left, right and centre but this article is itself a divisive shifting of blame onto the "other".

      There might be no answers to the problems facing America, but articles like this certainly don't make things better.

      Last edited 11/07/16 5:33 pm

        There are plenty of answers for the problems America has; unfortunately the general attitude there is to pretend there aren't any problems. And more of a bad thing will surely turn into a good thing.

        Edit: Also if you actually read the two links at the top of the article there are plenty of ways to address this particular issue. To start the reworking of legislation that allows police officers to fire on people based on a "perceived" threat.

        Last edited 11/07/16 5:55 pm

          Oh there's solutions. Obvious ones.

          Good luck getting them implemented in a democracy full of extremist, blame shifting morons and a political system that doesn't require people in the centre to vote.

        The author could have added any number of extraneous facts and statistics. They didn't.
        We have an article focused on a specific theme; it doesn't need to cover everything you think it should.

        I'd argue the article is leveled at awareness, which is an early step towards making a situation better. It has accomplished that purpose by giving me, and others, insight into how an individual reads their place within an environment and society. Furthermore, it then provides justification of the individual's perception.

          The author could have added any number of extraneous facts and statistics.

          I'm not sure that it's an extraneous fact that >95% of shootings in NYC are committed by black/latino. Put yourself in a police officers shoes 95 times out of 100 when you are called to a shooting it's black or latino - it's gotta be damn hard to keep an even keel with those sort of statistics. To be clear im not arguing the morality of it just looking at the numbers.

          source: http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/analysis_and_planning/crime_and_enforcement_activity_jan_to_jun_2012.pdf

            When the purview of the article is the anxiety over the increased likelihood of a POC being shot and killed by a police officer during their daily business, bringing up the statistic that a POC is more likely to be shot by another POC than a police officer is an extraneous fact. That shouldn't need explaining.

            The statistic you've provided, geared at providing rationale for police shootings, may not be extraneous. Yet it doesn't cover an unarmed POC being shot and killed by a police officer, which is still the topic of the article. It would be pertinent if the scope of the article was larger, or focused elsewhere, but it's not. Additionally, the statistic you've provided wasn't what was being addressed in my comment, it's post-hoc to the initial point.

              ^ what he said but with less confusing words. >_ o

        "Black people are more likely to be the killer". And that's why people confuse a black person grabbing a license for a killer grabbing their gun.

          That's not what I said, I said the killer was disproportionately likely to be black which is true.

          Can't blame cops for being jumpy in a country where people carry guns day to day and it's pretty hard to ignore the statistics regarding crime and skin colour when they're so disproportionate and the consequences so severe.

          People get anxious, people have bad days, people make bad decisions. It's fucked up, but it's not going to change without a significant overhaul of social and gun control policies.

        Upvoted.

        Make sure you add the #blacklivesmatter next time - because if you dont wear it proud and scream it from the roof tops, you're nothing but a racist bigot slave driver.

    It would also be tough on Muslims, hanging around landmarks and pointing phone cameras at them.

      EXACTLY, you dont see that mentioned in the article though hey?
      shit ive posted some non-kotaku things il probably get censored so hard soon and banned.

        The extensive use of "I" would suggest the article is an opinion piece relying heavily on personal experiences. The author is black.

        I would hazard a guess he may not be Muslim, which is why he talks mainly about being black...

          Don't use logic with these people...

          It's not very effective.

      Middle aged men, using their camera phones in playgrounds. I can see some new additions to the sex offender registry soon.

      Hahaha, that is not very true. I'm 90% sure it doesn't broadcast your religion when you play Pokemon Go.

        No it doesn't, but sadly many idiots don't need one.

        I watched one such moron yelling at a Sikh taxi driver, telling him to "F off back to Iraq" and that he was a terrorist.

    That’s America for you.

    A grossly oversimplified, black version of the problems with America, but an example of the problems.
    It’s crime, it’s guns, its race, its paranoia, it’s the media, it’s politics, it’s history.

    It’s not games though, and it’s really not my problem (as an Australian).

    That’s a country that's irrevocably retarded. It’s paralysed by stupidity from every possible direction. Articles like this one that paint issues disproportionately and place the blame elsewhere are just heaping more shit onto the pile.

    Last edited 11/07/16 5:43 pm

      That’s a country that's irrevocably retarded. It’s paralysed by stupidity from every possible direction.

      Trump. 'nuff said.

      If you'd been paying attention, our nation is just as bad. From the recent election to our child rape camps, we're as bad if not worse. Because refugees and state surveillance something something.

    A lot of the landmarks that Pokemon Go have deemed Pokestops in my local area are places that have been notorious for stabbings, rapes, drug deals and murders. Also the local biker gangs club house is a gym.

      In the US, some criminals actually used the game to help rob people:

      https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/10/pokemon-go-armed-robbers-dead-body

      Basically find a gym or pokestop in an out of the way location, and wait for inattentive people to turn up. Maybe even use a lure on the pokestop to encourage people to visit it.

      If only our world was like the Pokemon world, you could go to that gym and face all these scary-looking guys with their Ekanses and Venomoths and the such with your little starter pokemon and defeat them with the power of positive belief and friendship, and then the gang would decide that you are a swell guy an turns out that the scary gang type is just a facade and they are actually into tea parties, crotchet and petting zoos.

      Last edited 11/07/16 10:53 pm

      A friend sent me a screenshot of a Pokestop near her. It's an Outlaws clubhouse.

    I saw a different thread this morning about some guys who were wandering around at midnight in a park, who had a cop come ask them what they were up to, and from their glowing cell phone screens obviously not being guns, they weren't immediately shot and had the opportunity to explain Pokemon Go to the cop, who proceeded to ask for help downloading and getting started.

    I'd hope that stories like that turn out to be the more common story - especially given that police departments all over the place ARE taking notice of the phenomenon and engaging with it publicly. (Even if only to tell people to 'be a bit more careful FFS'.)

      Yep
      Turns out the big power leveling stop in my area is being maintained by the cop shop and court house across the road.
      That's 6 pokestops and a Gym with 24 hour lures, all reachable while parked.

      (It's no public service though, they are just playing Pokemon GO on breaks)

    Please don't risk playing the game if it is this dangerous.

      Exactly, although my area is not a gun filled crime riddled suburb it does have a larger portion of troubled people than many so i choose not to play at night.

      I also went to the trouble of trying to educate people who may have an issue with people walking around playing.

      End of the day if you don't feel safe or something doesn't seem right report it.

    Give me a break... Go shutter yourself inside forever then.

    What a load of sensationlist crap. I like how they renamed the title from the original too. It is actually "Warning: Pokemon GO is a death sentence..."

    Last edited 11/07/16 5:56 pm

      Spoken like someone who has never had to fear for his life for arbitrary reasons. If you ever experienced an iota of discrimination, you wouldn't be so quick to dismiss another person's fear.

        No, it's alarmist, sensationalist nonsense.

        "Warning: Playing Pokemon is a Death Sentence if you are a Black Man"

        That's the title. Playing pokemon is a death sentence in America if you're a black man? And requires a warning? Give me a break. There is no rational basis for his professed fear. He may as well shut himself inside for all eternity because he has as much chance of being struck by lightning as being shot by a cop for playing pokemon.

        According to the American BJS, around 62 million encounters were expected to have taken place between cops and citizens back in 2011. 62 MILLION. They don't have numbers for 2015 unfortunately, but that number is unlikely to have shrunk at all, let alone by any significant margin. Now let's look at 2015 numbers for deaths of black, unarmed men: 79 (ignoring entirely the circumstances of the interactions that resulted in death). Seventy Nine. My calculator cant even display the bloody chance of being killed as an unarmed black man in an encounter with police because it is so INFINITESIMALLY SMALL.

        So yeah, I am being dismissive of his article, because it is rubbish.

        Last edited 12/07/16 4:01 pm

          There is no rational basis for his professed fear.

          Of course not, because the statistics don't affect you so what possible insight or need to fear would or could you possibly have?
          79 is small number for you, but a pattern for someone who see's it happening again and again over the year and identifies with those involved.

    people are going to (have done) do stupid things with this regardless, its inevitable, its the new fad, people trend trends... welcome to 2016... no different from 2015...
    at least make sure you document it for the world to see

    Police in Australia don't feel threatened in the same way they do in America because of their crazy gun laws. No guns and cops will stop thinking people are going to pull one on them. There is no doubt that there is racial profiling by police in the US but that is something that won't change when you're scared someone might pull a gun on you. Change the gun laws then focus on changing their mentality.

      exactly, giving everyone at age 18 access to weapons of such a devastating nature is clearly a recipe for disaster. its just so silly :(

      And when I try to explain the militarization of police is directly linked to how armed it's citizens are and how it is another reason for gun control, they look at me like I'm mad.

    Yeah this is hillariously stupid, im pretty sure more whites get shot by police officers, infact id bet all my money on it; and secondly what ifs are not valid.
    you could get hit by a car? not in the disclaimer, shot in a drive by? not in the disclaimer, walk off a cliff? not in the disclaimer. i sometimes wish the op could reply to our articles if we werent cornered off onto our old out-dated version of kotaku australia because we can all agree, this article was written to appease recent events.

      Not commenting on the article itself, but while white deaths from police are higher as a total, black deaths are higher as a proportion of population.

      To the tune of them making up 6% of the population but 40% of the unarmed deaths by police (source: Washington Post, and others).

      See also: African American males aged 15-34 being 2% of the population but 15% of police shootings.

      (something something higher proportion of criminals or something something)

      Last edited 11/07/16 6:32 pm

        Yes, but they're apparently also disproportionately represented in criminal offending compared to their population and thus may represent a disproportionate threat to the police having to deal with them. Add idiotic American gun culture and other policing and cultural issues and you have the current problem.

        Not that I'm excusing the recent Sterling and Castile killings on that basis; the footage from the Sterling death in particular shows disgraceful police conduct which really ought to result in charges. The Castile death is harder to deal with as there isn't footage of the exact moment he was shot. I wouldn't be prepared to comment further on it without knowing more.

          The other argument is that they represent a disproportionate amount of criminal offenders for the same reason they're disproportionately shot - the system is inherently racist. I don't think it's a huge stretch to get to that conclusion.

          See: e.g. - white Americans making up 5 times the number of illicit drug users as African Americans, but 1/10th the incarcerated for drug offenses. African Americans are also sentenced to a similar length of time for drug offenses as white Americans are for violent offenses.

          In any case, I think the massive disparity in unarmed deaths by police is pretty telling when it comes to the whole "but more of them are criminals" argument.

            I do think it's a stretch to call the system inherently racist. There are plenty of socio-economic factors to explain why they would be disproportionately represented that don't result in a finding that the system is racist. In my work I see circumstances of ACTUAL racism at play in the interaction between minorities and police (e.g. the Sunshine Police in Victoria with their 'Mudfish' stubby holders - http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/three-police-officers-sacked-others-disciplined-over-racist-sunshine-stubby-holders-20140305-346mq.html), but disproportionate representation doesn't necessarily mean there's a problem with the system itself.

            As for the disparity in unarmed deaths, I don't know. Are 79 unarmed deaths total (on 2015 stats) statistically significant for a population of over 300 million? What are the circumstances of those shootings compared to those featuring other races? How many of them were questionable and how many were above reproach? How many black people are dealt with, unarmed, without incident? Is it indicative of racism on the part of some individuals involved? Or the other distinctly American factors I referred to earlier?

            There are plenty of problems, I just don't think it helps to blame a 'racist' system and ignore other factors that may be influencing the end result; because if racism isn't the only factor operating here you aren't going to change that end result by focusing on it alone.

            Last edited 11/07/16 7:59 pm

              It's like you're so close to coming to the obvious conclusion here that I'm literally holding my breath.

                That people are quick to judge without actually applying critical thinking ? Yes. That's the obvious conclusion.

                  Oh my god you're so close it's infuriating. Just keep at it, you'll get there.

                I've come to a conclusion and at this point you're just baiting pointlessly; that's not going to help shift my view. Make an argument that you think is actually valid or stfu.

              But the system in America /is/ inherently racist, to the full extent of the world "inherent". Segregation, discrimination and dehumanisation is a thing of verifiable history, and it was worked into the very laws. Things have changed but there are still way too many people alive who were raised in such system, or raised by people who lived and breathed it.

              Obviously now they're facing somewhat of a vicious cycle as the new generations of black people have grown disenfranchised and resentful, so a bigger percentage of them have problems with delinquency, which only serves to reinforce negative stereotypes, etc.

                No the system is not inherently racist. Why do people spout this nonsense. One side provides data, facts, numbers, and statistics that clearly contradict the other point of view and the other side just shouts WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACIST using arguments that don't make a shred of sense and contradict themselves endlessly.

                But the system in America /is/ inherently racist

                Is it? Where is your evidence?

                Things have changed but there are still way too many people alive who were raised in such system

                So it is the system, or is it the people? You first said the system is inherently racist, now you're backflipping on your own statement. The cognitive dissonance is real.

                so a bigger percentage of them have problems with delinquency

                So are they delinquents and causing problems for themselves, or is the system inherently racist and "The Man" is just trying to put a group of people down for the lulz?

                How do you even make the first sentence make sense in your mind when you go on with this shit, good lord.

                Last edited 12/07/16 8:59 am

                  Did you just provide an entirely fact-free rebuttal of the alleged fact that people who disagree with you don't employ facts?

                  You have a very good point though. The 'other side' keep accusing people like you of being racists when I'm pretty sure that what is actually happening in many cases is a need to simply try and enforce a point of view through spurious arrogance as a means of shoring up childhood insecurity issues where mistreatment by others is mistakenly seen as negating white middle class privilege.

                  I don't think race is a question in this, as the same form of squeaky outrage would be deployed against any suggestion of privilege by people who think being bullied while being white is the same thing as racial oppression.

                  So yeah, the SJW's need to tone down the RAAAAACIST comments and realise most of 'the other side' simply don't see themselves as being privileged because Chad used to push them around after sexing their mom.

                  Haha I recognise you or at least someone like you from these threads. A person that tries to form a labyrinth of words, nitpicking, asides, provocation and circular reasoning to try to disable other people's arguments or at least tire them out of the discussion.

                  Not going to waste my time with someone who demands evidence about historical racism in America as though slavery, segregation and discriminative laws and practices were not well-documented or are not readily available. Or perhaps you just believe that all that "evidence" exists but it's all made up, like the Holocaust, patriarchism or whatever "SJW conspiracy" that threatens to make you consider your privileges. Poor little baby, besieged on all sides by all these evil minorities wanting a bigger piece of your pie by /lying/ about centuries of abuse, suffering, and undermining. It's after all, your pie by birthright, isn't it?

                  Last edited 12/07/16 5:43 pm

                Historically, it has been. There is no doubting that. There were laws that were explicitly or implicitly racist.

                And by the same token, there is indeed a vicious cycle at play now, but that's not indicative of present racial bias in the current system (and by system, in this discussion, I've been referring to the police specifically). The numbers simply do not bear this out.

      It's as if a profession that attracts a high number of people who have a desire to wield authority and firearms somehow has a disproportionately high percentage of members who enjoy enforcing their power over others. Who would have thought.

    Now I just wanna start a giant Pokemon Go mob, walking around at night.

    Whenever a cop approaches, we'll huddle together, look over our shoulders, and try to act as suspicious as possible. Wiping our noses like a cocaine addict, throwing around gangster hand gestures, pretending to hide shit from view.

    Also anyone who brings bottled water or lemonade needs to bring it in a brown paper bag.

    Stopped reading after the first sentence. Last week was a catastrophe for Blackness...
    No, it was a terrible catastrophe for society as a whole. The sooner we stop segregation the sooner society will become accustomed to difference and tolerance will be the norm, not the exception.
    So sick of things like this, Multicultural round, Womens round, Umpires Round, we dont need these pointed out to us - those of us that are part of an unbigoted society understand the importance these roles all play in the AFL. All it does is give small minded, scared indivduals a platform to spout their hate and fear.
    We all bleed red. Pigmentation, your level of devoutness, what border you were born in or what genitals you have have absolutely nothing to do with the person you are.
    Discrimination is a hateful thing.

    I'd actually challenge any of you narcissists to put your money where your mouth is and pitch Kotaku (US site - as that's where this republished article originated) an article where you can finally vent everything you'd usually want to in the comment sections of articles (really, some of you have this down to a script by now) by people who feel marginalised by something gaming-related. In a real world context.

    Go on.

    There is a statistically disproportionate chance that someone could call the police to investigate me for walking around in circles in the complex.

    There is a statistically disproportionate chance that I would be approached by law enforcement with fear or aggression, even when no laws have been broken.

    There is a statistically disproportionate chance that I will be shot while reaching for my identification that I always keep in my back right pocket.

    There is a statistically disproportionate chance that more shots will be fired and I will be dead before any medical assistance is available.

    OH BOY HERE WE GO.

    When you are disproportionately likely to be the perpetrator of crime, you're likely to be stereotyped as such. Stereotypes contain little grains of truth sometimes; it's why they're stereotypes. Profiling sucks, yes; it's going to target people that have done nothing wrong and that really does suck, but what can you do when they're charged with 62 percent of robberies, 57 percent of murders and 45 percent of assaults in the 75 biggest counties in the country, despite only comprising roughly 15 percent of the population. What is a nation to do? Completely ignore it and hope it goes away? Find a white person on twitter who said something stupid and get them fired? Where are the real solutions that don't involve screaming WAAAAAAAAAACIST?

    I'd call the police on anyone wandering around circles of my apartment complex. Why are you wandering in circles around complexes? That's fucking weird, people get weirded out, don't fucking do that. I don't care if you're playing Pokemon Go, this is not your property, you're weird & fuck off.

    Law enforcement comes in many shades. Some are arseholes, others are not. I've been aggressively approached by police a number of times for no reasons at all; other times have been absolutely pleasant and I'd have had no issue standing and chatting with them 'til the cows came home.

    You would do well to /not/ reach for your identification, unless the officer asks you to. The police officer literally puts their life on the line, every day. Every day. It's why they have a gun on their hip, because people try and do actually want to kill them. So don't press your luck, that's what their COs and courts are for if they're fucking up.

    The funny thing about bullets penetrating your body, especially when from the weapon of a police officer, is that they will usually do lasting harm. Depending on where you're shot, it's very likely to be fatal. The target time to respond to a call out, at least in WA is 25 minutes. Comparatively, it can take as little as 3 minutes to bleed to death.
    The police use a Glock 23 using .40 cal. If it's an expanding round, it will literally take your head with it; but they don't, they use standard rounds, and if, say, it exits the side of your face, it will literally take your face with it. Stop, comply, survive. You cannot expose excessive force if you give reason to use force.

    Last edited 12/07/16 9:12 am

      Hey now! Stop preaching common sense. You're gonna make it hard for the author to validate their poor-poor-me mentatlity and force them to start using everyday logic.

      That is possibly the most sociopathic thing I have read in quite a while and recently visited the Daily Telegraph website.

      And I do like how you handwave away issues with racism by claiming that pointing out they are racist is what causes them.

      You asked a question - 'Where are the real solutions that don't involve screaming WAAAAAAAAAACIST?'

      OK, so let's break this down for you.

      You understand that this IS a question of race, right? You state it repeatedly and it's the basis of your rant so let's assume 'yes'.

      So it's a race issue.

      Now you have two choices on how to look at this -

      1) America has a massive racism issue where centuries of slave ownership means that African Americans as a group are significantly oppressed in terms of power structures - both in physical terms, such as professional and financial security, and in cultural terms such as prejudicial speech and action. This entrenched inequality means that African Americans disproportionately are involved in criminal activities due to generational abuse and habituation that sees social power structures developed to keep them in this cycle (such as law enforcement -> prison) as this maintains the status quo. It's an issue that has occurred thousands of times in history, all over the world, in any nation that has minorities in enough numbers that they could potentially pose a threat to the entrenched power of the dominant group. Because that's what racism actually is - a fear of loss of power, nothing to do with magical evil soul darkness. The only solution to this is for the white majority to accept the rising power of minorities and develop a means of admitting privilege, accepting the loss of it and developing a transition path that means the minimum of suffering for all parties.

      or

      2) The negro is genetically inferior and prone to acts of a criminal nature. They need displays of force to cow them into submission and regular reminders of their submissive role so that God-fearing white people may walk the streets safely.

      Which one of those two do you feel is the 'little grain of truth' at the heart of your stereotyping?

      Power inequality or genetics?

        possibly the most nonsensical and unnecessary response to my post i could have envisioned; but i'll bite.

        1)

        Point -------------
        Your head ___________

        2)

        Racial science such as that has been 100% certified bullplop for quite some time now.

        eeeughhh here we go.
        prison is the deterrent. you commit a crime[s], you go to prison. it is not there to keep people locked into any cycle. it is there to convince people that hey, crime is not so cool after all, you'll lose your freedom.
        if you then choose to commit crime[s] anyway, whether "forced" into it by socioeconomic difficulty or simply because you're a fucking idiot, that's your choice, and that's on you.
        that choice creates the stereotype that 'black people are criminals,' because that's a pretty common choice these days and it's what the statistics and numbers say. those people have ruined it for the others.

        yes, herstorically, prisons/labour/etc have been used to keep these people down and denying or minimising the impact that would have on a people is grossly inappropriate and wrong. But that was in the past. That's no longer the case. It's [Current Year] and we live in a meritocracy where people are more or less free to choose what's going to happen in their lives within certain paramaters and limitations, for better or worse. It's time to accept that.

        Last edited 12/07/16 10:57 am

          So you do kind of understand in a flailing way that power inequality is the reason why African Americans disproportionately commit crimes but your answer is 'I'm so white I have no idea what that is, so it's their fault'.

          That's fair enough - you're so choked on your own privilege you simply cannot imagine what life would be like for someone at the ass-end of generational institutionalised oppression.

          And the fact you say 'prison is the deterrent. you commit a crime[s], you go to prison. it is not there to keep people locked into any cycle. ' really illustrates the depth of your ignorance.

          Firstly, prison in the US is a trillion dollar BUSINESS. The millions of black people thrown in there for owning a handful of pot are thrown there because they make more money for white power elites in there than they would outside.

          And yes, it's about control. It's the whole generational cycle where you throw people in jail for things like owning a handful of pot, they spend years being raped/brutalised, get out, realise they can't get a job due to their record/trauma, commit a crime, get thrown back in -> rinse repeat. Somewhere in there they have a kid, who can be happily sucked into the process and provide the next generation to hammer out numberplates for some extremely rich white folks.

          I think your problem is you seem to imagine I am suggesting some cabal of white people openly planning this stuff. That is indeed fanciful. It's nothing conscious, the same way you are clearly not conscious of your racism.

          It's a natural reaction by people who hold power to defend it. Someone threatens to take your stuff, you protect it. That's all this is. It's not evil, but don't stop pretending it doesn't exist.

          Black and hispanic people are a threat to white dominance in the US. The simple reality is they will represent a larger and larger percentage of the populace until they inevitably 'take control' - by a sufficient percentage of the populace being in some way majority non-white genetically. That scares people, understandably so. But you can't stop it, so it's better to deal with it than be racist.

          Same thing will happen here with Asian people - and it's a testament to the strength of Australia's past multicultural efforts that we aren't seeing similar issues because we made a significant effort to ensure Asian immigrants weren't placed in a significant position of cultural or physical disadvantage. And the fact that recent decades have seen our resident idiot racists fixated on 'muslims' means they miss what is happening right under their noses.

          It's how the world works. Whoever has the most power is in charge. That power can come from many places, but mostly it's about numbers in the longer span of history.

            oh god lol.

            you're one of them

            BUT YER PRIVILEGE

            my middle eastern privilege? being called a terrorist muzzrat (i mean i'm a 'sarkis' lol not a muslim but eh) is such a benefit and a privilege wow why was i not told this earlier ty so much!

            who'd have thought a percentage of a population more likely to commit crimes commits a crime, ends up in a police interaction and ends up incarcerated! the injustice of it all!

            and it's a testament to the strength of Australia's past multicultural efforts that we aren't seeing similar issues because we made a significant effort to ensure Asian immigrants weren't placed in a significant position of cultural or physical disadvantage
            >tfw you know nothing about australian history but try to discuss it anyway

            you do realise citizenship tests were held in any language they couldn't speak or read, right? hahahaha.

            'not conscious of your racism'

            i can't be racist though, racism is prejudice + power and my people don't have power, SOOOOOOOOO.

            but seriously, 'not conscious of your racism', fucking lol.

            It's the whole generational cycle where you throw people in jail for things like owning a handful of pot, they spend years being raped/brutalised, get out, realise they can't get a job due to their record/trauma, commit a crime, get thrown back in -> rinse repeat

            this is not racism. this is someone committing a crime, getting a criminal conviction, and people generally not trusting criminals, who'd have thought, eh? criminals not being trusted enough for most to employ them wow what a surprise, i can't imagine why!

            it says a lot about someone when they assume that because you espouse a differing point of view, that you're assumed to be a racist, or white. now who's "not conscious" of their racism¿

            Last edited 12/07/16 11:24 am

              Oh, you're also claiming to be an oppressed minority? Well, that is unfortunate, sorry to hear.

              But I hate to tell you, that there is indeed the capability for racism between minorities.

              It's a pretty awful thing, but there's plenty of people who gain validation for their own mistreatment by applying the same thing done to them against others.

              And I am pretty sure I know a lot more about Australian history than you do, not to mention history in general.

              You seem to be unable to grasp that

              - Centuries of slave ownership and institutionalised abuse followed by halfhearted emancipation and only a couple of decades of 'social justice warriorring' to try and balance things;

              is not the same as

              - Immigrants and refugees being taken into a nation that HAD an avowed multicultural policy and support structures in place to integrate these people.

              Funnily enough, here in Australia we DO see certain ethnic groupings who have disproportionately high crime rates.

              Which brings me right back to my original question.

              Let's try this again, Mr I'm-not-racist-but:

              A given race or ethnic group has a disproportionately high crime rate.

              Is this because

              1) They are within an institutionalised power inequality system that denies them opportunities and abuses and traumatises them for the benefit of the majority;

              or

              2) They are genetically subhuman and therefore apt to commit crimes.

              Come on mate, have the stones to step forward and claim your point of view.

              WHY are these people committing crimes?

              Pick your answer and stick to it matey.

              Power inequality or genetics?

              Last edited 12/07/16 12:16 pm

                you're a lost cause.

                Guess the system is inherently biased against men, too, then, right? I mean, if black people are the perpetrators of more crimes than others, and that makes the "system" racist, and the majority of those are men, and men are shot and killed by police more often than women; men were often mandated longer working hours than women (and worse as you go down the castes); men were/are forced into military service; then this also makes the "system" sexist and puts men in a net worse position than women.

                ergo the system is biased toward women and The Man is holding the literal man down for the lulz. There you have it - sexism exists in [Current Year], and it is not against women.

                Rally the troops; block traffic; prevent children from getting to hospital; drop cinder blocks on cops and break their vertebrae; restore A Voice For Men's facebook page! The Man hates the men!

                Fuck picking an answer, maybe you should go pick up a brain.

                if you prefer, you can stick to your current position and make sure people aren't held accountable for their own decisions and blame The Man© for holding them down.

                btw, i might be middle eastern, but i'm not oppressed at all, and certainly not by any system(s) - after all, that same "system" that oppresses us all also paradoxically affords us the same rights and opportunities of everyone else. How racist. i'm smart enough to understand that in [Current Year] my actions determine my standing in society and i have no desire to engage in victimhood culture that perpetually paints me a victim incapable of determining my own path in life because everything everywhere is racist.

                Last edited 12/07/16 12:51 pm

                  So we all have the same rights and opportunities?

                  You mean that Kevin the aboriginal kid whose mum is a junkie and whose dad beats him has the same opportunities and rights as Tarquin whose dad is a lawyer, whose mum organises the local church and who attends an exclusive private school?

                  Well consider me edumacated on how society works!

                  So your actual answer is, as I said above, the fact you're so choked on your own privilege you don't understand what it's like not to have it.

                  This isn't really a surprise to anyone I imagine.

                  The amount of stupid in your #MENSLIVESMATTER spew is weapons-grade.

                  I could point out to you that each of the things you mention is actually CAUSED by toxic masculine dominance but something tells me you'd not grasp it and instead just throw a tantrum again.

                  But bravo to dodging the question yet again, let's give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you didn't understand it, rather than being too cowardly to admit your rather icky views are icky.

    @burnside LOL I've tried to read that first sentence of yours like 3 times and it just breaks my brain. I'll come back to it after my fourth coffee haha. There's only so many times the same words can get used in a sentence before my brain just checks out, lol.

    You ever repeat a word so many times it just doesn't seem like a real word anymore? Happens to me all the time.

    Last edited 12/07/16 10:45 am

    What about the pokemon? They're just trying to live their lives but instead they have an army of people throwing balls at their heads. Won't someone think of the pokemon?

    So, what I'm getting from this article is that Pokemon GO was designed to make more black people shot in America. The author is saying that the game was designed for white people and that black people should put their lives on the line to play it. I'm sorry, but is this author actually fucking retarded? How self-centered do you have to be to actually think that people will give a shit about you walking around looking at your phone?

      Honestly more surprised that he doesn't understand that walking around someone's apartment complex at night is not a fucking okay thing to do when you don't live there.

      "yes excuse me while i wander around a complex that's not my own and i don't live there or know anyone there that certainly isn't a weird thing to do at all"

      Last edited 12/07/16 1:05 pm

        Exactly. This doesn't even have anything to do with Pokemon GO. It's just a common sense thing. If you are wandering around in front of somebodies house or apartment, you should expect trouble no matter your race.

    I had to comment on this. I am strictly for equality for all humans regardless of any differences. With that being said, I sadly admit that MOST of my experiences with blacks or Spanish American have been very discomforting and negative. Although I believe it is wrong to judge an entire population based on a small community, you have to ask yourself why these white people are so scared. Ive been called racist for politely asking a black woman not to allow her son to steal (after I caught him stealing from my store). Called no cops, thteatened no penalties, violence, or action on my part. Just please correct your child and continue to enjoy your shopping ecperience. Ive been harrassed numerous timea by "hood" guys who have called me a stupid cracker, white boi, etc. It goes both ways. Whites shouldnt judge all blacks, as I LOVE my black friends and they are the best most reliable trustworthy people I know, but I still havent had many other good encounters. Maybe if all of those blacks, (heck whites too...ALL RACES) that either harbor racist or prejudice feelings should eliminate them. Understand that appearance does not define a person and that people of all shades andsiizes can be good or bad. So when I see a group of black guys walking do I get a weird feeling? Yes. Do I act on it? Not unless physically threatened (for real though, not his cell phone on pokemon go looked like a gun and he was walking by my house)....quite frankly id be insulted if you DIDNT catch that pokemon out front...ITS TEARING UP MY YARD GET IT MAN!!!

    @Burnside

    You mean that Kevin the aboriginal kid whose mum is a junkie and whose dad beats him has the same opportunities and rights as Tarquin whose dad is a lawyer, whose mum organises the local church and who attends an exclusive private school?

    You can't even keep the debate about the same thing. First we were on the "EVERYTHING IS RACIST THE SYSTEM IS RACIST YOU'RE RACIST IT'S THE SYSTEM PUTTING THEM DOWN" train, but that train got thoroughly dismantled, so now we've swapped tracks and we're on the "but these people have different personal circumstances!" one? Make up your mind. You change the argument and now still want me to answer a question which has sweet fuck all to do with the beginning of all of this. the cognitive dissonance is too much.

    (also to answer the question. yes. yes they do have the same rights and opportunities; it's not Kevin's fault his parents squandered everything. there are npos out there designed to accommodate these sorts of tragedies, though funding is short - I'd encourage you to donate today should you want to help do something toward actually FIXING this inequality instead of just telling everyone they're WAAAAAAAAAACIST for pointing out that no, the system has not made the inequal intentionally. at all in [current year] actually - in fact it elevates some, into a protected class. re: charity I recommend donating to Variety and A Start In Life).

    #menslivesmatter foh fam it was a facetious comparison used to exemplify just how leaky your rubber dinghy is. stop thieving our oxygen; the fact that's gone over your head to speaks volumes about you.

    Last edited 12/07/16 2:44 pm

      So you're just drunk then?

      The only thing that was dismantled was your #menslivesmatter argument, good on you for admitting when you done goofed.

      Also, you don't actually know what the term 'cognitive dissonance' means. I know it makes you feel smart to use it, but given you're the only one here ACTUALLY suffering it, you really ought to stop.

      Would you like me to show you how it works?

      Here:

      This entire waste of internet ink is because you flipped your lid and started burbling about the disproportionately high crime rate of African Americans and how people didn't listen to your 'facts'.

      Brilliant. So let's accept your fact, as it is one, that African Americans are disproportionately involved in crime.

      I'll ask you AGAIN.

      Do you think this is because of

      a) Systemic power inequality

      or

      b) The inherent genetic weakness of negros

      And here's the cognitive dissonance. You know the answer is a). But you can't say it, because it is DISSONANT with the other bullshit arguments you've been spouting. But you also can't say b) because even you know that's hardcore racism.

      So you just deflect the question AGAIN and start yelling.

      That's how cognitive dissonance actually works.

      You're welcome.

        fucking lol, that's rich coming from you. you're a moron.

        for the last time, that question is not at all relevant to my post. i don't think you've even read it at this point.

        no i reconsidered. you have read it, i think; you're just a moron. so i'll spell it out for you.

        writer pulls out a bunch of bs reasons why pkmn go sucks if you're black

        article literally called "Pokemon GO Could Be A Death Sentence For A Black Man"

        proceeds to then list reasons that are applicable to everybody

        you then ask me if it's a) systemic racism (Which i've made it evident over and over I do not believe exists any longer) or that b) that black people are just genetically bad. fucking lol.

        are you understanding this a little better now? cause if you still don't, i'm checking out of this.

        'systemic power inequality' i'm choking on my water from laughing too much rn.

        Last edited 12/07/16 3:45 pm

        Do you think this is because of
        a) Systemic power inequality
        or
        b) The inherent genetic weakness of negros

        How about it's neither of those. Just because it's not one of those doesn't make it the other. There are many factors in why blacks commit a disproportionate amount of crime. Some major factors include how they were raised, where the were raised, what was their home situation like as a child, what were their friends like. All these these things contribute to the making of a criminal.

        Typically, black families are more likely to be living in poverty, black parents are more likely to by addicted to drugs, they're more likely to be away from the child. These things make the child look for attention or act out their frustrations by committing small crimes. These small crimes eventually grow into bigger crimes when the child grows up. This is not caused by some sort of systemic racism or because black people are genetically weak. It's a much more complex issue.

        Last edited 12/07/16 11:39 pm

          Each and every single one of those things you mentioned are due to systemic power inequality in terms of disproportionate criminality.

          You are welcome.

          Last edited 13/07/16 9:50 am

            Can you really blame those things on the system? The system didn't force the parents leave their child alone, the system didn't make them get addicted to drugs. Blacks are still human beings that have the ability to think and make decisions for themselves, to think that all their decisions are the work of some sort of system is giving them too little credit.

              OK, so let's try this with you again and see if you're smarter than the other dude. Don't worry, he set the bar REAL low.

              I'll go through it step by step.

              Your argument is that a system set up to disenfranchise 'blacks' isn't the issue, that each and every criminal 'black' freely CHOOSES to commit crimes.

              OK. Let's go with that.

              So can you please tell the class what you think it is that makes 'blacks' disproportionately CHOOSE to commit crimes.

              Is it because

              a) 'Blacks' are genetically predisposed to choosing criminal acts

              or

              ...
              ..
              .

              Last edited 13/07/16 12:28 pm

                Haven't I already explained this? It's not because of of some system or genetics. It doesn't have to be one or the other. It is based on the circumstances of the individual. This doesn't jut apply to blacks, it goes for everybody.

                  Brilliant.

                  You're getting there son!

                  OK, so you don't understand what 'disproportionately' means. That's important, as it's apparently the focus of the entire argument here.

                  Maybe you're a numbers guy, so here's a nice easy example.

                  Let's say you boil down the population of America.

                  For every ten white guys, 1 will commit crimes. For every ten black guys, 3 will.

                  So what this tells us, is that in any selection of black people, they are much more likely to commit a crime than the same selection of whites.

                  That's what 'disproportionate' is. I hope you're still with me.

                  OK, so let's look at your argument of 'individual circumstances'.

                  You're smart enough to work out that being poor, treated badly, suffering prejudice, having lack of access to education and employment, living in ghettos and other factors are what predispose people to commit crimes. That's awesome, you're way ahead of the other idiot.

                  So let's PUT THIS ALL TOGETHER!!!!!

                  1) Bad circumstances = more likely to commit crimes

                  +

                  2) Blacks = more likely to commit crimes

                  = More blacks are in bad circumstances.

                  Still with us?

                  So why are they in bad circumstances disproportionately (remember that word?)?

                  Is it

                  a) Something genetic about them makes them end up there

                  orrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

                  b) The fact that as a group they come from centuries of enslavement and poor integration policies and still suffer widespread prejudice socially and economically means that DISPROPORTIONATELY they end up in bad circumstances?

    @pylgrim no I did not demand that. Lol. You said the system is inherently racist and I asked for proof. If you're going to accuse someone of nitpicking words, at least try to remember what it is you've said.

    @pylgrim no I did not demand that. Lol. You said the system is inherently racist and I asked for proof and now you're telling me I think racism and all this other hoo-haa is a lie. If you're going to accuse someone of nitpicking words, at least try to remember what it is you've said. Piss poor effort.

      I explained in my post how racism is inherent, as in inherited from a past generation where it was very much a real thing, where a whole subset of human beings were so looked down upon that it was ok to own them. And then you asked for "evidence". What else was I meant to think? The evidence is right there in the open. Demanding it implies that you are blind to it, somehow.

      Also I have to say I find entertaining how you keep trying to avoid burnside's question. Your whole argument seems to be that racism is basically a lie, because people are correct in distrusting, fearing and hating people of colour due to their higher statistic percentage of being delinquents. If you really believe this is true, then you surely should recognise that it is important to understand the underlying causes of such undeniable facts. So what is it? Are they more likely to become delinquents due disenfranchising, resent and other societal, systematic problems or it is in their nature? You insist is not a systematic problem but faff around acknowledging or refuting the "nature" possibility. At least have the courage to stand by the full implications of what your different statements spell!

      Last edited 12/07/16 10:09 pm

        lmao. really. you're dense as the other bloke too. liberals are brick walls of stupid.

        ok guy.

        Last edited 13/07/16 8:20 am

          And you're entirely gutless because you know you're being racist but don't have the courage to answer the simple question that proves it.

          Like pretty much all other racists, unfortunately.

          You call me stupid, the subjective opinion of a racist and a troll. On the other hand I can objectively tell that you are stupid because only a stupid person would so transparently reply with gratuitous ad hominem an honest challenge to logical fallacies apparent in their statements. The fact that you don't even realise how profoundly it betrays you and paints you in an even worse light than just coming out and owning being a racist, reveals a shallowness of thought, a lack of insight and an abject ignorance about logical discourse than can only be defined by the word "stupid".

          Not that the whole being racist was not already a robust hint.

Join the discussion!