The Inspector General’s Report and the Singapore Summit

Source: The Inspector General’s Report and the Singapore Summit

Worth a listen or two. There’s also a transcript.

….

LARRY P. ARNN: Yeah. Well, so the report– I’ve been reading the report this morning. And of course, it’s a federal government document, and so it’s a massive blather. And I might even just read you one paragraph so that you can see how hard it is to– because it doesn’t want to say anything clear, right?

So I will say one thing clear. The FBI puts itself forward as a symbol of neutrality, that these are professionals, and that they’re law enforcement people, and that they’re neutral. And there’s no thinking in the making of the Constitution of the United States that any large class of people would ever be regarded that way, because people have interests. Indeed, the heart of the Constitution, of the arrangements according to James Madison, is that it aligns the interest of the man with the duty of the place. In that man, ambition is used to offset ambition.

So the point is, there are these smoking guns. There are at least four of them, four different people whose guns are smoking, caught smoking, where they are obviously partisans in the politics of the day. And they’re on the left. And the worst of them even says that we are going to stop Donald Trump becoming president of the United States.

Now, the point there is that that means that this force, too, requires to be controlled. It can’t just be unfettered. And then I’ll go on to to say whether it is or not in my opinion. But remember also that this is really tough, because in the middle of a presidential campaign, they’re going– and since presidential campaigns last about two years in their most public active phase, and since these investigations take months, any investigation of a presidential campaign is going to run up against an election. And they’re very sensitive to that in the FBI, very sensitive about their own– what– their reputation.

And the FBI report, this inspector general’s report, is sensitive that way too. So on the second page of the executive summary, I’ll just read– if it’s OK with you– I’ll just read a few sentences. “There were clearly tensions and disagreements in a number of important areas between Midyear”– that’s the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s servers– “agents and prosecutors. We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative decisions we reviewed.”

So “directly affected.” That’s an interesting phrase.

HUGH HEWITT: Would you make a note? Because I want to come back to that, because it’s contradicted eight pages later. But go ahead.

LARRY P. ARNN: That’s right. Now, next– and what I’m showing you is this summary at the beginning, it just shows. So now, the next paragraph right after “directly affected” sentence, begins “nonetheless.” That’s a conjunction, right?

HUGH HEWITT: Yes.

LARRY P. ARNN: What that means is whatever’s going to come after that is some kind of a disagreement with the previous sentence.

HUGH HEWITT: Yes.

LARRY P. ARNN: “Nonetheless, these messages cast a cloud over the FBI’s handling of the Midyear investigation.” Now the next sentence, another conjunction. “But”–

[LAUGHTER]

“Our review did not find evidence to connect the political views.” So you see, I like to call this square dancing language.

HUGH HEWITT: Yes. And may I give you the better one?

LARRY P. ARNN: Yeah, go ahead.

HUGH HEWITT: OK, this is on the Roman numeral page IX, the first full paragraph. “In assessing the decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up on the Midyear-related” investigation– which is the server– “discovered on the Weiner laptop, we were particularly concerned about text messages sent by Strzok and Page that potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions they made were impacted by bias or improper consideration. Most of the text messages raising such questions pertained to the Russia investigation, and the implication in some of these text messages, particularly Strzok’s August 8 text message (‘we’ll stop’ candidate Trump from being elected), was that Strzok might be willing to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects. Under these circumstances, we did not have confidence that Strzok’s decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over the following up” of the server– the Midyear-related investigation lead– “discovered on the Weiner laptop was free from bias.”

In other words, Dr. Arnn, they said it’s free from bias. But then they just said, we don’t have confidence that it was free from bias. It is Orwellian.

….

“Separating families”

Investor’s Business Daily has two pieces of interest:

Lost Children? Detention Cages? Baby Prison Bus? Trump’s Critics Will Believe Anything

CNN’s Hadas Gold described the pictures as “First Photos of separated migrant children at holding facility.”

Outrage quickly followed.

“This is happening right now,” said former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau. “Speechless. This is not who we are as a nation,” said Antonio Villaraigosa, who is running for California governor. Actress Rosanna Arquette called it a “sick crime against Humanity”

Turns out the photos were taken in 2014 — when, ahem, President Obama was in the White House, a fact that nobody bothered to check before blowing a gasket. Once word of that fact got out, many of these same people deleted their tweets, rather than admit that the “sick crime” happened under their beloved Obama.

CNN’s Hadas Gold described the pictures as “First Photos of separated migrant children at holding facility.”

Outrage quickly followed.

“This is happening right now,” said former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau. “Speechless. This is not who we are as a nation,” said Antonio Villaraigosa, who is running for California governor. Actress Rosanna Arquette called it a “sick crime against Humanity”

Turns out the photos were taken in 2014 — when, ahem, President Obama was in the White House, a fact that nobody bothered to check before blowing a gasket. Once word of that fact got out, many of these same people deleted their tweets, rather than admit that the “sick crime” happened under their beloved Obama.

Separating Families At The Border: The Hysteria Overlooks Some Key Facts

First, it’s important to note that many of the “separations” don’t last long at all.
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Lowry notes that “The criminal proceedings are exceptionally short, assuming there is no aggravating factor such as a prior illegal entry or another crime. Migrants generally plead guilty, and then are sentenced to time served, typically all in the same day.”
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The administration is right to point out, however, that there is a legal process for seeking asylum that won’t involve facing such a choice — just show up at a port of entry to make the asylum claim.

“As I have said many times before, if you are seeking asylum for your family, there is no reason to break the law and illegally cross between ports of entry,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tweeted over the weekend.

Critics complain that the legal process just takes too long, as a way to justify illegal border crossings. But illegal border crossers are not only jumping the line. Under the old system they could vastly increase their chances of staying in the country — with or without gaining asylum status.

Is it wrong for Trump to try to close this unfair and potentially dangerous loophole?

Another fact conveniently overlooked amid all the hysteria is that just because a group claims to be a family, doesn’t mean it’s true. The Department of Homeland Security says that from October 2017 to February 2018 it saw “a 315% increase in the number of cases with minors fraudulently posing as ‘family units’ to gain entry.”

 

Who Misbehaves? | City Journal

Source: Who Misbehaves? | Heather Mac Donald | City Journal

The GAO report ignores the critical question regarding disciplinary disparities: do black students in fact misbehave more than white students? The report simply assumes, without argument, that black students and white students act identically in class and proceeds to document their different rates of discipline. This assumption of equivalent school behavior is patently unjustified. According to federal data, black male teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 commit homicide at nearly 10 times the rate of white male teenagers of the same age (the category “white” in this homicide data includes most Hispanics; if Hispanics were removed from the white category, the homicide disparity between blacks and whites would be much higher). That higher black homicide rate indicates a failure of socialization; teen murderers of any race lack impulse control and anger-management skills. Lesser types of juvenile crime also show large racial disparities. It is fanciful to think that the lack of socialization that produces such elevated rates of criminal violence would not also affect classroom behavior. While the number of black teens committing murder is relatively small compared with their numbers at large, a very high percentage of black children—71 percent—come from the stressed-out, single-parent homes that result in elevated rates of crime.

Stop and Frisk vs Crime Rates

Paul Cassell co-authored an article showing how the reduction in “stop and frisk” activity in Chicago corresponded with a significant increase in homicides. Needless to say, this article provoked comment. It seems some people are uncomfortable with the notion that it might have actually worked, even if minorities were being targeted.

This addresses comments by John Pfaff and the ACLU.

The 2016 Chicago Homicide Spike – Further Explained

The Volokh Conspiracy by Paul Cassell

On Monday, I discussed Professor Fowles and my article about what caused the 2016 Chicago homicide spike. Our paper argued that the causal mechanism was likely an ACLU consent decree with the Chicago Police Department, which led to a sharp decline in stop and frisks—and, we believe, a consequent sharp increase in homicides (and other shooting crimes). Since our paper was announced in The Chicago Tribune, distinguished law professor John Pfaff has tweeted a series of comments about our article, and the ACLU has commented as well. I wanted to briefly respond.

Turning first to Professor Pfaff’s tweets, it is useful to start with several points of agreement. Professor Pfaff notes that the causal mechanism we propose—an ACLU agreement leads to fewer stops, fewer stops leads to more crime—is “wholly plausible.” So far, so good.

But then Pfaff moves on to criticize us because our model “has only a handful of variables, almost all of them official criminal justice statistics, no social-economic statistics, and all at the city level (despite the intense concentration of violence in Chicago).” Let’s address these concerns specifically.

First, as to the explanatory variables in our equations: In our most extensive model, we employ twenty variables—specifically stop and frisks (of course); temperature (since crime tends to spike in warm weather months); 911 calls (as a measure of police-citizen cooperation); homicides in Illinois excluding Chicago (as a measure of trends in Illinois); arrests for property crimes, violent crimes, homicides, gun crimes, shooting crimes, and drug crimes; homicides in St. Louis, Columbus, Louisville, Indianapolis, Grand Rapids, Gary, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Detroit; and a time trend variable. All of these variables were based on monthly data, since we were attempting to explain homicide data reported on monthly basis. Interestingly, Professor Pfaff does not suggest any other readily-available monthly data that we could have included. Nor is it clear what sort of “socio-economic” statistics would have been relevant to explaining the homicide spike, which developed over a short period of time. It is true that our variables are not collected at the neighborhood level, but the city-wide level. But since our goal was to explain the Chicago homicide spike, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with looking at Chicago data.

The one specific variable that Professor Pfaff argues we failed to include was the “defunding of Cure Violence [a violence prevention program], which happened at the same time” as the spike. But it is curious that Professor Pfaff would take us to task for failing to look at this issue when, at the same time, he argues that the “best analysis” of the homicide spike was done by the University of Chicago Urban Lab. That (ultimately inconclusive) report specifically stated that “earlier in 2015, state funding for Cure Violence, a violence prevention organization operating in Chicago, was suspended, although the timing of that funding reduction does not seem to fit well as a candidate explanation for the increase in gun violence since the latter occurred at the end of 2015.”

Professor Pfaff also mentions that our regression equations simply include (in one model) homicides rates in other cities, without developing difference-in-difference variables or synthetic controls. But there are advantages to parsimonious construction. We doubt whether such controls would have made any difference to our conclusions. Moreover, we relied on Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA) as, at least, a partial response to such concerns. We would be interested to learn what Pfaff thinks of our BMA findings—which compellingly demonstrate our findings’ robustness within the included variables.

Professor Pfaff also raises a question about whether we have measured an “ACLU effect” or a “stop and frisk” effect. It is true, of course, that our regression equations explain homicides (and shooting crimes) by using stop and frisk as an explanatory variable. A linkage between stop-and-frisk tactics and homicides is an important finding in and of itself—a finding with which we hope Professor Pfaff might, to some degree, agree. But the logical next question is why did stop and frisks fall in Chicago at the end of 2015? This question is not as well suited to quantitative analysis as other questions, since it appears to be policy-driven. In any event, as Professor Pfaff even-handedly notes, we provide a qualitative defense of our position that the ACLU agreement caused the reduction in stop and frisks. Among other things, this is what the ACLU itself said—at least before the reduction became controversial.

Professor Pfaff also wonders why we do not attempt to quantify the costs of aggressive policing. Our paper explicitly addressed this point, agreeing that proactive policing has costs. But as anyone who has read the stop and frisk literature is well aware, many previous articles have articulated those costs. Our (perhaps already too-lengthy) paper focused on the other side of the cost-benefit equation, hoping to spark a discussion about how to strike a balance among competing concerns.

This issue of balancing competing concerns leads Professor Pfaff to raise a cautionary note about whether our findings are simply, as he puts it, a “Constitutional Effect” rather than an “ACLU Effect.” If things were so starkly simple as saying that all the additional stop and frisks that CPD conducted in 2015 compared to 2016 were unconstitutional, Pfaff might have an argument. But, again, our paper was more limited. The ACLU has justified its efforts to reduce stop and frisks, in part, by making the policy argument that there is “no discernible link between the rate of invasive street stops and searches by police and the level of violence . . . There simply is not any evidence of this so-called [ACLU] effect.” We believe it is fair to respond specifically to ACLU’s claim as part of what must necessarily be a much broader discussion about what are “unreasonable searches and seizures.”

We are encouraged by the fact that Professor Pfaff, based in New York City, is concerned about a common argument advanced about the efficacy of stop and frisk in fighting gun violence—that New York’s experience proves that no such linkage exists. We explained at length in our paper differences between New York and Chicago:

In 2016, New York’s homicide rate was only 3.9 per 100,000 population, while Chicago’s was 27.8—a rate more than 600% higher. But the relevant differences between the two cities may be even higher than this already staggering difference suggests. Looking at homicides committed by firearms, in 2016 New York’s rate was 2.3 compared to Chicago’s rate of 25.1—a rate more than 1000% higher. This is important because, as discussed earlier, gun crimes may be particularly sensitive to stop and frisk policies. In addition, because New York has such a small number of guns and gun crimes (relative to Chicago and many other cities), it can concentrate resources on preventing gun crimes in a way that other cities cannot….

Another problem in equating New York’s circumstances with Chicago’s is that the level of police power is different. Famously, New York has high levels of law enforcement. . . New York had about 153 law enforcement employees for every homicide committed in the city, while Chicago had only about 17 employees for every homicide committed—about a 800% difference. The difference is even greater if one combines both the gun homicide and police force numbers. Per gun homicide, New York has roughly 260 employees, while Chicago has only 19—well over a 1000% difference. To this point it might be objected that a homicide is a homicide, so it makes no sense to break out gun homicides separately. But homicides are not all alike. To the contrary, in general, homicides committed by firearms are more difficult to solve than other kinds of homicides, only adding to the relative difficulties for the Chicago Police Department. Moreover, in 2016, about 23% of New York’s homicides were gang-related, while roughly 67% (or more) of Chicago’s homicides and shootings appear to have been gang-related. Here again, gang-related homicides may be more difficult to solve than are other homicides, particularly in Chicago.

Professor Pfaff notes that our arguments distinguishing Chicago from New York “deserve attention.”

In several concluding tweets, Professor Pfaff wonders about whether homicides “spiked” in Chicago? Or did they rise steadily? Here we have a section of our paper that quantitatively analyzes this point in detail. After seasonally adjusting the data, we are able to perform a standard structural break analysis on our four dependent variables: homicides, fatal shootings, non-fatal shootings, and total shootings. We are able to find structural breaks in all four data series in and around November 2015.

In responding to each of Professor Pfaff’s questions to us, it may be fair to pose a single question back to him. Based on our review of on-the-street reports from Chicago, regression analysis of the available data, qualitative analysis of possible “omitted variables,” and relevant criminology literature, we believe that the best explanation for the 2016 Chicago homicide spike a was reduction in stop and frisks triggered by the ACLU consent decree. If this isn’t the best explanation, is there a better one?

The ACLU of Illinois has also commented on our paper. Some of the arguments that the ACLU raises are surprising, because the ACLU does not acknowledge that we addressed them at length in our paper.

(snip)

“Taking the knee” may do some good

It makes one a smaller target in places like Chicago.

Walter Williams looks at who’s responsible for the vast majority of lost black lives:

Blacks vs. Police

Let’s throw out a few numbers so we can put in perspective the NFL players taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem. Many say they are protesting against police treatment of blacks and racial discrimination. We might ask just how much sense their protest makes.

According to “The Washington Post,” 737 people have been shot and killed by police this year in the United States. Of that number, there were 329 whites, 165 blacks, 112 Hispanics, 24 members of other races and 107 people whose race was unknown. In Illinois, home to one of our most dangerous cities — Chicago — 18 people have been shot and killed by police this year. In the city itself, police have shot and killed ten people and shot and wounded ten others. Somebody should ask the kneeling black NFL players why they are protesting this kind of killing in the Windy City and ignoring other sources of black death.

Here are the Chicago numbers for the ignored deaths. So far in 2017, there have been 533 murders and 2,880 shootings. On average, a person is shot every two hours and 17 minutes and murdered every 12 1/2 hours. In 2016, when Colin Kaepernick started taking a knee, Chicago witnessed 806 murders and 4,379 shootings. It turns out that most of the murder victims are black. Adding to the tragedy is the fact that Chicago has a 12.7 percent murder clearance rate. That means that when a black person is murdered, his perpetrator is found and charged with his murder less than 13 percent of the time.

Similar statistics regarding police killing blacks versus blacks killing blacks apply to many of our predominantly black urban centers, such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans, St. Louis and Oakland. Many Americans, including me, see the black NFL player protest of police brutality as pathetic, useless showboating. Seeing as these players have made no open protest against the thousands of blacks being murdered and maimed by blacks, they must view it as trivial in comparison with the police killings. Most of the police killings fit into the category of justified homicide.

NFL players are not by themselves. How much condemnation do black politicians, civil rights leaders, and liberal whites give to the wanton black homicides in our cities? When have you heard them condemning the very low clearance rate, whereby most black murderers get away with murder? Do you believe they would be just as silent if it were the Ku Klux Klan committing the murders?

What’s to blame for this mayhem? If you ask an intellectual, a leftist or an academic in a sociology or psychology department, he will tell you that it is caused by poverty, discrimination and a lack of opportunities. But the black murder rate and other crime statistics in the 1940s and ’50s were not nearly so high as they are now. I wonder whether your intellectual, leftist or academic would explain that we had less black poverty, less racial discrimination and far greater opportunities for blacks during earlier periods than we do today. He’d have to be an unrepentant idiot to make such an utterance.

So what can be done? Black people need to find new heroes. Right now, at least in terms of the support given, their heroes are criminals such as Baltimore’s Freddie Gray, Ferguson’s Michael Brown and Florida’s Trayvon Martin. Black support tends to go toward the criminals in the community rather than to the overwhelming number of people in the community who are law-abiding. That needs to end. What also needs to end is the lack of respect for and cooperation with police officers. Some police are crooked, but black people are likelier to be victims of violent confrontations with police officers than whites simply because blacks commit more violent crimes than whites per capita.

For a race of people, these crime statistics are by no means flattering, but if something good is to be done about it, we cannot fall prey to the blame games that black politicians, black NFL players, civil rights leaders and white liberals want to play. If their vision is accepted, we can expect little improvement of the status quo.

Bad Science Behind Campus-Rape Guidance Echoes ’80s Trauma Myths – Hit & Run : Reason.com

Some years ago, near the end of the “Satanic Ritual Abuse” scare, it occurred to me to wonder how much of the trauma experienced by kids was due to their having been sexually abused, and how much by the constant drumbeat of expectation that they had been traumatized. (Not talking about cases where physical damage occurrs — more like the Kliban cartoon, “Uncle Sid’s Birthday Peek” (good luck finding that one.)

Someone acts in a creepy way, or maybe a very creepy way, and the target is told this is the worst thing that could ever happen to her. She gets the message that unless she recognizes how traumatized she is, maybe there’s something wrong with her. (Some of the interviews of children at the Mc Martin Preschool went awry in this very way.) So she confesses trauma. She rehearses it in interview after interview, conversation after conversation. Eventually, she believes it. An event has progressed from “boy that really creeped me out” to “he ruined my life!”

I don’t know if that ever happens, or how often it might happen. But in the middle of the hysteria, it was probably not safe even to ask the question.

 

Bad Science Behind Campus-Rape Guidance Echoes ’80s Trauma Myths – Hit & Run : Reason.com

Under this theory, hormones and other neurotransmitters go mad and can cause temporary brain damage; memories of an assault are stored perfectly somewhere in the brain but are “fragmented” at first, so it might take victims time to piece together the true story of what happened. College Title IX coordinators—the folks responsible for adjudicating claims of campus sexual misconduct—are told that “the absence of verbal or physical resistance, the inability to recall crucial parts of an alleged assault, a changing story—none of these factors should raise questions or doubt about a claim,” explains Yoffe. “Indeed, all of these behaviors can be considered evidence that an assault occurred.”

But science offers little evidence to support these claims. In fact, they fly in the face of almost all recent research on memory and trauma. (See Yoffe’s piece for plenty of backup on this front.) Rather, the “neurobiology of trauma” movement seems to have become popular because it plays so nicely into progressive ideology.

We have been here before.

In the 1980s, the idea that childhood sexual abuse caused later psychological troubles, substance abuse problems, and repressed memories grew quite popular. The medical mechanism through which this occurred was supposedly trauma, or more specifically, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Activists alleged that child sexual abuse victims experienced PTSD in the same way soldiers did.

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The trauma theory arose in response to questions about why many victims didn’t recall or report abuse until later. Trauma, PTSD, and repressed memories provided an explanation that avoided any emphasis on victims’ actions or behavior. To suggest that they waited out of shame, because they didn’t understand the meaning of the abuse until later, or for any other reason involving the remotest bit of agency on the victims’ parts was seen as too close to victim blaming. Any questioning of quack psychologists who “uncovered” repressed memories was viewed as saying most accusers were making their stories up.

PTSD also provided a semi-plausible biological mechanism for how childhood sexual abuse could directly cause mood disorders, drug abuse, excessive drinking, relationship and sexual problems, eating disorders, personality disorders, and other issues later in life—problems that were proclaimed to arise in almost every case.

Yet “the theory of PTSD did not readily adapt to the experience of sexual abuse as described by victims,” writes Clancy, who began focusing on the issue as part of her doctoral research at Harvard in the 1990s.

At the start, Clancy expected her interviews with survivors of childhood sexual abuse to confirm conventional wisdom: that this type of abuse was always traumatizing to children as it occurred, that this trauma could cause them to block it out or detach from it until years later, and that the result was always lifelong psychological, sexual, and relationship problems. But what she found was more complicated. Most of those she talked to—as patients and as part of her research project—knew their abusers, were not physically harmed by them, and recalled feeling more confusion than fear at the time.

In other words, they had not experienced the abuse as particularly traumatic when it occurred. The negative psychological effects of the abuse came later, in adolescence or early adulthood, when a victim could fully conceptualize and understand what had happened. That didn’t fit the PTSD model.

To be clear, she does not suggest that sexual molestation isn’t traumatizing—just that it traumatizes victims in a different way than was commonly understood. But when she began putting this out there, it was not taken well by her peers in the psychology community or by feminist activists. Clancy was accused of victim blaming and of being a “friend of pedophiles.” At the very least, critics asked, why did it matter? If the new trauma paradigm had mobilized mass attention and opened Uncle Sam’s pocketbook for research studies, child abuse hotlines, training programs, and awareness campaigns, then why quibble over the psychological particulars?

The answer, to Clancy, is simple: “To truly help victims, our theories need to be based on the empirical knowledge—and not on assumptions, politics, and lies.”

As she interviewed more and more survivors of childhood sex abuse, Clancy realized that misinformation about trauma was further victimizing them and causing even more psychological harm. For most—those who had not “fought back” against the abuse or reported it until later, those who hadn’t developed crippling psychological problems in the aftermath, etc.—the conventional wisdom on trauma only compounded feelings of insecurity, shame, and self-loathing. If they weren’t terrified in the moment and traumatized forever after, they took that as a sign of their own complicity, deviance, or flaws.

“The reason the truth matters—the reason advocacy is best based in truth—is that our lies about sexual abuse are not helping victims,” writes Clancy.

On campuses today, we may be making things worse for young people by embracing “science” because it feels right rather than because it reflects the empirical evidence. As before, this comes in reaction to a real problem—a historical disbelief in rape victims’ stories and a tendency to treat any minor memory inconsistencies as proof they are lying—but it has veered into a damaging overcorrection.

….

“This information sends the message to young people that they are biologically programmed to become helpless during unwanted sexual encounters and to suffer mental impairment afterward,” writes Yoffe. “And it may inadvertently encourage them to view consensual late-night, alcohol-fueled encounters that might produce disjointed memories and some regret as something more sinister.”

In today’s climate, this can lead to some major miscarriages of justice for those wrongly accused. But it’s also no boon for preventing sexual victimizaiton or for encouraging sexual safety and fulfillment among young people more broadly.

In survey after survey, students speak of incidents where they never communicated a desire to cease sexual activity because at that moment they felt “frozen,” even though the perpetrator was not (by their own accounts) violent, threatening, or otherwise acting in a manner that should inspire terror. Read about recent campus sexual assault investigations and you’ll find all sorts of cases where the sexual activity started consensually—often under the influence of alcohol—and then one partner had enough but didn’t say or do anything to indicate that. The other party, who cannot read minds, then continued…and later was accused of rape.

An attorney who defends students accused of Title IX violations told Yoffe: “I don’t think I’ve seen a complaint in the past year that didn’t use the word frozen somewhere.”

Of course people should take responsibility for ensuring a sexual partner’s consent. But in the absense of this affirmative consent—i.e., in the vast majority of sexual encounters today, on campus or off—it helps for people to speak up when they don’t want sexual activity to go on, to be forceful about it, and to physically attempt to leave if necessary. Obviously this isn’t realistic in every situation: Attacks involving strangers, violence, threats, etc., do not lend themselves to polite conventions and conversation. (And no victim should be disbelieved or blamed simply because he or she didn’t respond in some idealized way.) But the vast majority of campus sexual assaults that get reported do not involve violence or threats, do occur between people who know each other, and seem to involve some degree of genuine confusion over consent.

Rather than wade into what sorts of cultural messages and factors could contribute to all this, activists have invented a biological explanation and started teaching it through college pamphlets and websites, Title IX training modules, and more.

We are constructing a new trauma myth.

To challenge it is to be accused of victim-blaming, of putting the onus “on women not to get raped instead of on men not to rape,” of being a “rape apologist.”

To not challenge it is to deprive a lot of young people of skills necessary to avoid being assaulted.

Freezing up should be understood as something that’s understandable in the face of an unwanted sexual advance. It should not be our presumed default. Yet we’re teaching a generation of people new to sex that if they feel any hesitation about someone’s advances, it’s perfectly natural to say nothing and, because it’s the other person’s job to ask for affirmative consent, later report them for rape. Who is this helping?

Campus sexual assault and race, the unexamined question

Source: Campus sexual assault and race, the unexamined question

The Atlantic has published part three of its series exploring the parallel justice system that investigates and hands out punishment in cases of campus sexual assault. Part one outlined standards the Obama administration pushed schools to adopt, standards that often provide little protection for the rights of the accused. Part two dealt with the bad science being used to back up this approach. Part three is about the race of those being accused in these incidents and how it probably differs from the public perception of what a campus rapist looks like.

….

Black students made up approximately 4% of the student body at Colgate. So black and Asian students combined were about 7% of the population on campus but made up nearly 40% of those accused and 42% of those referred for hearings.

What accounts for this disproportionate representation? Yoffe writes, “as the definition of sexual assault used by colleges has become wider and blurrier, it certainly seems possible that unconscious biases might tip some women toward viewing a regretted encounter with a man of a different race as an assault.” If anything is likely to lead progressives to reconsider their support for low standards for adjudicating campus sexual assault cases, this would seem to be it.

White-on-Black Homicides Are More Likely to Be Ruled Justifiable. Here’s Why. | National Review

Source: White-on-Black Homicides Are More Likely to Be Ruled Justifiable. Here’s Why. | National Review

The New York Times and the Marshall Project report that homicides are much more likely to be ruled justifiable when a black man is killed by a white person. Racial disparities in self-defense is a topic I’ve spent a fair amount of time thinking about, because in 2013 I had a challenging and rewarding back-and-forth about it with John K. Roman and Shebani Rao of the Urban Institute. (Roman’s study, my response, their reply, my final comment.) There may be some bias in these decisions, but I don’t think this kind of statistic is very helpful when it comes to studying it.

Basically, when a member of one group attacks a member of another group, two things can happen that will affect homicide statistics: The aggressor can kill the victim, or the victim can kill the aggressor. The former act should be charged as a crime, the latter ruled justifiable (assuming the victim reasonably feared for life or limb). Therefore, more acts of aggression by members of a group translate to more unjustifiable homicides for that group and more justifiable homicides for the other group. As a result, if one group commits more violent crime, we’d expect that group’s homicides to be justified a lower percentage of the time.

You can follow the links above for more details on the math, but using a victimization survey by the Justice Department (which avoids the issue of racial bias in arrest statistics), a rough estimate is that there are 767,000 acts of black-on-white violence and 128,000 violent acts where the races were flipped in the U.S. annually. As I explained, if 2 percent of all victims of violence defend themselves,

128,000 acts of white-on-black violence inspire 2,500 acts of justified violence by blacks. And 767,000 acts of black-on-white violence inspire 15,000 acts of justifiable violence by whites. . . . As a result, 10 percent of white-on-black violence is justified, and only 0.3 percent of black-on-white violence is. This corresponds closely to the actual disparity from the FBI figures [regarding homicides ruled justifiable]: 11.41 percent to 1.2 percent.

I also pointed out that most justifiable homicides involve guns, and that whites report owning guns at about twice the rate of blacks.

The NYT/Marshall analysis does adjust the data to account for numerous factors, such as the relationship between the parties, the killer’s sex, the broad type of confrontation, and the weapon used, and finds that the disparity falls from to eight times to 4.7 times. But they don’t have a way of figuring out which party was actually the aggressor, and therefore they can’t tell whether prosecutors make the wrong decisions, letting off whites and/or prosecuting blacks in cases where they’d have done differently if the races were reversed. (I also find it frustrating that in most of their statistics they compare overall rates with rates for black men, combining sex and race so it’s hard to tell the role of each factor. Anyone want to guess whether man-on-woman or woman-on-man homicides are more likely to be self-defense?)

Again, I’m not claiming there’s zero bias at play here; the data are murky enough that we can’t know for sure. But the disparity documented in the report isn’t evidence of bias. It’s exactly what we’d expect to see when one group offends at a higher rate than another.