Vanishing disparities in jail, probation, and parole rates — rising levels of law enforcement employment
The pace of Hispanic assimilation to Anglo norms really is amazing.
Yesterday's "Yglesias" is today's "Humphreys."
So do we have an idea *why* this has shifted so much? Did I miss a link in the article?
Living in a heavily hispanic area, my naive guess would be this is simply what assimilation looks like. The majority of Americans are honest and hard-working people, and in my experience this is especially true of immigrants and their children. I would say the general perception in my neighborhood is that Hispanics are the hardest working people here and that they form the backbone of our economy. There can be cultural tension sometimes, but perceptions are strongly positive and overall tension is low.
Is this just me and my local experience, or does this sound like the general trend across most of the country?
I've never bought the 'POC' formulation. The Black experience is unique, closer to the Native American experience than to Hispanics, who are more analogous to the Italians or even the Chinese. The political battles going forward will be for the loyalty of Hispanic voters. They are a growing demographic while whites are in slow decline and Blacks are staying roughly steady.
Bingo! It is a "conservative" theme to frame issues -- trade, immigration, tax reform, LGBTQ rights, voter suppression, policing reform, vaccine mandates -- as zero sum identity politics. Liberals need to be sure our reforms are positive sum and then organize and campaign on that basis.
Be careful Matt, your friends at Vox will start attacking you for inferring Hispanics are a model minority. They are now frantically sifting through statistics to push back against this take. Expressing positive feelings about the success of a minority group is such a racists thing to do. No wonder you have to slum it at Substack!
One tangential but interesting question here is the anomalous class position of cops, in that a cop can make a middle-class income without a college degree, and that's increasingly rare. Cops can make middle-class money without being middle-class people. I haven't seen any studies of the role of cop jobs in intergenerational class mobility, but it would be interesting to know.
In today’s world it’s inconceivable that Italians wouldn’t be considered white. But what was the consensus c. 1890? As far as I know there was a lot of concern about the hordes of Irish and they were very white and already spoke English.
Speaking of Hispanic Americans and police, I heard a story of a Hispanic cop from California who decided to retire to the Wyoming/Montana border and start doing airport shuttle rides because he liked driving and talking to people (this is how my family met him).
Anyway, he also had a nice sports car and kept getting pulled over for being a brown man in a nice car—until he went to the local sheriff and introduced himself and his ex-cop background. Then word got around not to hassle the retired cop with a nice car.
This was over a decade ago that B I heard this story, so longer since it happened, but I thought it was an illustration of summer of the trends in this piece.
Not sure what 'shrinking the correctional system to a rational size' means, other than we lock up too many people for too long. But we lock them up for committing what our society at large thinks people deserve being locked up for. Like murder, burglary, theft. In my lifetime we've stopped locking people up for smoking pot and having gay sex. If Matt has some useful suggestions for other things we should stop locking people up he should say so. This piece doesn't and is entirely unhelpful for framing the issue.
All good points, but a more interesting question is WHY did this happen? As a Hispanic who grew up in Compton, Ca in the 80's and 90's and still has family living there, I posit a few reasons:
1. Technology. Everyone has a cell phone now and anything done is fundamentally done in the eyes of everyone. This would contribute to an overall reduction in crime, not specifically Hispanic. But its such a callosal point its worth mentioning right at the beginning.
2. If you ask the friends I have living in Compton, they will say it was deportations. Do anything serious - even in California - and you get deported. This is a confounding variable though. It doesn't just reduce one less criminal, it also changes the culture dramatically. Less new people to feed the criminal networks.
3. Immigration restrictions are certainly playing a role. Mexicans crossing over now have to get significantly higher income to cross (coyote fees are like $10k now, years salary in Mexico). Then there is the Venezuela and Colombia affect (Venezuela is crumbling, which causes an exodus of the high income - and low crime - population to flee to USA).
4. All play a factor but my biggest answer is: culture. Women suddenly, around 2000, stopped valuing gang members. Ask any Hispanic who grew up in LA during the 80s and 90s and they will tell you that you almost had to be a gangster to get play in the dating market. It was high premium. Even ugly dudes scored higher if they were from a gang. This all changed in the 2000s and its bound to have downstream consequences. Why this sudden change?
Anyway it's a fascinating puzzle, but one thing I'm fairly certain of is that it wasn't because of any real policy issue. The ground level is much more dynamic than policy experts assume.
What's remarkable about these numbers is the lower Hispanic jail incarceration rate occurs despite: a lower median age, lower socioeconomic status, and some degree of discrimination. Which throws in to question how important those factors really are when studying crime and arrests.
This is even more true with Asians probably. Lot of Asians in Queens and other places very pro-cop. Also, why aren’t you using “Latinx” instead of Hispanic? :)
Shh, don't let the English departments know about this. Where they are going to get their funding if everyone is turning white??
> From 1997 to 2016, the proportion of police officers who were African-American was stable, whereas the proportion who were Hispanic increased 61%. This helps explain why a June 2021 Gallup poll found that the proportion of Hispanics expressing “a lot” or “a great deal” of trust in police was 49%
Correlations are not causation! Maybe they trust police more for other reasons and thus are more likely to be become a police officer.
Hey. Who's this new guy? :)
Welcome, Keith. Good article to kick off with — Easy to understand, well argued, fact based and makes an interesting point with many implications.
Are you going to be writing here again?