A few months ago, a study came out trying to measure Racial Discrimination among Police Searches of Motor Vehicles. In this study, they not only measure traffic stops, but also how often vehicles were searched and how often contraband was found. More than that, the study also went into whether or not the police who pulled over the car had sufficient reason to search the car. For this article today, I won’t be looking into that last part, but rather the rate at which Blacks and Hispanics get pulled over versus White, and the rate at which they’re searched. I do this because I feel the report has a poor foundation for its conclusions. This, in turn, shows their bias.
Let us start with the first table. This is pulled directly from their study. In the study, they use these findings to indicate racial discrimination. These findings represent the traffic stops for the state of North Carolina from 2009 – 2014. According to this chart, Blacks and Hispanics are more likely to be searched. However, Police are more likely to find contraband among White drivers than they are Black. More so, Hispanics are a minority when it comes to finding contraband (or Hit Rate).
By these findings, one could conclude there is racism against Blacks and Hispanic, though it appears there is more racism towards Whites than there are Asians. However, this is using trick math. The Search Rate and Hit Rate are in proportion to each individual race and not to the overall total. The thing is, that the less of a something there is, the higher a percentage may appear for something. That might sound confusing. Let me demonstrate this.
This next chart has a lot going on, so I will attempt to explain. We have close to 4.5 million traffic stops. Of that, about 50% are of whites. They represent the majority. However, if you combine all the races as one (Whites vs Minorities), they have 40,000 more than Whites. Blacks are the next highest at about 40%.
Search Rate was how many of that race was searched out of the total number pulled over. Whites Search Rate was lower than Hispanic and Blacks. But if we look at the numbers themselves, it shows us that 69k Whites had their vehicle searched, 97k Blacks had their vehicles searched, and 15k for Hispanics. Despite Hispanics having a higher rate than Whites, four times more Whites have their vehicles searched than do Hispanics. In fact, Whites are pulled over 7 times more than Hispanics.
With the use of trick math, the researchers can show racism towards Hispanics over Whites, but when we actually analyze the numbers based on their research, we see that there is more Racism towards Whites than Hispanics. But what about Blacks? Blacks represent 53% of those who are searched, where Whites only represent 37%. The numbers do seem to show Racism towards Blacks.
Let’s look at Hit Rate, how often something is found during a search by police. This shows that Whites are more likely to have something found during a search in proportion to the number of whites that are searched in general. 1 in 3. Higher than Blacks and Hispanics, which the study used to further show that searching a vehicle by a Black driver was unjustified. Again, trick math. When we actually analyze the values for how often something is found among cars that are searched, Blacks represent 53% of all contraband found amongst drivers.
So when we look at the whole thing, we see that Whites are 23% more likely to be pulled over than Blacks. Blacks are 42% more likely to have their vehicle searched than Whites, yet Blacks are 28% more likely to have contraband found than Whites. One could make the argument that Blacks are being discriminated against, as they are searched more often. But when we see that more is found in possession of Black drivers than White drivers, that becomes harder to prove.
Maybe there is racism here. If Whites were searched as often as Blacks were, then perhaps the amount of contraband found would be greater than Black, or still be less than. It’s worthy of discussion. But when we discuss this, we should look at the actual numbers, and not try to use trick math to make it say what we want. I can’t argue with that Blacks are searched more often than Whites, but at the same time, more Whites are pulled over than Blacks. Whites are more common in the US at 64% than compared to Blacks at 12%.
Of course, Asians skate on by. Less likely to be pulled over, less likely to be searched, and less likely to have anything found when they are searched. If the researchers were being objective here, then they would be reporting on all races versus Asians, rather than all races versus Whites. The fact they are pushing this racism narrative and comparing to Whites show their bias very clearly.
I will also point out that North Carolina only represents 3% of the US Population. It’s rather difficult to take these findings and apply it to the whole US, which this research is trying to do. Maybe it is consistent across the US, or maybe not. I would be in favor of more research done on this subject, so long as it was unbiased in its findings.
However, I can understand just using one state for their research, as we are talking about nearly 5 million cases to go through for a single state. And every state (every county really) has their own way of doing things, and may differ on how and what information they collect. Perhaps North Carolina had better collection of data?
The overall conclusion is that once again, Feminists are using trick math to make a study say what they want it to, and hope that anyone reading it won’t do what I’ve just done, hoping that you just accept it as fact. The interesting thing about math is that if you are really creative, you can make it say whatever you want. If we are to have an actual discussion on racism in this country, we can’t rely on trick math. We must look at the actual facts.
What saddens me is that these kinds of studies are not the exception, but rather the rule. When I see these, I quickly see how they manipulated data and studies to get the conclusion they wanted. While this is specifically about race, I’ve seen this done in many Feminist studies… start with a conclusion and work backwards to find evidence to support you. This is why I write about this, to expose this kind of thinking. More than that, Feminists are doing everything they can to make racism a part of gender equality, to where they make it hard to discuss one without the other.
He's an easy going guy who loves deep analytical thought, enjoys gaming, and being goofy.