Saturday, March 23, 2002
I don't think that's what "race" is supposed to refer toApparently one explanation for why black motorists are more likely to be stopped by police than white motorists is that black people speed more frequently. It seems that someone came up with the crazy idea that if we're going to criticize state troopers for unfairly stopping minorities, we ought to see whether troopers are unfairly stopping minorities. Unfortunately, the results came out wrong.
And the reaction to such a politically incorrect outcome? The Justice Department is refusing to officially release the results. Is there any doubt that had this study "proved" the accepted wisdom -- that racial disparities are inevitably the result of racism rather than behavior -- that it would have been on the front page, just like the study that supposedly "proves" that Minorities Get Inferior Care, Even if Insured? Is there any doubt that the coverup of the results would have resulted in a banner headline, with calls for hearings?
There have been questions raised about this speeding study -- but there are questions raised about every study. And as the Times reports, this study confirms another study which found the same thing
In North Carolina, for example, a professor hired in 2000 by the National Institute of Justice to study whether there are identifiable differences in driving behavior based on race, assigned teams of students to travel roads at the speed limit, record the race of drivers who passed them and use stopwatches to time the drivers' speed. Though the study has not yet been released, civil rights groups have dismissed its methods as "loony science" and called Matthew T. Zingraff, the lead researcher from North Carolina State University, a racist and a police apologist. Mr. Zingraff has said he was merely trying to find new data to quantify racial profiling.So there you go. We already know the police are guilty, so therefore anybody who finds differently is an apologist, and thus a racist. So say "civil rights groups."
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