September 10, 2014

DWB is a "Measurable Phenomenon"

Driving while black, or DWB, has long been a primary, if unstated basis, for many police stops. Yet, many members of law enforcement and dubious white folks have tried to brush it off as a mere figment of the imagination for overly sensitive black people. But the empirical data is in and the results confirm what many people already knew: DWB is indeed real.

Quick aside: WashPo referring to DWB as a "phenomenon" is a sloppy, if not deliberately, misleading misnomer. Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines the term as "something (such as an interesting fact or event) that can be observed and studied and that typically is unusual or difficult to understand or explain fully." There's nothing mysterious or hard to understand about DWB. It's conscious and/or sub-conscious racism. Sometimes things are exactly what they look like, and DWB is one of those things.

As discussed in today's Washington Post, a Justice Department study in 2013 establishes that a black driver is about 31 percent more likely to be pulled over than a white driver, and about 23 percent more likely than a Hispanic.

Another interesting statistic shows that black and Hispanic drivers are searched far more often during the course of the vehicle stop than white drivers. There are lots of nuggets in the report, but I haven't had time to parse it more carefully. Don't wait for me, dive in.

The article is here, and the study follows below.

No comments:

Post a Comment