Maybe Larry Krasner is the racist

District Attorney Larry Krasner, my least favorite elected official, piggybacking on Juneteenth, issued a report saying that Philadelphia’s justice system has a disproportionate impact on Black people, and that impact is negative.

The report, “Racial Injustice Report: Disparities in Philadelphia’s Courts from 2015 to 2022,” studied more than 290,000 cases over the last eight years.

Since the report is 68 pages, I will instead deconstruct the story on the report carried by the Inquirer.

I have provided the link, but since many of you can’t open it, I will use the text written by reporter Beatrice Forman.

But, first, a few quick points.

Right now, Republicans are complaining about a double standard justice system in the United States, as if this was sprung on them like AI chatboxes. They are complaining that Hunter Biden probably won’t get jail time, while some Republicans have. (So have some Democrats, for the record.)

Generally speaking, we all know rich people fare better in the courts because they can hire better lawyers. But it’s not black and white, and money alone can’t keep you out of jail. Ask Harvey Weinstein, Tom Sizemore, Bernie Madoff, Suge Knight, Michael Milken, Michael Vick, Chaka Fattah, Michael Avenatti, Lori Loughlin, Phil Spector, Wesley Snipes. All were rich, all were jailed.

But the truth is, money helps.

Another truth is this: The percentage of Black people sentenced to jail is higher than the percentage of white people sent to the Graybar Hotel.

But that isolated stat does not prove racism, any more than this one: 73% of NBA players are Black. Very disproportionate.

But, some would say, they earned their way into the NBA.

Yes, and the same would be true of most Black people in jail.

Disproportionately Black, too, is the majority of Philadelphia murder victims — 85% — and perpetrators. Sad, shocking, and true.

Any fair-minded person would admit the justice system is not completely fair, and race is unquestionably a factor. But the only factor?

Not in my book. 

The Krasner report studied the injustice between 2015 and 2022. He assumed office in 2018, so for most of the years reviewed, he was the person charging defendants. He was in charge in 2018. He was in charge in 2019. He was in charge in 2020. He was in charge in 2021. He was in charge in 2022. Doesn’t this poor fool realize he has indicted himself?

If the justice system is racist, how is he not to blame?

Finally, look at the chart, showing stops, arrests, convictions, etc. Black percentages are much higher than whites. If that alone proves bias, why are Hispanics lower than whites and Asians are rock bottom? There’s no anti-Hispanic and anti-Asian sentiment? We know that’s not true.

I would like to see a study explaining why Asians are so rarely involved in crime, and so often superior in school. There’s a lot we can learn from them.

OK, on to Ms. Forman’s reporting.

The D.A.’s office has “concluded that the vestiges of slavery, redlining, and the war on drugs . . . Disproportionately impact Black communities.”

Juneteenth reminds us slavery ended 158 years ago, eight generations ago.

Is that a primary cause of Black inequality?

Or might it have more to do with the lagging educational achievement of Black people? 

According to Statista, 35.2% of white people finish college, contrasted to only 25.2% of Blacks. And — get this — 56.9% of Asians.

 You don’t need a college degree to understand the higher your educational attainment, generally speaking, the higher your salary and the better your life. (Not always true as anyone with a master’s in Black lesbian poetry can tell you.)

I acknowledge that schools in “bad” neighborhoods are not as good as schools in “nice” neighbors, but that’s because “bad” neighborhoods tend to be poor and have problems wealthy neighborhoods don’t have. That is more a function of class than race.

The Inquirer reported that at Krasner’s event, City Councilwoman Jamie Gauthier also spoke, and complained that “the government never atoned from its original sin of slavery . . . [and] lawmakers have enacted and encouraged policies that subjugated Black residents to second-class citizenship.” 

In reality, in 2008 the House of Representatives passed a resolution apologizing for slavery. Is that not atoning, or does Gauthier have her hand out for reparations?

As to the policies she mentions, does she think this is Reconstruction? She references long-ago policies and makes them seem like current events. Welcome to the Grievance Corner.

During the campaign, Rebecca Rhynhart mentioned “‘built-in racism in the city system.” I would have asked her — and I tried — to show me exactly where the “built-in racism” was and why the two Black mayors who endorsed her — Michael Nutter and John Street — didn’t get rid of it.

We have gotten so used to sloppy charges of “systemic racism” that many use it without thought, or proof. It’s in their Woke DNA.

To be clear, “systemic” means part of the system, while my belief is the “system” are our laws that prohibit discrimination, and when bias exists, and it does, it is outside the system. I don’t think I am splitting hairs. I believe this is a country with racism in it, but I do not believe it is a racist country.

I am not trying to minimize racism, but I can’t maximize it, either. I am surrounded by way too many successful Black people. They are not a fluke. They could not achieve in a truly racist society.

The Inquirer says “the report outlines how the foundations of the legal system started as a means of enforcing slavery.”

Krasner probably believes that, but I don’t. I am willing to tell Krasner — and the 1619 Project — that our earliest laws were drawn from British common law, which developed after the Norman conquest of 1066. It didn’t have a damn thing to do with slavery.

Krasner speaking now: “My predecessors — certainly every single one I observed, perpetuated racism.”

Is he blind? Did he not observe Seth Williams, who is Black? So Krasner has accused a Black man of being a racist. You see how detached from reality this gets? 

Blacks and whites are almost equal in Philly — 38% to 34% — yet Black people are 1.5 times more likely to be stopped by an officer, the report says. Did the report say most of the stops are in poor neighborhoods, which often are high crime? In Philly, most poor neighborhoods are Black, or brown.

Democratic mayoral nominee Cherelle Parker, who is Black, said she will continue to use stop-and-frisk as a crime deterrent. Is she also a racist?

Stop-and-frisk is used, the Inquirer said, mostly in neighborhoods of color. It did not accurately describe these neighborhoods as high crime, which they are, unfortunately.

More than half the Black people who entered the criminal justice system were charged with felonies, the Inquirer reported, compared with a quarter of whites. 

I see no mention of how many of these people had prior arrests, which could figure into how they are charged. 

In any event, as I mentioned, Krasner was D.A. for the majority of the years studied. If Blacks were disproportionately charged, he’s the racist.

The report wants to city to acknowledge structural racism exists, then improve the neighborhoods through the greening of vacant lots, revitalizIng blighted properties, and curbing illegal dumping — “all interventions demonstrated to reduce violent crime.”

You know what else reduces violent crime?

Curbing illegal behavior.

Can we convince our racist D.A. to take a shot at that?

23 thoughts on “Maybe Larry Krasner is the racist”

  1. I guess Larry forgot that one of his predecessors he accused of racism is a black male former District Attorney Seth Williams. Seth was in the middle of his second term as DA when he was arrested and spent three years in Federal Prison.


  3. The question of whether or not “the country” is racist as an institution seems kinda goofy to me personally. Not even sure that actually possible. I will certainly acknowledge (and am appalled by), however, the fact that there are a lot of racist mothereffers running around in this country. I see and hear them with my own eyes and ears virtually daily. But I will also opine that most of the folks I know are of good heart and wish the best for everyone. That’s the America in which I want to live. Stu, The Beatles said All You Need Is Love. Yep.

    1. As I said, there are racists in this country, as there are anti-Semites, but that does not mean America is racist or anti-Semitic. The haters are rarely in a position to thwart anyone’s dreams.

  4. I’m going to refrain on Larry Krasner comments, other than to say from what I’ve read about him from you, and others, definitely tilts towards negative. As for racism, I don’t believe this country is that anymore, but was as late as the mid 20th century. Looking back at the GI Bill, enacted for returning soldiers after WWII, blacks were not afforded equal opportunity for housing that their white comrades in arms were. That racism has helped to create the wealth chasm we have today between the races. And wealth, today, is what has placed blacks in a constant state of playing catch up, from housing, to education, to employment opportunities. This of course is as a group, and does not account for individual accomplishments that represent mostly skill, with a little luck perhaps mixed in.

    1. I acknowledge the very obvious racism of the past, and acknowledge racism, like anti-Semitism exists, but does not present a barrier for success. There are disparities of wealth between ethnic groups, and it is true Blacks were held back for many decades. BUT, there are 10 Black billionaires. Whites are not the highest earners — SE Asian Indians are. They are brown, many are recent immigrants and 72% have a college degree.

  5. Both the Inquirer and Krasner have proven Mark Twain’s old adage: “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” You have certainly pointed out the majority of them here. In addition, you have done a great Captain Obvious routine on Krasner – who deserves every bit of it.

    1. I actually have an advanced degree in stat. Mark Twain was CORRECT.

      Don’t ever believe any stat you are given if the raw data isn’t presented.Especially from government agencies. You will be right more than you are wrong.

      Don’t believe polls Somebody is funding the pollster. If they don’t produce results the funder wants they won’t get any more polling jobs from the funder.

      I can’t believe Stu really called for curbing illegal behavior. What’s wrong with you? Stu , are you SANE ?

  6. Stu,
    This is not at all a skin color problem. You get it. Once people can objectively discuss constructive cultural criticism without getting juxtaposed with Cornelius Rhoades, interests will finally be aligned.

    ‘… income redistribution not only encouraged an unsustainable surge
    in population, it contributed in important ways to cultural relativism
    and widespread confusion over the crucial role of culture in fitting people to
    prosper in their local environment. Today most people believe that cultures are
    more matters of taste than sources of guidance for behavior that can mislead as
    well as inform. We are too keen to believe that all cultures are created equal, too
    slow to recognize the drawbacks of counterproductive cultures. This is
    especially true of the hybrid cultures that have begun to emerge in the hothouse
    of subsidy and intervention in many parts of the world in this century. Like the
    criminal subculture of America’s inner cities, they retain incoherent bits and
    pieces of cultures appropriate to earlier stages of economic development, and
    combine them with values for informing behavior in the Information Age.’

    James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg ‘The Sovereign Individual’

  7. Figures lie and Liars figure. Larry Krasner’s policies as DA is the catalyst for the enormous violent crime rate over the last five years. The officers working the street in Philadelphia are stopping and arresting individuals who are involved in violent criminal behavior. Personal accountability is never mentioned by the DA. The overwhelming majority of poorest residents of Philadelphia are not involved in criminal behavior. Krasner’s excuses of Racism, Poverty and rogue police officers as causes for an unfair Justice system has no merit today. How effective are the DA’s crime prevention programs. Has anyone evaluated their effectiveness. Larry Krasner’s report has no merit.

  8. Absolutely correct. The only way for police stops to be racially equal over the whole city would be if ppd made as many stops in Rittenhouse sq ,chestnut hill and w mt airy as they do in Kensington, fairhill and harrowgate. Which would be obviously an incredible waste of resources .
    One thing that krasner failed to mention that his report documented. As far as drug possession arrests go , whites were arrested more than blacks per capita . A stat that negates these b.s claims of racism

  9. I agree that this is not a “racist” country and that there is racism. My observation, however, is that discrimination is more pervasive than a lot of people think, because much of it flies below the radar and goes unreported. For example a recent study was conducted as follows:
    “Twelve Black and 12 White testers visited 52 bank branches in the Atlanta metro area over a four-month window as potential customers seeking loans for small businesses. The testers were given business profiles strong enough to easily qualify for a loan, with Black testers given better profiles (greater business income, more years in operation, more money in the bank and higher credit scores). Despite having better financial profiles, Black testers were offered a business line of credit (BLOC) significantly less often than White testers.” Here’s the peer-reviewed and pay-walled study though you can see the abstract, and here’s the press release about the study from the Brigham Young University researchers which gives more detail.
    I note that the findings do not mean that Black entrepreneurs can’t get a line of credit–just that they have jump through more hoops than their white counterparts. Probably they have to try more banks. One thing the study found, for example. is that while it made no difference whether white applicants were sole proprietors, or operated through a business entity (corporation or LLC), it made a big difference for Black entrepreneurs getting approval. See this: “loan approvals for Black-owned sole proprietorships were less than half that of White-owned sole proprietorships. However, when Black entrepreneurs’ business structures were joint proprietorships or partnerships, the racial bias on loan approvals was mitigated. Additionally, when Black entrepreneurs had LLC, S corps or C corps, the racial bias was reversed: 75% of Black owners had loans approved, as opposed to 42% of White owners.” [Plug for the law biz: call a lawyer, get incorporated!]

    But most concerning for me is:
    “Study 2: White and Black testers were given either a high or low socioeconomic profile and instructed to inquire about small business loans with banks in the Washington, D.C., metro area over a six-week period. Researchers found that White customers with low socioeconomic profiles were treated significantly more favorably than their Black counterparts with the same profile.”
    On the upside: “However, the study also showed that Black testers with high socioeconomic profiles received similar treatment as their White counterparts.”
    The first part of Study 2 is concerning because it seems to show that Black entrepreneurs coming out of poverty have a tougher time than their white counterparts. This suggests that there is something to the notion that there remain difficulties to overcome the past effects of discrimination. On the other hand, it is nice to know that for the Black folks who have “made it” discrimination is not a big factor–at least in banking.

    This study has all the things Krasner’s numbers don’t–controls, analysis and real testing–not to mention nuance and a willingness to follow the data. I am prepared to believe that there may be problems of unequal treatment in the justice system (sentencing disparities have been documented a few times), but this is not it. The problem I have with the woke left is its insistence that we haven’t made real and substantial progress–of course I also have a problem with the idea that discrimination is totally over in this country. We’re not “all done” with it, but we are at the point where what is needed is a scalpel, not a sledgehammer.

  10. Stu, thanks for your admirable attempt to restore sanity to local journalism. The Inquirer’s coverage of Larry Krasner has long been an incestuous travesty, and a mountain of misinformation.

    Here’s the problem: Krasner’s vision of seeing racism everywhere — including his own oversight of the criminal justice system from 2018 to 2022 — corresponds exactly with the vision of the Inquirer’s “A More Perfect Union” project that sought to expose systemic racism at every historic institution in town, starting with the Inquirer itself.

    Because the Inquirer decided from the get-go that it was all in with Larry’s “reforms,” Inky reporter Julie Shaw couldn’t get her stories in the paper that sought to hold Krasner accountable. She was transferred off the beat and finally quit. Others currently on the staff have run into the same problem.

    At the Inquirer, Krasner is a sacred cow. His radical reforms of the criminal justice system — and complete destruction of the DA’s office — deserve the highest levels of unbiased journalistic scrutiny, not blind top-down support from like-minded ideologues.

    Thank God it looks like they’ve moved Samantha Melamed, by far the worst offender, off the Krasner propaganda beat. But this story by Forman was right out of that sacred cow style of reporting. It shouldn’t have gotten past any editor in their right mind.

    But it did.

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