Crime Stats Check In, June Edition

The good news is that crime continues to be down compared to this time last year, by a little over 15%.

The less good news is that we continue to creep closer to last year’s numbers. In March, crime compared to the same date in 2008 was down 22.20%. Last time I did this, a month ago, total crime was down 19.39%.

And here’s where we are as of June 8th (xls).

I’ve added a comparison to 2007 as well.

68 thoughts on “Crime Stats Check In, June Edition

  1. Bjorn Tipling

    Stats are nice and all, but I’d like to get some more qualitative information on crime in Oakland. It’s not a big town, where is all of this happening and to whom and by whom?

  2. Mike d'Ocla

    In response to Bjorn Tipling’s questions, I am inclined to think there are two main answers–the war on drugs and institutional racism.

  3. einnocent

    This data should be per capita, to account for population fluctuations.

    I doubt it’ll change much, but if the population and crime rate have both gone down by 20%, for example, Oakland’s residents haven’t gotten any safer.

  4. einnocent

    Thanks for the insightful reply, Mike. In answer to your question, Bjorn, crime is happening at the war on drugs, and to institutional racism by institutional racism.

  5. Bjorn Tipling

    Ralph: Institutional racism is racial discrimination that is systemic in the forces affecting people’s lives. It’s not overt racism, with people consciously making hateful decisions to discriminate, it’s discrimination through ignorance and is partly due to historic overt racism. I’m not saying there isn’t any overt racism still there, there is. But institutional racism is different. Examples are minorities living in low income areas with a small tax base where schools don’t have the same resources as other places. Another example, and a result of the previous example, are standardized tests. Tools used to fight institutional racism are programs such as affirmative action, and equitable tax revenue distribution policies.

  6. James Robinson

    Personally, I think it is “institutional racism” to assume that black children can’t do well on standardized tests simply because they are black. If there is a cultural bias, why are people from a completely different culture able to immigrate to the USA and succeed at standardized tests? The institutional racism, in my opinion, is the low expectations of black youth that contributes to their mediocrity.

    Regarding “minorities living in low income areas with a small tax base,” one solution is to bring in people with more income to increase the tax base. Some people call this “gentrification.” I have seen this happen in Washington, DC; Alexandria, VA;, Norfolk, VA; Philadelphia, PA and other cities. Perhaps it is time for the middle class, particularly the black middle class, to re-assert themselves. That can grow the tax base and slowly but surely uplift certain areas.

  7. Bjorn Tipling

    I was hoping to make the point that children do not do well on standardized tests, regardless of their race, if they went to an inadequate school. The institutional racism comes into play with the location. Assuming that black children cannot do well on standardized tests simply because they are black, isn’t institutional racism, it’s just racism.

    As for small tax base problem, a national or statewide department of education that ensures all schools get the same money per student is the best solution in my opinion.

  8. Ralph

    Bjorn, I know what institutional racism is; I want someone to explain it in the context of crime. Equitable tax distribution policies – isn’t this another way of robbing the rich to pay the poor. It would seem to me that the only thing you are doing is stealing money from those who have earned it to give to those who have not only not earned but have become so dependent on it that their survival is contingent upon this parasitic system (versus actually getting an education and a job) .

    Theoretically, all CA schools start off on equal footing thanks to the great equalization of the state. Of course, thanks to PTAs, that falls apart when you get to the individual school level. What will help – bring more middle class homeowners to some of these poorer areas.

    ps: the state re-allocation method can not address parents who do not read to their children, parents who do not demand that their children actually attend school and prepare lessons, absentee parents, low birth weight babies who start behind the curve, teenagers having children, etc all the o/s factors that impact a child’s education

  9. Bjorn Tipling

    I don’t think equitable tax distribution is robbing from the rich. It’s not about taking more taxes, it’s about making sure that benefits and services based on taxes already collected are distributed equally.

  10. Ralph

    isn’t the non-tax paying public already receiving benefits and services well in excess of the value of taxes they actually put into the system. If i give you a dollar in tax why should I not expect that a significant portion should benefit my immediate community.

    these services do not pay for themselves and you may not call it robbing but at the end of the day I am not getting a direct benefit from my tax dollar. at most poorer neighborhoods should receive enough to meet minimum living and educ stds but not a penny more. any penny in excess of the bare minimum is a bad use as it foster a parasitic society.

  11. Bjorn Tipling

    When it comes to education, I think every school should get the same amount of money per child. No child is worth more or less than any other. I think we’d all be better off if we’d invest more in all the people in this country. You never know where the next Einstein, the next genius who comes up with a cure for Cancer might come from. She or he might come from right here in Oakland. If you feel different that’s fine.

  12. VivekB

    but that money doesn’t grow on trees – it has to come from somewhere. And right now, as Ralph puts it *aweomely*, we’re fostering a parasitic society where those that don’t put much into the system get just as much out.

    I understand children are ‘innocent’ in this, but the lines of class warfare and ‘soak the rich’ are getting to lower & lower income levels every year. I have to bust my ass for my salary, the wife does too, we’re barely making ends meet, and now I have to subsidize people like my Brother-in-law’s friends who have zero ambition and are content to work at the Foster’s Freeze as a cashier while complaining about the man?

    I used to be in consulting, putting in 90+ hours/week while wearing a suit & tie. Then I moved out of consulting, but still find myself in an ‘always on’ modality. It’s an ‘up-or-out’ game in my world, you either get promoted and get raises or you get fired. Sure, i’ll make more money than the poorer parts of oakland, and i’m happy to pay a fair share in taxes, but what gives the poorer neighborhoods the right to work fewer hours and still expect the same amount in benefits as my kids?

  13. James Robinson

    The problem is, like Ralph said, it is ultimately impossible for each school to get the same money. For example, a richer neighborhood has parents who can raise money to get their children a state-of-the-art computer lab or better yet, their own netbooks. A richer neighborhood can afford to send their children on more field trips to enhance their education.

    Even if it were possible to financially equalize the amount each school gets, it might not help. Poorer school generally have extra expenses like extra security. Also, children from poorer neighborhoods have additional needs that additional money might not be able to help. Extra money can’t compensate for a broken home. Extra money can’t compensate for a culture of underachievement. And extra money can’t compensate for self-perpetuating oppression.

  14. Delores

    Crime is down because last year we locked more people up. They locked up, they not committing the same level of crime. I don’t know what institutional racism or war on drugs have to do with any of that. When the governator starts releases felons back to our neighborhoods crime will go up. All this la-di-da talk is fine but when felons are released we are going to need the 140 officers we are about to lay off.

  15. James Robinson

    We need as many police officers in Oakland as we can get. However, the money that we are paying for current officers’ overtime could probably help fund more officers.

    I assume that it is a requirement that former prisoners be dropped off into the municipality where they were arrested — Oakland, in this case. That doesn’t mean they have to stay in Oakland. I’m also guessing that former prisoners tend to stay with relatives or close friends, as least initially. If those relatives are in Oakland, then the criminals will stay in Oakland instead of just leaving. What I’m about to write is going to sound foul to some: the percentage of black people, especially traditional black Oaklanders, is decreasing. Some of the folks who are leaving are friends and relatives of some of prisoners. As a result, some of the prisoners might be released back into Oakland, but will go stay with friends or relatives who no longer live in Oakland. There might be a permanent decrease in Oakland crime as a result.

  16. David

    Interesting. Standardized tests are racist? So you’re telling me that these tests were designed by white people so that Asians (both East and South Asians, and often ESL immigrants) would do better than whites? Fascinating thesis. Do explain it more to me, please.

    “Institutional racism” is the reason low-income people live in low-income neighborhoods? Amazing. The fact that low-income neighborhoods tend to cost less and be affordable to their low-income residents has nothing to do with it?

    You know, Bjorn, in New Jersey, they set up a system whereby the “low income” schools actually receive much more money than the schools in the higher income districts. Guess what? The “poor” schools still suck.

    Cleveland Elementary School in Oakland has an API of 862 with an “English learner” level at 40% and a free/reduced lunch level of 58%. Across 580, we find that Lakeview has an API of 721, with an English learner level of 20% and free/reduced lunch of 61%. Crocker Highlands has a API of 867 and a free/reduced lunch rate of 11% and only 2% English learners.

    What could explain these disparities? hmmm. It’s not poverty…it’s not tax revenues…what could it be….oh yeah, it must be the racism.

  17. Bjorn Tipling

    I don’t disagree that people have to get up and do something with their own lives. But this talk about your kids deserving more than other people’s children makes me sick. I have an 18 month old daughter, and I want the best for her, so I understand the need to be protective. But every child deserves a chance in this world, despite their parents. And yes David, standardized tests are forms of institutionalized racism, and yes low income areas become traps. There is a legacy of redlining (you should look that term up) that led to today’s situation in many cities.

  18. VivekB

    Well then maybe Bjorn and other low income areas need to start putting in 90 hour weeks like I did for YEARS, taking out bazillions of dollars in college loans and not eating correctly because 1x/quarter I had all 3 loands due on the same paycheck.

    I’m not saying I owe any less than anybody else, but I fail to see why it’s incumbent on me to pay MORE than anyone else. Your family life, health, mental well being isn’t the one who suffered due to hellacious work schedules. I did. Our work/life balance has not been equal, so why now, do you feel that you are entitled to an equal share of the money?

  19. Chris Kidd

    You’re conflating your own self-worth (in relation to tax/benefit) with that of your child. The fact that you did work 90-hour work weeks (ouch, btw) does not entitle your child to receive better public education than any other child. Private education, sure, but not public. Conversely, kids of people less inclined to work hard shouldn’t be punished for the life choices of their parents either.

  20. Ralph

    BMR is another place where this entitlement plays out. Some have argued that BMR buyers are being cheated because their gain is capped. The reality is their cost is being subsidized so why should they benefit more than those who paid the full ride. In reality, they benefit from better schools and better neighborhoods without bearing the full cost. As a social policy, I can live with this but at the point you want to uncap gains so that they can get an equal if not greater benefit that is just crazy talk. We don’t do it for housing so why should we do it for education. A foot up yes, but keys to the castle, puhlease?

    If I have more I am going to give my child more. I am not going to subsidize baby girl from around the way more than minimally required because her parents thought that having a baby at 16 was cool or they dropped out of school and can’t manage to obtain more than a minimum wage job. You sleep in the bed you make.

    At some point, individuals need to be held accountable and responsible for their actions. If you listen to Candidate Obama’s campaign speeches you will see that this is core to his beliefs. And he was not talking about corporations. I can lend you a hand but when you start thinking that you are entitled to the hand and the arm to which it is attached then Houston we got problems. You can give a child a chance but I have a problem when it is at the expense of my child. (That being said, some dollars are just wasted on some children, which is why I really have no problem with thinning the herd. Choke off the few to save the many.)

    I am not buying this std test is a form of institutionalized racism. I am buying that children who do not read and do not take advantage of summer enrichment programs fall behind their peers and as a result are less likely to do well on std test. I also buy that undernourished children may not do well as they may lack the energy to sit through a 3 hour exam. I don’t buy that there is some form of racism.

  21. Ralph

    Below Market Rate Housing. And for the record, if you busted your hump 90 hours a weeks to provide something better for your child then by golly your kid deserves it. And you should not have to go to a private school to get it if the neighborhood public school can provide it.

  22. Bjorn Tipling

    Hey Ralph, guess what. If you work 90 hours a week in an area with a low tax base your children are getting less resources than people who work 20 hours a week in a higher tax base. And it’s completely wrong to think that because people earn less in an area it’s because they don’t work hard. Last time I checked washing dishes, pulling weeds, bussing tables, standing for 8 hours by a cash register, etc is pretty hard work.

  23. Chris Kidd

    Ralph, in the situation you’re describing above, you’re not punishing the “parents (who) thought that having a baby at 16 was cool or they dropped out of school and can’t manage to obtain more than a minimum wage job”. You’re punishing a child who had no part in their decisions. I don’t see how it’s fair to punish them because of it.

  24. Ralph

    Bjorn, I did not say the MWS is not working hard. I don’t think he is entitled to anything more than that which is minimally necessary.

    @Chris, the child will still receive a basic education, so the child will not be punished. The state of CA already levels the playing field in terms of what each child receives. I’ve spent the past 3 years at O-High, I can tell you just how well that is working out.

    Should VivekB’s or anyone else give up more so that the have nots have as much as the haves. No. From a societal concern, we have an obligation to provide a minimum education (we can debate what qualifies as a minimum education), but if the haves elect to provide more for their kids, we should not automatically assume that the have nots should receive the same benefit. You sleep in the bed you make. But let me ask you, how do you feel about Measure OO?

  25. Chris Kidd

    Measure OO is a terrible idea for many many reasons. It also has nothing to do with the discussion at hand. You can try to couch the terms of discussion any way you like, but I’m just not interested in going down that road.

  26. VivekB

    Thank you for proving my case, Bjorn. Standing for 8 hours by a cash register pales in comparison to 16 hour days. I did that for a long time, hell when I was working in DC I had many 32 hours days (show up to work at 9am, leave the following day at 5pm, work nonstop the whole time – i used to be a programmer). The only reason I can post so much today is that i literally just finished a proposal for work at 9am today, am pitching it within 24-36 hours, after which i’m back in the crapper. The reason the cashier makes so little is because the value is so little.

    Why isn’t the cashier working to improve themselves at night? Hell, i log back in from 8pm->midnight pretty much every night after the kids go to bed, and clock in about 30 mins in the am after i make the kids lunch, but before I go to work (while eating breakfast, what a life). If I can do that, a cashier can at least pick up a book and teach themselves something more than how to make change.

    And thanks to the people who only work a few hours/day or per week, i’m in a lower tax base, and as you point out, my kids are being punished because the 8 hour/day cashier cannot be bothered to work more hours or educate themselves. And that means I need to subsidize the rich work/life balance the cashier has, certainly a lot more than I have.

    FWIW, i love standardized tests, I only scored less than a 99% percentile once, English portion of the SAT, i was only at the 97% percentile. Wanna know why? My dad would have KICKED MY ASS if I didn’t. Not physically, but jesus I would not have left the house for years otherwise. Trust me – i’m no smarter than anyone else, but I’ll work much longer & harder at anything than most folks would, just b/c life is more fun that way.

    Clearly that means it’s my job to pay for everyone elses kids textbooks and schools and BMR housing and (…), while they sit back and watch Jerry Springer relaxing from making change all day, and whine about their lack of opportunities.

    I don’t have time to whine, I have to work to put my kids through private school because the public school is strapped for resources since there’s not enough people willing to really work hard, and hence isn’t a place i’m willing to send my kids.

    My wife & I thank you, we didn’t really need to see each other that much anyhow.

  27. Ralph

    Chris, I knew you were anti-Measure OO, but the reality is Measure OO, as flawed as it is, fills a gap that the have nots can not.

    This discussion has gone so far I have forgotten where it started – oh crime. I’d like the record to show that despite giving equal amounts to each child we still get wildly varying results. Maybe it is time to say that money is not the answer.

  28. David

    Bjorn. I point out to you that it’s curious standardized tests are racist — when they are/were designed by white people but Asians score higher than whites, and you respond with, “yes they’re racist.”

    That’s a really persuasive response, but forgive me if I’m not convinced.

    Bjorn, I also know what redlining is. After your non-response to my point about standardized tests, you should probably refrain from condescension. Perhaps you feel I am too young to know what it is, since it is a relic from nearly a half-century ago. Perhaps that should cause a moment of reflection in your mind as to how a relic from 50 years ago remains the excuse for one minority group for permanent underperformance, never mind a relic from 150 years ago being cited repeatedly as a cause for one minority group’s overrepresentation in poverty, crime, and lower educational attainment.

    As for low-income places becoming traps, please explain not only how 1) standardized tests are racist, designed by white people so that Asians outscore the white designers and 2) how Cleveland Elementary, with 58% of kids on free/reduced lunch programs scores quite similarly to Crocker Highlands, where only 11% of the kids are “poor”? Could it be that ‘poor’ areas aren’t really traps? Could it be that ‘poor’ groups of certain people consistently outscore one group of poor people? Why could that be?

    Finally, let’s review what being “poor” means in America.
    1) 97% have color TV
    2) 78% have a DVD player
    3) 76% have air conditioning
    4) 75% have a car
    5) 73% have microwaves
    6) 62% have cable/satellite and…
    7) 46% OWN their house, and this house owned by poor people is, on average, 3 br/1.5 baths. The average “poor” person in America has 439 sq ft of living space, i.e. a family of 4 has a residence with over 1700 sq ft on average.
    And… 4% have severe physical problems.

    Now I agree being poor sucks, having been poor myself, remembering the days when I would walk a mile or two instead of hopping on the bus to save the fare, and eating soup for weeks at a time (you’ll be amazed at what you can make soup out of). What I disagree with is that being poor in America is a ‘trap’ that’s anywhere near permanent. What makes it permanent is an attitude that it’s always somebody else’s fault you got pregnant at 14, that someone else made you drop out of school at 15, that someone else made you pick up that crack pipe/bong/meth pipe/bottle of booze, that someone else made you steal a car/rob a house/sell that crack/pot/meth…

    And yes, I agree with the original idea–as we see with Cleveland vs. Crocker Heights vs. Lakeshore, you can have schools literally across the road (with the same funds) and have wildly different results. Equality of opportunity does NOT mean equality of results. Period.

  29. VivekB

    BTW,lest you think all I do is work, I:
    1) make it a rule to spend 5:30-7:30 every night with my kids, cooking dinner, taking care of baths & homework
    2) built & maintain a site for my neighborhood (, where I analyze crime trends on a monthly basis for OPD-Wide, Area 1/2/3, and 8 Area 1 beats
    3) built & maintain a website for my kids school. It has commnity forums, I upload snack schedules for each class, PTA event online registration, pictures of kids, just figured out how to stream videos without resorting to youtube/public hosting.
    4) provide free guidance to folks on wiring their houses for security & automation, in the theory that increased vigilance results in lower crime.

    I don’t sleep more than 6 hours/night, weekends are jammed with hanging with kids/doing the above. I spent all day Sunday on the kids school site since the kids both had bday parties and were out of the house.

    Still want to tell me that the person who’s sole contribution to society is making change for 40 hours/week works equally hard, and deserves an equal share?

  30. Robert

    “In response to Bjorn Tipling’s questions, I am inclined to think there are two main answers–the war on drugs and institutional racism.”

    Wow, I vaguely remember having conversations back in the sixties that sounded a lot like that and seemed to make sense. Of course, I was stoned at the time. And of couse there was actual racism at the time.

  31. Robert

    Standardized tests are racist?

    I guess to some people the fact certain ethnic groups score lower than others on these tests by definition makes them racist, and therefore not subject to sicussion. This argument was first raised years ago about the SAT and similar tests becuase blacks scored poorly relative to whites, and therefore the test must be racist. But in fact the test score was correlated with performance in college, which is all it was designed to measure. And as far as I know no one has yet to come up with a objective measurement that is better correlated. This doesn’t mean that there are not exceptions in both directions, but as a predictor it is not bad. Is that racist? Only if you believe that all peope can perform equally regardless of background. In which case I am really glad you aren’t my doctor.

  32. Robert

    I’m sorry. I’m old, and slow and may have suffered some brain damage in my youth from things I don’t remember so clearly, but was that a response of some type?

  33. Jennifer

    Jean Quan said on Krasny today that crime was down 23%. Is she continuing to be delusional?

  34. Robert

    I got the literal translation. Although I might ask how you knew I was German, since I don’t remember bringing it up here :) . It does go to show the lack of subtlety and nuance in printed media, since I read something else into it entirely. Mea culpa. Or in today speak, my bad.

  35. Mike d'Ocla

    My “ja wohl” was ironic.

    To iron out a clarification:

    Robert wrote, “And of couse there was actual racism at the time.”

    There’s actual racism now, Robert. Of course. The kind we worry about in Oaksterdam is the institutional kind.

    Robert wrote: “Standardized tests are racist?”

    I won’t use the German this time. I will just say “yep.”

    I am sure someone who has the interest in finding out why can do so with a little Googling.

  36. einnocent

    “I am sure someone who has the interest in finding out why can do so with a little Googling.”

    Whatever. Enough Googling can show that the Holocaust didn’t happen.

    Appeal to authority is a logical fallacy, but appeal to search engine? That’s just lazy.

  37. Robert

    “Actual racism” was poorly phrased. Better would have been “actual discrimination based on race.” And sure, there is racism and discrimination now, but far less than 40 years ago. 40 years ago an African American couldn’t buy a house in San Leandro regardless of how much money she/he had. These days blacks can buy houses anywhere they can afford it.

  38. Max Allstadt

    Robert, I think racism in real estate and in other areas has not ended. It’s become less frequent. Unfortunately, these days when it happens it’s much more subtle than it used to be, so it’s harder to act against.

    As for standardized tests, I haven’t seen one since 1994, but I’ve seen some old questions that are certainly racially biased. The most classic example is framing a math word problem around the subject of sailing a yacht. It could be dismissed as merely classist if race and class were unentangled, but that’s not how this country works.

    Class is thankfully moving away from being linked to race, true. But how many kids at McClymonds high would be thrown off if they saw a word problem with words like “Sloop”, “Ketch” and “Jib-Sheet”? How many kids at Piedmont high would be thrown off by the same question? That’s what people mean when they talk about racist standardized tests.

  39. Patrick

    I don’t understand your reasoning behind the “yacht” question. Is it because you’re suggesting that members of certain races would be so bamboozled by the notion of sailing a yacht that they would be unable to answer the question? Or that poor kids will feel saddened that they can’t sail on a yacht and therefore flunk the test?

    I think that if kids seeing this question read anything into it at all (which I doubt), they would think “wow! how cool would it be to sail on a yacht!” as opposed to “woe-is-me, I suck, I might as well turn to a life of crime.”

  40. Patrick

    Furthermore, the word “yacht” is not slang of local or regional usage; “jib-sheet”, “ketch” and “sloop” are. You can’t compare them at all. And if the kids at McClymonds don’t know what the word “yacht” means, standardized test questions are the least of their worries. The test question points out that whatever this “yacht” thingie is, you’re sailing on it. I would hope that they would have the wherewithal to determine that a “yacht” is some sort of boat.

  41. einnocent

    Lots of rap videos feature yachts. If anything, wouldn’t a standardized test mentioning yachts be racist against nebbishy white kids?

  42. Max Allstadt

    Ketch, sloop and jib-sheet are neither slang nor regional. Sloops and ketches are type of boats. A jib sheet is the rope that controls the jib, which is typically the front sail on a single masted boat. Back in the bad old days, tests didn’t just have ethnic bias, there were examples of a bias in favor of the lifestyle and class experience of the kinds of kids who went to Exeter and Choate.

    The technicalities of the particular examples of words I chose are irrelevant. The fact is, race and class are not unlinked in America today. A test that uses language or scenarios that are more familiar to one class than another therefore creates a class bias and a race bias. You don’t even have to use unfamiliar words to create that bias. A scenario is enough.

    The history of American education follows the general history of America. Slowly waning racism is a part of both. There is progress, and I think it would be difficult to find tests today that show glaring ethnic biases in the questions, but in the past they certainly existed.

    Lastly, I’ll add that there has been some sort of ban on IQ testing California kids for some time now. I don’t remember the particulars, but I do know that the ban was enacted because black kids were scoring lower. If it was meant to be a test of raw brain power, education level and ethnic background would be irrelevant, no? That’s a perfect example of a failed test.

    If standardized testing is unbiased, we’d see scores that correlate with academic achievement only, with no correlation to race, wealth and class. That isn’t the way the scores are today, so we have a bias problem, plain and simple.

  43. Mike d'Ocla

    einnocent sez: “Enough Googling can show that the Holocaust didn’t happen.”

    I always assume that a researcher (using any search engine or a library) can think critically and thus distinguish wheat from chaff.

    einnocent sez: “Appeal to authority is a logical fallacy, but appeal to search engine? That’s just lazy.”

    There was no “appeal” [sic] to any sort of authority, just a suggestion to use a research tool. And there is nothing illogical about the use of authority, provided the character, limits, etc. of the “authority” are made clear.

  44. David

    First of all, “sloop” etc is just as biased against some poor white kid from Bozeman who’s never even seen a lake he could sail in, much less an ocean or Lake Michigan, etc.

    Second of all, how do you explain the fact that, say, a Chinese kid of immigrants living in 94606 outscores a black kid who’s a 3rd generation Oaklander living in the Lake Merritt ‘hood? Because the Chinese kid knows what a ‘sloop’ is? Give me a break. In fact, you might want to explain how the average middle class black kid scores lower than the average poor Chinese or average poor white kid…

    Third of all, explain to me the math scores then. It ain’t all ‘story problems’ with yachts you know. Tell me how x/7 + 4/5 = 72/35 is racist?

    Finally, and most importantly, because a test gives a different outcome for different groups DOES NOT MEAN IT’S RACIST. Again, just saying “It’s racist” doesn’t make it so. You have absolutely no grounds for this argument, nor have you presented a shred of evidence. I ask you again, how does a test designed by white folks that Asians score higher on evidence of racism?

    Regarding “raw” brain power. Following your line of reasoning, I hereby declare the Olympic 100m sprint to be racist, because no “white” person has even made it to the semi-finals in nearly 30 years (and I don’t believe any East Asian has, and certainly no South Asian, nor do I recall any Latinos making there either). I also declare the Nobel Prize in Physics to be overly pro-male Semite , as Jewish men have won about 30% of them.

    Again, equal opportunity DOES NOT mean equal RESULTS.

  45. VivekB

    david, that is an outstanding last paragraph about the olympics and the nobel peace prize demonstrate equal oppty vs equal results, i will unapologetically plagiarize that in other venues.

    I’m only telling you as you may see those venues, better you to realize i’m acknowledging stealing your raw brain power :-)

  46. journalist

    Could someone tell me when full and equitable access to the means of gaining wealth for African Americans occur?
    Which decade? And Im not talking in theory, but in practice . . .

  47. Robert

    So many fallacies, so little time.

    “Lastly, I’ll add that there has been some sort of ban on IQ testing California kids for some time now. I don’t remember the particulars, but I do know that the ban was enacted because black kids were scoring lower. If it was meant to be a test of raw brain power, education level and ethnic background would be irrelevant, no? “ No.

    At extreme risk here, the fact that you don’t believe that there should be a link between raw brain power and ethnic background does not make it so. There is ample evidence for ethnic correlations with physical traits, and ample evidence for individual variations in intelligence (see David’s post above), why is it so hard to believe that there would be an ethnic correlation with intelligence? It is PC, and has been for many years, to believe that there is not a correlation, but the arguments are totally circular. They always come down to the idea that if a test that shows a difference in capability it must by its very nature be biased. I am not saying that there is a correlation, and I am not in any way arguing value here. But no meaningful studies have been done in recent history.

    All that being true (or not) it is probably true that IQ tests do not measure anything like raw brain power. A better example would be the SAT test which was designed to predict performance in college. Results on the SAT are correlated with performance, although they are not 100% predictive. The SAT also shows biases between ethnic groups, but that does not mean that it is not valid for its intended purpose.

    “The fact is, race and class are not unlinked in America today. A test that uses language or scenarios that are more familiar to one class than another therefore creates a class bias and a race bias.”

    You basic argument here appears to be that A is correlated with B, B is correlated with C, so therefore a bias against A causes a bias in C. Do you see the problem here? The existence of a correlation does not mean causality. And you are working through two correlations to get to your cause. (Race is correlated with class. You actually use linked, which would mean that all people of one race are of the same class, which is obviously not true, so I will assume you meant correlated. Class is correlated with test scores. So Racism causes low test scores????)

    “If standardized testing is unbiased, we’d see scores that correlate with academic achievement only, with no correlation to race, wealth and class. That isn’t the way the scores are today, so we have a bias problem, plain and simple.”

    Hugh assumptions here, but since academic achievement is itself correlated with race, wealth and class, any measurement that correlates with academic achievement will also correlate with the same. More importantly, nobody has ever argued that standardized testing is 100% predictive of achievement, or that wealth, class and culture do not have indirect impacts on testing scores. It is in the lumping together of race with class and culture that you depend on correlations instead of causality.

    As something of an aside, K-12 standardized testing should have been a tool used to improve outcomes (such as improvement of social-economic status or improved readiness for college). Instead test scores became the outcome, and therefore, IMHO, have lost any real benefit.

  48. Tony

    During all my years observing behaviors of different people from different backgrounds, I’d have to say that one of the main problems that plague Oakland’s poor is a lack of emphasis on education. Among asians, it’s not a problem since those cultures tend sacrifice tremendously to get their children good education. They know that only through education, there’s a hope for the future.

    With the other minority groups, the emphasis on education is the exact opposite. There is none. And if any of them tries, then they’re labeled as “uncle tom” or “acting white”. Sheer stupidity. Stop trying to be the next Kobe Bryant or P Diddy and hit those fucking books. There’s a much better chance of working hard to become a doctor or engineer than being the next Michael Jordan.

    And one more thing. Black people have to control their own kids so that they stop attacking and robbing helpless asian immigrants who can’t even speak english. It’s insane that 3 young black men would think it’s ok to hit an 88 year old chinese man in the face and then take fuckin’ $10 from his wallet. And for what? Just so that he can have some spending money when he goes to the liquor store.

    Is this racist? Maybe, but I’m speaking from personal experience. I don’t see any young asian men doing the same thing.

    You blacks need to get a better grip on your future. You parents need to beat the shit out of your kids who even think about committing crime or dropping out of school is OK. And force your kids to A’s in school and make college an expectation, not an option. You really want to get Oakland out of the hole? Sacrifice, save and scrimp and force your kids to get an education because education is the only thing that’s going to get them more money and be more productive. And when that happens on a bigger scale in Oakland, and more money is generated in Oakland, which means more taxes and such, then Oakland will thrive.

    But it’s going to take sacrifice, hard work, and a committment to education and saving. The asian immigrants are doing it because it’s part of their culture. Do the same.

  49. Ken

    Agree with you Tony.


    There is something to be said though for working hard at ANYTHING. Work hard, really hard, and you can build up a hotdog stand biz, barbershop, or anything and then jump into real estate. (the real money)

    Koreans understand this. Ethiopians understand it.

  50. Ken

    Question is, how do you break the cycle for a whole community. Maybe there’s no way.

    So get rid of public housing. (or otherwise, provide it for everyone.) That’ll light a fire under some butts.

  51. Tony

    There needs to be some kind of leader that can really push for these kinds of changes. This type of thing happened a lot in the 60′s. MLK, Malcom X, Ghandi…people that really pushed for a change in the way people think and behave. It won’t be easy as most people have already been frustrated and given up hope so there’s a lot of inertia that needs to be overcome, but there needs to be a strong leadership that has to say “Enough Is Enough!” and wake people up to really get involved, get energized and take some action.

    From your kids, don’t tolerate any grade less than a B. I don’t care if you have to encourage them, reward them, yell at them or beat them, learning to learn is what going to raise your social status.

    But to pay for such an education, parents have to save since education isn’t cheap and like Ken said, neither is getting your own business and such. I don’t care what you need to do, but save save save and accumulate wealth. Be stingy and don’t live beyond your means. Always make every last penny count. Find the best deals (chinatown has some of the lowest prices for groceries and other things cause chinese people are cheap by nature) and over time, you’ll have enough in your bank account to buy the things you’ve been waiting and saving for,

    Think of the long term, but to do that, you’re going to have to sacrifice in the short term. There is hope. There’s definitely hope, but you’ve got to try, and over time, you’ll see results.

    As for public policy, like Ken said, people need to step out of the sidelines and get involved and take some action. Every little bit helps, no matter how small.

  52. VivekB

    Ok, who’s ready for the truth, as created by an independent authority?

    I’ll attempt to embed links, but i’m not too savvy with that. In case I screw up, here’s the direct path.

    You’ll see this for a variety of beats & all areas, so you can see whether crime is really down, or just being moved around. The nice thing about using a single graph with all areas is that you can detect that visually, plus see crime trends over time.

    You’ll see a graph & two tables, both tracking ‘incidents against persons (aka violent), property, & major drug offenses (ie, sales not possesion)”. I have tables & graphs for breakouts for just violent, just property, but that’s overload for putting into a ‘comment’.

  53. VivekB

    test, i just attempted to post a comment with the results of my analysis comparing 2009 to 2008 , but it didn’t seem to ‘take’.

  54. V Smoothe Post author

    The comment got caught in the spam filter. I’ve approved it now. Sometimes this happens. So for everyone – if you try to comment and it won’t show up, the spam filter is marking it as a false positive. Do not try to submit the same comment like six more times, it won’t help, it will just convince the computer even more that you are spam. E-mail me and I’ll fix it as soon as I get a chance.

  55. einnocent

    @VivekB Interesting analysis, though again I raise the objection that the rate (crimes/person) is more important than the raw number of crimes. In other words, those numbers are mixed up with any population fluctuations.

  56. VivekB

    einnocent, yes, in theory you’re right. However the overall # in Oakland has barely changed over the past 10 years. I think it was on this site that someone posted actual #s. We’re at population saturation, certainly in the Area 1 beats shown above. Well, unless there are massive low-density teardowns replaced with new high density construction, which hasn’t really happened.

  57. VivekB

    For those of you who’ve looked at these graphs & tables but don’t know what to make of them – i’ll be walking through them at next Thursday’s (6/26) 12Y/13X NCPC meeting, 7pm @the RR library on college. i’m also doing a weekly view so we can see the latest, and I might play with doing a color coded, map-based view of the various beats if I can get it to work.

    Note hedera’s comment on the other post about no food, though. Well, some coffee & teabags, maybe, but it’s BYO other than that.