cato

Only 42% of Americans say the U.S. Justice System Treats All Racial Groups Equally

At first glance Americans appear satisfied with their local law enforcement. However, below the surface reside many stark differences in attitudes toward the police across race/ethnicity, age, education, income, and ideological lines… 

Criminal justice reform remains a contentious issue following a year of protests and unrest across the country, highlighting the failures of the justice system. 

Policing in Americaa new, extensive national public opinion survey by Cato research fellow Emily Ekins,  presents the results of a Cato Institute/YouGov national survey on public attitudes toward the police.

Comprehensively examining survey results, the report explores public priorities for policing, anxiety about crime, the impact of personal experiences with police and the judicial system, police misconduct, the use of force, perceptions of police accountability and integrity, and much more.

Ekins finds deep partisan and racial divides in perceptions of police efficacy, impartiality, integrity, empathy, tactics, and accountability, but also finds broad agreement on reform measures. 

Of the 2,000 Americans surveyed 58% say the U.S. justice system fails to treat racial groups equally, 65% think police officers “commonly” racially profile Americans, 49% say that “most” police officers think they are above the law, and 46% believe police officers aren’t held accountable for misconduct.

African Americans are five times as likely as whites to personally expect worse treatment from police officers, but a majority still expect to receive equal treatment from law enforcement.

The results for reported experiences with police vary considerably by race and ethnicity. Americans who have experienced verbal and physical misconduct from police officers are disproportionately Hispanic and black Americans:

Race and partisanship also affect perceptions of how police do their jobs:

Most Americans, regardless of race or partisanship, agree on effective measures for criminal justice reform including: Police body cameras (89%), involvement of outside law enforcement to conduct police misconduct investigations (79%), and additional confrontation training for police (68%). Similarly, majorities of Americans oppose a variety of possible police practices including: Racial profiling (63%), police militarization (54%), civil asset forfeiture (84%), pretextual stops (63%), and police profanity (77%).

While there is a significant racial and partisan divide in favorability toward police, no group is ‘anti-cop,’” says Ekins.

“In addition, majorities agree on what law enforcement’s top priorities ought to be for the path toward effective criminal justice reform,“ Ekins concludes. "By acknowledging concerns and emphasizing shared beliefs about what policing ought to be, reformers can forge a consensus to improve policies on behalf of officers, citizens, and the larger community.”

Read the results

China Abandons One-Child Policy

Today, China abandoned its 35 year-old one-child policy. 

Based on the now debunked threat of overpopulation that was popularized by Stanford University scholar Paul Ehrlich, the communist government subjected the Chinese people to forced sterilizations and abortions. Many new-born babies were either killed or left to die. 

Today, the Chinese population suffers from a dangerous gender imbalance that favors boys over girls at a ratio of 117:100, and a demographic implosion that threatens future economic growth and prosperity. 

The one-child policy is a reminder of what happens when governments are allowed to interfere in deeply personal decisions of individual citizens and their families.

A year ago, even most American history professors probably had never heard of Hercules Mulligan, the American patriot whose name sounds like a punchline.


Thanks to the musical blockbuster Hamilton, Mulligan finally is famous, 190 years after his death. Of course, the real Mulligan was not quite what Lin Manuel Miranda’s casting director sought: “Ethnically Ambiguous / Mixed Race, African Descent… able to sing and rap well … the life of the party, dripping with swagger, streetwise and hilarious…. Joins the revolution to get out of being a tailor’s apprentice.”


Hercules Mulligan was a discrete but silver-tongued Irish immigrant in New York City, who prospered as a haberdasher, tailoring garments for colonial aristocrats and British officers. He was also a member of the Sons of Liberty, and his passion helped recruit Alexander Hamilton to the Revolutionary cause. His work also happened to make him a great, meaning oft-overlooked, spy.  

[…]

In 1779, some sources claim, a British officer insisted late one night he needed a warm “watch coat.” When Mulligan casually asked why the rush, the officer described his important mission, exulting, “before another day, we’ll have the rebel general in our hands.” Mulligan immediately mobilized his slave Cato, who was known to many of the well-outfitted British officers surrounding the city. Cato passed the information to Hamilton, who had become Washington’s aide de camp. Washington avoided the British ambush. Thus Hamilton’s hip hop Mulligan can rap: “A tailor spyin’ on the British government! I take their measurements, information, and then I smuggle it.”


Mulligan and Cato were already reliable sources for Washington regarding troop movements—working despite at least two interrogations by wary British officers. Mulligan occasionally collaborated with the New York-based Culper Ring and with the famous Jewish patriot Haym Solomon, whose German fluency made him a popular translator for the Hessian troops—and thus a great source of intelligence regarding troop movements.

Me applying for a job
  • Interviewer: Okay, thank you very much, is there something else you want to say?
  • Me: ...
  • Me: Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam
  • Interviewer: what
  • Me: what
  • Cato the Elder: nice

An important part of the first Hunger Games film concerns the Careers: kids from richer districts who willingly participate in Hunger Games kill-a-thons after years of training. Now, in the book, the Careers are just straight-up, unredeemable villains, but the movie finale actually tweaks their characterization to make the lives of The Hunger Games’ rich and privileged look less like Party Town, Panem, and more like Jonestown, Guyana.

Near the end of the movie, the last remaining Career kid, Cato, takes Peeta hostage and starts telling Katniss just to kill him. Cato is suddenly asking for death, saying that he finally realizes he was always doomed to die in the Hunger Games, before adding: “I didn’t know that until now." 

Just stop to think about that line for a second.

The rules of the Hunger Games are simple: A bunch of kids enter, murder ensues, and one kid survives. It’s a statistically messed-up deal and yet the Careers freely volunteer for it. Or do they? Cato’s little breakdown seems to suggest that the Careers don’t really understand the full ramifications of what they’re getting into. All they are told is that they will be bringing pride to their District, and it is continually beaten into their heads until the prospect of signing up for a reverse Russian roulette starts to sound … fuck, appealing.

As Den of Geek put it, the scene with Cato is brilliant because it makes the depressingly dystopian world of The Hunger Games look even more horrifying than it already is, all with just a few seconds of footage.

5 Brilliant Moments You Probably Missed in Famous Movies

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GUYS OKAY I JUST THOUGHT OF SOMETHING.

So, I was over at my friends house and we were watching The Hunger Games. You know the scene where Rue takes Cato’s sword? Well I was looking at the weapon Rue had in her hand, and it looked nothing like a sword. To me, it looked a lot like one of Clove’s knives. I mean come on, look how short the handle and blade are. I think that’s why they showed Clove with like a little smirk on her face. Maybe Cato promised her that he’ll get back her knife. I don’t know, maybe I’m just over-thinking things. But this Clato moment was too cute to overlook(: