Dec 7, 2021 • 1HR 25M

Rav Arora – Race and Crime after the Summer of 2020

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Race, inequality, and economics in the US and throughout the world from Glenn Loury, Professor of Economics at Brown University and Paulson Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute
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This week on TGS we’ve got Rav Arora. He’s a compelling writer on race matters in the US. He’s also a college undergraduate, though it would be a mistake to underestimate him. He’s already published in a number of widely read outlets, including the New York Post, Quillette, and City Journal. He’s also got a Substack called Noble Truths, where he writes about psychedelics, meditation, and cultural trends.

I begin by inquiring into Rav’s intellectual background. What is this young guy from Canada doing writing about race and crime in the US, anyway? Rav talks about how the summer of 2020 led him to rethink his views and begin writing about them for the public. Rav is quite critical of the way that race, crime, and policing are covered in the US media, but he’s got a nuanced view of things. He talks about why he thinks we need police reform and also more police on the streets. We then move on to a discussion of systemic racism. I say it’s not inconceivable that a police department with a disproportionately high number of black officers could perpetuate racial inequality, though Rav doesn’t seem quite convinced that’s the case. From there, we discuss the misguided claim that violent crime in some black communities is driven solely by poverty. When the question of genetic factors in crime rates comes up, I don’t demure. I don’t know whether there actually is a genetic component, but I’m not ready to dismiss it out of hand. And we round out the discussion by touching on alternatives to incarceration, the increasing earning power of Asian American women, and the recent historic rise in US homicide rates.

Rav and I covered a lot of ground in this one. He’s a vital new voice, one I’ll be paying close attention to—I hope you will, too.

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0:00 How Rav got his start on the crime, policing, and identity politics beat

10:33 Why is a Canadian college student writing about race and crime in the US?

21:30 Rav: We need police reform but also more police in black communities

31:34 Will hiring more black police officers make police departments “less racist”?

43:26 Glenn: It’s ridiculous to say that violent crime is driven only by poverty

50:04 Is it possible that racial disparities in crime rates have a genetic basis?

55:09 Are there any effective alternatives to prison?

1:00:52 Why Asian American women are out-earning white men

1:10:23 What’s behind the historic rise in homicide rates?

Rav’s Substack, Noble Truths

Aldon Morris’s Scientific American essay, “From Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter”

Rav’s Quillette piece, “A Peculiar Kind of Racist Patriarchy”  

Urban Labs’ Becoming a Man program

David Frum’s 2016 interview with Barry Latzer about crime waves

Last year’s famous study of the “Minneapolis effect”

The Marshall Project’s analysis of race and victimization in 2020