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Archive for February 10th, 2020

I’ve got an article on the damage inflicted by FOSTA in the new print edition of Reason, and I think y’all should show your support by picking one up!  But if you have neither subscription nor newsstand handy, here it is online.  A sample to get you started:

That prohibitionist laws are always, always, enforced more heavily upon the poor, the disadvantaged, and minorities is not, I think, controversial.  One would have to contort one’s brain in a manner worthy of a Cirque du Soleil performance to ignore the facts that cops more heavily patrol poor and minority neighborhoods and actively look for people to arrest; that judges and juries have less sympathy for those they perceive as “others”; and that, because poor people overwhelmingly lack the resources to mount an adequate criminal defense (or even bail), they are far more likely to plead guilty to whatever a prosecutor offers, just so they can get it over with and at least try to get back to their lives…Most of y’all reading this probably already know that while white and nonwhite Americans use recreational drugs at roughly equal rates, minorities are arrested more frequently, charged more heavily, and more frequently caged (and for longer terms).  And most of y’all can probably guess that it’s the same with sex work:  While there are sex workers and clients of every description, sex workers of color, trans sex workers, and street workers are dramatically more likely to be hassled, arrested, and even robbed or raped by police than their white, cisgender, and indoor-working counterparts.  Black trans street workers, falling into all of these groups, practically have targets painted on their backs; they’re often arrested merely for daring to show their faces outdoors, a phenomenon that activists call “walking while trans.”  The same is true for their clients:  Poor minority men who can only afford the (generally lower-priced) services of street workers are far more likely to be ensnared by policewomen looking to entrap them into committing a crime than are affluent white men who visit “high-end” escorts who discreetly do business in apartments or houses in “nice” neighborhoods.  In one raid a few years ago, nearly every surname of the men arrested in a “john sting” in Seattle was Hispanic, despite the fact that Seattle is, to put it politely, much less ethnically diverse than most U.S. cities…

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