A lunch with Frank Baumgartner
A lunch presentation was given on 21 September in Wijnhaven by Professor Frank Baumgartner, Richard J. Richardson Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Baumgartner analysed large databases detailing more than 20 million vehicle stops in the state of North Carolina, to discover whether the stops led to vehicle searches and whether race played a role in the stops. Baumgartner found that the cars of coloured males were searched relatively often – a factor that has far-reaching consequences. The title of the lunch presentation was: ‘How policing can affect democratic participation’ and one of the points made by Baumgartner was that the government has a negative association for coloured men as a result of these police searches. White men and women are associated with positive services such as schools and the postal service. Coloured men who are stopped and searched indiscriminately, which Baumgartner believes occurs disproportionately often, are associated with the police and with prison. Baumgartner asked: ‘How can they love the government, when the government does not love them back?’
Over lunch the audience had the opportunity to ask questions. All-in all, a fascinating and very successful afternoon.