I suggested an edit to the only answer to my question Is there any good evidence for institutional racisms in the United States?.

The edit got rejected by user "JJ for transparency and Monica" and user "Martin Schröder".

This reason was given: "This edit deviates from the original intent of the post."

However as you can see below, this is entirely unjustified. This is what I added:

  1. There is some evidence on racial disparity in federal crime sentences reported by [Rehavi & Starr (2014)][1] . Quote from the abstract:

Using rich data linking federal cases from arrest through to sentencing, we find that initial case and defendant characteristics, including arrest offense and criminal history, can explain most of the large raw racial disparity in federal sentences, but significant gaps remain. Across the distribution, blacks receive sentences that are almost 10 percent longer than those of comparable whites arrested for the same crimes. Most of this disparity can be explained by prosecutors’ initial charging decisions, particularly the filing of charges carrying mandatory minimum sentences. Ceteris paribus, the odds of black arrestees facing such a charge are 1.75 times higher than those of white arrestees.

However they also note that:

Finally, these disparity estimates do not include structural inequality.For example, they do not include the racial disparity in sentences dueto black arrestees being more likely to live in federal districts that givehigher sentences or be arrested for crimes that are associated with longersentences. Both could exist for numerous reasons unrelated to race. How-ever, it is also possible that the racial makeup of arrestees directly affectshow punitive the justice system is in particular districts or the relative stat-utory penalties for offenses. Likewise, the choice to weigh criminal historyheavily in the guidelines sentencing scheme, while grounded in a varietyof policy considerations, has a substantial disparate impact on black de-fendants."

It is also stunning that these two moderators are entirely fine with the following already existing part of the answer:

Some may just be playing the victim card, but when nearly all ethnic minorities (of all origins, really) report some degrees of racial injustice or bias in their life, then there's probably some truth to it. Even if 90 % of those questioned are just playing the victim card (unlikely but let's make that assumption)... that means 10 % aren't. That's evidence.

This has nothing to do with evidence. Experience is not evidence. Also the question was closed because it is allegedly opinion based. It's the antithesis of opinion based. It specifically asks for empirical evidence.

  • 4
    "It is also stunning that these two moderators..." Neither JJ nor Martin are moderators.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jun 28, 2020 at 19:38
  • @F1Krazy they're not diamond moderators, but the term is loosely applied to all users doing moderation tasks.
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Jun 28, 2020 at 19:40
  • When everyone is a moderator.... no one is. Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 1:05
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    I was the one who approved the edit. Large edits are usually not welcome here, but after a careful reading of the original answer and the edit I thought that your contribution is fully in agreement with the answer, so your edit was totally OK for me. I'm sorry to know that other users decided otherwise. Next time please consider negotiating large edits with authors of the original posts, this might help. Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 1:28

2 Answers 2


Perhaps the rejection reason isn't 100% accurate, but it looks like you're trying to post a new answer. You can't, since the question is closed, but that is no reason to edit an existing answer and trying to put your words in the author's mouth.

When you edit a post, there's this widget which says "clarify meaning without changing it".

enter image description here

It is also stunning that these two moderators are entirely fine with the following already existing part of the answer

That would be a reason to downvote the answer, but not to edit it; again, that would change the answer too much.


You proposed a huge edit to a question that's (at least for me) essentially a separate answer.

  • 1
    But isn't one of the goals of most SE sites to have a single perfect answer for every question? Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 0:38
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    Yes and I could not post a separate answer because the question was closed as being opinion based...Also the existing answer cherry picked the evidence, which you could see in my addendum to the answer of user sad Commented Jul 7, 2020 at 5:31
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    @CuriousIndeed The correct solution then is to vote to re-open it if you think it's appropriate, or post your own version of the question that better avoids the "opinion based" trap. You are allowed, and in fact encouraged, to answer your own questions on SE when you have an answer. And cherry picking answers are kind of the hallmark of opinion based questions. That's one of the reasons we close them. Commented Jul 9, 2020 at 6:03
  • @zibadawatimmy The question was posted by me. I already tried to improve the question. Also asked whats wrong with the question. I've got no answers only down votes I'm happy to hear your suggestions..If you read my addendum to the answer of user sad you see it puts the findings of the studies cited by user sad into perspective. Commented Jul 9, 2020 at 9:50

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