Friday, 1 May 2009

It's all those imaginary Black people

Via Jose at ThickCulture, I noticed Byron York's piece in the Washington Examiner in which he claims to be analyzing "The black-white divide in Obama's popularity", which apparently means "Black people are only capable of voting by skin colour, rather than critically examining policy decisions like White people do, so Black people don't matter." The sentence that rose my ire, and the ire of many of his commenters, was this [emphasis mine]:
But if a new survey by the New York Times is accurate, the president and some of his policies are significantly less popular with white Americans than with black Americans, and his sky-high ratings among African-Americans make some of his positions appear a bit more popular overall than they actually are.
Because, you know, only White people are actual. Black Americans are more imaginary: nominal if you will. We have to include them because they're here and all, but everyone knows they don't count. As Jose points out, African Americans tend to be Democrats, and last time I checked, Obama was a Democrat. And one of our readers here at the Chronicles, Markaman - who was first offering York the benefit of the doubt by suggesting that he might be describing a respondent sample skewed towards Black Americans - later read the article in its entirety, as well as York's weak defense to the subsequent allegations of racism. Below is the response that Markaman left in the comment section of York's second piece, which I'm sharing with you because I agree, because I'm too lazy to write my own, and because it's awesome in its simple clarity. Perhaps even an entitled, racist lunkhead like York will get it:
So far as I can see, the statement: "[S]ky-high ratings among African-Americans make some of [Obama's] positions appear a bit more popular overall than they actually are" can mean one of 2 things:

1. Black people, who tend to favour Obama, are disproportionately represented in the poll. Therefore they skew the results.
2. Black peoples' opinions should not be counted towards the "actual" opinions of the US population.

You have not presented any evidence, either in your original post or this one, for position #1. The comment about "5 guys and Bill Gates" in a bar is not even response-worthy, but here is a reply that could be given by a high-school math student: This analogy is false. A poll of average net worth in the US would be ridiculous if it were constructed out of 6 people. Properly weighted and sized, such a poll could (and would) include high net worth individuals and still yield an accurate result.

Position #2 is a racist one. It doesn't take someone "on the left" to see that.

1 comment:

  1. Guh - racist smog. They can't even see how there's anything racist going on: it's so default to them to think of pigmentless people as "default people" that they cannot twist their heads out of the frame enough to see it. Or rather will not: there's no reason for anyone to hold these kinds of views.

    But then, where's their incentive to? From their p-o-v, they can only lose by acknowledging their own racism. So they get defensive, and stupid, and dig deeper and deeper and tie themselves in logical knots trying to find a way to cast it as not racist.

    How much easier, though, to simply say, "Whoa. You're right. I'm sorry, I should have seen that. I'll write a column in apology tomorrow"? Less than 20 words. So easy, so quick. Why doesn't anyone famous ever choose that option?


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