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June 2012

"Statistics Are True ONLY IF They Make YOU Look Bad!"

Whenever a negative statistic about Black people is released, some White people cheer as if a negative situation about Black people infers their own superiority or goodness. If Black people have a 25% chance of heart disease and White people have a 20% chance, is the White chance “good?” A 20% chance is still huge. (Not a real statistic, used as an example to illustrate my point, however, the statistics mentioned after this are real ones.) Instead of everyone trying to get that risk down to 5%, the news, health organizations and people at large will rail on about the unhealthiness of Black people, the goodness and health of Whites, Black people will be shamed and Whites will still die. This is what happens.

Wherever Whites place in a particular statistic is set as the “goal” to reach, even if that goal (while not as statistically significant as whatever Black people measure at) is genuinely bad. (Unemployment is a great example. Currently, Black unemployment is almost double White unemployment. [13.6% vs. 7.4%.] But even if Black employment climbed down to 7.4%, that is still very high. Theoretically, anything above 4% is. Thus, a different goal, not the White goal should be the real goal.) The idea of a good goal—one better than where anyone is at—is out of the question it seems. White people’s place in a particular statistic is viewed as “the norm.” They’re the permanent control group in the experiment of America.  Worse, when the negative statistic reveals Whites to be in an inferior position (such as teen drug use; White teens use drugs more than Black, Hispanic and Asian teens) the statistic is called into question or ignored in a practical sense (such as more minority teens being arrested for drug possession and use despite the fact that it actually occurs less often with them).

Even when later research refutes commonly held lies, if such research paints Black people in a better light, the science itself is insulted, people state that the study is a waste of money and then juxtapose such monies to hungry children that they didn’t give a damn about five minutes before the comment. Prevailing stereotypes are withheld. Most of the time, only what hails Black people as inferior is deemed valid research. And often, THIS is the actual research to be questioned. Research that upholds the status quo. The lies. Research that is in fact propaganda.