Motives, part 5: racial disparities
Mar 23rd, 2012 by Unamused
“Does this bus go to Duluth?”
“No, it goes beep beep.”
Our Motives series takes a brief detour through Duluth, Minnesota, home of the aptly named “Un-Fair Campaign” (for white genocide), to debunk the rest of their evidence for “white privilege,” starting with race differences in poverty and unemployment rates.
Like all the other so-called evidence for white privilege, theirs is based on the fundamental fallacy of race relations: that disparate impact somehow implies disparate treatment.
The racial disparities you’re allowed to notice
(More like forced to notice.)
Apparently, blacks and American Indians are more likely than whites to be poor and unemployed in Duluth. Who knew. Well, this is what the Un-Fair Campaign wants you to know about it.
According to the American Community Survey (Table S1701), between 2006 and 2010, 17.6% of whites residing in Duluth (all ages) were living below the poverty line, versus 66.9% of blacks and 56.3% of American Indians.
Furthermore (Table S2301), 60.6% of whites (16 and over) were employed, versus 36.9% of blacks and 37.6% of American Indians. However, only 65.4% of whites were actually in the labor force, versus 54.5% of blacks and 50.1% of American Indians. Therefore, the unemployment rate for whites was 7.1%, versus 32.4% for blacks and 24.9% for American Indians.
Moreover, poverty and unemployment appear to be less tractable for blacks and American Indians. The Minnesota Family Investment Program is the state’s “federally-funded program to assist low-income families with children become self-sufficient by supporting themselves through work.” The program’s success rate for white families was 68%–77% every year from 2007 to 2010, versus 59%–72% for black families and 52%–68% for American Indian families.
White privilege, right?! Well… no. The Un-Fair Campaign neglected to mention some other relevant statistics. I went ahead and looked them up for you.
The racial disparities you’re not allowed to notice
In “Race Differences in Intelligence” (2006), Richard Lynn cited 31 studies of the intelligence of black Americans in the United States, using a total of at least 19 different intelligence tests. They were conducted between 1918 and 1998, mostly after 1975. Two thirds also tested white Americans. Some of the samples were: 75,050 children aged 6–11 (1916–1965), 100,000 children aged 6–11 (1966–1980), 7,214 adults and teenagers aged 16–74 (1991), and 2,113 adults (1998).
The average g scores of black Americans obtained from these studies were all between 77 and 93. All but five were between 80 and 87. The median g score over all 31 studies was about 85, approximately one standard deviation below the white average of 100.
Lynn also cited 21 studies of the intelligence of American Indians in North America, published between 1922 and 2000. The average g scores of American Indians obtained from these studies were all between 69 and 94. All but two were between 76 and 94. The median g score over all 21 studies was about 86, also approximately one standard deviation below the white average.
I guess the Un-Fair Campaign chose not to mention those racial disparities because there’s no documented connection between IQ and poverty or unemployment.
In “The Bell Curve” (1994), Herrnstein and Murray noted that, compared to young white adults of average intelligence (IQ 91–110), young white adults with IQs of 75 or below are 50% more likely to be out of the labor force at least one month out of the year, 70% more likely to be unemployed at least one month out of the year, four times as likely to be chronic welfare recipients if female, and five times as likely to live in poverty as an adult.
Compared to gifted young white adults (IQ > 125), young white adults with IQs of 75 or below are more than twice as likely to be out of the labor force, six times as likely to be unemployed at least one month out of the year, and fifteen times as likely to live in poverty as an adult. The percentage of gifted young white women who are also chronic welfare recipients was negligible; for those with IQs of 75 or below, it was 30%.
Herrnstein and Murray’s findings are reprinted in Linda S. Gottfredson’s “g: Highly General and Highly Practical” (2002).
I wonder why the Un-Fair Campaign forgot to include them. They seem important.
The racial disparities that should be there but aren’t
They do know Asians aren’t white, don’t they? So why does the Un-Fair Campaign ignore them?
According to the same American Community Survey (Table S1701), between 2006 and 2010, 24.1% of Asians residing in Duluth were living below the poverty line. Although the Asian rate appears to be higher than the white rate (17.6%), it is actually well within the margin of error (9.8 percentage points), because the Asian population is so low.
Furthermore (Table S2301), 62.4% of Asians (16 and over) were employed; the white rate is slightly lower (60.6%) but within the margin of error. Although the Un-Fair Campaign insists that this is the best measure of racial disparities in employment, for completeness we note that the Asian unemployment rate is higher than the white rate (12.9% versus 7.1%), but the difference is barely outside the margin of error; on the other hand, the Asian labor force is relatively larger than the white labor force (73.8% versus 65.4%), and that difference is barely within the margin of error.
Nationwide, between 2006 and 2010, the Asian poverty rate (11.3%) differed negligibly from the white poverty rate (11.1%). The Asian employment rate (66.3%, 16 and over) was significantly higher than the white employment rate (64.9%), the Asian labor force (61.7%) was significantly larger than the white labor force (60.1%), and the Asian unemployment rate (6.4%) was significantly lower than the white unemployment rate (6.8%).
As soon as we acknowledge that Asian people exist (and there are almost as many of them in Duluth as there are black people, and far more of them nationwide than there are American Indians), the Un-Fair Campaign’s “white privilege” narrative falls apart completely.
Are we expected to believe that Asians are benefiting from white privilege, too? Or perhaps it’s a uniquely Asian privilege?
But how are either of those possible when Asians are the smallest of the four racial groups we’ve looked at (in Duluth) and white privilege is supposedly derived from “a monoculture based on white northern European values, beliefs, practices and culture” — you know, “an overwhelmingly dominant white culture” where “white norms are dominant and considered ‘normal'”?
The racial disparities in our DNA
Here’s an idea: there’s no such thing as “Asian privilege” — no racist conspiracy to give Asians better jobs, better pay, better treatment and a better chance; to open doors for Asians; to put Asians at the head of the line; to protect Asians from the daily looks and hassles and fear that thrive in the unspoken world of Asian entitlement. And there’s no such thing as “white privilege,” either.
Hold on. If that’s true, how can these racial disparities exist in Duluth, Minnesota? Why do whites outperform blacks and American Indians, if not because of white privilege? Or how about the questions the Un-Fair Campaign won’t ask (because they don’t care, because they’re only interested in attacking white people): why do American Indians mostly outperform blacks, if not because of Ojibwe privilege? Why do Asians consistently outperform both groups, if not because of Korean privilege, Indian privilege, Thai privilege, etc.? Why do Asians do just as well whites, even outperforming them nationwide, if not because of… I don’t know, slightly more privilege?
The answer is: because whites — as a group, population, race, whatever you want to call it — are very different from blacks. Both are very different from American Indians. And all three are very different from Asians. Of course, “different” does not mean superior or inferior. It just means different. And these are group differences; individuals must be judged individually.
Those differences go much deeper than the color of our skin. They include important behavioral traits, like intelligence (see above). In fact, the differences go right down to our DNA. That is a scientific fact. It has been observed. It will not go away. (For details and references, see this post, everything after “Race is ancestral geography” in this post, and everything after “Race” in this post.)
Race differences in outcomes exist because of race differences in biology. As a result, even if you treat everybody the same, different races will still perform differently. (As races, that is. Individuals will still behave individually.)
That’s why disparate impact does not imply disparate treatment. That’s why the Un-Fair Campaign literally has no evidence at all to suggest that “white privilege” actually exists. And neither does anyone else.