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Understanding Politics: CNN Plays the Race Card

Discussion in 'Members' Lounge' started by Capt. Orygun, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Capt. Orygun

    Capt. Orygun Win the Day

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    I saw this the other day, and as a Political Science major the intellectual dishonesty here is frankly shocking...

    Wealth gap widens for whites over blacks, Hispanics - Pew - Jul. 26, 2011

    So lets pull this apart and see what the "message" is. Any statistical research is only as good as its formula, and as my old mathematician stats professor once told me, "You can make stats say anything, all you have to know is how to arrange them" (paraphrased).

    At first blush you would think America's economic outcomes are really racist. Stuff like this is usually the battle cry of those would fight "Institutional Racism:" The idea that while today the 14th Amendment protects liberty rights for all, the fact that every minority family isn't making the average white income is still racist, regardless of the individual factors in each families economic outlook. Or more cynically, "did I say equality? I meant to say money." But check out the graph for a second and I will explain why it is heavily, and I can only conclude (as this research was done by people with more education than myself) intentionally skewed.

    [​IMG]

    Look at all the money us white folks (I'm technically mixed race but basically white I guess) have! It's amazing!

    If you read the article, you will see that the primary concern is how the average American family is doing by race. But, if that is truly their concern, their methodology is a bit confusing.

    Sampling Problems

    It is apparent that this article is not concerned with how the Ted Turners, Jerry Joneses, and Oprahs of the nation are doing, so it is a bit funny they would include them in their measurement. It must be said that for every Oprah, who's wealth will effect any average assessment for African Americans, there are ten Jerry Joneses effecting the average White family income and thus increasing the divide.

    This imbalance of wealth is due to many reasons, some of which are legitimately racist: African Americans really weren't allowed to participate in inter-generational wealth accumulation until after the civil war, and then only partially for another 100 years. But on that same token, it is unfair to assume that all "whites" have been stacking wealth since the Mayflower landed. The great Irish immigration didn't occur until the 1840's, and when it did, they weren't first considered "whites" in the traditional sense and likewise felt inertia in wealth accumulation. Italians, also today considered "white" after long stint with minority status, arrived even later in the 1860's, and would come in waves, the last of which was only twenty years before the civil rights movement. So, while it is true that African American families were forced to start late, it is amazingly unfair to assume all modern "whites" benefited from slavery or even got a head start. The main point of this paragraph is to illustrate that while there are many more super rich whites than blacks, and this greatly effects the graph above, the reason for this uneven disbursement is cannot not be solely blamed on slavery.

    Other caveats worth noting: Although Indian-Americans weren't even allowed naturalization rights until 1946, the median income of an Indian American is over $42,000 compared to $40,000 for Whites, $27,000 for African Americans and $23,000 for Latinos. Asian Americans, who didn't immigrate in large numbers until after WWII, average around $42,000 as well. All this to say: length of time in America doesn't count for much when you consider all ethnicities rather than the ones CNN would draw your attention to. When considering all ethnicities, by Institutional Racism standards, it would appear the system truly favors Asians and Indians. Everybody knows this isn't so.

    There are two further points of interest which draw the Black and Latino numbers down and they both have to do with the fact that this data was taken from the census. First, this data includes the incarcerated who have zero income. Both Blacks and Hispanics have much higher incarceration rates than Whites, and while some laws do seem racist (consider the much higher senatancing guidelines in New York for crack-cocaine as opposed to its powdery counterpart), this is an economic graph, not a critique on our legal system. Also, just as this pretends to not be concerned with the uber-rich, yet includes them, it likewise includes incarcerated criminals which is a bit of an "out of round peg" when considering the average American family. This drastically lowers the average for both Blacks and Hispanics.

    The second point, and I will not dwell on this, is that: as this is built from census data it includes illegal immigrants who often have little reportable income. This has a negative effect on the Hispanic numbers.

    Averaging

    The next point of interest, is that median, rather than mean, was used to calculate these numbers and the reason is simple: The chart would have been unbelievable if they would have used mean given the inclusion of the aforementioned super-rich, the incarcerated, and illegal immigrants. Median is basically the status-quo for measurements of this sort, but the raw sampling used to compile this data, as I have shown, is so impure that no form of averaging can truely yield an accurate result.

    All this to ask: "What are you trying to do CNN?"

    With two (or is it three now?) wars, the debt ceiling, and everything else out there dividing America do we really need a half-cocked report on economic standing by race? And if you are going to report on such a finding, shouldn't you at least make sure its methodology is up to snuff before putting it on your front page? Intellectually, I am insulted.
     
  2. B16

    B16 Super Moderator VIP

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    Very nice!

    And as for whites accumulating wealth; when my father passed away everything went to the IRS, nothing left for his kids. Also for college I paid all my own via student loans. Not sure how much more of a head start I had than anyone else.

    -stereotypical white boy
     
  3. Capt. Orygun

    Capt. Orygun Win the Day

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    Omg, somebody replied. Thanks for reading
     
  4. Battle Pope

    Battle Pope New Member

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    We need critical analyses of the media exactly like this, but in a much wider and more vocal scope. Personally I think for every 30 minutes of mainstream media that is broadcast on primetime television there should be 30 minutes of critical analysis on the last 30 minutes.
     
  5. Drake

    Drake Well-Known Member VIP

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    The fairness doctrine argues the same points. Only its drawn on party lines. Really we need a more informed public that can do its own research.
     
  6. Battle Pope

    Battle Pope New Member

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    Why don't we just invent cold fusion while we're at it?
     
  7. Capt. Orygun

    Capt. Orygun Win the Day

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    Ignorance is the American way: Post a critical deconstruction on the methodology used for socioeconomic research and it will go unnoticed for two days before a handful of people begin to discuss it.

    Post a picture of money in the shape of a building and an entire website will ask you to run for President

    America: yep, that about sums it up.
     
  8. Cashizslick

    Cashizslick !i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!

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    Whenever the news mentions a persons ethnicity, they are playing the race card, and it is done to pit us against each other and elicit emotional responses from viewers.

    “A black family loses their home”, “A Male sexually harassed their female co-worker”, “A Spanish person was caught committing a crime”, “A White boss fired their non-white employee”, “A Non-white boss fired a white employee”... etc.

    The news is full of stories based on race/sex. Thats the stuff that riles people up and gets em to keep watching.
     
  9. B16

    B16 Super Moderator VIP

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    I can't think of any other nation where the public is more informed/attentive/educated than us. I think this is just a "human" way, not necessarily an "american" way.
     
  10. DarkHand

    DarkHand Senior Member VIP

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    Finland/Norway/Sweden come to mind, only they put all their efforts into efficient furniture. :ph34r:

    It's not that, it's the beard! Look at the epic beard in the banner!!11!1!
     
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