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18 July 2013 @ 06:17 am
Racist of the week  
Richard Cohen is a loathsome, crawling thing. Ta-Nehisi Coates discusses.
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Maia Cmaiac on July 18th, 2013 03:02 pm (UTC)
Cohen's argument falls flat on its face in the first sentence: "In New York City, blacks make up a quarter of the population, yet they represent 78 percent of all shooting suspects -- almost all of them young men. We know them from the nightly news."

Shooting suspects. Not tried-and-proven-and-convicted. Suspects. Maybe there's disproportionate attention from the NYPD and the news media that skews the statistics toward perceiving way more blacks than members of other ethnic groups as suspects? Ya think maybe?
Kalimackalimac on July 18th, 2013 03:42 pm (UTC)
Prejudice - racism, if the prejudice is racial - may be effectively defined as "attributing to every individual in a group the characteristics associated with that group." It doesn't even matter whether the association with the group is justified or not. Even if blacks really are 78% of the shooters, and not just of the suspects, that doesn't justify assuming that X random black teenager with a bag of Skittles is a shooter.
eub on July 19th, 2013 07:26 am (UTC)
Even aside from the moral problem with ever making that assumption, and also aside from the problems getting valid data for that 78% value, people who do this usually seem to lack awareness of the difference between "probability of A given B" and "probability of B given A" (where this this example A and B are "shooter" and "black").
browngirl on July 18th, 2013 03:46 pm (UTC)
*makes a note* I have seen Cohen's so-called 'logic' popping up recently.