Every once in a while, planets align, worlds end, stars are born, and I read some op ed article to remind myself of why I hate conservatives so much (like I really need the reminder, but it gives me something to be pissed about). So, today's article (which, is dressed up in some dialog dealing with Katrina), in typical white upper-class fashion, blames the poor people for being poor. Sure it dresses it up a bit to not sound quite so...evil, but it doesn't try to hard to hide what it's really saying. In fact, it goes out of its way to make sure the reader knows that poor black people are especially to blame for their plight.
Now, at this point in my life, I'm beyond getting upset at what any random conservative spews out of his mouth. I just get pissed because every time I hear crap like this it reminds me that there are 53 million of them; and I can't bring myself to believe that even half of them are stupid enough to not realize they're evil (especially 'cause most of them are prep school grads who made most of their money when they finally got access to their trust fund).
I think the really sad thing is that, in this article, the following paragraph pissed me off the most:
bq. Given that most African Americans are middle class and almost half live outside central cities, and that 76 percent of all births to Louisiana African Americans were to unmarried women, it is a safe surmise that more than 80 percent of African American births in inner-city New Orleans -- as in some other inner cities -- were to women without husbands. That translates into a large and constantly renewed cohort of lightly parented adolescent males, and that translates into chaos in neighborhoods and schools, come rain or come shine.
And the reason it pisses me off is the complete lack of knowledge about how statistics work. You cannot make judgements of a sub-population (African Americans in New Orleans) using statistics from the larger population (African Americans and Louisiana African Americans). Plus, the inclusion of statistics that have little or no bearing on the argument ("most African Americans are middle class") is only used to confuse the reader (and, in this case, make a subtle jab at the notion that poor blacks can't help but be poor). The fact that "almost half" of African Americans live outside of central cities doesn't mean a whole lot in this case...there are plenty of unwed mothers in rural areas as well. And I suppose I have to mention that this entire argument ignores the idea that it's entirely possible that both parents may, in fact, be active in raising the child while not being married, especially since the rate of couples living together but not marrying is constantly rising.
I'm sure I had other stuff to say, but I do need to do some work at some point...