The academic achievement gap between black and white students in the United States comes up regularly in the press and in political debates. It is a deeply rooted and intractable thing, and I have long since given up on thinking that it is within our meager human powers to do anything substantial and efficacious about it. However, I also believe that it is important to have a firm grasp of the phenomenon, if only to understand what the noise is about and justify the only appropriate response: A summary dismissal of the latest wasteful education fad that will come along and be touted as The Remedy That Will Finally Work, Dammit.
This chart is the best way I can think of to put the black/white achievement gap in perspective, focusing on SAT scores.
To put some of this in words: SAT scores rise as family income rises, across all races. However, children of the richest black families ($200,000+ annual income) have SAT scores that are, on average, virtually equal to those of children of the poorest white families (sub-$20,000 annual income). Those same sub-$20k white children outscore, by 35 points, children of black families in the second-highest income bracket ($160k-$200k), and they outscore children of comparable poor black families (sub-$20k) by 180 points. For each income bracket, the black/white gap is around 150-180 points, or 1.5+ standard deviations. In sum, the lowest white group pretty much picks up where the highest black group leaves off, and achievement diverges from there. Source: JBHE.
To put it in starker terms, the average child of a black family with demonstrably everything — a $200k+ annual income can buy you every possible educational advantage — pulls barely even with the average white child who has virtually nothing — a <$20k annual income doesn’t go very far even in West Virginia. There must be a whole lot of magic pixie dust in that poor white kid’s invisible knapsack to outweigh the after-school activities, European vacation and private SAT tutors that the rich black kid can afford!
Reports this morning indicate that a disgruntled former employee at an awning manufacturer in Orlando went Postal and shot up his former place of work. As best I can read the reports, the 45 year old male shooter killed four victims before taking his own life, while seven other people at the business escaped unharmed — I assume here that the shooter did not even attempt to harm these individuals.
Based on the Leaded Law, which allows me to predict the demographic profile of the shooter on little more than killed-to-wounded statistics, I’m going to predict that this Orlando shooter was most likely white, with a slight chance that he is East Asian.
Recall the basic formula of the Leaded Law which applies to every mass-shooting incident:
Casualty Ratio (Killed:Wounded)Profile of Shooter
Lower than 1:3 Black Male
Greater than 1:3, lower than 2:1 “Irish” or Hispanic Male
Greater than 2:1 White Male
Here, it looks like a 4:0 killed to wounded ratio, putting us squarely in “white” territory. I’ll note here that for purposes of the Leaded Law a slight chance of East Asian ancestry is embedded in the concept of “white.” I’ll also take this opportunity to introduce a refinement to the basic formula: When the shooter ends his own life at the end of a spree shooting, you have a very strong plus factor pointing at white male.
NBC reported yesterday that Minnesota health officials have requested an additional $5 million appropriation to deal with an “extraordinarily expensive” measles outbreak among the state’s Somali population, a group which has largely refused measles vaccinations for their children in recent years.
Why the great frozen Upper Midwest, colonized in the 19th century mainly by pioneers of German and Viking stock, is now home to a substantial population of refugees and transplants from the semi-tropical Horn of Africa is in some fundamental sense mysterious. Yes, yes, I know the State Department has run refugee resettlement rackets from time to time in the past, and that do-gooder Lutheran organizations with their roots in the Upper Midwest have participated heavily in these schemes. But taking a step back and viewing the picture from a Martian visitor’s perspective it just seems unbearably odd. Minnesota has gone from 94.4% non-Hispanic white in 1990 to 81.0% non-Hispanic white in 2015, and there hasn’t even been an intervening war, invasion or cataclysm to account for this sudden and massive population shift. Even the very climate seems ideally suited to people with an ancestry within spitting distance of the Polar Circle, while tortuously harsh to those whose roots are in warmer climes. Yet here were are. The locals just let it happen.
Several weeks ago, I took note of a shooting at the Cameo nightclub in Cincinnati, an event which promised to provide another perfect test of my so-called “Leaded Law.” That is, my rule of thumb which states that, in a mass shooting event, the killed-to-wounded ratio reliably provides predicts the demographic characteristics of the shooter(s) — basically, deadlier means whiter. With a ratio of 1 killed to 14 wounded, and no other pertinent details released at the time, the Cameo shooting looked squarely like the work of one or more young black males — quite possibly gang members.
I promised to follow up, and so I have. And it sure looks like reality has a predictably Racist tilt, because these are the folks who were arrested in connection with this crime:
For good measure, the local papers report that the shooting was in fact a gun battle involving at least these two suspects. Mr. Davis has prior criminal convictions for heroin trafficking and Mr. Beckley has prior criminal convictions for gun violence. The majority of the shooting victims were said to have not been involved in the dispute which led to the firefight.
Some early, hopeful rays of light have shone through since the inauguration of President Trump, piercing the cloud of darkness left by his predecessor in office. The Washington Post reports on another today, stating that the weekly number of U.S. government deportation flights landing in Mexico City has gone up 50% since the current President took office — from two to three. The most recent flight carried 135 people. At that rate, and if that was the only deportation channel, it would only take around 480 years (as opposed to 720) to fly all our illegal aliens to Mexico City. Baby steps, but in the right direction.
But what really struck me, when reading that report, was the dullness that the WaPo’s left-wing politically correct agenda imposes upon the intellects of their writers and editors. It requires a lot of willful blindness to carry out their (un)holy mission of trying to guilt legacy-Americans into thinking that basic law enforcement is bad. Two whoppers stood out.
Over the past month, numerous Jewish Community Centers (“JCCs”) across America received hoax bomb threats. These frequently triggered building evacuations, police responses, security sweeps and a whole lot of general consternation. A number of Hebrew graves in St. Louis were also vandalized at the time, which was viewed as somehow probably linked to the bomb threats.
Our hysterical friends in the mainstream press, who still fixate daily on Adolf Hitler, lost no time rushing to insinuate that these anti-Jewish incidents were the fault of some very-bad no-good right-wing Trump-supporting cisgendered heteropatriarchical White Men, and that our sitting President bore responsibility for unleashing these menaces on an unsuspecting population. For instance, the Washington Post wrote, on February 21:
The remarks by Trump [denouncing the JCC bomb threats] also appear aimed at easing pressure on his administration, which faces claims from opponents that it has failed to distance itself from extremist ideology and has emboldened right-wing groups through its populist, America-first themes.
Got that? According to conventional wisdom, the chain of causation is:
Election of Trump –> fails to distance himself from “extremist ideology” (note the use of the same phrase typically reserved for guys like Jihadi John) –> Emboldened right-wing groups –> White guys intimidating Jews.
You know the guys that the Washington Post has in mind. They’re thinking of the guys in this photo, when they get a little too boozed up: