keskiviikkona, elokuuta 18, 2021

Totuus aiheesta "Stop hate against Asian Americans"?

Charles Murray linkkasi twitterissä erinomaiseen kirjoitukseen aiheesta totuuden väärentäminen politiikan menetelmänä

A remarkable aspect of today’s culture war debates, across a whole range of topics, is the fact that many massively popular positions bear no resemblance to measurable truth. Many core claims of Black Lives Matter (BLM), the “systemic racism” school of sociological thought, the Stop AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) Hate movement, and, for that matter, QAnon and election fraud devotees on the political right, don’t gel at all with empirical facts. Often this is no accident. Many activists and a surprising number of academics and media figures seem to have returned to the ancient idea that truth is relative, and hard data of the Bureau of Justice Statistics variety are less valuable than individual “lived experience.” Others, so far as I can tell, simply lie to facilitate personal or political goals. The trend is a dangerous one: People who fear nonexistent demons are also likely to propose costly and unnecessary witch hunts. In the face of the new Hounds of God, empiricism must again be defended.

The risk of misdirected action based on faulty inputs is even larger when it comes to highly politicized issues, in which one or both sides have an incentive to lie or misdirect. 

Erityisesti kirjoitus käsittelee sitä, missä määrin rasismi tai rotujen välinen väkivalta on amerikkalaista yhteiskuntaa kaikkialla leimaava ongelma.  

Ensimmäinen esimerkki tulee rotujen välisen väkivallan yleisyydestä, josta puhuvat sekä oikeisto että vasemmisto:

American media is chock-full of shocking stories about cruel whites harassing or attacking people of color as we do the most basic things in our daily lives—barbecue in parks, swim in public pools, watch birds, ride the Chicago L or New York 6 train with a hijab on, or just walk home from Subway with a tuna sandwich. Basketball centimillionaire LeBron James declared last year that Black people as a group are “terrified” even to leave home because of the risk of police misconduct and white violence. The hard edge of the political right engages in a fair amount of this as well, with websites and books like White Girl Bleed a Lot and Stuff Black People Don’t Like joining the decades-old VDare and American Renaissance in chronicling almost every attack on a white pensioner.

This is all, again, empirically nonsensical. According to the 2018-19 Bureau of Justice Statistics Criminal Victimization report (table 14), the vast majority of crime is intraracial, with 70% of attackers targeting Blacks and almost 65% of those targeting whites being individuals of the same race as their victims. Violent interracial incidents involving Blacks and whites, on the other hand, make up roughly 3% of total crime: During 2018-19, there were 20,828,040 “Index” violent crimes or serious property crimes in America, 607,726 of which were violent offenses involving a white offender and a Black victim or a Black offender and a white/Caucasian victim.

Herkullisin esimerkki on ehkä vasta alkanut kampanja pysäyttää viharikokset aasialaisamerikkalaisia vastaan: 

The debate about how best to “stop AAPI hate” provides the best recent example. Following a genuine surge in shocking street attacks against people of East Asian heritage, many prominent activists and media figures attempted to tie the violence to “white supremacy” and held major Black Lives Matter-style marches to oppose this boogeyman. The actual data provides, quite literally, no support for the argument that white racism has motivated most anti-Asian attacks.

Notably, most of these attackers haven’t been white. According to the most recently available national crime data that includes Asian American victims, 27.5% of violent attackers were Black, 24.1% were white, 21.4% were Latino and “other” combined, and 24.1% were Asian. In a separate data set focused only on the 98 most prominent recent attacks on Asian Americans, a research associate and I found that 29% of the attackers who were identified in racial terms (24 out of 84) were white, while 71% (60 out of 84) were people of color.

Kolmas esimerkki ovat väitteet mustiin kohdistuvasta laajasta poliisiväkivallasta:

A well-run and large-N study from the Skeptic Research Center in February 2021 found that 54% of Americans who “identify as very liberal” believe that the average number of unarmed Black men killed annually by U.S. police is somewhere between “about 1,000” and “more than 10,000.” A major empirical survey conducted by the political scientist Eric Kaufman in April 2021 found that 80% of African Americans and 60% of educated white liberals believe that more young Black men die annually at the hands of police than in car wrecks.

OK. The actual number of unarmed Black men killed by police last year was 17. Given the grave importance of this issue, it’s worth repeating that number—17—across the tens of millions of annual police-citizen interactions. As it turns out, about 1,000 people of all races, sexes, and ages are shot to death by on-duty police officers in a typical year (1,021 in 2020), and about 250 of those are identified as Black. Even this gap—between the share of Americans who are Black (13%) and the share of police shooting victims (24%-25%)—largely vanishes when a simple adjustment is made for the gap in reported crime statistics (and thus in police encounter rates) between Blacks and whites, which was 2.4 to 1 when the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Study collected data on violent crime victims in 2019. Even leaving such academic points aside, it is clear that estimates of police violence on at least the political left are several orders of magnitude higher than reality.

Neljäs esimerkki on väite, että mustia ja latinoita on korkeakoulutetuissa ja korkeakoulutusta vaativissa tehtävissä vähemmän kuin valkoisia - ja heillä on näin huonompi palkka - siksi, että USA:ssa vallitsee laaja rakenteellinen rasismi:

Almost every time the narrative of systemic racism is subjected to empirical analysis, it collapses. The core claim of the systemic racism (or “systemic bias”) school in academia is that pervasive racism must still exist within modern society because measurable and fairly large gaps between races persist in variables such as income. At least according to such thinkers as Boston University’s Ibram X. Kendi, the “pervasive racism” explanation must be accurate because the only other potential explanation for these gaps in outcomes would be the unacceptable specter of genetic inferiority.

While some more-than-residual racism obviously remains in American society (a 2015 Gallup poll found that 8% of Americans would not vote for a well-qualified Black presidential candidate from their own party), the second part of Kendi’s famous argument is simply wrong. Roughly the same level of bias exists against many groups—Jews, Hispanics, Blacks, women—which nevertheless have dramatically different outcomes. Adjusting for other important variables that differ among racial and ethnic groups like age and region of residence, the gaps glibly attributed to prejudice all but close.

Murray on itse juuri julkaissut kirjan Facing Reality: Two Truths about Race in America tästä aiheesta. (Kirjoitin siitä englanninkielisen arvostelun/referaatin goodreadsiin, mutta pyrin kirjoittamaan aiheesta myös Sarastukseen suomeksi.)

Murray on erityisesti huolestunut siitä, että jatkuva faktoihin perustumaton valkoisten demonisointi aiheesta rakenteellinen rasismi lisää polarisaatiota amerikkalaisessa yhteiskunnassa. Erityisesti Murray on huolestunut ns. Affirmative Action-politiikan vaikutuksesta amerikkalaisten mieliin: 

Preferential racial policies have been eroding the nation’s commitment to impartiality for decades. Identity politics accelerated that erosion. The threatening new development is that Whites increasingly agree that identity politics is the way to go...  It has long been my view, first expressed in these words long ago, that aggressive affirmative action is a poison leaking into the American experiment. We are now dealing with nearly sixty years of accumulated toxin. It is not the only cause of the present crisis, but it is a central one.

Arvostettu yhteiskuntatieteilijä Timur Kuran ennustikin jo 90-luvulla kirjassaan Private truths, Public Lies, että Affirmative Action -politiikka tulee aiheuttamaan USA:ssa poliittisen räjähdyksen, koska suuri enemmistö amerikkalaisista viereastaa sitä.

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