05 December 2011

Simple Mistakes

Stupid thinking like this tends to upset me:

Beasley was inspired to look into the issue while in graduate school at Stanford University, after the dot-com boom hit. She was puzzled that none of her black peers from undergrad at Harvard University seemed to be taking part in the boom. Through a statistical analysis for her master's thesis, Beasley realized black students were largely absent from science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as other corporate fields.
Despite civil rights legislation enacted in the 1960s and ’70s, a lack of federal enforcement of and funding for black employment initiatives kept the parents of today’s college students from making significant strides, Beasley writes – and their children have modeled their career preferences accordingly. There is more occupational diversity among black employees today, but the differences as compared to whites are still significant.

There are two things missing in this analysis: self-selection bias and the effects of Affirmative Action.
Regarding the former:  It is incredibly stupid to ignore self-selection bias when considering the racial composition of voluntary associations, like college.  No one, black and white alike, is forced to go to college.  As such, those who do, do so under their own volition for their own reasons.  It is not racism on a university’s or business’s part if black people don’t even apply.*  That is not to say that there is not racism but rather that one must first account for self-selection effects first.

Regarding the latter:  as both Walter E. Williams and Thomas Sowell have explained quite eloquently, Affirmative Action is particularly destructive to black people because it places them in positions that they simply are not qualified for, thus dooming them to failure (cf. Barack Obama).  By pretending that blacks are better at something than they actually are, they ensure that those blacks will fail because it is only a matter of time before it becomes obvious that blacks are under qualified for their position.

* It is strange to me how very few leftists seem to even ask themselves if it is even possible that black people may not even want to go to college or hold prestigious jobs.  It’s like these leftists assume that black culture places (or should place) the same emphasis on these status markers that white culture does.  Talk about ethnocentrism!

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