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The Implicit Racism of Ezra Klein December 16, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
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Ezra Klein leaps proudly into the gun control controversy, claiming that he’s just presenting a list of 12 “facts” to help inform the debate. There are many things wrong with his list, but in this post I want to focus on just two:

5. America is an unusually violent country. But we’re not as violent as we used to be.

and

6. The South is the most violent region in the United States.


To support his statements, he refers to Kieran Healy, a Professor at Duke who works in a completely different area of sociology, but doesn’t hesitate to butcher statistics to reach the conclusion he wants. He produced this pair of charts, showing the occurrence of assault victims for the US vs. the other OECD nations, and for different regions of the US.

KHealeyassault-deaths-oecd-ts-all assault-deaths-us-ts-region
America is a Violent Country the South is more violent than the rest of the country

Since you’re smarter than Professor Healy, you’re undoubtedly wondering why he picked deaths to indicate violence, rather than number of assaults. You may also be wondering why he picked victims instead of offenders. Finally you may wonder, after reading through his posts, why he found it difficult to break out deaths due to firearms from all assault deaths, when the data is readily available via the FBI.

But let’s lay those mysteries aside, since I owe you some racism.

Klein baldly tells us that America is an unusually violent country, and that the South is its most violent region. But he doesn’t tell you why. He doesn’t tell you that among cases where the race was known, blacks committed 5,486 murders in 2011, while whites committed only 4,729. So when Klein says that America is an unusually violent country, he’s really saying that blacks are an unusually violent race.

Similarly, if you look at the prevalence of murderers vs. black population on a state-by-state basis, you find a strong correlation between the two.

RacevsMurdersbyState

So when Klein says that “The South is the most violent region in the United States,” he’s really saying that “Blacks are the most violent race in the United States.” Sounds racist when you put it that way, doesn’t it?

Of course, that’s not a fair characterization – not at all. There’s certainly a big problem, but making a statement like “Blacks are the most violent race” is not justified or productive.

And that’s exactly the sort of statement that Klein made about the South and the United States. By slapping some lame statistics on the web with no context or data-mining, he’s smeared them with a sloppy and unfair characterization.

And when you conduct your research like that, it’s easy to be a racist.

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Comments»

1. Retired Geezer - December 16, 2012

This was listed at the Mothership:

http://is.gd/Xg1crF

1. America’s out-of-control guns make it the most violent place in the world. False. First of all, there are two different types of violence. The first is violence by a government against its people. The second is violence by a people against each other…

You have to read the whole thing.

2. epobirs - December 16, 2012

Fish in a barrel but it needed to be said.

3. Aaron - December 17, 2012

” making a statement like “Blacks are the most violent race” is not justified or productive.”

Um. Why not? That’s exactly what the statistics say. Visit Detroit, New Orleans, Chicago, and freaking’ look around. Stick your head into the prison system. Listen to gangster rap. It ain’t a mystery, and this kind of politically-correctness-motivated blinders REALLY isn’t justified or productive.

4. geoff - December 17, 2012

The point is that while there is obviously a strong correlation between race and violence, violence is not inherent to race.

5. Lenny - December 17, 2012

“The South is the most violent region in the United States,” he’s really saying that “Blacks are the most violent race in the United States.” Sounds racist when you put it that way, doesn’t it?

Are you a closet leftist or have you so internalized their worldview that you don’t even realize how far gone you are.

What does “sounding racist” have to do with anything? The issue should be “Is it true?”. Leftists love to shame people with the charge “You’re a racist” when they find themselves losing an argument. What you’re doing is nearly as bad. Sounds racist? This is the stupidest thing I’ve heard in a long while. Why would you shy away from a conclusion which you can back up with facts? Are you a leftist?

The proper tactic is to shove these facts at Klein and make him acknowledge them and own them. He’s wouldn’t be a racist for stating something that is true, he is a coward and a fraud for mangling the analysis to hide what you’re pointing out.

Isn’t it good enough to accuse him of being an incompetent bungler or a flat-out liar and being able to back it up rather than accusing him of being a racist for skirting around an issue which is true?

6. geoff - December 17, 2012

Read my comment at #4. Please. I really don’t want to have to keep repeating this point.

7. Pupster - December 17, 2012

Your link to ‘the south’ is fubar, I get the wordpress ‘doh’ message when I clicky.

8. Pupster - December 17, 2012

Nevermind. Third time is a whatever.

9. Tobias Took - December 17, 2012

Scratch a liberal, find a racist.

10. Nan G - December 17, 2012

Isn’t it totally irresponsible of Klein to call his essay:”Nine Facts about Guns and Mass Shootings in the United States,” then to use graphs based on non-gun acts?
How intellectually dishonest can he be?
And how dumb does he assume his readers are?

11. Jerome - December 17, 2012

“The point is that while there is obviously a strong correlation between race and violence, violence is not inherent to race.”

You found this out how? Here let me help you out with something I just read;

“He doesn’t tell you that among cases where the race was known, blacks committed 5,486 murders in 2011, while whites committed only 4,729.”

Rain isn’t inherent to dark clouds, either. But when you see one, bring your umbrella.

12. geoff - December 17, 2012

One (just one) of the other key flaws in Klein’s list of facts, is that the statistics plotted in the “America is a violent country” graph show just how badly we need guns for self protection. All those cases of assault deaths are cases where law enforcement was unable to protect the victim.

You can’t tell me that I live in an “unusually violent” area, with a high rate of victim deaths, and then tell me to not to take measures to protect myself and my family to the best of my ability.

That factoid, I don’t think it means what you think it does.

13. Cam Winston - December 17, 2012

Same concept applies to test scores, as well. Southern inner cities (capitals) destroy state-wide averages. Wish it weren’t so, but it is. Bill Cosby knows the answer: the breakdown of the family.

14. Furnishing Your Tidy Little Mind : The Other McCain - December 17, 2012

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15. Yoshi - December 17, 2012

“Rain isn’t inherent to dark clouds, either. But when you see one, bring your umbrella.”

Please elaborate on the population genetics literature in support of your hypothesis. If you don’t have any, I will be forced to conclude you are not really interested in the truth, as accepting a mere correlation as proof would also strongly indicate that Caucasians are predisposed to empire building.

16. geoff - December 17, 2012

…would also strongly indicate that Caucasians are predisposed to empire building.

Well I certainly am, so that’s one data point in the “Racial Predisposition” category.

Currently experiencing a shortage of serfs, though.

17. Pupster - December 17, 2012

I’m in the Pro Empire Building camp as well.

Why do you hate white people, Yoshi?

Jerome - December 17, 2012

Yoshi,

I suppose it is possible that genetics has something to contribute to the discussion, but I don’t think you need to understand atmospheric physics to know when to carry an umbrella. A correlation observed often enough is a prediction, whatever its underlying cause. And yes, empire-building is an effective approach to resource management, and Caucasians have been known to employ it with considerable success. Is that germane?

18. Marty - December 17, 2012

I think Lenny’s point above is that knowingly stating falsehoods is worse than racism, so Klein doesn’t have to be labeled a racist to be disparaged here. His lying is enough to make him evil. I think most leftists don’t realize that they are racists – at least not until they are confronted with it in some direct way.

19. RalphyBoy (@RalphyBoyUSA) - December 17, 2012

Search the stats for the top 10 most murderous cities per-capita… 9 are Dem run (mayors). 1 has a non-partisan mayor… Ban Dem Mayors Now!

20. Mitchell - December 17, 2012

Wow, IB hits the Big Time – this post is linked at the top of Hot Air. Congrats!

21. Qpro4inc - December 17, 2012

I would leave a comment except I can’t read tiny type in gray with a white background. What numbskull of a designer picked this.

22. Michael - December 17, 2012

accepting a mere correlation as proof would also strongly indicate that Caucasians are predisposed to empire building.

What? It is universally observed that us Lutherans are much better looking than other folks (especially Southern Baptists). Nobody thinks this is coincidence. That’s ridikalous.

23. geoff - December 17, 2012

Qpro:

If you’re having difficulties reading the page, just hit Ctrl+ or hold down Ctrl and spin your mouse wheel to enlarge the text.

But to answer your questions, the choice of website template is one of Michael’s lesser crimes.

24. Michael - December 17, 2012

It’s actually black type with a light blue background.

25. Dirty Old Man - December 17, 2012

Bookworm Room has a nice summary of countries MUCH more violent than ours, and wouldn’t ya know it, many are in Europe and have strict anti-gun laws. Criminals do notice when you’re vulnerable, because their livlihood depends upon it.

26. geoff - December 17, 2012

Wow, IB hits the Big Time – this post is linked at the top of Hot Air.

Not the first time, but it has been a while. Sadly we’ve now scrolled off the headlines, but not before Hot Air managed to edge out AoSHQ in hits.

27. Lenny - December 17, 2012

The point is that while there is obviously a strong correlation between race and violence, violence is not inherent to race

How do you know? Monoamine oxidase-A (the Warrior Gene)

The frequency distribution of variants of the MAOA gene differs between ethnic groups.[17][18] 59% of African-American men, 56% of Maori men, 54% of Chinese men, and 34% of Caucasian men carry the 3R allele. 5.5% of African-American men, 0.1% of Caucasian men, and 0.00067% of Asian men carry the 2R allele.

All you do know is that there is a correlation between murder rate and race. This may be due to culture, to socioeconomic status, to family circumstances, or to genetics, or to particular combinations of the above.. I’m not saying that genetics is determinative nor that the particular example I cite above is a factor here, what I am saying is that race could matter in the genetic sense because there are variations between groups and it’s silly to use a “we’re all alike” model at the outset and declare off limits any hypothesis which includes a genetic basis for behavior that varies between groups.

It’s not racist to advance a genetic hypothesis. It’s politically incorrect but that should only bother people who are subscribing to leftist politically correct thoughts that genetics has nothing to tell us about humanity.

Look, where you went off the track was in adopting the leftist tactic of accusing someone of racism. Klein is an obfuscater. We all know that race is a powerful confounding variable in this issue of murder rates. You did good work in documenting this. He lies by omission. He’s not a racist for making his argument. He stated true facts. You’ve drunk too deeply of leftist anti-racist kool-aid and you showed us this by thinking that you charging Klein with the crime of racism would somehow make the argument he was advancing go away or be disowned. That’s seriously twisted thinking.

We have a murder problem in the US that has deep roots in the black community and international comparisons which don’t account for different population groups are garbage. If we want to understand what role US culture or gun laws have on murder statistics in comparison to other groups, then we should control for confounding variables, for instance, compare the Irish murder rate in Ireland to the Irish-American murder rate, or the French murder rate to the French Canadian murder rate to the French-American murder rate. Different jurisdictions, different gun laws, but the same people from the same cultural/genetic background. We’ve now removed culture/genetics from the analysis and we can see what role gun laws play with regard to murder rates.

Bottom line – Klein lied by omission and attempted to point readers to a wrong conclusion while overlooking a very significant confounding factor which explains most of the problem. How that makes him a racist is beyond me.

28. geoff - December 17, 2012

This may be due to culture, to socioeconomic status, to family circumstances, or to genetics, or to particular combinations of the above.

There have been many studies which show that race plays little role in violence when other factors are considered. In any case, I’m making three points here:

1) Klein is basically acting as a bigot towards America and the South, which are really surrogates for his real target: gun culture. His bigotry is absolutely parallel to racism.

2) Klein has walked into a trap of his own making by using these facts, since even a cursory look at the data shows that he’s really criticizing blacks, and he’s doing it in very harsh terms. That’s racist.

3) Klein is attempting to assemble essential facts for the gun control debate, but his research is crap.

How that makes him a racist is beyond me.

Why do I call Klein a racist? Because that will bug him the most.

29. Yoshi - December 17, 2012

“A correlation observed often enough is a prediction, whatever its underlying cause.”

Oh, we know the correlation well enough. Anyone looking at the data cannot deny that black violence is an extremely big problem. I think all of us know not to wander around downtown Baltimore.

It’s when you start positing unfounded ideas about the cause of the correlation that you run into trouble. There’s a reason we abandoned social Darwinism and eugenics, and it’s not because we all suddenly turned politically correct.

Regarding the post about the MAO-A gene above, if you want to honestly discuss that detail, please also post the details about environmental components and address the high prevalence of the 3R allele in Chinese men instead of baiting people with the most provocative paragraph from the wiki page. Is there a high correlation between Chinese-American men and violence?

Whatever else might be said, I see no point in making noise about dubious biological connections. Gene therapy is absurd, eugenics is Nazism, and the cultural and historical drivers of black violence are far too obvious next to these insipid “maybes.” Courage to ask hard questions should be applied to those factors a la Bill Cosby.

30. Lenny - December 18, 2012

1) Klein is basically acting as a bigot towards America and the South, which are really surrogates for his real target: gun culture. His bigotry is absolutely parallel to racism.

This is a good point but I think that you didn’t develop this point in your article very well. Instead you jumped to the black murder rate and Klein being a racist for considering (but not mentioning) this issue.

2) Klein has walked into a trap of his own making by using these facts, since even a cursory look at the data shows that he’s really criticizing blacks, and he’s doing it in very harsh terms. That’s racist.

In no way shape or form is it racist to criticize a group for a documented phenomenon. That’s absurd. Is it racist to note, and be concerned about, the black illegitimacy rate?

How can it be racist to say something that is true?

3) Klein is attempting to assemble essential facts for the gun control debate, but his research is crap.

Exactly. Klein is a liar, not a racist. Why are you bypassing the easy shot and contorting in order to make a charge of racism?

There’s a reason we abandoned social Darwinism and eugenics, and it’s not because we all suddenly turned politically correct.

Nice way of creating a strawman. Social Darwinism and Eugenics are not genetics nor are they population genetics nor are they behavioral genetics.

Regarding the post about the MAO-A gene

What part of my statement did you not understand:

I’m not saying that genetics is determinative nor that the particular example I cite above is a factor here, what I am saying is that race could matter in the genetic sense because there are variations between groups and it’s silly to use a “we’re all alike” model at the outset and declare off limits any hypothesis which includes a genetic basis for behavior that varies between groups.

That statement doesn’t look confusing to me. It’s a pretty straightforward rejoinder to Geoff’s definitive declaration of “violence is not inherent to race.” He doesn’t know that. He overstepped by making such a strong statement. My quote highlights racial variation on MAO-A. That by itself is sufficient to pop the creationist bubble of uniformity that underlies Geoff’s position that the genetics of race can have no effect on issues of violence.

This is complicated stuff and note that I’m not taking an affirmative position, I’m simply disputing Geoff’s position on the genetic uniformity of homo sapiens wherein no racial differences can exist such that they impact social variables like violence/murder.

31. geoff - December 18, 2012

This is a good point but I think that you didn’t develop this point in your article very well.

Probably true. I don’t do this for a living and the internet audience has a short attention span, so I don’t spend as much time writing as I’d like and I don’t have room to properly develop arguments. Still, the point was made – it’s the theme of the last half of the post.

In no way shape or form is it racist to criticize a group for a documented phenomenon.

Hard to go from agreeing with the bigotry point to making this statement, isn’t it? When somebody says “Blacks are unusually violent,” without any apparent interest in delving into root causes, we attribute his lack of interest to a bias or preconception. We call that racism.

He doesn’t know that. He overstepped by making such a strong statement.

Could be. I based that statement on UK studies on race and violence, which showed there was no correlation. But the counterpoint is that you can’t attribute it all to genetics, which is the equivalent of what Klein has done.

32. geoff - December 18, 2012

Perhaps I should state it differently. “Blacks have the highest rate of violence in America” is a true and non-racist statement. Saying “Blacks are the most violent race in America” is a racist statement by the first definition below, and, until you can demonstrate its truth, by the second.

Merriam Webster’s definitions:

1) a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

2) racial prejudice or discrimination

33. Larwyn’s Linx: Let’s Have That Conversation About Guns | Preppers Universe - December 18, 2012

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34. Brad - December 18, 2012

This is… A joke, right? Like, you aren’t serious? You’re clearly the one race-baiting. Mr. Klein said nothing about race and you injected the race statistics. It isn’t about race, nor was Ezra’s column. I suggest you grow the hell up.

35. Jennifer - December 18, 2012

Years ago I read a book called something like Black Rednecks and White Liberals by Thomas Sowell and it opened my eyes to some parts of American black “culture” that had eluded me. Sowell points out that for some reason (he didn’t say for some reason, but again, I read this book at least 5 years ago if not more) black people co-opted the culture of poor white southerners — the food, the colloquialisms, the accent, and the penchant to fight over even the littlest stuff — Southern men were known to duel over practically any little thing and they enjoyed ‘sports’ like cock fights and dog fights. They were territorial, etc. He fleshes out the details better than I can. My BFF is white and married to a black man who is 1 of 11 boys from the same mother and father and when we get together at BBQs it is interesting to watch Sowell’s theory come to life before my eyes. My own family, which is white, is originally from the deep south, and those who did not leave it have many of the same behaviors and attitudes of the blacks I know here in Southern California. The more educated a member is from either group, the less these stereotypes show up. So is it color? I would say it’s culture.

Jerome - December 18, 2012

“Perhaps I should state it differently. “Blacks have the highest rate of violence in America” is a true and non-racist statement. Saying “Blacks are the most violent race in America” is a racist statement.

Geoff,

I would say that the first statement is evidence for the second, and the idea that there is any significant difference between them is ridiculous. Even Yoshi knows not to wander around the wrong part of Baltimore. Is Yoshi a racist? I would say he is, and I am, and you are. And I am tired of seeing that stupid, meaningless word used as a club to silence all discussion of America’s second largest problem.

Practically everyone in America is racist, in that they are aware of race, and make decisions based upon it. 97% of blacks voted for Obama because of — his Kansan-Indonesian culture? Because he went to Harvard Law? But calling a black racist is water off a duck. “Racist” is a term of race hatred, used to attack white people.

36. Phineas Fahrquar - December 18, 2012

Reblogged this on Public Secrets and commented:
This is an excellent take-down of the shoddy use of statistics by the anti-2nd amendment crowd. That it also shoves a grapefruit in the face of The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein is an added bonus.

37. geoff - December 18, 2012

Mr. Klein said nothing about race and you injected the race statistics. It isn’t about race, nor was Ezra’s column.

We can put that one in the “Unclear on the meaning of ‘implicit'” file.

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39. The Black Bane (@TheBlackBane) - December 18, 2012

This is a shameless article for a lot of reasons. First, Ezra Klein is obviously not a racist. What you are attempting to do (and failing at btw) is to interpret his stats to push your own racist view. You believe your crime stats. Of course you conveniently leave out that blacks are disproportionately put in prisons, killed, or any other inconvenient fact you leave out. Don’t pretend like Republicans care about blacks all of a sudden. No one is buying it, including black people. You will keep losing 95% of the black vote because we see through your racist bullsh*t

40. daveintexas - December 18, 2012

>> First, Ezra Klein is obviously not a racist.

How is this obvious?

Show your work.

41. Pupster - December 18, 2012
Jerome - December 18, 2012

Dave,

I think the Bane is claiming to be a black person. As such, he claims the right to decide who is and is not a racist. If a black person says that Ezra Klein is not a racist, then Ezra is off the hook. See how that works? And he is correct that, in addition to committing more than their proportionate share of murders, blacks get more than their proportionate share of prison sentences. Because white people are racist. See how that works? And by the way, only white people can be racist, and all white people are racist unless they can prove their innocence to the satisfaction of black people. See how that works?

My point to Geoff is that white people should stop playing along with this vicious tactic. Any white person who says anything critical about blacks is called a racist. Truth is no defense. The person so branded is shunned and ostracized. This is naked political terrorism, and we need to start calling bullshit. There are places where 95% of the black vote is all you need to get elected. And if you take a look at the map, you will note that whether those places are located in Africa or America, they are hellholes. Whether this can be remedied is open to question, but there is no point in pretending it isn’t true.

42. daveintexas - December 18, 2012

My point is that unsupported assertions are silly and worthy of mockery.

I don’t spend as much time thinking about it. Because it’s not important to me.

43. geoff - December 18, 2012

What you are attempting to do (and failing at btw) is to interpret his stats to push your own racist view.

What you are attempting to do (and failing at btw) is understanding what was actually written.

Don’t pretend like Republicans care about blacks all of a sudden.

We don’t care about blacks. Or whites or Latinos. We care about people who are willing to participate in the system. People here are perfectly happy to support black candidates and black members of the administration, so long as they share our ideology.

Chip-on-the-shoulder guys like you don’t seem to share it.

44. Michael - December 18, 2012

My point is that unsupported assertions are silly and worthy of mockery.

Says who? I mock your unsupported assertion that unsupported assertions are worthy of mockery.

45. Lenny - December 18, 2012

Perhaps I should state it differently. “Blacks have the highest rate of violence in America” is a true and non-racist statement. Saying “Blacks are the most violent race in America” is a racist statement by the first definition below, and, until you can demonstrate its truth, by the second.

Neither statement is racist even by the dictionary definition. In order for that dictionary definition to apply your 2nd statement would have to be modified to read like this:

“Every person who is black is more violent than every person who is white because blacks are a violent race.”

This meets the condition because it makes violence inherent to the condition of being black. Every person who is black is also violent. This takes a group level characteristic and defines it down to the individual level.

It’s not racist to say that the Scottish are the most red-headed group on the face of the Earth but it is racist to say that every Scot is a red-head.

Blacks are the most violent race in America. This is very true because it speaks to phenomenon on a group level of analysis. This is not a racist statement. Saying that every black person is violent is incorrect and racist because we can’t reason down from the general to the specific. We know as a group that blacks are the most violent race in America, but that tells us nothing about an individual black person.

Back to the point. Klein is without a doubt an idiot or a liar or both. He takes the black murder problem, strips out the references to blacks and assigns that problem to the South and to gun owners. This is highly misleading. He doesn’t have the cajones to write that we have a black murder problem so to solve that problem he assigns the blame to all people in the South and to all gun owners. This is flat out lying but it’s not racism, though it is a perverse kind of racism, a paternalistic racism where white liberals handle black issues with kid gloves and they don’t extend this treatment to other groups. They criticize everyone except for minorities. Treating a group differently due to their race is a type of liberal racism. Voting for Obama BECAUSE he is black is an expression of racism. I suspect that Klein and most liberals are racist in this regard but that’s beside the point here because that’s not the accusation that you leveled at Klein.

I still don’t understand why you’re trying to do a reverse, overhand, double layup shot to make the racism charge when the lair charge is such an easy slam dunk.

When somebody says “Blacks are unusually violent,” without any apparent interest in delving into root causes, we attribute his lack of interest to a bias or preconception. We call that racism.

Bull. We call that reality. You can say “It’s raining outside” without having to go and understand the physics of cloud formation and precipitation. It’s sufficient to make a statement about reality. The reality is that “blacks are unusually violent.” Saying true things is not racism.

Reality is not a bias nor is it a preconception.

46. daveintexas - December 18, 2012

>> Says who? I mock your unsupported assertion that unsupported assertions are worthy of mockery.

If you do what I said (and you did) you proved my point.

Just not as good with the mockery.

47. Lenny - December 18, 2012

I clicked on one of the trackbacks to this post and read a smarmy liberal chastising you and he was just as disingenuous as Klein. He probably thought that he was being clever for noting that African-Americans were American and that Klein did nothing wrong by lumping their murder rate into the overall murder rate and yet he finds nothing untoward about separating out Southerners from America as a whole. If he thinks it’s wrong to separate out the black murder problem and not tar the South as a whole then why does he not make a similar objection about focusing on the South instead of mixing the South’s murder rate in with all of America.

He has this double standards because like Klein he’s a racist for treating blacks with kid gloves when he doesn’t employ the kid glove approach to the South.

The simple point here is that an analysis is most effective when it best explains the situation and the unit of analysis, the entire South, the entirety of America or just the black population, will tell different stories and may mislead as to what the reality actually is.

48. geoff - December 18, 2012

will tell different stories and may mislead as to what the reality actually is.

Yes, and in the case of Klein, you can guess the misleading was deliberate and based on his liberal preconceptions.

49. Lenny - December 18, 2012

Yes, and in the case of Klein, you can guess the misleading was deliberate and based on his liberal preconceptions.

Absolutely. I have no doubt in my mind that the information that you presented in your post about the black murder rate is not known to Klein. He just doesn’t want to write about that. This makes him a liar, not a racist.

Your explanation provides a deeper understanding of what is going on in the South than does Klein’s. He is lying by omission and the ironic thing is that he is likely doing so because he wants to avoid being called a racist for mentioning true, but unpleasant, facts about African-Americans. Klein’s article worked to muddy the waters, not to clear the waters. It misdirected rather than focused on primary factors responsible for the outcome. Klein had no trouble separating out the South and criticizing Southerners and gun owners but he pulled his punches when it came to criticize blacks.

The case for Klein being a liar is far more solid than the contrived case of him being a racist.

50. Michael - December 18, 2012

If you look at the header, Geoff was careful to say that Klein’s racism is “implicit,” and he then explains that it is reasonably implied by Klein’s dissembling rather than anything he said explicitly. Racism takes many forms, most not spoken, including the famously said “soft bigotry of low expectations,” which is clearly evident in Klein’s disingenuous discussion of violent crime.

51. Jimmy the Greek - December 20, 2012

Lenny – The black is a better athlete to begin with because he’s been bred to be that way, because of his high thighs and big thighs that goes up into his back, and they can jump higher and run faster because of their bigger thighs and he’s bred to be the better athlete because this goes back all the way to the Civil War when during the slave trade’n the big… the owner… the slave owner would, would, would, would breed his big black to his big woman so that he could have ah, ah big, ah big, ah big black kid see…

52. BrewFan - December 20, 2012

You have to be O.L.D. to get that Jimmy the Greek joke.

53. News of the Week for Dec. 30th, 2012 | The Political Hat - December 30, 2012

[...] The Implicit Racism of Ezra Klein Ezra Klein leaps proudly into the gun control controversy, claiming that he’s just presenting a list of 12 “facts” to help inform the debate. [...]


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