## May 6, 2012

### George Zimmerman is "one-fourth black, four times as black as Warren is Indian, though the New York Times describes him as a 'white Hispanic.'"

Writes Michael Barone, noting that Elizabeth Warren asserts that she is "1-32nd Native American [and] George Zimmerman, the Florida accused murderer, had a black grandmother."

If we're doing plain old arithmetic here, Zimmerman is 8 times as black as Warren is Native American. (At the genetic level, it could be a lot more complex — were the identified ancestors 100%? — but that doesn't explain the error.)

I did the math in my head as I was reading the column, and then — despite the depressing innumeracy — I was completely cheered up, reading the comments and running into rhhardin, who is one of my all-time favorite commenters over here on the Althouse blog. With characteristic succinctness, he says:
"That makes Warren 1-32nd Native American. George Zimmerman, the Florida accused murderer, had a black grandmother. That makes him one-fourth black, four times as black as Warren is Indian"

Eight times.
ADDED: Fractions are hard. It's not so easy to use the calculator. You can turn 1/4 into decimal without straining, but 1/32 is tricky. But if you stop and struggle long enough to encounter your inner Barbie...

... and you feel a little queasy about doing math, maybe your queasiness will carry over into wondering what the hell are we doing calculating racial percentages! It really is quite disgusting.

mesquito said...

I'm 1/32nd Welsh, which is quite a burden.

mesquito said...

No Irishmen in the woodpile, thank goodness!

Fractions are hard.

Ann Althouse said...

"Fractions are hard."

Hey, that's the first sentence of the update I'm working on.

Maybe today is the day when everything I think of will be simultaneously thought of by a commenter.

That would be weird!

mesquito said...

Hint: If you want to know what half of something is, make the bottom number thingie double.

I'm fully 1/2 the mathematician rhhardin is.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm fully 1/2 the mathematician rhhardin is."

And Eli Manning is half the man Brett Favre is.

Aridog said...

The main stream media can revise and simplify your math dilemas for you.

rick said...

Yogi Berra.... "90 per cent of this game is half mental".

Bob Ellison said...

Maybe today is the day when everything the Professor thinks of will be simultaneously thought of by a commenter.

Jay said...

Mark Steyn:

“Martin Luther King dreamed of a day when men would be judged not on the color of their skin but on the content of their great-great-great-grandmother’s wedding license application. And now it’s here! . . . Just in case you’re having difficulty keeping up with all these Composite-Americans, George Zimmerman, the son of a Peruvian mestiza, is the embodiment of endemic white racism and the reincarnation of Bull Connor, but Elizabeth Warren, the great-great-great-granddaughter of someone who might possibly have been listed as Cherokee on an application for a marriage license, is a heartwarming testimony to how minorities are shattering the glass ceiling in Harvard Yard. George Zimmerman, redneck; Elizabeth Warren, redskin. Under the Third Reich’s Nuremberg Laws, Ms. Warren would have been classified as Aryan and Mr. Zimmerman as non-Aryan. Now it’s the other way round. Progress!”

It seems as if the re-election campaign is coinciding in an increase in the opportunity to mock the left.

rick said...

Aridog "The main stream media can revise and simplify your math dilemas for you. "

I nearly fell out of my lazyboy when I saw this photo. Hilarious.

Lyssa said...

Sorry to be OT, but, Althouse, if you don't put up a cafe post soon, I am going to burst!

HT said...

But was Zimmerman's grandmother 100% black herself?

Saint Croix said...

what the hell are we doing calculating racial percentages! It really is quite disgusting.

But if race is important you have to determine who is what. After all, the Nazis had rules on determining who was a Jew. It was slaveowners came up with the one-drop rule.

It's sort of like determining who is a person. If you're born your 100% person. If you're partially born you're a commodity.

The people who play this game love the state and hate people. It really is as simple as that.

AJ Lynch said...

A good % Harvard seems to be a joke and the rest is truly smart and serious.

Saint Croix said...

The people who play this game love the state and hate people. It really is as simple as that.

And while it's weird thinking of Thomas Jefferson as "loving the state," how else would you describe his attitude towards Virginia?

Bob said...

That's what the New York Times gets for hiring English majors.

HT said...

Sooo, in this conversation, the only way Zimmerman could be one-quarter black is if his grandmother was/is 100% black. That means, no other racial ancestry.

Calypso Facto said...

Hey HT: Sooo, in this conversation, the only way Warren could be one-thirty-second Indian is if her grandmother was/is 100% Indian. That means, no other racial ancestry.

Works both ways, so ... ???

Jay said...

Uh oh, according to this Harvard Crimson editorial, Warren is the only NA faculty member:

Harvard Law School currently has only one tenured minority woman, Gottlieb Professor of Law Elizabeth Warren, who is Native American.

Huh.

Ann Althouse said...

"Sorry to be OT, but, Althouse, if you don't put up a cafe post soon, I am going to burst!"

Sorry, I have a new computer and I can't remember my Flickr sign-in!

I'll work around it. I know it's been a long time to have to stick to the topic.

Saint Croix said...

And all of this horseshit revolves around our census. We're supposed to count people. What do we count? Races. The state divides us into races in order to measure us, compartmentalize us, divide us. The original census counted a slave as 60% of a person. Fun with fractions!

Stop counting race on the census and we stop this madness.

Calypso Facto said...

*Oops, forgot to change grandmother to great-great-great-grandmother in the FTFY repost above. You got the gist I hope.

edutcher said...

I read the Barone piece, very good stuff.

It shows what a shell game the Demos have created, trying to keep as many people beholden to the state as possible.

Ann Althouse said...

Maybe today is the day when everything I think of will be simultaneously thought of by a commenter.

That would be weird!

On that day, Althouse will be the first truly wireless blog.

Hari said...

George Zimmerman is as black as Obama's son would have been had Obama married a white woman.

HT said...

I don't know CF. What do you think? Is it likelier that Warren's great great great grandmother has less of a chance of being 100% Indian than Zimmerman's great grandfather does of being 100% African? (He was Afro Peruvian)

My point is, to say that Zimmerman is one quarter black as Barone does is just as disingenuous as what they accuse Warren of being.

Of course it goes both ways, that's my point.

Bruce Hayden said...

Instapundit picked up a Mark Steyn article today (Fauxcahontas and the melting pot), and I quoted another yesterday: Composite Americans:

Hallelujah! In the old racist America, we had quadroons and octoroons. But in the new post-racial America, we have — hang on, let me get out my calculator — duoettrigintaroons! Martin Luther King dreamed of a day when men would be judged not on the color of their skin but on the content of their great-great-great-grandmother’s wedding-license application. And now it’s here! You can read all about it in Elizabeth Warren’s memoir of her struggles to come to terms with her racial identity, "Dreams from My Great-Great-Great-Grandmother"...

Alas, the actual original marriage license does not list Great-Great-Great-Gran’ma as Cherokee, but let’s cut Elizabeth Fauxcahontas Crockagawea Warren some slack here. She couldn’t be black. She would if she could, but she couldn’t. But she could be 1/32nd Cherokee, and maybe get invited to a luncheon with others of her kind — “people who are like I am,” 31/32nds white, and they can all sit around celebrating their diversity together. She is a testament to America’s melting pot, composite pot, composting pot, whatever.

Just in case you’re having difficulty keeping up with all these Composite Americans, George Zimmerman, the son of a Peruvian mestiza, is the embodiment of endemic white racism and the reincarnation of Bull Connor, but Elizabeth Warren, the great-great-great-granddaughter of someone who might possibly have been listed as Cherokee on an application for a marriage license, is a heartwarming testimony to how minorities are shattering the glass ceiling in Harvard Yard. George Zimmerman, redneck; Elizabeth Warren, redskin. Under the Third Reich’s Nuremberg Laws, Ms. Warren would have been classified as Aryan and Mr. Zimmerman as non-Aryan. Now it’s the other way round. Progress!

Original Mike said...

"You can turn 1/4 into decimal without straining, but 1/32 is tricky."

Very tricky. You punch "1". Then you punch the "divide" button. Then you punch "32".

Pogo said...

116 years after the Supreme Court endorsed racial segregation in Plessy v. Ferguson, universities like Harvard are still putting octoroons and 1/32nds into separate railroad cars.

Division remains divisive.

sykes.1 said...

Ms Warren is claiming membership in the same tribe that tried to expel all its black members last year.

Bruce Hayden said...

I am not sure why anyone would have problems with the fractions. We are talking factors of two, which means that you just divide the numbers in half at every level. Just use long division. Thus (zeros are added to line things up):
1/2 = .50000
1/4 = .50000/2 = .25
1/8 = .25000/2 = .125
1/16 = .12500/2 = .0625
1/32 = .06250/2 = .03125
1/64 = .03125/2 = .015625, etc.

And, if you want percentages, just move the decimal places two places to the right - thus 1/32 = .03125 = 3.125%. If you are talking multiples of these fractions, just multiply the decimal fraction by the numerator. Thus, 31/32 = 31*.03125 = .96875, or as a percentage, 96.875%. (Which is the floor or minimum amount of white blood that Warren apparently has).

And, having a mother who had a bachelor's degree in mathematics, and her having an aunt who had a master's degree in mathematics, I find the idea that girls cannot do math as insulting to girls and woman alike.

edutcher said...

Pogo said...

116 years after the Supreme Court endorsed racial segregation in Plessy v. Ferguson, universities like Harvard are still putting octoroons and 1/32nds into separate railroad cars.

Heah in the South, suh, we call those 1/32nds, duoettrigintaroons.

sykes.1 said...

Ms Warren is claiming membership in the same tribe that tried to expel all its black members last year

Really?

I know the Cherokees were slave-holders (the last Confederate general to surrender as a Cherokee), but that would presumably disinherit a pretty big portion of the tribe, right?

sierra said...

I suspect many of the same people who strenuously object to a "gender binary" don't see the irony in those spurious check boxes.

ricpic said...

Yeah, but is Zimmerman authentically black? And more to the point, is he down for the struggle?

Original Mike said...

"It really is quite disgusting."

Yet inevitable, once we started down this road.

Chip Ahoy said...

Jay, I looked to see who is Bull Conner. Peeking at images to see his face I notice a splendidly disturbing Photoshop of Obama (with cigarette and) an acorn beret.

Michael McNeil said...

Yeah, but is Zimmerman authentically black? And more to the point, is he down for the struggle?

George Zimmerman reportedly spent many hours last year attempting to rouse the Afro-American community in support of a black homeless man, Sherman Ware, who was shot by Sanford, FL, police on December 4, 2010 — by placing fliers on cars at black churches, handing them out to departing congregations, and helping organize a meeting at Sanford City Hall that occurred on January 8, 2011. Is that “struggle” enough?

But mentioning that would conflict with the “white racist” narrative that the mainstream media has been determined to invoke.

Chip Ahoy said...

Now that I've read it, I'm going to print and frame this thread. I can tell this is going to be a beautiful week.

Michael McNeil said...

In the last couple of years as a result of the decipherment of the Neanderthal genome and comparison with modern human genomes from around the world, it's been discovered that our human (Homo sapiens) ancestors as they originally departed Africa around 50,000 years ago interbred with Neanderthals — and thus all modern, non- (sub-Saharan) African descended peoples are part Neanderthal.

The proportion of Neanderthal ancestry in (non-African) folk today (approximately 2.5  ±  0.6%) is roughly equivalent to one of your great-great-great-grandparents being full-blooded Neanderthal — which as it happens is basically just about the same proportion (1/32nd) as Elizabeth Warren claims American Indian ancestry.

Thus, we (non-Africans) should all be able to claim minority Neanderthal status in applying to Harvard and elsewhere.

References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Chip S. said...

Racial purity is too important a concept to be discussed in the misleading (and, apparently, confusing) language of proportionality. On Wall Street, where precision matters, nobody talks about the ratios of yield on risky assets to the yield on Treasurys--they talk about the spread in terms of basis points. We should discuss racial differences in the same way, now that things like murder convictions and tenured professorships at Harvard are at stake. I propose a 0-100 scale of simple percentage points. It is easy and highly intuitive as a measure of what it is that we as a society are getting at here.

Zimmerman's 25-percent AA genetic mix gives him a 21.875-point margin of minoritiness (MoM) over Warren's paltry 3.125. (A simple and appealing extension of this basic metric would be to assign differential weights to each nonwhite group.)

Focusing on proportionality can induce huge errors such as Harvard's mistake in viewing Warren as infinitely more minority than the rest of its 0-MoM faculty.

Aridog said...

...we (non-Africans) should all be able to claim minority Neanderthal status...

We at the University Affirmative Action Enforcement Office, with support from major news media, regret to inform you that Neanderthal is conventionally still descended from Homo Erectus, just as Homo Sapiens Sapiens is, therefore YOU are still a freakin' COUSIN BREEDIN' CRACKER!

Big Mike said...

So which societies had codes for determining racial percentages?

- The post-Reconstruction Jim Crow South

- South Africa under Apartheid

- Nazi Germany

- 21st century "Progressives."

Am I alone in thinking that the 21st century Progressives aren't in very good company?

Fred Drinkwater said...

This was inevitable once South Africa abandoned its state-mandated registries of racial heritage. Due to the law of Conservation of Stupidity, the system had to flow somewhere, and due to the then-prevalent worship (in the US) of All Things Foreign, it ended up here.
You have to believe this, because the alternative is to believe that American policymakers are idiots (or evil), and I can't quite convince myself of that.

Michael McNeil said...

We at the University Affirmative Action Enforcement Office, with support from major news media, regret to inform you that Neanderthal is conventionally still descended from Homo Erectus, just as Homo Sapiens Sapiens is, therefore YOU are still a freakin' COUSIN BREEDIN' CRACKER!

LOL — that's right! Except that Homo erectus's descendant Neanderthal was only a “cousin” of ours in a very remote, separate species sense. Western racists can only be appalled by this news, as it implies that we (non Africans) interbred not just with separate races (shudder enough!) but (utter shock!) different non-human species! Way beyond that, the other significant consequence is that only (sub-Saharan) Africans among people today are pure-blooded human!

Aridog said...

@Michael McNeil... Neanderthal was only a “cousin” of ours in a very remote, separate species sense ...

Sort of like Elizabeth Warren's Native American claim, eh? :-)

Pssst: Sorry, couldn't resist ... the debbil made me do it. Just like the photos I linked of the "new crackers" ... to hard to pass up. We live in an insane world of not knowing what "is" is. Forward!

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Calculator?

CALCULATOR?

To divide 4 into 32?

I'm so disillusioned...

Cedarford said...

McNeil - "The proportion of Neanderthal ancestry in (non-African) folk today (approximately 2.5  ±  0.6%) is roughly equivalent to one of your great-great-great-grandparents being full-blooded Neanderthal — which as it happens is basically just about the same proportion (1/32nd) as Elizabeth Warren claims American Indian ancestry.

Thus, we (non-Africans) should all be able to claim minority Neanderthal status in applying to Harvard and elsewhere."
==========================

Except for two things:

1. Most blacks in America have more than 1/32nd white blood so they can be at least two-fers under the racial bonus points system for Neanderthal minority status.

2. WHEN whites become a minority in America - as higher breeding rates of blacks and hispanics will make us in under 40 years, progressives, liberals will claim that blacks and hispanics are ALSO "minority white" and thus STILL entitled to more racial bonus points as double or triple minorities than mere minority whites can get.

The "Narrative" will remain unchanged. Unless we purge the assholes that unleashed this cancer on America after the Nazis, South Africa, and the slave holding South went with peoples fates and opportunities being a reflection of race blood percentiles.

wyo sis said...

There should be a magical law that every pure blood be forced to produce a mudblood Then all people will be half muggle and half pure blood, and the magical world can go on without being side tracked by this ridiculous issue. Or maybe we should get a star machine and send everyone to get stars upon thars. Good grief.