October 25, 2017

"We asked black Americans whether they believe discrimination against black Americans exists in the U.S. today."

"How many do you think responded 'it exists'? Drag the bar below to draw your guess."

The link — where you can "drag the bar" — goes to NPR.org.

I was off by 6 percentage points.

99 comments:

Patrick said...

I was off by 3%! Am I woke or what?

Patrick said...

To be more clear, I underestimated by 3%.

Sebastian said...

Overestimated by 2%. Closest so far. Wokest of them all. Ha!

Robert Cook said...

I was short 3%.

rhhardin said...

I'd guess 100% from the news. But it's got to be 98% if somebody overestimated by 2%.

Tommy Duncan said...

The race industry has about the same market penetration as the cell phone industry.

Gahrie said...

I wonder why Black people from all over the world struggle to come here, and then are largely successful when they do?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I was under by 2%

Nonapod said...

Discrimination just existing is probably far too broad a concept. I'd probably like to narrow it down a bit, something like "Do you believe there is widespread and overwhelming racial discrimination?" and (if no), "Do you believe that there's some smaller amount?". I mean, at least some small percentage of people are going to behave in a racially discriminatory manor, but how bad do black people think it really is?

JPS said...

Wow. Patrick, Robert Cook, and I.

I do think the question would be more useful, and the answer less monolithic, if it were more specific as to severity and impact.

sodal ye said...

Off by 3%

Original Mike said...

I underestimated by 2%.

Original Mike said...

"Discrimination just existing is probably far too broad a concept."

Yep. This is like the 97% of scientists believe in global warming bullshit. The issue isn't whether humans affect the climate (almost certanly true, which is how you get 97%). The issue is "how much".

Fernandinande said...

I got it exactly - based on % voting Dem.

Bill said...

Off by 22%. Wishful thinking got the better of me.

Anonymous said...

"Discrimination exists" is such an exceedingly weak claim that I went with 95%: that is, 100% minus the Lizardman's Constant. Pretty close!

buwaya said...

Underestimated by 2%

dreams said...

I was off by 5% but I was over.

fivewheels said...

The question isn't whether discrimination exists theoretically, it's whether it meaningfully holds people back.

Follow-up question: Do you think discrimination against Asian-Americans exists?

J. Farmer said...

What a fabulously useless question. Discrimination against anyone for any number of reasons obviously exists. I am not sure I know anyone who believes that "discrimination" or "racism" does not exist. It obviously does and to argue that point is a straw man. The question is always to what degree. And those on what you may call the race realist position generally argue that discrimination/racism is not the primary cause of black underachievement. How, for example, does discrimination against black people account for the fact that black men commit almost half the homicides in the country (overwhelmingly against black men)?

Gabriel said...

I was under by 2%. I got my estimate by remembering that roughly 10% of people will answer a poll with the least plausible answer--whether its "discrimination doesn't exist" or "Hillary Clinton was kidnapped by an alien" or "Trump actually shot a man on 5th Avenue just to watch him die and people still voted for him" or whatever.

RNB said...

The NPR article launches immediately into an explanation of why the deluded [X]% think they aren't being discriminated against. "One of the paradoxes of racial discrimination is the way it can remain obscured even to the people to whom it's happening."

madAsHell said...

I figured it was another application of the 80-20 rule. I was wrong.

Yancey Ward said...

I was off by 4%- I guessed too high.

Fabi said...

I was over by eight percent.

n.n said...

Yes. Color diversity.

Nonapod said...

The NPR article launches immediately into an explanation of why the deluded [X]% think they aren't being discriminated against. "One of the paradoxes of racial discrimination is the way it can remain obscured even to the people to whom it's happening."

Similarly, one of the paradoxes of the Earth being controlled by lizardmen is the lizardmen can shapeshift to disguise themselves and therefore be obscure to the people to whom they're controlling!

MadisonMan said...

I was off by a lot more than Althouse. By more than anyone else upthread.

Call me Polly Anna.

n.n said...

Lizardmen? V!

Bay Area Guy said...

Squirrel!

The main problem facing blacks are twofold: (a) high drop out rate of high school (near 50% in Oakland public schools) and (2) raising kids without fathers (80% rate of out-of-wedlock births)

If you graduate high school, and don't have a kid before marriage, you have a good shot to beat poverty.

If you fail at these 2 things, your life will be rough and white liberals will blame it on racism.

Lyssa said...

That's an odd question - I don't think that any reasonable person (of any color) would say that it does not exist *at all.* (So I, assuming that the professor had read it the same way, guessed 94%, on the assumption that she would have said 100 or something very close to it).

I'd be interested to see the percentage saying that it exists and is a substantial problem for most black people's day to day lives.

J. Farmer said...

@Bay Area Guy:

I would add two things to your list: (1) A very high degree of criminality; and (2) An average Full Scale IQ among African-Americans of 85.

chuck said...

I was off by 3%. Lots of Black folks may feel discriminated against, but the test itself feels like one of those "White man's burden" things popular among NPR listeners.

Qwinn said...

Off by 2%.

The question I'd like to see asked: What percentage will admit to having ever *benefited* from discrimination in *favor* of blacks, such as has been codified in the laws of the land?

Naturally, to NPR and leftists in general, that doesn't and in fact cannot possibly happen.

Big Mike said...

Underestimated by 2%. When will NPR run one that asks how many Latinos, people of European descent, and people of Asian descent think that blacks are discriminated against? Or should I not hold my breath?

Bob Ellison said...

NPR was hawking this story this morning on the radio. What a crock! Hey, we're doing a poll; do you think bad thoughts exist? Especially toward people in your demographic, which, I gotta say, has seen some bad stuff coming down from those white folks, if you know what I mean.

Not kidding. This is how these polls happen.

"Survey of 802 African-American U.S. adults conducted Jan. 26-April 9, 2017. “Don’t know/refused” responses not shown."

Uh-huh. And that's truth right there.

Nonapod said...

Imagine if these sorts of polls were actually conducted with the goal of being honest and objective rather than trying to push an agenda. Imagine all the good that could be accomplished if more people behaved in good faith.

Yeah, crazy talk right? Like that'd ever happen.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I wonder what percentage of black Americans believe that discrimination for black Americans exists in the U.S. today

AllenS said...

I was off by 2. If you've worked with a lot of blacks, you'll have noticed that when anything goes wrong with their work, absenteeism or anything else, they immediately yell RACISM.

Unknown said...

I was under by 1%, but as others have said, the question is meaningless. I'm a visible minority (of Indian ancestry), and I believe some discrimination exists against Asians. But if asked how much has it impacted my financial and social achievement in a negative way, I'd say not very much at all. For the most part, its a non-issue.

I have been told by my white friends that I have an advantage in many cases. I'm less likely to be (falsely) accused of racism than they are, which I suspect is largely true.

Michael K said...

I’m with gahrie. My black students could understand American blacks

AJ Lynch said...

I said 75% so i missed by 17%.

Sheridan said...

Mark Twain reportedly said (with attribution to Benjamin Disraeli):"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics". Twain also reportedly said: "Facts are stubborn things but statistics are pliable". Whenever I see a number, used to justify a public opinion, a policy approach or a business strategy my first impulse is to disbelieve the number and question the purpose behind deploying that number. In regards to NPR, for me based on their failure to correctly predict Trump's win last year, any statistic they use to explain and/or justify any opinion they publish must be peremptorily disbelieved. I have more faith in the truth of fortune cookie sayings than any statistic coming out of NPR or all of Washington DC for that matter.

Oso Negro said...

I was off by 1%. Probably because I live in a community with actual black people.

Kevin said...

What a fabulously useless question.

Now, now. You know damn well this question was very useful to the people who drafted it this way and got the response they'd hoped to get.

Confirmation bias is useful to those seeking confirmation.

Kevin said...

Good old NPR! When Hillary is being accused of something wrong you can count on them to run the racism flag up the pole.

Squirrel!

Sheridan said...

A quote that I attribute to me "Statistic! Squirrel!".

Kevin said...

"We asked black Americans whether they believe discrimination against black Americans exists in the U.S. today."

Aren't all black kids required to take math in school? How can this number be less than 100%?

Martin said...

I guessed 83%, off by 9%. But as others note, it is almost meaningless--it is a question about perceived discrimination, not actual discrimination, and "discrimination" is not well-defined.

I found it interesting that when comparing higher and lower income people, the higher income ones perceived more discrimination. The authors then twist themselves into knots trying to explain this, but I prefer a more direct route: the upper-income whites with whom they associate are in fact VERY class-biased, and almost all racial bias in today's US is actually based on class and assumptions about it. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, talks about racial inferiority on a genetic basis, that went out decades ago. It's all about class and culture. And the upper- and upper-middle class whites who look down on working and lower class whites have similar feelings about blacks (and Hispanics and Native Americans if they encounter any), whom they assume are from lower-class roots even if now in a higher-level job.

Whereas in the lower-income groups, whites and blacks tend to see each other as coming from more similar backgrounds and better understand each others' attitudes and problems. They know the history and approach each other a bit warily, but in their day-to-day interactions there is not so much to misunderstand about each other.

Rumpletweezer said...

I wish we could know what the answer was when Mel Brooks made Blazing Saddles?

john said...

I got it exactly. On only my second try.

exiledonmainstreet said...

I got it right on the nose, on my first try.

buwaya said...

" But as others note, it is almost meaningless"

Its not meaningless - it is a bit artificial and likely not too deep, but even as a surface emotion it is interesting.

And guessing it right means knowing something about other peoples world view. It is important (for a politician say) to be able to accurately perceive this.

Todd said...

Gahrie said...

I wonder why Black people from all over the world struggle to come here, and then are largely successful when they do?

10/25/17, 2:06 PM


Easy, racism!

Racism can do ANYTHING! It can keep a good man down and lift a bad one up. It can raise money and destroy reputations! It can get you a job or get you fired! R.A.C.I.S.M, racism!

Rumpletweezer said...

They should do a poll of African African-Americans (I heard a guy on the local NPR station actually use that description this week).

DKWalser said...

I was off by 8 points.

Matthew Sablan said...

I mean... it clearly exists, right? I mean, with a question that broad, how can the answer NOT be 100%?

Freeman Hunt said...

Ha! I was going to put over 90%, but I went down because I thought there must be a trick. "Why would they have this if the number is going to be what one expects?" Ended up twelve points off. Don't overthink things.

BDNYC said...

Of course it does. Discrimination exists against every group, including privileged white men. It's a fact of life.

john said...

A footnote below one of the graphs says that the "Don't know/refused to answer" responses are not factored into the graph percentages.

From the Methodology Section, this specific report was on 802 African-American respondents, pulled from an overall sample of 3,453 "nationally representative Latinos, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Americans, as well as white Americans; men and women, and LGBTQ adults", obtained by random dialing. They did not list percentages of successful interviews, or list percentages of interviews per area code.

So either their random survey by accident sampled nationally representative populations, or they culled results to achieve nationally representative populations. Or, more generously, whoever wrote that section was unable to articulate exactly what was done.

Bob Ellison said...

...and by the way, it took them seven weeks to find 802 respondents to their idiotic push-poll?

I know lazy, and that's just lazy.

Khesanh 0802 said...

I think Gahrie's point makes it clear that this is a bogus survey. Blacks and other minorities from all over the world are doing their damndest to get to this country to live and work. If discrimination were really that bad wouldn't the AA's take the same advantage and head to other ports they deemed more friendly?

Michael K said...

I mean to say my real African and West Indian black students do NOT understand American blacks.

I found it interesting that when comparing higher and lower income people, the higher income ones perceived more discrimination.

I am not at all surprised. I did not study the data on the housing mortgage study but I suspect FICO scores had something to do with it.

Lighter skinned blacks and higher income blacks are angry that they are not considered "white." They will never be satisfied. Look at Oprah Winfrey going to Rev Wright's hate filled sermons.

And her freakout when a woman suggested a $25,000 purse might be too expensive. The woman did not want to climb up a ladder for a purse unless the woman was buying it.

Matthew Sablan said...

"If discrimination were really that bad wouldn't the AA's take the same advantage and head to other ports they deemed more friendly?"

-- They may not think any other ports are more friendly, or the benefits of America STILL outweighs the possibility of being a victim of institutional racism (such as reuniting with family, opportunities, etc.)

Fred Drinkwater said...

There's a bit in LeGuin's "Left Hand of Darkness" where a monk tells the protagonist about "the perfect uselessness of knowing the answer to the wrong question." (quote from memory).
Anyway, this survey works fine for the surveyors: "See! Here's real data that shows that, no matter what honky America thinks, the POC (the only ones who can actually know), know that discrimination is a horrible problem."

Matthew Sablan said...

Fred: That's an unfair assumption though. The question was just "does it exist?"

If there's one racist jerk in the country, it still exists, even the rest of the country is an egalitarian utopia. The question doesn't get into scale or impact of racism. So, I fail to see the point of the question since, all it tells me, is anyone who answered "racism doesn't exist" is an even bigger Positive Percy than I am.

Bob Ellison said...

Hello, thank you for your time.
Who are you?
Thank you for asking. I'm conducting a poll. Are you African-American?
[click]
Hello, thank you for answering.
Who are you?
Thank you for asking. I'm conducting a poll.
[click]
Hello, thank you for answering.
What do you want?
I'm asking questions on behalf of Harvard University. Perhaps you've heard of it.
I have.
My first question is: are you African-American?
[click]

rich hahn said...

Off by 1. My initial thought was high 90's, but since Althouse was off by 6, I went with 91.

Curious George said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Curious George said...

They asked Koreans if they were discriminated against but the answer was "null." They were too busy not caring and doing what it took to get ahead.

JPS said...

Bob Ellison, 3:44:

When I was in college we had a racial hate-crime hoax. The fellow spray-painting slurs on the house of the Black Student Union turned out to be, well, black.

The reporter for whichever newspaper got from the college a list of all the black students in the college (hmm), and started calling them alphabetically. No comment, no comment, no comment. Then he got to a fellow who happened to be a friend of mine (last name S...): "Oh, I would love to talk to you." What followed was a wide-ranging philippic culminating in an angry, "And if you can't call a black fool a fool, then YOU are the racist!"

Not much of his rant made the paper, but he got his name in the article, plus some catharsis.

Marty Keller said...

NPR: all left-leaning clerisy propaganda, all the time. Pretty much every feature designed to promote lefty groupthink.

I enjoy Althouse throwing us red meat from the various house organs of the "progressive"/rent-seeker axis fairly regularly.

Maybe she could toss out some stuff from, oh, I don't know, say The Federalist or the Manhattan Contrarian from time to time. Places where thoughtful and powerful analyses from a conservative viewpoint are regularly featured.

Be nice to see if such things acted as red meat from ARM, Inga, LLRs, et al.

T J Sawyer said...

I was under by 2%.

Now let's have NPR ask white people if they perceive that black people are treated more favorably than whites. Then let's have a discussion.

FredwinaD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FredwinaD said...

I guessed the correct answer.

Unknown said...

When black women go out with bizarre clothing or looking like hookers, they may not get a great reception--of course some of them look great. Also their attitude can really suck. They may start yelling at clerks over stuff that is their mistake (not allowed to return clothing that isn't even from that store) and will then be treated badly. Black men can give off a very dangerous vibe, have tattoos, and have pants hanging down. Somehow, people don't respond well to that.
If there is a 10% discrimination cost, the cost of not finishing school, having an attitude, not showing up for work on time, looking like hell is probably 30%. I have known successful black men and women and they don't give much thought to discrimination at all.

Assrat said...

>I mean... it clearly exists, right? I mean, with a question that broad, how can the answer NOT be 100%?

Of course. Who would deny it exists? The only interesting question is how much of a problem it is.

NPR must be run by children.

Bob Ellison said...

JPS, I'd like to read more about that story.

Bob Ellison said...

Unknown, whichever "Unknown" you are at 4:12, deliver yourself from anonymity. It's a sin, like the stupidity of racism you display above.

Leland said...

I was way off the particular question and answer, but much closer to the further analysis of percentage to claim personal experience with being discriminated against.

As others noted above, the question of discrimination existing at all should be 100%, as I can say whites are discriminated and point to the grad student that admitted to calling on white people last (the progressive order). Indeed, NPR also reports: "Majority Of White Americans Say They Believe Whites Face Discrimination"

Amadeus 48 said...

Off by 1%. So what?

We live in a culture of complaint. It would be 100%, but there is always someone who doesn't get the word.

Mark said...

Does it "exist"? Of course. The percentage should be 100 percent saying "yes." But that is a stupid, misleading question.

The answer is "yes" if even one person in the last ten years committed some act of racial discrimination. Which of course is totally meaningless as a national social indicator.

The question is how many people have suffered discrimination in tangible form and real conduct? One percent of the black population? Ten percent? Fifty percent? Ninety percent?

The other question is what percentage of the black population has a learned sense of perpetual victimhood?

gspencer said...

Sorry, not buying into NPR's entire premise. As others have noted, many of the problems suffered by many blacks are self-inflicted.

StephenFearby said...

Lies, damned lies, and statistics

'"Lies, damned lies, and statistics" is a phrase describing the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments. It is also sometimes colloquially used to doubt statistics used to prove an opponent's point.'

'The earliest instance of the phrase found in print dates to a letter written in the British newspaper National Observer on June 8, 1891, published June 13, 1891, p. 93(-94): NATIONAL PENSIONS [To the Editor of The National Observer] London, 8 June 1891 "Sir, —It has been wittily remarked that there are three kinds of falsehood: the first is a 'fib,' the second is a downright lie, and the third and most aggravated is statistics. It is on statistics and on the absence of statistics that the advocate of national pensions relies…"'

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lies,_damned_lies,_and_statistics


It's a competence in math thing...which is now politically incorrect:

White privilege bolstered by teaching math, university professor says

'A math education professor at the University of Illinois says the ability to solve geometry and algebra problems and teaching such subjects perpetuates so-called white privilege.

Rochelle Gutierrez laid out her views on the subject in an article for a newly published anthology for math educators titled, “Building Support for Scholarly Practices in Mathematics Methods.”

“School mathematics curricula emphasizing terms like Pythagorean Theorem and pi perpetuate a perception that mathematics was largely developed by Greeks and other Europeans," she says, according to Campus Reform.

She also says that addressing equity in mathematics education will come when teachers can understand and negotiate the politics outside the classroom.

“On many levels, mathematics itself operates as whiteness. Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of the mathematical community is generally viewed as white,” she writes.

Further, she says mathematics operates with unearned privilege in society, “just like whiteness.”'

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/10/24/white-privilege-bolstered-by-teaching-math-university-professor-says.html

Clyde said...

I went with 100%. I'm surprised that as many said No as did, considering the constant drumbeat of racial animus from our media, Democrat politicians and cultural icons.

D said...

I disagree slightly with curious George, which i dont often do. i accept 90% of any subset would say Yes to whether they BELIEVE they face discrimination. It is a question asking about Belief, to which a respondent will say Yes because that includes (a) true victims of a real individualized act or (b) those who, out of logic, recognize all Americans, unless they live alone in the woods, face discrimination, because that is what people do to one another. I dont get why it isnt 100%.

Ask the Question to anyone. Women. Koreans. Samoans. South Samoans. People who pray to ---- or the people who pray to the other one. Military vets. Idahoans who move to NYC. Non-Harvard grads. The old. The young.

The world is a marketplace. Life is inherently unfair and unequal. Thinking otherwise is unicornland. And while there is sufficient evidence that some - on an individual level - have specific types of discrimination from specific individuals done unjustly onto them, the thesis of us achieving a System of Equality by identifying How XX% proves How Bad the System Really Is, is moreoften than not a false front for people who believe in Equality as long as They are in Charge of the Shootings.

1648. 1898. 1946. 2017. 2276. Keep asking, you will find your answer. Asking such a Question reminds me of the recurring one in Shawshank: "You have served x years. Do you believe you have been rehabilitated?" Well lets see now..........

Bay Area Guy said...

I wouldn't say Math is necessarily a white thing. I would say it's a geek thing -- and few blacks are geeks.

Assrat said...

I suspect the only people who said "No" misread the question.

Heck, anti-Catholicism exists in the country. I've run into it. No, at no time did it make me feel particularly uncomfortable and I absolutely do not believe it was ever a barrier to me personally or professionally.

Lance said...

Tangent: There are plenty of good PDF-to-HTML converters, why are most academic papers published exclusively in PDF? I get that some prefer PDF, but why not publish in HTML as well?

John Lynch said...

Based on your clue I guessed 94%.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

Let's put the question this way: Does anyone - of any race - believe there is no discrimination at all against black Americans anywhere in the country? None at all? Anywhere in the country?

Again, the question was: "We asked black Americans whether they believe discrimination against black Americans exists in the U.S. today."

Of course it exists today. The question is how much of it and how it manifests itself.

n.n said...

With the progress of institutional diversity, it should be 100%-1%, if only because a deplorable man or woman cannot know when they have been denied an education, a job, or other opportunity, because they have fallen outside the congruence diversity quota, and the traditional civil rights organizations are too busy chasing black holes and mythical storks to help.

Known Unknown said...

I was way off because I was expecting a twist.

Mountain Maven said...

My brainwashed 1%er Chinese American friend thinks Chinese Americans are discriminated against even thought he doesn't know Anyone who has experienced discrimination. Because Trump. No kidding. He didn't use to think that. TDS.

rcocean said...

I thought it 99% - so I was off by 7%.

If you EVER think blacks are going to stop crying "racism" or demanding "affirmative action" you're crazy.

No minority, no matter how powerful (cf Jews) ever stops thinking its being discriminated against, or voluntarily gives up any benefit or power that derives from being a minority.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Matthew Sablan: The point I was making with my snark about "data" was that the survey results will certainly be misused to claim that "horribleness" of discrimination, rather than mere existence.
Of course the actual survey question, viewed logically, is utterly useless, so i predict the only media use of the results will be via some distortion of the "question".

Gospace said...

Bay Area Guy said...
Squirrel!

The main problem facing blacks are twofold: (a) high drop out rate of high school (near 50% in Oakland public schools) and (2) raising kids without fathers (80% rate of out-of-wedlock births)


Chicken and egg situation, (a) is largely caused by (2) (and why didn't you use 1 and 2 or A and B?) But in a modern society, once (a) becomes large enough, it starts reinforcing (2). Doing family research I have a lot of ancestral relatives with an 8th grade education or less who were quite successful in life, married, with children. No HS diploma today, and you're SOL for just about every job with high earning potential and promotion possibilities.

Without the diploma of GED, it's virtually impossible to get into the old employer of last resort, Army, Navy or Marines.

EDH said...

I suspect if NPR asked, close to 100% of black women would say black men discriminate against them for being black.

But why would they ask that?

JackOfClubs said...

I guessed 98% and over-estimated by a bit. But it is a foolish question. Of course it exists. As long as one person discriminates then discrimination exists. So the 8% of black people that didn't say yes were obviously not thinking very clearly. But the real question is how much of a problem is it. That would have been a much more useful question to have a dialog about.