Among all the bizarre ideas that emanate from the callow and sciolistic mind of the modern American liberal, the statistical disparity argument is one of the most fallacious. It has permeated and destroyed so many aspects of society. It is now being offered by Obama’s education secretary, Arne Duncan, in the area of disciplining school students.
I first ran across this during the 1970s as a night school accounting student taking a sociology course. The professor announced the canard that America has something like five percent of the world’s population but uses twenty-five percent of the world’s resources. Do not quote me on the exact words and figures. You get the idea.
But the fallacy of the argument is lost on the holier-than-thou liberal. Omitted is the fact that America produces thirty percent of the goods and services that the world uses. Or that America is the biggest economy in the world and is the market that other countries need to acquire wealth through trade.
One of the worst applications of this has been in crime. The ACLU, as well as the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world, use the fact that blacks are arrested and imprisoned in higher percentages than there are blacks in the general population as proof of racism.
The whole story is not told though. What the leftists omit is that blacks are also crime victims in higher percentages than they are in the general population. So unless the ACLU et al. are willing to admit that the black criminals are preying on black victims because of racism, then this obviously proves that more blacks are in prison because more blacks are committing crime in greater numbers.
Maybe the liberals should confine their efforts to why this is rather than try to excuse this with specious claims of racism.
Gail Heriot, a commissioner of the United States Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR), makes this same argument in rebuttal to the policy being implemented by Duncan, which essentially demands that a quota be developed for disciplining school students.
Duncan, in 2010, dramatically announced that the Dept. of Education (ED) “will be issuing a series of guidance letters to school districts and postsecondary institutions that will address issues of fairness and equity. We will be announcing a number of compliance reviews to ensure that all students have equal access to educational opportunities, including a college-prep curriculum, advanced courses, and STEM classes. We will review whether districts and schools are disciplining students without regard to skin color. … African-American students without disabilities are more than three times as likely to be expelled as their white peers. African-American students with disabilities are over twice as likely to be expelled or suspended as their white counterparts. Those facts testify to racial gaps that are hard to explain away by reference to the usual suspects.”
Are they not explained by the usual suspects?
Heriot does not think so. She wrote in her rebuttal contained in the USCCR’s briefing report, which was derived from 2011 testimony the USCCR heard examining the effect ED’s “Disparate Impact” initiative had on schools and school districts across the country.