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Black people and white people smoke the same amount of pot. But black people are arrested four times more often.
Everybody knows that. Too bad it's not true.
This Holy Grail of Critical Race Theory was trotted out in June by the Washington Post (with nine charts!), the New York Times, the ACLU and tons of others as proof positive of Institutional Racism.
Critical Race Theory says racism is everywhere. And permanent. And White Supremacy is responsible for the differences among races in education, incarceration, income, health and everything else.
They teach it in more than 200 school districts across the country. They repeat it on talk radio and MSNBC. Colleges devote entire semesters to it.
The message is clear, says one commentator at the Washington Post web site: “When you see the crime report next time, you know WHY the stats are black. Crime occurs at the same or higher rates in other communities, but the policing and prosecution is higher in the black communities.”
As I write this, a white Critical Race Theory professor from LaSalle University is saying the same thing on the black Philadelphia radio station, WURD. The host, Nick Taliafero, is rolling in it like catnip and congratulating the professor for his superior insight into white racism.
But before we open the prison doors, let’s ask two questions:
How do the professors and big city newspapers know that blacks and whites smoke pot at the same rate? A federal agency told them.
How do they know?
They ask. They do not test, just ask. And they assemble their answers every year in a report called the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse and Health.
The buzz word for this kind of research is “self-reporting.” And as you might guess, this research is itself the subject of a lot of research. And a lot of scientists have found that self-reporting on drug use is not reliable. Especially for one particular group of people: African Americans.
Let’s put aside for a moment the incredible disparity of crime rates among races. Rates of murder, assault, and theft are 300 to 800 percent higher among blacks. The most ardent Critical Race Theorists may excuse that, but even they cannot dispute it.
Let’s just focus on drugs.
According to the medical journal Addictive Behaviors, “underreporting of cocaine was documented with urine testing validation as well where African Americans in comparison to Caucasians who were urine positive were about 6 times less likely to report cocaine use when other factors are controlled for.”
Down at Johns Hopkins, they tested self-reporting of marijuana use among African Americans: “A study of 290 African American men in Baltimore, Maryland undergoing treatment for hypertension showed that self-reporting of illicit drug use is unreliable. Only 48 of the participants reported drug use but urine drug tests revealed that 131 had used drugs. “
Anyone who has ever done one nano-second of public opinion research of any kind knows this: You don’t ask. You check.
If you want to know if you are talking to a Democrat, look at the registration. If you want to know if they voted in 4 of the last 5 elections, don’t ask. Look.
A recent study that found that if you ask people how often they go to church, they lie. They actually checked and found people said they went to church twice as often as they really did.
The ministers knew their churches would be full if everyone were as devout as they said. But their churches were empty.
Cops know about drug abuse the same way. Find one and ask about different rates of drug use among different racial groups. Like the ministers, they know the difference between what people say and what they see in the pews. The streets.
And now the Washington Post, New York Times, and every wannabe Rachel Maddow want us to accept self-reported drug use as gospel?
And open the prison doors because of this faith-based initiative?
You have to wonder what they have been smoking.
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