Sunday, January 3, 2016

Our Nation's Big Problem: Black Men

Check out "Too Important to Fail" on PBS.com. It's about an effort by Tavis Smiley to help black boys (and girls) who fail high school at very high rates. Black graduation rates aren't improving. In fact, reported graduation rates are inflated because statistics fail to account for the large number of incarcerated black kids.

Of the black (boys) who don't graduate high school, 70% of those persons will be in prison at some point in their lives. On any year, ~37% of black high school dropouts are in jail or prison.  So, it's important to keep trying to improve high school attendance and performance.

The documentary says the following:
  • Only 54% of African Americans graduate from high school, compared to more than three quarters of white and Asian students.  
  • Nationally, African American male students in grades K-12 were nearly 2½ times as likely to be suspended from school in 2000 as white students.
  • On average, African American twelfth-grade students read at the same level as white eighth-grade students. (see here)
  • The twelfth-grade reading scores of African American males were significantly lower than those for men and women across every other racial and ethnic group. (see here)
  • Only 14% of African American eighth graders score at or above the proficient level. These results reveal that millions of young people cannot understand or evaluate text, provide relevant details, or support inferences about the written documents they read.
  • The majority of the 2.3 million people incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails are people of color, people with mental health issues and drug addiction, people with low levels of educational attainment, and people with a history of unemployment or underemployment. (correlated with low median IQ and low cognitive ability)
It's important to try, but their biggest problem for the black population is significantly lower 'academic' intelligence. This fact is reflected in IQ tests, high school performance tests, SAT, and nearly every other "cognitive ability" test.  Possibly, with the passage of time, probably 1000 years, this disadvantage might be overcome with a huge concerted effort -- but after 40 years of busing, desegregation and affirmative action, nothing has changed. Instead, there's evidence that government assistance and dependence is ruining black families and worsening black culture and achievement.

The reality is that black culture is in a state of near collapse -- all this within one of the greatest cultures the world has ever known. And this, after 40 years of equal rights and equal opportunity. The evidence could hardly be clearer:
  • If you add the numbers of black men in prison to the ranks of unemployed, unemployment for black men is 20%, (not 10%, see calculation here)
  • Black are committing crime at 7 times the rate of whites (page 11 of link)
  • 1 in 3 black men will be in prison is their lifetime
  • As of 2008, one in nine black men was incarcerated on any given day. (link)
  • Blacks (basically black men) committed 52% of all homicides, 57% of the gun murders and committed 66% of the drug-related homicides (1980 to 2008) or about 7 to 8 times the crime rate of whites. (table 7 at this link)  Remember, 93% of their victims are black
  • About 8,000 blacks are murdered in any recent year (over 1/2 of 16,000 total homicides). And 93% of those were killed by other blacks . 
  • In 2015, only 300 blacks were killed by police compared to 7 or 8,000 due to black-on-black violence; mostly men.  This point completely discredits black "leaders" who focus on a few 100 police incidents when 1000s of blacks are dying every year.  Forgive me if I no longer give a shit.
  • Black men comprising only 6.5% of the population, are committing more than 50% of all violent gun crimes. (BJS Table 7)  But no one will suggest seizing all the guns from black men!
  • By the time they turn 18, one in four black children will have experienced the imprisonment of a parent.(NYT)
  • More young black high school dropouts are in prison or jail than have paying jobs. (Washington Post)
  • Blacks make up about 40% of prison population but only 13% of the population. Whites are only 34.7% of the prison population but 77% of the population. Blacks are therefore about 7 times more likely than whites to be in prison.
  • Comparing all males aged 20 to 34 yrs old, black rates of incarceration in 2010 is 10 times that of white Americans. (link)
  • Some 37% of blacks aged 20 to 34 without a high school diploma are in prison right now! (link)
  • Abortion rates for black women is 5 times the rate of those for white women. (link)
  • Blacks are 44% of new HIV infections or about 8 times the rate for whites (link)
  • Washington DC has higher HIV infection rates than most African countries (and DC is only 58% black) (link and here)
  • Black gonorrhea infections among young black men (aged 20 to 24) are up to 26 times those of whites. (CDC)
  • 72% of newborn black babies are born to a family without a father. (link)
  • Over 80 percent of black children have been abandoned emotionally and, usually, economically by their fathers. (NYT)

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