BREAKING: No one cares about any of this!


Public school suspensions:
We were fascinated by an editorial in today's Washington Post.

The editorial discusses a new study about public school suspensions. You haven't heard about this new study, just as you haven't heard a word about Arne Duncan's statement last Monday concerning the large score gains public schools have recorded over the past forty years.

You haven't heard about the new study, or about those test score gains, for two fairly obvious reasons:

First, you haven't heard about these topics because no one actually cares about the kids in our public schools, and certainly not the black kids.

Second, you haven't heard about these topics because the horrible people on our own corporate "cable news" channel prefer to clown around with The Beast. They prefer to "completely speculate" about what Melania Trump may or may not have thought or said back in 2006, when she gave birth to her only child.

So it goes on "liberal" cable! Compared to the joys of discussions like that, public school kids can go hang. They can go hang in the yard!

We offer these as fairly obvious anthropological facts. And of course, "it's all anthropology now," as we've declared on numerous occasions since the start of the year.

That said, let's return to that new study, the one you'll never see discussed on our "liberal" channel.

In part, the study showed what everyone already knew—black kids get suspended from school, and otherwise disciplined, at rates which are disproportionate to their share of the student population.

That said, the study seems to make an additional claim. At the start of today's editorial, the editors offer this:
WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL (4/7/18): A new report by the Government Accountability Office showing the role that racial bias plays in school discipline could not have come at a more critical time. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is mulling whether to roll back Obama-era policies aimed at curbing racial disparities in discipline. The stark findings of this report should make Ms. DeVos’s decision easy, assuming of course she pays attention to the facts rather than listening to the ideologues pushing for repeal.

Black students, according to the report released this week by Congress’s nonpartisan watchdog agency, are more often disciplined in school and receive harsher punishments than white students for comparable offenses. Starting as early as preschool, black students experience the brunt of discipline from in-school suspensions to expulsions and school-related arrests. Young black males were most affected, but the pattern of unequal treatment extended to young black females. Particularly hard hit were black students with disabilities.
That passage adds to what we've said above. According to that passage, the study claims that the disproportionate rate of discipline stems from "bias"—that black kids get disciplined at a disproportionate rate "for comparable offenses."

We would assume that this may be true, though to what extent we don't know. More precisely, we don't know the role that racial bias may play in this matter, as opposed to other possible causes.

For the record, the disproportion in the rates of suspension tends to be quite large. According to the New York Times news report about this new study, for example, "black students were being suspended at three times the rate of their white peers" in 2012.

If that number is accurate, that counts as a very large difference. You never hear about this at your favorite web sites or on your tribal cable news channel because no one actually cares about any of this, or about black kids in geeral.

Nobody cares about black kids! Despite this blatantly obvious fact, modern pseudoliberal culture is heavily built around two goals. We like to pretend that it's still 1955, and that we liberals are the Very Good People fighting against Jim Crow.

In fact, it isn't 1955. Beyond that, we know of no evidence which suggests that we liberals are any better than anyone else.

Despite that, play-acting is required. Hence, the editors' third paragraph:
WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL (continuing directly): In what was seen as a groundbreaking finding, GAO researchers determined that the disparities could not be explained by poverty levels. Black students were suspended more often than their white peers regardless of the income level of schools studied. “There’s a racial discrimination problem, and that can no longer be disputed,” Daniel J. Losen, of the University of California at Los Angeles’s Civil Rights Project, told the New York Times.
Is there "a racial discrimination problem" at play in those disparate suspension rates? We would assume that there probably is.

That said, there's also a "we don't give a flying fig" problem at play in the liberal world. In our view, that problem is put on display in that stirring paragraph, where the editors signal their moral greatness.

What's the problem with that paragraph? As always, thanks for asking!

In that paragraph, the editors somewhat oddly say that the new study "determined that the disparities [in discipline levels] could not be explained by poverty levels." Reading the rest of the paragraph, we'll guess that this is a clearer statement of what they meant:

"The disparities [in discipline levels] could not be explained by income levels." Presumably, that means something like this:

It makes sense to think that kids from lower-income families would get suspended more often. But black kids at all income levels get suspended more often than their white counterparts.

The editors don't explain why they assume that lower-income kids will get suspended more often. We'll only say that something perhaps resembling a "bias" could perhaps be lingering there!

That said, why might it make a type of sense to see black kids getting suspended more often, even when compared to white kids from similar income levels? We'll suggest an answer below.

For now, we'll offer some of our most painful public school achievement data. In this chart, "lower income" means a student who is eligible for federal free or reduced price lunch. "Upper-income" means a student who is ineligible for that program:
Average scores, Grade 8 math
National public schools, 2015 Naep

White students, higher income: 298.32
White students, lower income: 275.94

Black students, higher income: 273.58
Black students, lower income: 255.82
As Duncan stated in Monday's column, ten points on the Naep scale is often equated, very roughly, to one academic year. With that in mind, that chart includes some of our nation's ugliest test score data.

As you can see, the achievement gaps here are quite large. Most depressingly, lower-income white students slightly outscore higher-income black students! But even among lower-income students, the achievement gaps between the two groups are dismayingly large.

Why do kids get suspended from school? Racial bias could be one answer. But just for once, let's spend as many as ten seconds discussing the actual lives of all too many black kids:

Kids frequently get suspended from school due to behavior which results from unhappiness, frustration, alienation, anger, despair. Those feelings will often stem from a student's inability to handle the academic work.

It's no fun to be the 10-year-old kid who's way behind in school. Such beautiful kids will actually cry from their unhappiness and their frustration. We've seen it with our own eyes!

It's no fun to be confused; to get bad grades; to be overwhelmed, day after day, by your classroom's academic demands; to be worried about repeating a grade.

Especially in schools which don't accommodate this type of despair, low-achieving kids will "act out" more often in school. It shouldn't be surprising to see higher discipline rates among lower-achieving kids, even where family incomes match. In general, a higher-achieving low-income kid will be less unhappy in school.

Except at this site, you've never seen the horrible data we've posted above. There's an obvious reason for that—except for their utility as a way to exhibit moral preening, no one actually cares about the lives or the interests of black kids.

No one cares about the challenges thrown at these kids. We liberals like to preen and posture, but that tends to be where it ends.

As a nation, what should we do to address those gruesome achievement gaps? You will never see that question addressed on the corporate liberal cable we pseudos enjoy so much.

When you see that question addressed in print, you'll typically encounter work derived from tribal script, not from real experience. To cite one recent example, we'll be told that this school is "segregated:"
Student population, Public School A
White kids: 38 percent
Black kids: 24 percent
Hispanic kids: 24 percent
Asian-American kids: 8 percent
Other: 6 percent
"That school is segregated," we'll be told. Then: "Oh, what a good boy am I!"

In today's editorial, the editors were letting us know that, in the face of all the racism in our schools, they are among The Very Good People who will rise up to complain.

At least they're willing to fake it! On MSNBC, our horrible heroes discuss Melania, The Sex and The Chase. Dragged to the ground by their corporate culture, they will discuss nothing else.

We're the ones who enable their dreck. As Aristotle said long ago, it's all anthropology now!


  1. Huh. It seems to me that this claim is irrelevant bullshit: "Black students were suspended more often than their white peers regardless of the income level of schools studied."

    For the purpose stated, analyzing income level of schools is useless; they need to analyze relative income levels of students within each school...

    1. As a constant supplier of irrelevant bullshit, you might normally have some credibility ....Nah!

  2. Somerby says: "Compared to the joys of discussions like that, public school kids can go hang. They can go hang in the yard!"

    I think this is an unfortunate choice of words given that his post today is at least partially about black kids. It evokes images of lynching.

    Has anyone else noticed that Somerby has gotten cruder over the past year? There is no reason for this kind of reference in an article about education issues.

  3. Here is one reason why lower economic class kids might be suspended more often than upper middle class kids: discipline in the home.

    First, it takes considerable attention to discipline children. If parents are not around because they are working multiple jobs or just absent, which is more likely with lower income, there will be less consistent discipline, which may result in trouble at school.

    Second, the type of discipline used is different among upper middle class parents than lower income parents. Corporal punishment (hitting the child) is more widely used by lower SES parents, and especially black parents, where physical discipline is still part of cultural child raising practices. Hitting at home means that kids are more likely to hit other children at school. That will get them suspended.

    Third, at least part of what occurs in preschool is that children are taught how to behave at school. They are socialized into expectations for impulse control and self-discipline. Kids who have impulse control problems (such as kids whose parents used drugs and alcohol while they were in utero) will have greater difficulty with this, especially if they do not attend preschool. This is more likely to be a problem for lower income kids.

    Somerby suggests: "Kids frequently get suspended from school due to behavior which results from unhappiness, frustration, alienation, anger, despair. Those feelings will often stem from a student's inability to handle the academic work."

    This assumes that teachers are not adjusting their expectations to match the level of achievement of the kids when teaching. Meeting each child where they are (Vygotsky) is widely taught in education courses. Somerby's belief that teachers blithely teach whatever they are told, without accommodating student abilities, is probably wrong, or at least needs some substantiation. He is accusing schools and teachers in general of malpractice.

    Kids with undiagnosed learning disabilities may be in this situation. Kids from lower income families may have parents who are assertive in requesting assessment and advocating for a special needs child. Kids who are not getting help for a disability will be frustrated, angry, sad, etc. and engage in misbehavior resulting in suspension.

  4. Most liberals assume that the gaps in educational achievement are related to other gaps in SES between white and black people in our society. If you fix those other problems, the gap in school achievement will close too. Few people believe that there is something schools can do in the classroom that will make up for social problems that transcend school.

    If people don't walk about decrying the gap, that doesn't mean they aren't concerned about it. What exactly does Somerby think Maddow or anyone else should be saying about achievement gaps?

    And then there is the fear that if the gap is discussed too much, it will fuel white supremacist beliefs that gaps result from differences in genetics, resulting in white people having superior intelligent to black people and making it useless to address such differences in school. No one wants to have that discussion again. It was traumatic the last time it erupted, occasioned by Herrnstein & Murray's book "The Bell Curve."

    So what good does Somerby think raising this issue will do?

    1. "Most liberals assume that the gaps in educational achievement are related to other gaps in SES between white and black people in our society."

      Most liberals assume that? What is your basis for making that claim?

      Most liberals don't even know about it. Most liberals have no idea about the statistics he cited regarding test scores and income levels.

      Maybe somerby thinks that talking about that information would the informative and help bring clarity to the disciplinary problem and other problems or challenges we face in schools.

      But I will be honest, I'm one of the liberals who doesn't care. I'm not just saying that. I really don't care about the issue at all. black kids, white kids all kids can, what did he say yesterday? They can all go jump in the lake as far as I'm concerned. I don't care about them it all.

      I'm just interested in topic as a way of understanding modern media, disinformation and propaganda and how simple and relevant facts somehow get disappeared. That is interesting!

    2. For CMike from Political Wire:

      The Intercept: “A Michigan gubernatorial candidate who has branded himself as the Bernie Sanders of the 2018 race privately mused about running as an independent or Republican just weeks before launching his campaign, according to four political consultants and one small business association representative he met with.”

      “Shri Thanedar, a millionaire who has poured millions of dollars of his own money into the race, ultimately decided to run as a progressive Democrat. He is now first in some polls, eclipsing former state Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer and former Detroit Public Health chief Abdul El-Sayed, whose campaign is largely staffed by veterans of Sanders’s actual presidential campaign.”

      Said one political consultant: “He came to us looking for advice about running for governor, and was obviously in the market for a consultant. We asked him what party he wanted to run from and he said he didn’t care. He said whichever side we thought he had the best chance to win on.”

      And progressives are supporting this guy, who is a millionaire with no political experience. Because it doesn't matter what someone's track record has been. All that matters is if they say the stuff Bernie voters want to hear.

    3. Too bad about Sanders. He could have beat Trump. Dang.

    4. "supporting this guy, who is a millionaire"

      Wow, a MILLIONAIRE!

      Obviously you not aware, Dr. Evil, that a million dollars isn't exactly a lot of money these days.

      Besides, rational people tend to vote precisely for a political platform, rather than 'sainly' individuals.

      And, of course, the dembots, unable to refute the message, attack the messenger. What else is new.

    5. Mao - stop acting like a sensitive woman and grow a pair. What the hell is the matter with you?

    6. 12:04 PM here's the link to the article you cite LINK.

      Not sure why I got a specific shout out. Apparently, there's a candidate in Michigan, Shri Thanedar, who is using his own personal fortune to make himself competitive in the race to be the Democratic nominee for governor.

      Anyone who runs on a left leaning platform is worth a look as far as I am concerned, but whenever you conclude that a candidate is not committed to the platform they are running on that's usually a sufficient reason to reject them. From what little I know about the Democrats in that race it would appear that Dr. Abdul El-Sayed is more closely aligned with the Sanders message and more sincere in his commitment to it than Thanedar.

      On this last point, which seems to be the obvious conclusion to draw from the Intercept article cited above and from this linked to article to be found therein LINK, somehow 12:04 PM comes away with the conclusion that:

      [QUOTE] And progressives are supporting this guy [Thanedar], who is a millionaire with no political experience. Because it doesn't matter what someone's track record has been. All that matters is if they say the stuff Bernie voters want to hear. [END QUOTE]

      The article argues something different, that the Bernie candidate, El-Sayed, might fall short and the candidate with the most money might be able to buy himself a nomination. Hardly seems like this should be news to anyone.

  5. The troll-speak is strong today.

    1. Somerby waves his bloody shirt (eg. police shootings, women, race) and the internet sludge robotically appear in addition to the nested bigots and misogynists.

  6. 1. Those studies avoid the important thing: students are suspended because of how they behave. Any comparison by race must look at behavior. The proper question is, are black students more likely to get suspended for the same misbehavior?

    2. Failing to suspend disruptive students is doubly harmful. It teaches the disruptive student that his/her behavior is acceptable. And, the continuing disruption interferes with the education of the rest of the students in that class.

    3. Because of de facto segregation, the classmates of disruptive black students are more apt to be black. So, failing to suspend disruptive blacks students ironically hurts black students.

    1. What incredibly dumb word salad. Why do you even bother posting inane comments like this?

    2. David,

      1. Yes, the same behavior. Studies control for type of behavior. Also more likely to be suspended for lesser behaviors.
      2. The alternative is never “no punishment”. Straw man.
      3. This is silly. Segregated schools are still 38% white. But this happens also in largely black schools too.
      4. This is disruptive to education.

    3. Anon 5:14 - On (1) - I'm not surprised that blacks students get suspended more than white and Asians for the same behavior. I would like to see the difference quantified. I suspect that the higher black suspension rate is mostly due to worse behavior, but I have no figures to back up this suspicion.

      Regarding (2), your response is correct in theory. However, my children's experience in integrated Berkeley schools tells me that in many cases the only choices are suspension or tolerate a disruptive student. BTW, when a disruptive student is tolerated, not only that student, but the rest of the class, gets the message the being disruptive is acceptable.

      There is data supporting the idea that high discipline schools are better for black students. E.g., the N.Y.Times reported in 1996
      ...The school's growth illustrates a little-noticed trend in minority education. After relying almost exclusively on public schools minorities, are flocking to private schools. Where none exist, they are starting new ones.

      ''It's a sleeper that just keeps growing all around the country,'' said Mrs. Green, who directs the Ivy Leaf Lower School. Her husband, William, a public school teacher for 30 years, heads the Ivy Leaf Middle School.

      Ivy Leaf, like many other such schools, has a long waiting list of applicants. ''It's a ripple that's turned into a tidal wave,'' Mrs. Green said. A study earlier this year found that Philadelphia now has 15 such schools, most of which were started since the mid-1970's. And, like Ivy Leaf, all but one have grown sharply, according to the survey, by The Philadelphia Inquirer.

      That pattern is repeated in cities around the country, said Dr. Joan Davis Ratteray, president of the Institute for Independent Education. She started the institute two years ago to gather statistics about minority private schools and to provide them with technical assistance.

      Dr. Ratteray said she has found about 220 independent schools for blacks, most of which are less than 20 years old. In addition, she said, there are at least 40 similar schools for Hispanic children, about a dozen for American Indians and about 60 for Asian-Americans - although most of the Asian-American programs are part-time.

      Together, she said, they serve about 45,000 students, many of whose parents make great financial sacrifices to send them. Since public agencies do not record the racial characteristics of private or church schools, she said it was impossible to precisely document the growth of independent minority schools.

      Although the schools are as diverse as the minority communities, there are striking similarities. The schools are characterized by their emphasis on academics and discipline and are staffed, attended, owned and operated almost entirely by members of minority groups.

      IMHO the current focus on different suspension rates will lead to lower discipline, which will be bad for students of all races.

    4. Correction - that article was from 1986, not 1996.

    5. That excerpt you posted says nothing whatsoever about discipline.

    6. It's also more crocodile tears from the phony MAGA nut as his hero and his "party" continue to try to funnel money to zillionaires, bring back lead and carbon, and cheer on Betsy DeVos and her cronies to privatize education in the US.

    7. Anon 7:10 -- the last sentence says, "The schools are characterized by their emphasis on academics and discipline and are staffed, attended, owned and operated almost entirely by members of minority groups."

    8. Discipline has two meanings. One is punishment. The other refers to structure and rules, having explicit expectations, constraining behavior instead of letting students do as they wish. It refers to things like wearing uniforms, having lots of traditions, and regimenting behavior. Military schools do it too. The word discipline doesn't refer to harsh punishment in that context.

    9. Excellent point, 8:15. I assumed "discipline" meant obeying the rule and not misbehaving. I assumed that was the meaning intended in the Times article. One dictionary definition is

      the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.

      The example provided is "a lack of proper parental and school discipline"

    10. In bridge, a disciplined player is someone who follows the rules. A school that emphasizes discipline is not one that punishes more harshly but one that has more rules and emphasizes the importance of students following them. There is typically more homework, more emphasis on things like not talking out in class and being respectful to teachers and other students, and so on. There is emphasis on self control, organization, formation of good work habits, and leadership. There is less concern with qualities like spontaneity, creativity, divergent thinking, curiosity, artistic expression.

      The preference for a more disciplined school environment reflects the concern that African American children will be unable to conform to white expectations and run afoul of laws in a way that will subject the child to the harsher treatment that black kids receive, including suspension and harsher sentences when laws are broken, greater use of force by police, firing by employers instead of just reprimand, etc. Worrying about creativity is a luxury that white kids can greater afford.

      I would think this would be obvious, even to you, David. It doesn't mean black kids misbehave more. I means their parents worry more about how a nonconforming child might be treated.

    11. "I would think this would be obvious, even to you, David."

      Think George Milton, Of Mice and Men.

    12. Anon 9:00 PM - I do think black kids misbehave more. Maybe that's because they and their families had to deal with being a minority and with racism. Maybe it's because blacks are poorer on average. Maybe it's because black students on average are around three years behind grade level. Maybe it's because of a lack of stable, 2-parent family. Or, maybe it's for reasons I can't think of.

      Anon - you wrote, "The preference for a more disciplined school environment reflects the concern..." Whose concern? The NY Times article I quoted said that black educators were providing a more disciplined school environment. And, black parents make great financial sacrifices to send their children to these more-disciplined schools.

      Black educators and black parents favor more-disciplined schools for black children. Should whites and Asians tell them they're wrong?

    13. Heather MacDonald just wrote a lengthy article giving many reasons to believe that black students do misbehave more than white students. I won't try to summarize it, because any summary would omit many of the data that she presents. You can read the article at

    14. mm -- We don't do African Americans any favor by pretending that a problem doesn't exist and then calling anyone who mentions that problem a racist. The election of Trump has helped move education of black students in a direction that black educators and black parents believed is effective, as demonstrated by the NY Times article above.

      Have you ever read a biography of Jackie Robinson or MLK? Those people were tough. Today, there's been a movement to train black children fragile. They have been encouraged to believe that it's good to be a victim, because victim status gives benefits and power. I think this is a harmful way to raise children.

    15. “Today, there's been a movement to train black children fragile. They have been encouraged to believe that it's good to be a victim, because victim status gives benefits and power. I think this is a harmful way to raise children.”

      I know plenty of white families that this applies to, word for word.

    16. Naturally. That's the whole point of the liberal 'identity politics': to pit various bullshit 'identities' against each other.

      Each bullshit 'identity' should feel victimized by other bullshit 'identities', and stay loyal to their fake 'party' that defends their bullshit 'rights'.

      Divide and rule.

    17. Dude -- yes indeed. There are plenty of white "snowflakes". However, a couple of thoughts

      1. I think the African American kids have been mistrained to be more fragile than whites. Evidence is that some African Americans object to reading "Huckleberry Finn" because of a word that was in common usage when the book was written, even though the book supports their cause and even though it's one of the greatest American novels.

      2. I have a sense that Asian kids are not as fragile as whites and African Americans. That may explain why Asians are outperforming whites and African Americans

    18. Evidence is that you are the stupidest excuse for a human being.

    19. David,

      Won’t make a joke about an orange snowflake—oops.

      The other day you offered that the preeminent conservative intellectual was an African American. Might have missed something but didn't see who you were referring to. Please enlighten us.

    20. Ha Ha Ha. Thomas Sewell. Ha Ha Ha.

      I read his article against "Political Correctness", and I must say, "God is a figment of dim-witted imaginations."

    21. "Thomas Sowell"

      Was guessing Shelby Steele (who had I two fleeting brushes with, 2000 miles apart, both over 40 years ago).

  7. Go back to your bunker, Stormer.

  8. I would bet that most English-speaking black people, anywhere on Earth, can tell the difference between violet and violent.

    Out of curiosity, who is forcing you to live here? Is it Trump?

  9. Oh, c'mon. Everybody knows all this shit is due to "lifestyle choices"!

  10. 6:36,
    Nice try. The corporate-owned media already told us Trump voters can be anything, but they can't be bigots.

    Pro tip: Make believe you are concerned about the economy.

  11. "Especially in schools which don't accommodate this type of despair, low-achieving kids will "act out" more often in school. "

    So, if someone were to suggest "reforming",...improving those schools that don't "accommodate this type of despair" (whatever that means), so that they actually do accommodate this, would Bob Somerby savage that person for dissing our schools and all those beautiful kids? Of course he would. (If that person were a liberal). If, in other words, Somerby thinks that schools can be improved to help fix a problem, then how is he any different from those he criticizes for suggesting similar things?

    Then he says "Is there "a racial discrimination problem" at play in those disparate suspension rates? We would assume that there probably is."

    Thus, racial discrimination is real, it is wrong, and it should be remedied if possible. Which is exactly what the Times editorial is saying. You know...the one written by people who malign our schools and don't care about black kids.

    And why not discuss one of the main concerns of the editorial, that DeVos is considering rolling back a 2014 Obama policy about holding schools accountable for disproportionate discipline rates? Why not examine *anything* that DeVos and her ilk are doing?


    1. WaPo editorial, not Times.

    2. I think Bob may have implicitly taken a position against the policy of holding schools accountable for "disproportionate"* discipline rate. In practice, that policy has been a disaster. Anyone who cares about America's children should pray that this policy be undone.

      *Note that the policy is not properly disproportionate. It uses number of students as a base, rather than number of misbehaving students. The result is laxer discipline, which hurts every student. It hurts the poor and uneducated the most, because wealthy, educated parents can more easily supplement what the school is attempting to teach.

    3. Anyone who cares about America's children should vote out every GOP candidate/incumbent.

  12. Would it be possible for Somerby to write one post without dripping with contempt and engaging in ad hominem attacks?

    He makes a couple of plausible points here, but they get lost in all the negativity.

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  14. "You haven't heard about this new study...You haven't heard about the new study... you haven't heard about these topics because no one actually cares about the kids in our public schools, and certainly not the black kids."

    Bob Somerby

    I could go on, but I think most Somerby readers get the point.

    1. Welcome back, Raven! It's worth noting that those are all websites. Only NPR had an actual clip that might have been consumed as a broadcast, and it was less than two minutes. As a Somerby reader, I understand that Bob laments the fact that the msm, especially TV, does _not_ address these issues, though you might very well correct me on that.

      And no one – that is, no one – addresses the issue the way Somerby does with some form of nuance, at least in any way that is accessible to viewers of corporate cable, unless they turn off their TV’s and research the issue independently, which seems to me a very rare and unlikely event.

      What does this say about the topic? Can you imagine this happening to a white student? I can – but I’ve never seen it.


  15. The study actually disclaims the inference that it comes from bias. The study says no fewer than a dozen times that they aren't saying the disparity in discipline stems from bias.

  16. From the Post Editorial:

    "Black students, according to the report released this week by Congress’s nonpartisan watchdog agency, are more often disciplined in school and receive harsher punishments than white students for comparable offenses."

    Two important points:

    1) In a just system, all students, irrespective of any other characteristics, should receive comparable punishment for comparable offenses. In a just system, it would not, for example, be acceptable to punish poor students more harshly than wealthy students for comparable offenses. The severity of the offense (or more precisely, the students record of offenses) should be the ONLY determinant of the severity of the offense.

    2) The Post editorial linked to the GAO report. That critical, crucial phrase "...for comparable offenses" in the Post editorial is simply not supported by the GAO report. That is, the GAO report made no attempt to control for the severity of the offense, it simply reported that blacks were more likely to be punished than whites at all severity levels of punishment. The GAO report did include the following statement: "Studies we reviewed suggest that implicit bias—stereotypes or unconscious associations about people—on the part of teachers and staff may cause them to judge students behaviors differently based on the students race and sex," but it is only referencing other studies on the presence of implicit bias, and no evidence is presented regarding how much, if at all, implicit bias affects the disciplinary process.

    At the very least, the phrase in the Post editorial, "for comparable offenses" is profoundly misleading.

    Why do we liberals keep doing this kind of thing?

    Here is the GAO report:

    1. Once again, ere's that "liberal mainstream media" narrative the the GOP has been pimping for decades.

      Have some more kool-aid.

    2. You are not doing this kind of thing, Mark. Scumbags in the establishment are doing it. The question is: what compels you to identify with those scumbags so strongly that you refer to them as "we".

  17. @Vinny - You are right...the Post's editorial does play into the LMSM narrative from the GOP. Tragically, in this example, that narrative would seem to be correct. More generally, there are a few deceptive narratives (not all of them "liberal") that the MSM does seem to push with a stubbornness that is immune to all fact or reason. Some of these narratives seem to relate to areas of great concern to our society around areas of social justice.

    But, @Vinny...I do have to ask this question in the light of your it you or I who is trying to get at the truth, and is it you or I who is drinking Kool-aid? What part of your post wrestles with the substance of the Post editorial? What part of your post is not an argument from tribal identity?

    @Mao - I refer to myself as a liberal because I share the policy preferences of liberals. I even believe (perhaps suspect is a better word, given the paucity of honest analysis) that we have some serious issues of social justice around issues like policing and economic opportunity for some racial minorities, most notably African Americans. The problem is that I think it unlikely that we can make any progress on these issues if we on the left simply lie about them.

    1. Thank you for your reply to my response.

      1. (2-part question) both are and you are.
      2. No part.
      3. My entire response.

      The content of the Post editorial has nothing to do with the basis for my previous response.

      The flaw in your reasoning and conclusion is that the Washington Post is a liberal entity such that its editorial opinion represents liberal opinion.

      You are taking a misrepresentation made in an editorial by a non-liberal entity, applying it to liberals, and then lamenting "Why do we liberals keep doing this kind of thing?"

      You might believe that the Post is a liberal entity. If so, it is my opinion that you've bought into the long-promoted and false GOP narrative that the mainstream media - including the Washington Post - is liberal.

      If you believe that the Post is not a liberal entity, then your comment is flawed due to your conflating its editorial error to blame all liberals for it.

      It's not tribal to dispute either construction of your comment. Ironically, to label my disagreement with your comment as tribal is, itself, tribal.

    2. "we have some serious issues of social justice around issues like policing and economic opportunity for some racial minorities, most notably African Americans"

      Why would anyone on the left view social justice in terms of 'racial minorities'?

      Is it that you would like the ghetto dweller, middle class, and upper class segments to be all 'racially' balanced, proportional?

    3. @Vinny - You are right that not all liberals and not everything some liberals do are mendacious. I did not mean to imply that, but can see why you might have read my sentence along those lines. However, the proposition that African Americans are subject to very material discrimination in our society is one that is generally propounded by "liberals". So, at the least, WaPo was taking a "liberal" position on the issue of school discipline, and, alas, the kind of duplicity involved in adding those three critical little words (and changing the meaning entirely) is done far too often, and sometimes by liberals. Furthermore, we liberals seem particularly prone to this kind of dissimulation on matters of group rights such as race and sex. See, for example, Bob's frequent discussions of the gender pay gap.

      @Mao - If African Americans are stopped by the police at a far greater frequency than white Americans (more than can reasonably be accounted for by disproportionate crime in the black community) that would be an example of a social injustice that is best described in terms of "racial minorities". If otherwise identical resumes receive many more call-backs if the name is white-sounding than if black-sounding...that would suggest an injustice associated with "racial minorities".

      I am not someone who finds differential outcomes by race necessarily unacceptable, as long as the process that produces it is not arbitrarily discriminatory. Of course, defining that last term requires more conversation than we have space for here.

    4. "If African Americans are stopped by the police at a far greater frequency than white Americans (more than can reasonably be accounted for by disproportionate crime in the black community) that would be an example of a social injustice that is best described in terms of "racial minorities". "

      That would be, most likely, an example of profiling. European-looking Americans covered with tattoos might be stopped by the police at a far greater frequency than those without tattoos. European-looking people dressed like hoodlums, or with large gold chains on their chests, are probably stopped more often that African-looking people wearing expensive business suits.

      Profiling, based on common sense and experience.

    5. "Profiling, based on common sense and experience."

      Why aren't bankers stopped more often than all the rest of us put together?

    6. Uncle Vova and his rotten-to-the-core orange stooge bow love to fluff bankers.


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