CASE STUDY: One peculiar procedure was piled on another...


...producing a treasured result: Once again, we want to apologize for the length of this Case Study.

In full fairness to ourselves, the holidays got in the way. Then too, we have to say this:

So many peculiar behaviors are involved in the case of that UVa study that it's very, very, very hard to capture what our self-impressed blue tribe has actually done.

Some of these peculiar behaviors come from academics, including the academics who conducted the UVa study. The rest of these peculiar behaviors come from high-end mainstream journalists, who have repeatedly described the UVa study in ways which are extremely hard to square with the study's actual results.

We all know what these tribal players have said. In various types of formulations, they've denounced the racist beliefs of These (White) Medical Students Today. 

Such statements are highly pleasing to our badly deformed blue tribe. What has been omitted from these accounts is the fact we noted yesterday, citing the work of Kevin Drum:

The authors of the UVa study also surveyed a group of "nonwhite" medical trainees—and the responses of those participants were "virtually identical to" the "shocking / disturbing" responses of their white counterparts, whose shocking and disturbing responses have been routinely denounced.

When it came to these journalistic denunciations, no (nonwhite) trainees need apply! Journalists have repeatedly denounced the responses of the white medical students. The "virtually identical" responses of the nonwhite medical students have been disappeared.

Quickly, let's state the obvious. This plainly isn't, in any way, the doing or fault of those "nonwhite" medical students, good decent people all.

This is the doing and the fault of our blue tribe's journalists and academics, starting with the peculiar decision by the UVa researchers to report the responses of the white participants while disappearing the responses of their nonwhite peers.

That strikes us as a very strange decision on the part of the researchers, who are good, decent people themselves. Our high-end journalists took over from there, apparently without ever bothering to look at the actual data from the UVa study itself.

Why did the researchers disappear the "nonwhite" data? We don't have the slightest idea. In their formal report about their study, the researchers never explain this peculiar decision.

That said, this is only one of the peculiar decisions these UVa researchers made. Today, we're going to focus on another peculiar decision, in the course of which we'll deliver the good news—the kind of news our pathetic blue tribe frequently seems to hate.

To what good news do we refer? As we noted yesterday, it isn't clear that any of the medical students—white and nonwhite alike—actually expressed any beliefs for which they should have been condemned in such ways as this:

SABIN (1/6/20): “Black people’s nerve endings are less sensitive than white people’s.” “Black people’s skin is thicker than white people’s.” “Black people’s blood coagulates more quickly than white people’s.”

These disturbing beliefs are not long-forgotten 19th-century relics. They are notions harbored by far too many medical students and residents as recently as 2016. In fact, half of trainees surveyed held one or more such false beliefs, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science. I find it shocking that 40% of first- and second-year medical students endorsed the belief that “black people’s skin is thicker than white people’s.”

That denunciation of the trainees' shocking, disturbing false beliefs is the most extreme denunciation we have seen. But it shows how far our tribe can go in pursuit of such invidious statements—and the headline on this essay announced that all of these disturbing medical students were "white."

Our question:

Did any of those medical students and medical residents really express any shocking false beliefs? Many journalists have said, as Professor Sabin did, that half the (white) medical trainees gave voice to such beliefs, even as they failed to note that the nonwhite medical trainees gave voice to views which were "virtually identical."

Yesterday, we announced the good news, the kind our tribe tends to hate. We said it isn't all that clear that any of the medical students—white and nonwhite trainees together!—gave voice to any such shocking beliefs. 

Today, we'll explain (again) why we said that, making reference to another of the peculiar decisions the UVa researchers made.

As you may recall, participants in the UVa study were asked to assess fifteen statements about possible biological differences between blacks and whites. According to the researchers, four of the fifteen statements were true; the other eleven were false:

The fifteen statements:

1) On average, Blacks age more slowly than Whites.

2) Black people’s nerve-endings are less sensitive than White people’s nerve-endings.

3) Black people’s blood coagulates more quickly—because of that, Blacks have a lower rate of hemophilia than Whites.

4) Whites, on average, have larger brains than Blacks.

5) Whites are less susceptible to heart disease like hypertension than Blacks.*

6) Blacks are less likely to contract spinal cord diseases like multiple sclerosis.*

7) Whites have a better sense of hearing compared with Blacks.

8) Black people’s skin has more collagen (i.e., it’s thicker) than White people’s skin.

9) Blacks, on average, have denser, stronger bones than Whites.

10) Blacks have a more sensitive sense of smell than Whites; they can differentiate odors and detect faint smells better than Whites.

11) Whites have more efficient respiratory systems than Blacks.

12) Black couples are significantly more fertile than White couples.

13) Whites are less likely to have a stroke than Blacks.*

14) Blacks are better at detecting movement than Whites.

15) Blacks have stronger immune systems than Whites and are less likely to contract colds.

Those are the fifteen statements respondents were asked to assess. In the assessment of the researchers, the statements marked with an asterisk are the statements which are true.

Those are the fifteen statements. Respondents were given these six ways to assess the statements:

The six permitted assessments:

1 = Definitely untrue

2 = Probably untrue

3 = Possibly untrue

4 = Possibly true

5 = Probably true

6 = Definitely true

Respondents had to give one of those scores to each of the fifteen statements. They weren't allowed to say that they simply didn't know if some particular statement was true. They could only assess a statement in one of those six ways.

That list of possible assessments strikes us as somewhat peculiar. For starters, in terms of their basic truth value, "possibly true" and "possibly untrue" mean the exact same thing.

By definition, if something is "possibly true," that means it's also "possibly untrue." We'll only note this one distinction:

"Possibly true" is a fairly standard English locution. We'll guess that the phrase "possibly untrue," a tiny feint at a double negative, rolls from the tongue in conventional speech with a great deal less frequency.

Having said that, whatever! The truly peculiar procedure here is the following:

If participants marked a statement as "possibly true," they were scored by the researchers as having "endorsed" the statement! 

Why do we call that procedure peculiar? To borrow from the late Sam Ervin, Because we speak the English language. It's our native tongue!

We're sorry, but no. If you say a statement is possibly true, you haven't said that the statement is true. That is especially so if you've been stripped of the chance to say that you simply don't know whether the statement is accurate.

With these peculiar procedures in place, pity the poor (white) medical student who took part in this study:

Just imagine! He or she is asked to evaluate a given statement. Not knowing whether the statement is true—and not being permitted to say as much—he or she marks the statement as being "possibly true."

Alas! Having marked a statement as possibly true, the medical student is regarded as having said that the statement is true! And at this point, another slightly peculiar procedure enters the mix:

Pity the poor (white) medical student! Exposed to eleven statements which are (allegedly) false, he or she responds correctly to ten of those statements.

The medical student directly rejects ten of those eleven allegedly false statements. But if he or she merely says that one of the statements is possibly true, he or she is consigned to the Hell of holding at least one disturbing, shocking belief straight outta the 19th century!

One final indignity awaits:

That medical student's "nonwhite" peers offered responses in this survey which were "virtually identical" to those of the "white" medical students. In fact, according to Drum's perspicacious analysis, the following is true:

DRUM (1/4/23): Beliefs of white and nonwhite respondents are virtually identical. In particular the average score for nerve endings is 1.94 vs. 1.83 (nonwhite respondents are more likely to believe it) and 1.76 vs. 1.73 for skin thickness. Overall, the belief in false statements is 2.06 vs. 1.98, meaning that nonwhite respondents are slightly more likely to believe them than white S&Rs.

Belief in false statements is not a problem. The percentages are low and the responses are almost all tentative.

According to Drum's deep dive into the bowels of the UVa study, the nonwhite participants were slightly more likely to believe the false statements than the white participants were. But so what? In their report of the study, the researchers disappeared the nonwhite respondents. They discussed the white respondents only, saying that 50 percent of these miscreants had ascribed to at least one of the allegedly false beliefs.

Pity the poor white medical student who agreed to take part in this mess! If he rejected ten of the eleven allegedly false statements, then marked the eleventh such statement as being possibly true, he was consigned to the Hell of holding shocking false beliefs from the 19th century.

In fact, if we're still speaking English, he has expressed belief in none of the allegedly false statements. Meanwhile, his (wholly blameless) nonwhite peers, whose responses were virtually identical though slightly worse, never get mentioned at all.

This very strange study seems to pile one peculiar procedure on top of another in search of an ultimate finding. For whatever reason, the ultimate finding the researchers chose to report concerned the white medical students only.

The nonwhite students gave responses which were virtually identical, but those responses were disappeared. And just for the record, very few of the students, white and nonwhite together, actually affirmed any of the allegedly false statements. More from Kevin Drum's perspicacious work:

DRUM: Answers are given on a scale of 1-6. S&Rs are allowed to mark an answer as "possibly," "probably," or "definitely" true or false. With one exception, which I'll get to, virtually every single person who marked a false statement as true said it was only "possibly true." Among all the false statements, there were 229 marks of "possibly true" and only 9 marks of "probably true." There was not a single mark of "definitely true."

I said there was one exception, and this is it: I didn't count the marks from the question about the thickness of Black skin. This is the huge outlier, with 41% of first and second-years believing it and even 23% of thirds and residents believing it.

According to Dum, almost no one ever marked a false statement as anything more than possibly true. He notes one exception—the statement about the thickness of skin. We'll note an interesting point he makes about that statement tomorrow.

At this time, we ask you now to gaze upon the apparent strangeness of this frequently-cited study. In our view, the study piles one peculiar procedure upon another, leading to a treasured result:

These White Medical Students Today! Their shocking, disturbing false beliefs are straight out of the 19th century, one top academic familiarly declared.

At present, our highly self-impressed blue tribe seems to love such crackpot statements! The statement is ugly, counterproductive and false, and so is our failing blue tribe.

Tomorrow: An attempt at an overview of a highly instructive event


  1. "When it came to these journalistic denunciations, no (nonwhite) trainees need apply! Journalists have repeatedly denounced the responses of the white medical students. The "virtually identical" responses of the nonwhite medical students have been disappeared."

    Today Somerby continues to disregard the treatment part of the study and only focuses on the false statements used to classify subject knowledge about black physiology. He keeps claiming that info is being "disappeared" which is right there in the study report.

    The nonwhite medical students (who Somerby unaccountably refers to as trainees) did endorse similar numbers of false statements compared to white subjects, but they DID NOT undertreat the black target for pain, as the white subjects with high misinformation did. That is the main finding of the study -- not the fact that students endorsed false statements about black physiology -- the undertreatment for black pain was the point of the study.

    Somerby has still not discussed that part of the study. He has not described it for readers here. Based on Somerby's discussion, it might not exist. Somerby has consistently ignored the main point of the study -- there is a significant difference in pain treatment recommended for white versus black targets by the white students who endorsed high false information.

    It is dishonest for Somerby to pretend that the false statements are the entire study, ignoring the undertreatment for pain by those white students (only) who endorsed more false statements.

    It isn't as if no one has pointed out this problem to Somerby. But Somerby never reads his comments, so he has repeated this same FALSE description of this study, day after day, for weeks now. This isn't just embarrassing for Somerby, but it is an injustice to the authors of the study and the journalists who have provided a much more accurate description of this study than Somerby has.

    It is time for this farce to stop. Kevin Drum, if you have no objection to reading comments, please read Somerby's comments and tell him to give up this misguided diatribe against a legitimate study.

    1. Illiterate dumbshit: the disappearing was done by the journalists.

    2. Hmmm, 11:41. Then why did Somerby say this:

      “ Why did the researchers disappear the "nonwhite" data? We don't have the slightest idea. In their formal report about their study, the researchers never explain this peculiar decision.”

      Hmm? Someone seems confused, and it ain’t 10:36.

    3. I think the Researchers' Abstract disappeared the non-whites. The media went along with this. They didn't question how the non-whites' responses

    4. To repeat, the nonwhite subjects showed no significant differences. That was explicitly and clearly stated in the study. It is standard procedure not to report in detail (make graphs and figures, list specific responses) for data that is nonsignificant, shows no differences, no reportable findings. This lack of significant difference is called a null finding. It means that nothing special happened with the nonwhite subjects. And all of that WAS in the report.

      At this point, it is hard to believe that Somerby is misunderstanding this, instead of deliberately lying about what the study said about the nonwhite subjects.

    5. Why are nonsignificant findings not reported? Because they are inherently ambiguous. When you get a lack of difference (also called failure to reject the null hypothesis), it is unclear whether no difference exists in real life to be found, or whether such differences do exist but the study's procedures were inadequate to detect the differences. Because you don't know what is the true condition in the world, there is nothing for the researchers to say that they can be confident is accurate about such a finding.

      David, the abstract describes the report. Because the nonwhite data showed no significant differences that could be described in detail in the report itself, only the statistical test on the results and the statement that no differences were found, it would be inappropriate for the abstract to talk about nonwhite differences (when none were found).

      People use the abstracts of studies to decide which reports to read in full. Often they pay money to download the full reports, and they certainly spend time reading them. It would be a waste of time and money by other researchers if the abstract was not a faithful and accurate summary of the report's contents. The study was not about nonwhites because they showed no undertreatment bias. It focused on the white subjects because that is where the action was -- they are the ones (the only ones) who showed an undertreatment effect.

      The media didn't go along with anything. They aren't peer reviewers of scientific research. The media accurately reported what the study itself said. The white subjects who had more misinformation showed a pain undertreatment bias. That is the finding of the study and that is what the journalists said. There was no nonwhite result to mention or report by the journalists because the study itself found no significant differences based on misinformation for pain undertreatment among the nonwhite subjects.

      It is respectful to refer to both the white and nonwhite medical students as students or participants or subjects. It is disrespectful to single out the nonwhite subjects and call them trainees, as Somerby keeps doing. The study does not do this, and the nonwhite participants are medical students and residents too. Why use a more demeaning name for them, as Somerby has done?

    6. If the researchers disappeared the nonwhite data, how do Somerby or Drum know this:

      “The authors of the UVa study also surveyed a group of "nonwhite" medical trainees— the responses of those participants were "virtually identical to" the "shocking / disturbing" responses of their white counterparts”

      Hmmm. Very puzzling.

  2. "This is the doing and the fault of our blue tribe's journalists and academics, starting with the peculiar decision by the UVa researchers to report the responses of the white participants while disappearing the responses of their nonwhite peers."

    Nothing was disappeared by anyone. The study clearly reports findings for nonwhite subjects. They are nonsignificant, which means there was no effect, nothing going on in their data. That is why their data was not reported in the same manner as the statisticallty significant findings of the white subjects.

  3. Somerby wastes time repeating his objections to the false believe statements and the way they were rated by subjects. These have been addressed already in comments, here and at Kevin Drum's blog. Somerby supposedly doesn't read his comments, so he has not responded to them.

    Nothing that Drum or Somerby has said about the way false statements were identified addresses the statistically significant finding that white subjects undertreated black targets for pain in the second part of the study. Nor does it address the fact that those who endorsed more false information tended to undertreat the black targets more than those endorsing fewer false statements.

    Why would that be the case if the false statements were not being endorsed by anyone in the study? And why does the undertreatment for pain NOT occur in the groups who do not endorse false statements, AND the nonwhite subjects (both the ones who did endorse false info and the ones who did not)?

    Somerby and Drum must explain the findings that occurred in this study, if they are going to argue that the false info was not endorsed by anyone, due to problems with the way the questions were rated. If their contention is correct, then false info does not explain the behavior of those white students who under-treated for pain, and that leaves the prior explanation that racism is to blame, not misinformation about black phsyiology. Somerby and Drum cannot just throw out the undertreatment findings. Those stand, even if the idea that false information is to blame is discredited. Just as the FACT of pain undertreatment in real-world chart studies has been established. It only changes the explanation.

    It would be ironic to overturn the misinformation theory and instead firmly establish that it is the racism of certain white subjects that is the cause of undertreatment of black pain, when Somerby has been saying all along that white medical students are not racist.

    Somerby thinks he can overturn an entire study by discrediting one part of it, such as those false statement endorsements. Science doesn't work that way. You don't get to throw out data in a task. The data exists and it shows a result that Somerby must still address and provide an alternative explanation for. Scientists don't throw out facts because they find them displeasing. How does Somerby account for the pattern of results reporting? He thinks he can disappear them by never mentioning them. He cannot do that.

  4. If you follow Somerby's advice, it leads to the conclusion that the nonwhite participants didn't show the same undertreatment of black pain, because they were not biased against black people. Whereas, the white subjects who endorsed false statements about black physiology and then failed to give them the appropriate treatment for their pain were racially biased.

    One must also draw the conclusion that Somerby has "disappeared" the treatment part of this study because it shows that the white subjects were racially biased against the black target. Some were so biased they tended to endorse false statements about black physiology too. That is the only conclusion one can draw if you throw out the rating data and look only at the pain-treatment portion of the study (see Figure 2B).

    But isn't this exactly what Somerby has been arguing against? Of course, but who says Somerby understands the study, and who says he is consistent in his opinions, and who says he really believes racism doesn't exist among white people (in his heart of hearts)? That would make his complaints against these journalists even more unfair, but if you discredit the absolution of the white medical students made by the authors of the study (they attribute their lower pain treatment to false info), then what is left but racism as an explanation? Somerby wants to throw out all of science and just believe what he wants -- that white people are all good, decent and above all, nonracist.


  5. "If participants marked a statement as "possibly true," they were scored by the researchers as having "endorsed" the statement! "

    That, dear Bob, is because the correct reaction is to start screaming, jumping up and down, hysterically condemning WHITE SUPREMACY.

    ...anything less counts as "endorsement". Naturally...

  6. In the extraordinary amount of space Bob has taken making his case, holiday or not, great slabs of said are given to fulsome statements about “the blue tribe” and journalists. I guess no teacher ever impressed upon by that if you have the facts you just present them. Constant expressions of shock over how good your case is, how miscued the other side is, makes it seem your case is thin.
    Plus, you eventually just bore the hell out of everyone.

  7. "According to Dum, almost no one ever marked a false statement as anything more than possibly true."

    An amusing Freudian slip.

    "Almost no one" is not the same as "no one".

    And no, "possibly true" does not mean the same thing as "possibly false". When you must pick a response, what might cause someone to pick "possibly true" instead of "possibly false"? Even if it is just exhibiting a guessing bias, the specific response means something. How do we know? Because the two groups of white subjects, formed by their choices on such questions, engaged in significantly different behavior on the pain treatment task. The significance test showed that the result was not occurring by chance (not accidental).

  8. Oddly, Somerby has been demonstrating the importance of expertise over the last several weeks. He has been showing that he himself cannot properly interpret the results of a scientific study using "common sense" or "logic" alone. He's done this by making a series of ridiculous errors in his assertions about a peer-reviewed, published study in psychology. He doesn't have the training in research methodology or statistics to even understand what is important and what is not about that study. That's why it is important for today's students to stay in school. And it is why people who lack training and expertise can and should depend on those who have the background to interpret results for them.

    Yes, our society keeps getting more complicated, more technical, and it is hard for people with only a philosophy degree to make sense out of scientific findings, but pretending that one's opinions are correct when they are badly muddled doesn't help anything. Somerby's complaints have been like Trump suggesting that one can deter a hurricane from hitting Florida by nuking it. And then getting mad when people contradict him. Hubris isn't any less ridiculous when it occurs in a blogger than when it is our president making a stupid mistake and refusing to admit it.

    This is why the National Academy of Sciences exists -- to advise the president and the general public. (PNAS, where this study appeared, is the official journal of the National Academy of Sciences.)

  9. Drum is quoted as saying: "Answers are given on a scale of 1-6." He leaves off the part where the true statements are excluded and the remaining 11 questions are combined to form a single composite scale. That has the effect of amplifying whatever tendency a subject showed in his or her pattern of responses. This is the logic behind development of a Likert scale, which does not refer simply to the use of a rating scale, but also to the development of the entire composite scale itself, which must have certain properties and be pretested before use. A scale that fails to differentiate between subjects is useless. This one does differentiate, as shown by the main finding of pain undertreatment by white subjects with high misinformation. The scale selected the subjects put into that group, which resulted in the significant difference observed in this study. It is hard to go back and argue that the scale did not do its job (i.e., produced equal results, failed to differentiate) in light of this finding, and also the finding of a significant difference between the high and low information groups on the misinformation questions themselves.

    That Drum fails to understand this, judging by his comments, is unsurprising given that he has no expertise in psychology or medicine or pain research or scaling. His training is in journalism.

    1. LOL "judging by his comments"

      Way to pad your bets. Your posts are almost entirely supposition. Judging by your comments!

    2. I don’t know the guy personally. What else should I judge by?

  10. Procedures aren't peculiar just because Somerby calls them that. Just as people aren't good and decent simply because he calls them that, right before calling them peculiar.

    1. Wow, mind blown. The insight in these comments is incredible.

  11. "Once again, we want to apologize for the length of this Case Study."

    This isn't a case study. Here are two definitions of a case study:

    1. a process or record of research in which detailed consideration is given to the development of a particular person, group, or situation over a period of time

    2. a particular instance of something used or analyzed in order to illustrate a thesis or principle

    The first definition is obviously inappropriate because no person, group or situation is being documented in order to study it over time. Somerby hasn't been studying the researchers or the journalists -- merely complaining about them. And main element of time concerned here is that Somerby went back years to find both the study itself and the journalistic remarks (made in the context of covid), cherrypicking them as an example of someone calling white people racist, so that he could attack the left as too woke.

    The second definition could work, if Somerby had ever elucidated any principle that this study is illustrating. Again, disconsolate experts wailing because the left is causing our nation to slide into the sea, doesn't count as a principle being illustrated.

    A case study involves actual analysis because it is a form of research. Somerby has stated some of his misunderstandings of procedure in psychological research, and called a bunch of nonspecific things "peculiar" but he has done no analysis of the study at hand that would be recognizable to any scholar.

    Perhaps he hopes to give his gripes more status by borrowing a scientific term like case study and misapplying it to his diatribe made up largely of false accusations. But no one becomes a scientist by misusing scientific terms while attacking a valid, peer-reviewed and published study, simply because Somerby doesn't like it when anyone talks about race, much less when a study demonstrates racial bias, as this one does.

    Calling this a "case study" is a huge misnomer, one showing no respect for the seriousness of scientific inquiry and the integrity of research.

    Why is Somerby not doing some form of research here?

    1. He is not systematic in his inquiry.
    2. He is not exhaustive in his inquiry.
    3. He is biased in his choice of study to examine.
    4. He makes false statements about the procedures of others. These include false statements that the authors disappeared data which was in fact described, as well as mistaken statements about what the authors did do.
    5. In his own report on the supposed case study, he himself disappeared parts of the study that didn't conform to or support his characterization of the findings and procedures.
    6. He ignored what the authors explicitly said about their findings and put words into their mouths that they didn't say, for example, accusing them of calling medical students racist, which the authors were careful not to do.
    7. He didn't bother doing any literature review, which is requred in all studies. He and Drum have been so neglectful of prior research results that it seems obvious they are unfamiliar with them entirely.
    8. Somerby's focus on this particular study, cherrypicked because it was mentioned years later by a journalist, is so narrow as to be a vendetta against the researchers, not a serious investigation.
    9. It is entirely unclear what principle or phenomenon Somerby thinks is represented by this study. He hasn't presented any other examples or described any specific type of research that this might be a case or example of. He has cited and described no other work at all, other than a handful of journalists who have cited this work themselves.

    Whatever this is, it is NOT a case study. I consider it a prime example of Somerby's own bigotry and his defensiveness whenever he is called on it. These authors haven't deserved this negative attention, buffoonish as it is.

    1. Generically, a case study is a detailed study of a specific subject.

    2. And that is not what Somerby has written. No “study” involved in his diatribe.

    3. Maybe look up what study means next I guess.

  12. Why do liberals exaggerate the degree of racism in the US and what is the result?

    IMO they exaggerate the racism in order to feel superior. Also, such exaggeration allows them to feel competent in areas where they don't have much understanding.

    IMO there are two results. One is to encourage people and institutions to bend over backwards to help blacks. They seek toi offset the exaggerated racism. One can argue that this is a positive result, since it results in more benefits for blacks.

    OTOH such exaggeration discourages black achievement. Opportunities for blacks have never been greater. Thanks for formal and informal affirmation, blacks have better opportunities than whites in many respects. Anything that discourages blacks from taking advantage of all their opportunities hurts blacks.

    Exaggerated racism also hurts the US moral standing in the rest of the world.

    1. They use race as a tool to end debates and as a scapegoat to avoid facing class based issues.

    2. Not much humble about David’s opinion. Nothing here to support it.

    3. Slavery and segregation are our nation’s great sins.

      The power to wield the epithet of racist is immense (though diminishing).

      People will crawl through sewers, forcing anyone to the front of them in order to avoid it.

      It’s power!

    4. You forgot to add that it's a safe subject that doesn't drive off any sponsors / advertisers.

    5. The research on pain doesn’t show that race is being exaggerated. This study’s authors said it was about misinformation, not racism.

      Why is the idea that helping people makes them soft never applied to white people?

    6. Treating women like property of men is also a great sin, as was massacre of Indians.

    7. Anonymouse 4:19pm, as long as there’s no nuance.

    8. IMHO, Republicans labeling any attempts by Democrats to raise taxes on the wealthy as “communism” and asserting that any concern for racial justice is just about hating whites shuts down discussion of both class AND racial issues, and it’s still very powerful. And Republicans and nuance in the same thread? Forget about it.

    9. Anonymouse 4:20pm, that’s relative to the demographics of other white people.

    10. mh, because Republicans believe that higher taxes can stifle businesses.

      You control people by the threat to tax. By the exceptions you make on the back end.

    11. 4:44: Of course that’s what they believe. But you, of course, missed the point. One can discuss what Republicans believe and what Democrats believe, but “the power to wield the epithet…” (quoting from you above) of communism is immense. It kind of shuts down discussion. Get my drift?

    12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    13. mh, being capitalist became our country’s great triumph only in the last decade or so.

      It happened when Democrats became closet globalists.

    14. Something something Democrats something something globalists something something class issues. Between the troll who claims talk of race stymies talk of class, and liberals don’t care about class, to Cecelia who thinks equating taxes with communism is aok, but won’t acknowledge how class issues can ever be addressed without discussing income inequality and taxation, and will happily vote for the Republicans who service only the top 1%, it’s hard to imagine how the problem lies solely with Democrats. I personally believe that Cecelia is the troll who posted about class issues, or y’all are in league.

    15. Both parties are in service top 1%. There's only one party. The party of business, with 2 factions.

    16. The two-party system does not exist for or even have the capacity to help ordinary people.

    17. mh, right, there would be only one person on the entire internet who would have their doubts about both parties.

      Evidently, that’s me.

    18. mh -- “the power to wield the epithet…” of communism WAS immense. I remember it, particularly since my family was left wing. Some were fellow travelers at a point in their lives.

      Today, the epithet "racist" has the power that the word "communist" had in the 1950's. Democrats today use the epithet "racist" just as Republicans in the 1950's used the epithet "communist."

    19. uniparty! That makes Ceclia a Naderite!

    20. I use the epithet "jerk."

    21. David,
      If you take away the Republican's voter suppression of people of color, and gerrymandering them out of political representation, the charge of the Republican Party as 'racist" barely has a mountain to stand on.

  13. “we want to apologize for the length of this Case Study.”

    No need to apologize! On the contrary. I hope you post about nothing but the UVa study until doomsday.

    1. You’ll just keep saying that the readiness to say that black people “might” have stronger nerve endings in indicative of bias rather than asking questions such as it being indicative of the fear of bias.

      If you asked white med students if blacks had a denser muscle mass Tran whites and they said no ( although they do) what you be saying then?

      It’s fraught with perils. From everything from giving blacks pain meds that might exasperate their higher risk of heart problems to biases about putting powerful and sought after opiates into the hands people of certain income levels, white or black.

      Are we talking about hospice patients are who?

    2. And you can keep saying…whatever it is you just said till doomsday as well. Please do!

    3. mh, that’s only because you want to write the same spiel again.

    4. Last time I checked, the blog was under Somerby’s control. He seems to be the one interested in posting the same spiel again. How can I tell? Because he’s posted the same bullshit 25 times so far and counting. Hey, did you read the other day where I suggested a reasonable critique of the study? Naw. You don’t give a shit.

    5. You would give nod to all objections if they were based upon the linear model?

    6. That’s General Linear Model to you, moron.

    7. I call him “sugar bear”.

  14. Comments have made it abundantly clear that Somerby and Drum are spewing nonsense when it comes to their criticisms of the study and how it was reported.

    Let’s make something else clear that their nonsense demonstrates :

    Somerby and Drum are racists.

  15. Are white medical students prescribing pain meds appropriate to the patients astrological sign? Study me that!