Three Negroes and a White Woman

Studies come out about race all the time. They’re usually depressing as hell. One study found that racism can shorten the lifespan of black men. Another study found that black students are suspended and expelled at higher rates than white students. So if you’re going to release a study, for the love of god, please do your homework. A new study from the journal  Social Psychological and Personality Science  found that:

“Having cross-race friends made black [examples] seem ‘less black,’” wrote two psychology scholars in their study of students at an unnamed historically black college. “However, having cross-race friends did not necessarily make white [examples] seem ‘more black’”. . . . The study tested the “black code,” in which “relationships with whites must be kept at arm’s length maintaining a silent us against them mindset. Blacks who appear too friendly and comfortable around whites are viewed with suspicion; their blackness in question.”

We have so many questions like: Who are these 212 black students they interviewed? How exactly did this broach this question of race without being leading? And most importantly, HOW THE HELL CAN YOU BE LESS BLACK?

On today’s TWiBPrime, #TeamBlackness also discusses how Kansas doctors may be forced to report miscarriages.

You know, light fluffy stuff.

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56 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    How many white friends do you have to have before you turn into Justice Thomas?

  2. 2
    Cervantes says:

    One study found that racism can shorten the lifespan of black men.

    Another found that the sun rises in the east, but only apparently.

  3. 3
    tk says:

    As I tell the few people that listen, race is THE defining issue of our country. Americans just dont want to admit the problem is as big as it is. Or white Americans anyway.

  4. 4
    Steve in the ATL says:

    One study found that racism can shorten the lifespan of black men.

    As we have seen in Florida

  5. 5
    Violet says:

    On today’s TWiBPrime, #TeamBlackness also discusses how Kansas doctors may be forced to report miscarriages.

    Didn’t Utah or North Dakota try to pass some law requiring miscarriages to be validated by a doctor as “naturally occurring” or the woman could be found guilty of abortion or something? Women are just walking wombs according to these crazy people.

  6. 6
    LongLurk says:

    long time reader, first time commenter. I am mixed race and have regularly been subjected to “full blood” african american people questioning my blackness.

  7. 7
    gussie says:

    Q: “HOW THE HELL CAN YOU BE LESS BLACK?”

    A: “Blacks who appear too friendly and comfortable around whites are viewed with suspicion; their blackness in question.”

    Perhaps this study will shock people who are not members of a minority ethnicity.

  8. 8
    cokane says:

    im not sure if it’s as common anymore but when i was a kid, growing up going to inner city public schools, there was a lot of black checking going on, especially among males. seems less common as i got older and also lived in bigger cities.

  9. 9
    Emma says:

    I count as my best friends a German-American (born here, parents immigrated), an Irish-American whose ancestors came during the famine, a Kentucky aristo with yeah many generations of southern blue blood, and a distant relation of John Adams. By that study’s criteria I’m a Boston Brahmin.

  10. 10
    cokane says:

    OT: http://fivethirtyeight.com/dat.....e-of-tone/

    Silver v. Krugman it’s on!

  11. 11
    srv says:

    @cokane: Wow, Nate has gone off the deep end.

    K-Thug, you are the awesomest troll.

  12. 12

    The question is, Did the study require 212 individual paper bags, or did they re-use one over and over?

    Sociologist, please.

  13. 13
    JustRuss says:

    @cokane:

    Silver v. Krugman it’s on!

    Silver’s either an idiot–and I don’t think so–or trolling. He did get a click from me, so mission accomplished, I guess. He should title that page “How to Use Statistics to Avoid Addressing Substantive Criticism”.

  14. 14
    cokane says:

    @JustRuss: haha, im actually looking forward to them going at each other, since i like them both. but yeah, nate would do well to heed the einstein quote that not everything that can be counted counts. not digging at empiricism here, but seriously, Krugman’s point that no one at 538 bothers to interview experts… it’s a pretty spot on criticism. most of their articles so far don’t both to interview… anybody

  15. 15
    WaterGirl says:

    @cokane:

    At his current pace, Mr. Krugman will write 425 more blog posts about FiveThirtyEight between now and the 2016 presidential election.

    Yeah, like one wouldn’t expect more posts about 538 as it is transitioning. I like Nate, but that’s pretty lame.

    Edit I hope he’s not losing his way.

  16. 16
    JonathanW says:

    I don’t know how you can be less black, but it’s also hard to be more black. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46kXH6GGtT0

  17. 17
    Violet says:

    @cokane: I love that Nate Silver’s post title uses the word “tone”. Our Junior Villagers is learning!

  18. 18
    Roger Moore says:

    @cokane:
    I like the way Nate brings up and then casually dismisses the possibility that criticism might be based on an actual decline in quality.

  19. 19
    JustRuss says:

    @Violet: Indeed he is. How long do you figure before “shrill” comes into play?

  20. 20
    Violet says:

    @cokane: Okay, you made me click over to 538 so I decided to look around. Headline on front page:

    Clinton Is Polling Like an Incumbent, And That Could Help Her in 2016

    Wow. “Could help her”. Out on a limb they go. Brave, brave data-driven journalism.

  21. 21
    Violet says:

    @JustRuss: Somewhere in the first quarter. Not sure if Nate will be the one to use it first, but it’ll show up for sure. I’m sure Vox will beat them to the punch though.

  22. 22
    Karen in GA says:

    @JonathanW: There it is. I thought there’d be at least five references to that by now.

    ETA: Because it needs a Spinal Tap reference so badly, not because you’re not an original– ah, you know what I mean.

  23. 23
    raven says:

    CULTURAL ECOLOGICAL THEORY

    John Ogbu (1986) is a major proponent of the Cultural Ecological Theory. The ecological view does not dismiss the importance of cultural difference, but focuses more on macro-ethnographic. It attempts to explain, for instance, why some immigrant groups do well in school, while others do not. Ogbu maintains that there are three types of minorities: autonomous, immigrant and caste-like. While autonomous minorities are those who may posses ethnic, religious, linguistic or cultural identity, they are not “subordinated” in the social, economic or political system. Cast-like minorities, however, were brought into the United States society involuntarily, such as through slavery or through colonization. Immigrant minorities, on the other hand, have become a part of American society voluntarily and don’t experience the same hardships with academic success as involuntary minorities. Ultimately, the involuntary minorities are subject to “secondary cultural differences” from prolonged contact with a different dominant culture that causes a kind of resistance. Ogbu calls this resistance “cultural inversion” (1987). TOP

    Ogbu claims that these variables and others create barriers for involuntary minorities and keep them in a position of subordination. He cites the example of how these minorities come to perceive a job ceiling that will not allow them equal access to jobs. This creates a “why try” attitude and explains why involuntary immigrants may be less successful academically than voluntary immigrants.. Also some groups do not want to give up cultural identity to “act white” in order to fit into the dominant Euro-American system (1987:331-332). Other supporters of this stance include Gibson (1987) and her work with Punjabi Indians, Apple’s work with caste-like populations (1979), Fordham’s work with African American students (1991), Matute-Bianchi’s work with Hispanic and Japanese students (1986), Philips (1972), Suarez-Orozco (1987, 1989), Gumprez (1972) and others.

  24. 24
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Violet: “Woman is the nigger of the world” — John Lennon

  25. 25
    raven says:

    I did a qualitative study on GED grads and had two women, one white one African American, who were both essentially hounded out of high school because they had cross-racial friendships. For them, quitting school was a very good thing.

  26. 26
    ruemara says:

    I’m about as black as Mitt Romney, except in skin tone. I still terrify teh white peeples wif mah potential oogityboogity blahness wherein I might bust out with a rap song, develop an overwhelming urge to steal a purse or spontaneously get pregnant with a half-dozen welfare babies. Let me know when the less black happens. I’ll pass that along next time I’m passed over for another position due to “fit”.

  27. 27
    raven says:

    Also a good read is “A Hope in the Unseen”:

    Cedric Jennings is an anomaly at Ballou High School in the Southeast neighborhood of Washington, D.C.: in a poorly-performing school where academic achievement is scorned, Cedric proudly strives for high grades with a desire to attend a top university. The sub-par standards at Ballou place him at a distinct disadvantage academically, while frequent taunts and physical threats from other students have alienated him socially.”

  28. 28
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @ruemara: I’m terrified just reading your post.

    The vapors, I haz them.

  29. 29
    another Holocene human says:

    Gosh, I misread this at first thinking that the white friends perceive their black friends as ‘less black’ than colleagues or acquaintances they don’t know well, see Lena Dunham claiming to draw from life yet her milieu was mixed race and she only cast whites.

    Im suspicious when anyone tells me there is a black code. I was told in 1990 by reactionaries that Black youth were afraid of looking white and succeeding academically and everything I’ve seen in the last 15 years from my contemporaries blows that up as one big canard.

    I will tell you this: public schools in the South suck. That’s deliberate, of course.

  30. 30
    Mike in NC says:

    Watched “42” on HBO. The story of the crap Jackie Robinson had to put up with as the first black player in MLB. Good flick.

  31. 31
    raven says:

    @another Holocene human: Really? Explain this:

    In 2009-10 the national graduation rate for Black male students was 52%. The graduation rate for White, non-Latino males was 78%. This is the first year that more than half of the nation’s Black males in 9th grade graduated with regular diplomas four years later. The national Black/White male graduation gap, however, only decreased by 3 percentage points over nearly the last decade to 26 percentage points. – See more at: http://blackboysreport.org/nat.....BYRjP.dpuf

  32. 32
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Mike in NC: Yeah. Couldn’t believe that jerk calling him the “N” word during the ballgames to shake him. Robinson was a well disciplined, classy dude.

  33. 33
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mike in NC:
    The scary thing is that the movie actually understates how bad he had it. I don’t remember the specific examples off the top of my head, but ISTR that they had to tone down the language to avoid an R rating.

  34. 34
    Roger Moore says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Robinson was a well disciplined, classy dude.

    The part about why Branch Rickey wanted Robinson as the one to break the color line was spot on. He wasn’t just a fantastic athlete but an educated man (he dropped out to join the army a semester before graduating from UCLA) who had experience playing on integrated teams in integrated leagues. It wasn’t a coincidence that the man to break the color line came from California rather than the deep South.

  35. 35
    Dave says:

    @tk: It’s very clearly the original and most intractable sin of this nation. And addressing it is uncomfortable and difficult so we mostly don’t (collective we particularly white people especially white guys). Also it’s used to clearly generate worse outcomes than would otherwise be generated in nearly everything from poverty, to science, to law enforcement. Racism empowers the worst elements of our society who feed off of it.

  36. 36
    Violet says:

    @Roger Moore: Wasn’t it a similar thing in picking Rosa Parks instead of the unwed mother? Or something like that.

  37. 37
    Roger Moore says:

    @Violet:
    It was similar in the sense that they knew they were challenging the system and wanted to put their best foot forward, but I think more was asked of Robinson than of Parks simply because he was more personally exposed and asked to stick with it for longer.

    FWIW, Robinson got in trouble for refusing to go to the back of a bus more than a decade before Parks. The law was actually on his side- Army regulations said blacks didn’t have to sit at the back of the bus- but he was court martialed anyway. The law prevailed and he was acquitted, but the whole thing got him labeled as a trouble maker. Shortly afterward he was discharged because of an old football injury the Army had previously been willing to overlook.

  38. 38
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    They made a TV movie about the court martial starring a pre-“Homicide” Andre Braugher and future director Kasi Lemmons as his fiancee (later wife) Rachel.

  39. 39
    Wally Ballou says:

    @Roger Moore: And, even so, things took their toll. In a New Yorker essay written after Robinson’s death in 1972, Roger Angell discussed an incident he witnessed during a random Giants-Dodgers game in the ’50s:

    “Robinson, by then an established star, was playing third base that afternoon, and during the game something happened that drove him suddenly and totally mad. I was sitting close to him, just behind third, but I had no idea what brought on the outburst. It might have been a remark from the stands or from one of the dugouts; it was nothing that happened on the field. Without warning, Robinson began shouting imprecations, obscenities, curses. His voice was piercing, his face distorted with passion. The players on both teams looked at each other, uncomprehending. The Giants’ third-base coach walked over to murmur a question, and Robinson directed his screams at him. The umpire at third did the same thing, and then turned away with a puzzled, embarrassed shrug. In time, the outburst stopped and the game went on. It had been nothing, a moment’s aberration, but it seemed to suggest what can happen to a man who has been used, who has been made into a symbol and a public sacrifice. The moment became an event—something to remember along with the innumerable triumphs and the joys and the sense of pride and redress that Jackie Robinson brought to us all back then. After that moment, I knew that we had asked him to do too much for us. None of it—probably not a day of it—was ever easy for him.”

  40. 40
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Baud:

    How many white friends do you have to have before you turn into Justice Thomas?

    Having white friends isn’t enough for that. You need white racist friends and be willing to adopt their racist beliefs as your own in spite of your own skin color.

  41. 41
    rikyrah says:

    One study found that racism can shorten the lifespan of black men. Another study found that black students are suspended and expelled at higher rates than white students.

    These could be filed under

    next thing you’ll tell me that water is wet.

  42. 42
    rikyrah says:

    HOW THE HELL CAN YOU BE LESS BLACK?

    this just cracked me up.

    Come on now, Elon.

    You know that Slave Catchers are among us. You know it. I know it. There’s one that sits on the Supreme Court.

  43. 43
    rikyrah says:

    @LongLurk:

    I am mixed race and have regularly been subjected to “full blood” african american people questioning my blackness.

    The Black community has ALWAYS been multi-racial.

    Since the first time Massa went to the slave quarters.

    There are no -full blooded’ African-American people, and you know it.

    How else did we go from what West Africans look like to the rainbow of shades that now consist in the Black community without a whole lot of mutl-racial.

  44. 44
    rikyrah says:

    @ruemara:

    BWA HA HA HAHA

  45. 45
    rikyrah says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Jackie Robinson died young because of all he had to take. I’ll forever believe that.

  46. 46
    gian says:

    @rikyrah:
    about the late 80s early 90s
    there was a published study that got headlines. I remember being young when it came out and thinking “duh, who wouldn’t know that”
    and then getting older and realizing that the point of the study was to try and change policy.

    the finding was that homeless children get sick more often than children with homes.
    sometimes I think we need studies to prove the obvious.

  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @gian: People have given me books with “funny” lawyer anecdotes over the years. Many of them involve the lawyer asking a question of a witness with such an obvious answer that the lawyer looks stupid in the anecdote for asking it. I always look see those things as cementing in the mind of the jury a particular fact – in a who can you question it way and one that the jury will remember.

    To anyone who isn’t a halfwit, it is obvious that living a life where on is constantly under stress, where one can’t cavalierly disregard traffic rules, where one can’t walk into a store without being watched closely is going to wear on a person. Wear that person down and make that person easier prey for any disease that comes along.

    And, shit, I have no insight what-so-fucking-ever into that reality. I just get there intellectually.

  48. 48
    gian says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    for what it’s worth I think a lawyer who goes partly columbo and asks the witness for the other side friendly sounding open ended questions in order to provide sufficient rope to hang said witness with the other evidence does much better than the one who is overtly hostile with the questions and essentially demanding yes/no to agree with a narrative. But then I realize people tune in to all kinds of conflict driven stuff and get all wobbly on the concept.

    watching the stuff when it shows up on TV is interesting to me, just how do you handle that kind of stuff when asking the questions….

  49. 49
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @gian: Generally, the questions were asked based on the specific jury. If realized that the jury i eventually got was racist. I would adjust my arguments accordingly.

  50. 50
    AxelFoley says:

    @rikyrah:

    The Black community has ALWAYS been multi-racial.

    Since the first time Massa went to the slave quarters.

    There are no -full blooded’ African-American people, and you know it.

    How else did we go from what West Africans look like to the rainbow of shades that now consist in the Black community without a whole lot of mutl-racial.

    Glad you got to him/her before I did.

  51. 51
    gian says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    that would in some respects I think be tough thing to do. (tailor a style toward an attitude that causes blood to boil)

  52. 52
    Paul in KY says:

    @Baud: That’s sorta like ‘how many angels can fit on head of a pin’.

  53. 53
    Paul in KY says:

    @LongLurk: I would assume that pisses the shit out of you. It would me.

    I would say something like “watch me try a get a cab, and you’ll see I’m as black as your ass”

  54. 54
    Paul in KY says:

    @ruemara: That just sucks ass, Ruemara. White people (of which I am one) can be such dicks. Makes me mad to read your observations.

  55. 55
    Paul in KY says:

    @Wally Ballou: Doing what he did took many years off his life. What a man to be able to persevere like that.

  56. 56
    Paul in KY says:

    @gian: I have always heard that in lawyering you never ask a question that you don’t already know the answer to.

    I am not a lawyer.

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