Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Are black people really abandoning Obama?

Fairly frequently, the Sentinel prints editorials by Star Parker. They're always pretty full of self-delusion and crazy god-babbling nonsense. I suspect that her main appeal is that she's an ultraconservative black woman, which allows other conservatives to claim they're not racist or sexist if they agree with her. That's just my theory, though. She might just be cheaper to syndicate or something, due to sucking.

Today we get a prime example of just how flawed her thinking is. It's actually pretty remarkable. The editorial in question is entitled Blacks are changing their minds about President Obama, and as we'll soon see, even the title is wrong.

Let's begin with the quoting!
Americans of all political persuasions agree that the nation has problems. Big problems.

And here's where we all part company. The political left, who now control our government, thinks we need more government -- a lot more. Those on the right see our problems as the result of excess government and want to move things in the opposite direction.
That's about the most superficial and inaccurate assessment of the political divide that I've ever seen, but whatever.

The important part, and the premise of the editorial, is the idea that blacks are abandoning the president. Here's what Star argues:
According to the Pew Research Center, the president's approval rating nationwide is now 10 points lower than last April. Included in this is a three-point drop in his approval among blacks.

You might say, Star, a drop in approval ratings among blacks from 95 percent to 92 percent is trivial. But I say not so.

If we assume this reflects the 16 million blacks who voted for Obama last November, a three-point shift means there are about a half-million blacks who now have buyer's remorse.
Star Parker does not understand polling at all.

You can see the study she's talking about here (pdf). If you go down to the race part, you do see that Obama's approval has dropped from 95% to 92%.

Of course, if you go down to the bottom of the whole thing, you find this:
For the total sample, the margin of error attributable to sampling that would be expected at the 95% level of confidence is plus or minus 2 percentage points. The margin of error for subgroups will be higher.
So we've got a 2% margin of error on the whole thing, and higher than 2% on subgroups, one of which is race. Which means a 3% "drop" is utterly meaningless. It could be an actual 3% drop, or it could be no drop at all, or it could be an increase. There is no discernible change that you can detect from this poll.

It sure as hell doesn't mean there are half a million blacks with "buyer's remorse."

So, Parker's entire premise is fundamentally flawed, because she either doesn't know how to interpret polling data or chooses to misrepresent it in order to promote her own deluded thinking. With such a faulty premise already debunked, it's almost unfair to continue to point out how dumb this editorial is, but there's a part that just can't be ignored.

Parker babbles on for awhile about how blacks supposedly can't not be Democrats, because the big Democratic goon-squads will make fun of them. Or something like that, anyway. She apparently thinks that it's social pressures that keep them in the Democratic party, and not the fact that it's always Republicans who do shit like this (view the whole slideshow, it's fun!).

Here's the part that really gets me, though.
According to a Pew Research Center report, almost a third of blacks consider themselves conservative. [*]

However, these folks have always been inclined to be quiet because of the social pressures and intimidation.

But this is changing.

Despite slurs, intimidation and widely reported physical attacks from union thugs, a few brave black souls have shown up at tea party protest rallies.
What. The. Fuck?

Parker is actually suggesting that it's the left keeping black people from going teabagging? I had to read it a few times to make sure that's what she was suggesting, but it must be. She's not blaming the right for intimidation or slurs, and she certainly doesn't consider unions to be conservative, so she must be blaming the left.

That picture up at the top of this post is from a teabagger event. The following pictures are also from teabagger events:

These are the people that Parker thinks blacks are being prevented from hanging out with, by those nasty liberals in the unions.

Doesn't that look like an inviting environment? If I were a black man, I'd definitely want to run right out to teabag with all those people! No damn union thugs could keep me away from the warm and loving embrace of people who think that a tax decrease for the middle class equals "white slavery"!

Ms. Parker, after you finish reading "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Margins of Error" you might want to consider the idea that the people keeping blacks away from teabag parties are the teabaggers themselves. Most people don't seek out locations where they're going to be treated like shit by a bunch of racist assholes.

Parker craps out some closing bullshit about abortion and Israelites and so forth at the end, but it's the same impenetrable drivel she usually produces and not really worth commenting on. This is a mind not in touch with reality. Not even close to it.

That's really all you need to know about this editorial. It has a false premise and ridiculous conclusions, and my dog has a better understanding of race relations than Parker does.

No, black people are not abandoning Obama. Star Parker has simply abandoned reality.

* While 32% of blacks do indeed self-identify as conservative, it's worth noting that this Pew study makes no differentiation between social and fiscal conservatism. Generally, the black community tends to skew towards social conservatism, with more liberal economic views.