Friday, November 30, 2007

More "race is stupid" notes...

My high school is number one in the US News and World Report index...not surprising at all. The surprising part to me is that the minority student enrollment percentage is reported as 4.5%. Hmmm...what do they mean by minority? Only "black and Hispanic". What about the other minorities (Native American, Romany, Blondes)? Minority is now a euphemism for only some minorities that...what? If you think about it, this label is making the truly racist assumption that "blacks and Hispanics" need to be tracked separately from other people. Why would that be?

I think people assume that because the average scores for some defined group of people are lower, there needs to some separate tracking of that group... This enables the racist assumption- that any one individual is going to be more like the median member of some group they belong to, than the median of the population as a whole. For example, since the median test scores of students in the US that have Chinese ancestry score are higher than the median for the population as a whole, one might falsely presume that any random Chines person is smarter than average. Of course, this would be wrong. The converse applies to groups whose median test scores fall below the median.

In any case, schools should stop reporting their "racial percentages". It doesn't really help anyone but racists who are looking to avoid specific races. We're all miscellaneous now.

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