Thursday, August 20, 2015

Conventional Wisdom versus the Facts

Yesterday I pointed out the fallacies and distortions of two stalwart conservatives, Star Parker and Sen. Marco Rubio, regarding policing and race. Specifically, I criticized Star Parker's spurious August 19, 2015 column. 

(It can be found here:

BTW Nobody believed me that there are studies indicating police show more deference to blacks. Here is one such study:

Excerpt: "Minority suspects experienced disrespect less often than whites (statistically significant in the hierarchical analysis controlling for degree of neighborhood disadvantage). "

The problem with Parker and Rubio is that they buy into the conventional wisdom - as presented by the mainstream media. This same problem is found in the marijuana legalization debate.

Today, I offer you Ann Coulter's criticism of the conventional wisdom about the Fourteenth Amendment as presented by Fox News. Writing in Human Events it is titled Fox News Anchored in Stupidity on 14th Amendment.

Like Star Parker's and Sen. Rubio's analysis of policing and race it is fraught with distortions and fallacies. Coulter skewers Fox News' "liberally blonde" Shannon Bream, "Constitutional scholar Andrew Napolitano, and resident genius Bill O'Reilly. The criticism is well deserved. They try to speak as experts about a topic for which they are ill qualified to do so. Just as Parker and Rubio did they merely rely on the liberal mainstream media interpretation which becomes the conventional wisdom.

Here is Coulter's column:

Marco Rubio, Star Parker and Black Lives Matter

I just finished today's column by Star Parker in Titled Marco Rubio Gets 'Black Lives Matter' Right , she makes the argument that because Rubio knows that this movement is funded by leftists - particularly George Soros affiliated groups- he gets it. But she points out that the 'Black Lives Matter' sentiments are valid.

Parker writes: " Rubio spoke with candor and realism about a personal friend of his -- a professional black male -- who had been stopped "in the last 18 months eight to nine different times" for no reason. Many blacks will attest to this reality."

But then she mentions a "new Gallup poll surveying perceptions on how racial minorities are treated by the police shows a world of difference in how blacks and whites perceive police activity."

She conflates perception and reality. She makes the specious proposition that the perception is proof of the reality. But even in this difference, still a majority of blacks think they are treated fairly! But given Parker's tone one would think it is the exact opposite!

This is an example of logical thinking? This is a conservative perspective?

Yes, the perception, by blacks, of their treatment by police is different from whites. 78 percent of whites and 52 percent of blacks think police treat them fairly. This is a "world of difference" as Parker says.

But the reality is very different from the perception. I can show you studies that indicate blacks receive more deference from police than whites. The researchers were amazed becaused they felt their study would produce the opposite results.

Parker's opinion is typical of a media driven controversy. - and unfortunately it is what happens when people - even conservatives - rely on propaganda rather than facts.

No, Rubio does not have it right. He has it partially correct. But he still buys into the propaganda. His anecdote about his friend is just that an anecdote. 

Here is my anecdote. 

Three years ago, I, a white man, in his fifties, dressed like the ultimate tourist, driving a rental car, is driving east on I10 to outside of Mobile Alabama. I came from New Orleans, where my wife was attending a conference of the American College of Physicians. I was planning on visiting a friend, bestselling novelist W.E.B. Griffin.

I just crossed the state line into Alabama and was pulled over by a state trooper ( or whatever they are called in Alabama). I was driving 56 mph - well within the speed limit. 

I was removed from my car. I was searched. The car was searched.Then I was sent on my way.

Please convey to Sen. Rubio and Ms. Parker to stop reading the papers and listening to the propaganda. It happens to ALL people not just blacks. 

Always keep in mind All lives matter - even police officers.

Shame on Townhall, shame on Star Parker, shame on Marco Rubio.