Narrative over facts
Posted by aogSunday, 20 February 2011 at 12:20 TrackBack Ping URL

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“The facts are clear,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “Intimate partner homicide is the leading cause of death for African-American women ages 15 to 45.”

That’s a horrifying statistic, and it would be a shocking reflection of the state of the black family, and American society generally, if it were true. But it isn’t true.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Justice Department’s own Bureau of Justice Statistics, the leading causes of death for African-American women between the ages 15–45 are cancer, heart disease, unintentional injuries such as car accidents, and HIV disease. Homicide comes in fifth — and includes murders by strangers.

I would note that if the highest law enforcement official in the United States is willing to make such blatantly false public statements, why should we trust anything else he has to say?

Comments — Formatting by Textile
David Cohen Monday, 21 February 2011 at 16:36

Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence.

Hey Skipper Monday, 21 February 2011 at 19:59

The fault lies with Holder’s staff.

It is funny how these stats develop a life of their own. For no small amount of time about 8 years ago eating disorders killed something like 6,000 girls in the US each year.

That stat persisted for a further no small amount of time after pointing out that less than half that number of girls die in the US each year from all causes.

Barry Meislin Tuesday, 22 February 2011 at 09:36

I don’t know about you, but I would consider cancer as “intimate partner homicide.”

So I’m forced to go with the A-G on this one.

Barry Meislin Tuesday, 22 February 2011 at 09:37

Ditto heart disease.

Barry Meislin Tuesday, 22 February 2011 at 09:38

Moreover, some guys are more intimate with their cars than they are with the “significant others.” Heck, their cars ARE their significant others.

Barry Meislin Tuesday, 22 February 2011 at 09:42

And as far as HIV is concerned, “intimate partner homicide”? Well I’d prefer not to go there.

But Holder can’t be faulted for seeing (and defining) things the way he wants to.

Besides a guy for whom Humpty Dumpty serves as an intellectual inspiration couldn’t be all bad.

(Though no wonder he has a fragile ego.)

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 22 February 2011 at 14:09

I don’t know if I would call cancer a “partner”. Of course, the real explanation may be “it depends on what the word ‘is’ means”.

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