Tuesday, January 21, 2003

I originally started typing up this post by saying 'I'm a bit confused by something..." but I'm not confused by anything anymore.

Here's the story. Charlie Rangel says:

A disproportionate number of the poor and members of minority groups make up the enlisted ranks of the military, while the most privileged Americans are under-represented or absent....

USAToday says:

Though Rangel is right that blacks and lower-income Americans still serve in disproportionate numbers, that fact misses another significant trend. While blacks are 20% of the military -- compared with 12% of the U.S. population -- they make up a far smaller percentage of troops in combat jobs on the front line.

In a host of high-risk slots -- from Army commandos to Navy and Air Force fighter pilots -- blacks constitute less than 5% of the force, statistics show.

First of all, this is a very very narrow tally of what is a dangerous job. Second, this quote is trotted out to somehow "refute" Rangel's assertion:

''If anybody should be complaining about battlefield deaths, it is poor, rural whites,'' says Charles Moskos, a military sociologist at Northwestern University in Illinois.

All well and good, if true, but what did Rangel say?

A disproportionate number of the poor and members of minority groups.

Advantage Rangel!

Let's not forget the fact that the study only looks at black and white, ignoring the rest of the minorities..