Is it really racist?

What I want to discuss is how some policies, while they might seem racist, if you analyze the impact by race, might have nothing to do with racism (in the sense of believing one race inferior) at all.

Let me start with an analogy. Did you know that for drivers 18-25, males pay more in car insurance than females? Surely this is a sign of a deep sexism at work! Surely, the insurance companies hate men!

… Actually no, it has nothing to do with an hatred of men, and everything to do with statistical analysis. See, insurance companies have to judge customers, not based upon the customer as an individual, but rather, based on a few broad characteristics. And, statistically, males are WAY more likely to get into an accident. So, it makes sense to charge males more. You will, statistically, need to do so, in order to make a profit.

More generally, insurance companies do not charge everyone the same price for the same coverage, and this is based on statistical analysis, not upon bigotry.

Now, if you can grasp that this is not about bigotry, perhaps consider the following scenario: A Republican in charge of voting districts engages in gerrymandering. This is absolutely wrong. But let’s say they do this to minimize the effect of black voting. Is this necessarily racist? As in, done because this person dislikes black people or considers them inferior?


See, gerrymandering is wrong. But if you ARE going to gerrymander, you do it so that your party wins. And if you see that some factor correlates with voting against your party – including race, since blacks tend to vote Democrat – you will include that factor, when you calculate how to gerrymander.

It’s statistics, and no different than what insurance companies do.


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