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February 22, 2008

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Jason

Race does matter, but class matters more, and it's not clear that in a post-Edwards campaign, class and poverty have the place that it should in the discussion.

I haven't read the reports, so I don't know if they are sophisticated enough to have controlled for the variables of class and income, but the ACLU report is almost certainly tied to money, the fact that Blacks and Latinos are not in management positions is likely tied in large part to lack of educational opportunities for people in those communities (i.e. money), and infant mortality rates simply have to be class-based (if they're not, then what we're saying is that some races have a higher genetic disposition to infant death, which is silly, because race isn't genetic).

I should note that I don't deny the larger point that race still matters: certainly the data points about arrests, car searches, and suspensions can't simply be explained by economic factors. (Although I find it interesting that suspensions are higher for "poor and minority students", suggesting that poor whites, to the extent that they exist in any substantial number in New York City, are subjected to the same treatment as other disfavored groups.)

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