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re: The Unbearable Whiteness of Coding VIEW POST

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re: Matthew - you appear to be pulling a few carefully selected statistics out of the bag to imply there isn't a problem with racism in the UK. I real...
  1. You mention carefully selected statistics to make a point and then affirm a point with statistics from university staff only. As opposed to the statistics that cover job roles. There will always be variances within the individual industries, and at the low scale numbers we are talking about, the difference isn't actually that great. But hey, maybe your right, maybe specifically the higher education sector has a racism problem? Although I doubt it with the ideological leaning in the education sector.

  2. I agree it would be nice to know if ethnic minorities, once in the job, have equal pay and opportunities for advancement. As per the office for national statistics once education and occupation are taken into account, the pay gap between ethnic minorities and white British narrows. If this is a problem it is the Bangladeshi ethnic group we need to look at!

  3. Have we built a system that is only systematically racist towards black people and no other ethnic group that is not white British or white other? Because the Chinese and Indian ethnic groups are doing much better in terms of earnings than the white British group. Additionally to your point, as per your link to the higher education staff statistics, ethnic minorities are overrepresented.

  4. As I have pointed out in another reply and in relation to your comment about bad statistics. The pay gap is the worst. It doesn't take role/sector, experience or part-time/fulltime into account what so ever. I think there are issues that affect women in the workplace, that we need to find some good economic way of dealing with. These issues aren't related to sexism. As pointed out in the other comment, women make different choices to men, at the more extreme pay variances, when it comes to jobs.

  5. The prison population is representative of the right demographic. Using the overall population demographic isn't correct, as the prison population isn't created by census, is it? The prison population is generated from the criminal population.

  6. "Stop and search" is definitely disproportionately used. But the use of this as a sign of systemic racism seems off. It doesn't seem to account for why the police might carry out a "stop and search", referring back to the criminal demographics. Now, I fully accept that there may be some sort of bias built into this. Are there more criminals reported because of the higher "stop and search"? Or is there a higher "stop and search" because of the increased criminal population? A question I think should definitely be looked into. However, because of this complete uncertainty, it cannot be used to support the idea of systemic racism. And I would choose to air on the side of the large majority of the police forces in the UK not being racist myself.

  7. There are a number of reasons why the life expectancy between population are lower. Between the black ethnic group and the white, there are some factors to it that are genetic. Not exactly a systemic racism problem. What about the significantly higher life expectancies for Indian, Pakistani and Chinese ethnic groups in the UK? I agree, there definitely could be some economic factors behind this. I, however, don't think they are tied to systemic racism.

  8. I would want any systemic form of racism or sexism to identified and removed, as it isn't good for anybody! There are certainly instances of racism and sexism on all fronts. For it to be systemic it would have to affect the group as a whole.

  9. I want to take the entire range of data into consideration to get the whole picture. Hence my point that we can't rely on a vocal section of people giving their experiences or views. Please give me something in terms of data that shows systemic racism/sexism that isn't calculated blindly or considered without relevant context so that I can change my model and start trying to work against it in whatever way I can.

  10. Finally, it is you making the rather strong claim about systemic racism causing significant inequality between groups within the UK that has been engineered and perpetrated by white people. The burden should be on you to give the evidence that this is the case. I just presented some figures that tried to capture the pertinent data categories based on the claims made.

1... But hey, maybe your right, maybe specifically the higher education sector has a racism problem? Although I doubt it with the ideological leaning in the education sector.

Strange. You say statistics are important. The statistics demonstrate that there is inequality in the HE sector; but you casually brush that aside based on a personal preconception.

2... If this is a problem it is the Bangladeshi ethnic group we need to look at!

"If this is a problem"? So living in a society that unfairly distributes wealth based on the colour of your skin isn't a problem?

4... These issues aren't related to sexism.

The experiences of female colleagues (I worked in the HE sector) and friends tells me otherwise. The experiences publicly reported by many women working in HE tell me otherwise. I have seen nothing to suggest it is different in other work sectors.

And let's be clear: statistics demonstrating inequality are just a symptom of a more significant problem. You can try and argue away the pay gap based on 'reasonable' factors; but you can't argue away the sexism (and on-topic racism) people experience on a daily basis.

5... The prison population is representative of the right demographic. Using the overall population demographic isn't correct, as the prison population isn't created by census, is it? The prison population is generated from the criminal population.

So by implication you're saying that Black people are over-represented in the criminal population? I'm curious to know why you think that might be the case.

  1. Statistics are important. I already addressed it. At the very low percentages we are talking about, the difference in the number of black people within (specifically academic) HE roles is not very significant. The numbers for job roles as a whole don't show a lack of representation. Picking out one very small specific sector (not even HE, specifically academic roles within HE) is a silly thing to do to try and prove the point. Especially considering the comparative sample size for that subsection is small. What if I use only the nursing sector to tell you that there is systemic sexism against men?

  2. You clearly didn't look at the data or it's analysis. Wealth is not distributed based on the colour of your skin. When factors that would affect income like education and occupation are taken into account there isn't a significant difference. And you seem to perpetuate this idea that this is a systemically racist society engineering and run by white people, for the benefit of white people. So what about the Chinese and Indians?

  3. We are specifically talking about systemic racism/sexism. As I have pointed out, the statistics don't demonstrate any inequality. The pay gap you are talking about is a ridiculous statistic. When factors that will affect pay that isn't sex are factored out, there is no significant difference. You think ALL economists wouldn't be creating a much bigger issue about this if it was legitimate and half the population where getting paid less. You seem to be using the existence of people who are sexist or racist as an argument for systemic racism/sexism.

  4. Yes, black people are overrepresented in the criminal population. When you ask why do I think that might be the case, do you mean why I think they are overrepresented, or what I think the reasons for it might be? They are overrepresented across all stages of the criminal justice system from arrest to prison populations. There could be a myriad of reasons for that, but fatherlessness is one.

All of these issues become massively more likely if you grow up in a family without a father across the ethnicities. Despite the apparent systemic racism driven by white people, the Chinese demographic are doing exceedingly well, they also have the lowest single-parent rate.

Still, you made a strong claim about systemic racism and sexism in the UK and your proof is a useless pay statistic and your personal experiences.

This is getting very dull. TBH what I don't understand is: what do people like you have to lose by accepting that there is a problem? Throughout my adult life I have seen evidence of racism and sexism in UK society. I could do a straw poll of my friends and colleagues distributed around the country and I suspect I'd get very similar responses. There have been official reports acknowledging that there is a problem. The people directly affected by racism and sexism have been vocal about it. There are people on the streets protesting about it... And here you are trying to say there isn't a problem. Why?

Needless to say; there are plenty of people writing about this topic who are better informed - and better able to make cogent arguments - than me. Consider the possibility that a problem exists and educate yourself.

Over and out.

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