The conservative publication, National Review, published a piece on Wednesday advising young white people to avoid black people.
In response to President Barack Obama’s comments after the Trayvon Martin shooting trial, National Review foreign affairs columnist and military history scholar, Victor Davis Hanson, wrote that all white people can do is to continue telling their kids to stay away from black men.
“Be careful if a group of black youths approaches you,” Hanson quoted his father, who was “a lifelong Democrat.”
That advice, however, did not seem to help Hanson.
“After some first-hand episodes with young African-American males, I offered a similar lecture to my own son,” he said. "Note what [my father] did not say to me. He did not employ language like ‘typical black person.’ He did not advise extra caution about black women, the elderly, or the very young … In other words, the advice was not about race per se, but instead about the tendency of males of one particular age and race to commit an inordinate amount of violent crime.”
Zack Beauchamp of ThinkProgress wrote that Hanson’s argument “is relying on a common mathematical fallacy, called the base rate error, to draw fictitious conclusions about the danger posed by black men.”
To assume that the relationship between a high rate of crime and race means black men are inherently violent is a remarkable leap in logic.
Ta-Nehisi Coates recontextualized Hanson’s argument in the The Altantic.
“If I were to tell you that I only employ Asian-Americans to do my taxes because ‘Asian-Americans do better on the Math SAT,’ you would not simply question my sensitivity, but my mental faculties," Coates wrote. "That is because you would understand that in making an individual decision, employing an ancestral class of millions is not very intelligent. There is no difference between my argument above and the notion that black boys should be avoided because they are overrepresented in the violent crime stats. But one of the effects of racism is its tendency to justify stupidity.”
He added: “These two strands — stupidity and racism — are inseparable. The pairing seem to find a home at National Review with some regularity.”
This is not the first time Hanson weighed in on race during the Obama administration. In a previous column, Hanson accused President Barack Obama of victimizing white people for political gain.