Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Winston Smith, Call Your Office

James Taranto points out how the left is attacking Bill Bennett, not for what he said, but in an Orwellian way, "what he thought". Their point being that because he automatically associates a bad thing with blacks, he must be racist. If this is true, then all the members of the congressional black caucus who automatically associate poverty with blacks are also racist.

Yes, it is true, that most Americans, black and white, are likely to associate crime with blacks. This is not the fault of any one individual though. Harvard University has an interesting study (that you can participate in yourself) where they use pictures of people and words to test people's association (it is mentioned in the popular book Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell). This is an automatic ingrained association, present in all races, is it right, probably not, but it is a societal problem, it does not mean the person who scores poorly on that test is inherently racist.