Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Propaganda 101


Definition of propaganda (noun) - Information spread in order to promote a particular goal.

If we compare the number of Black men aged 18 to 24 who are in college against the number from that same age group who are in prison, we can see that there are more Black men in college than in prison.

"Of course the comparison is of little use since people of all ages are sent to jail, whereas college students tend to be 18-24 year olds. Murray tracked down the respective figures for those age groups and found that for African American men 18-24, there were 480,000 in college and 180,000 in prison or jail. An young African American male is, in fact, two-and-a-half times as likely to be in college as prison or jail."




Five out of every ten American women is single. Seven out of every ten African American women are single. So just 2 more African American Women are single when compared to the general population out of every 10.

In this article, 51% of Women Are Now Living Without Spouse, do they seem to go out of their way to make the stats of Black women seem so much worse than that of other women. They never just say that 5 in 10 White women are single and 7 in 10 Black women are single. In stead they juggle the numbers to make our situation sound so much worse than it is.


Why is it that when looked at another way the numbers don't seem so terrible?

Have we been hoodwinked into believing things are worse than they actually are?

What do you think?



14 comments:

Symphony said...

Its is why I bristle every time a study about Black people, Black women in specific, comes out.

Most things we go through is not too much different than anyone else.

And no, I don't believe because its related to White people that it makes it okay or its not that bad. I'm just tired of Black people acting as if we have the monopoly on negative things. I think, what we actually have is a monopoly on "gloom and doom" whether someone else projects or we do.

You even have Barack Obama running around the country saying there are more Black men in jail than college and Black audiences clap loudly when he says it.

No, we shouldn't ignore the negative in lieu of only positive but we need to analyze situations and put them in context.

Most White people are victims of the criminal acts of other White people but no one is going around talking about "White on White" crime.

Before we expect others to think better of us, first we must think better of ourselves. And one a small note- no matter how well a Black person as ever spoke, dressed or behaved there were always people thinking we were a biologically inferior group with no intelligence, moral and character.

wisdomteachesme said...

all that mess is whohockey!! glad to know so many are enlightened enough to know when someone is trying to bamboozle and hoodwink them...

i fit into their catagories broadly--but not specifically,,,
i'm black by their standards, but will check 'other' if there is no money coming my way-or i'll write in 'colored' which i like better anyway-

lolo that messes them up!

i was a single mother--by choice! around the ages of 33-35 i realized that i wanted a child- i had long since completed undergrad--was teaching, had done some travelling and a lot of 'hanging out'- so i asked God for one and He gave!
and i am not between 14-25 yrs old-i am not uneducated- or unable to feed/clothe my children-nor am i on welfare_(not that-that is a bad thing), as i see it as a stepping block to better life--temporary-not permanent.

i had a job(for 18 years) and did not get fired- i left on God's timing--

i am not single anymore--though america says that i am--i have a partner and we have a committed relationship and this supplies our daughters with a 2 parent home. and our home is paid for might i add--we have 3 working vehicles--and one classic car--that is not working right now--we have enough degrees in this home to look like wallpaper! lolol

we have enough books that would rival a library-we have Gods presence in this home.

our children are bright, loving, and compassionate children who are being lead to God through daily prayers, thanksgiving, and searching for and accepting His desire for our lives.

just to name a few areas in which my family does not fit into their studies on a specific tip!

so all that mess that these people present in the form of studies and whatnot--i feel is border line crap--don't buy into who 'they' say you are!
they do not know-they have not created you--and unless you align yourself to live by who 'they' say you are--then i guess you are not too happy with their thinking of you.

people are people-we are to celebrate the differences...not catagorize people by them.

it's another form of mental slavery!
FREE Your Mind!

and i agree with you symphony- no matter how well you dress, speak, or how much you educate yourself--there will always be 'those' that see you just as a black person-not worthy of their respect. and there also will always be 'those' other blacks that speak jealousy and hate because you have better than what they think they have. and i say to that narrow-minded, selfish way of living--your loss not mine--I know who i am--it's cool that you do not want to know--

God has a way to change things...

BZ said...

To some degree, I think this is true. I had a media project to work on in undergrad one year. It was on the bias of large print media outlets with regard to coverage of negative events involving people of color, versus those of whites.

While the outright numbers indicate that such events almost equally effect whites and blacks, over 75% of the coverage of such events involved people of color.

It's perpetuating the stereotypes. We all know people of color are still not equal. However, the exaggeration of such matters only perpetuates the problem.

SheCodes said...

So funny that you should bring this up today, because that's what my blog post is about for today.

As black folk, we spend a lot of time complaining about what other people are saying about us, and very little time actually doing something about it.

We are intelligent creatures, communicators - we can be researchers just as well as any white persons out there. But until we become invested in the media -- in terms of ownership, 'watchdog-ism', participation in the process, etc, it will be like this until the end of time.

So yes, there is a continuous barrage of bad news about black people. However, I will not go so far to say that all of it is inaccurate. I can trust my own two eyes to see that there is something going on with our men going to prison, and with the relationships that we have with each other. No stats necessary there.

jjbrock said...

MSD what a great post. I notice that most of your posters are well educated black women, I love the way they express them selves. I don't like to here all those lies that are being told especially about black women.

I think the media is trying to discredit black women and some blacks are helping to do it. Why would you use women like Superhead and New York to describe us? Those women don't speak for me.

Tam Tam said...

What do I think? What do I think?
I think people need to go back and re-take their statistics course LOL! Hasn't anyone ever read the book "How to Lie With Statistics"?

Anyone worth their salt will always look at the context of the data. We as a society are very DRIP-- Data Rich, Information Poor.
We don't know how, or refuse to properly look at and compare data.

Baby Please said...

I think it's good you exist. And good that I exist. And good that the black blogosphere exists...

... to point out and bring awareness to skewed statistics and other injustices.

... and have a dialog with the people in the online community who chime in on such matters.

clnmike said...

I have been telling people to not buy into the "stats" for years.

The bottom line is there are people who make a living off these issues.

It's in there best interest to spread these B.S. around.

Never mind you can flip the numbers around to say what ever you want.

Miriam said...

I do think black are made to look worse than they are. I am glad folks are waking up to this. goodness! 2008 is gonna be good!

jose said...

I think there's still a lot of issues that we as a community need to resolve in total, and sometimes statistical legerdemain can really confuse us into believing certain things. Some of the statistical errors aren't meant to be harmful while the others are. It's just as well that we need to be better informed in math as well as reading, because we'd probably want to investigate numbers like these better.

Then again, what do I know?

p.s. - Check the blogroll.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Symphony,

"I think, what we actually have is a monopoly on "gloom and doom" whether someone else projects or we do."

I totally agree. The power of negative thought should not be underestimated.

_____________________________________

WTM,

I think the truth may be that far fewer of us fit into any of the categories they have tried to fit us in.
___________________________________

BZ,

That's true. I was just thinking tonight how the local news outlets only focus on African Americans when they have committed a crime.

And the really sad part is that when a Black person is the victim of a crime they rarely even do an actual piece on them. They just let the anchor give a few details and that's it.

It gives the impression that we are perpetrators but not victims.
___________________________________

SheCodes,

I have wondered for a really long time why HBCU's don't try to replicate some of these studies to see if they are as biased as many believe they are. Most of these studies go totally unchallenged.
___________________________________

JJ B,

You are not the only one wondering why Superhead, for instance, was interviewed in Essence Magazine.

I'm still stunned about that, even though I shouldn't be since Essence is a Time, Inc. publication now.
___________________________________

Tam Tam,

The problem is we have a lot of so-called leaders that love to point out how badly we are supposedly doing, so they don't challenge the stats. Also many of us are so conditioned to believe any and everything bad about us that we believe these studies as gospel.
___________________________________

Baby Please,

I agree totally. I think the Black blogisphere is going to be a key tool in making great changes.
___________________________________

ClnMike,

"The bottom line is there are people who make a living off these issues."

That's so true and they all know that if they do a study about African Americans, if it's negative, no one will challenge it and they will get lot's of free publicity.
___________________________________

Miriam,

I agree, it's time to wake up!
___________________________________

Jose,

We need our own think tank that exists just to challenge these studies. If they are valid, fine. But if not then that needs to be known.

Wow, you added me; thanks. Look for some new adds here too. I have to figure out how I'm going to do it. I don't want my list to be too long so I need to put them in categories.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

Preach. You know all of my work is in prisons. All across the US and in Africa. if u get the chance chk these out one day black,brown,beige & undereducated and
far from the truth

Mes Deux Cents said...

Torrence,

Thanks I'll check them out.

Afrodite said...

Yeah, I heard that statistic about single black women on Baisden After Dark. I didn't want to believe it but I'm not surprised.

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About Me

West Coast, United States
African American, Poet?, Vegetarian, Music lover, Agoraphobic, Social Phobic

My Favorite Poet

My Favorite Poet
Staceyann Chin

My Favorite Track Athlete

My Favorite Track Athlete
Christine Arron