Race and John Lott
In addition to Ted Barlow's unbelievable position that there is not a whiff of sexism in John Lott's research about women, a few people are claiming the obviously racist aspects of John Lott's ouevre aren't there either. (Though it appears that I am the only one who has actually read the non-gun issue related material.) I was not surprised to see someone who is a proud associate of bigots, i.e., Megan McArdle posting as "Jane Galt," make such a remark. However, the blindness of others following in her stead is worthy of comment.
I believe Atrios' point about Lott's involvement in presenting disinformation on the 2000 elections to Congress is very apt. Lott went to great lengths to make it appear that the many irregularities that occurred at polling places in mainly black neighborhoods either didn't occur or were irrelevant. Lott's writings about affirmative action rely on the tropes that blacks and women are either inferior or incompetent. Furthermore, he moves in some very bigoted circles, which I will write about later. If not a racist himself, Lott is willing to go along.
Perhaps it is harder for white people to see racism than it is for a minority American. If I had a $100 for every time a white person has told me obvious racism isn't there, I could take a very nice vacation. From the Rodney King beating to the discrepancy in media treatment between soldiers Jessica Lynch and Shoshana Johnson, racism is often a feature of what is going on in all kinds of situations. I understand why some white people choose to engage in this kind of denial, but I do not sympathize with them. As far as I'm concerned, they are part of the reason racial bigotry remains a major aspect of American society. Their refusal to acknowledge it helps perpetrate it.
Note: Update. A reader believes I am being too hard on Ted Barlow. However, I believe I was slighted by not being asked what I based my opinion on before being criticized. Hopefully, the situation will not recur.