Tuesday, September 14, 2004


Sharpton Does It Again

I do a lot of goofs and parodies on this site. I just want to take a moment to state that this is a serious post, about a serious issue, backed up by serious links.

Look, a long time ago, I wrote about Al Sharpton, and his claims that African-Americans are dying in disproportionate numbers in the War On Terror, or Afghasnistan, or Iraq. After looking at various figures, I managed to come to a conclusion. The tender vittles:

Seems to me that African American deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq are actually less than their representation within the total U.S. population and within the population of military aged males.

So Sharpton was way off-base. And it irked me. I never really saw it come up anywhere. Tonight I was watching Paula Zahn, anticipating Glenn Reynolds and John Hinderaker from Powerline (Hinderaker got bumped in favor of the operator of Free Republic (Jim Robinson?), where the “Buckhead” post was made), and Sharpton happened to be on. The tender vittles:

ZAHN: …let's start off tonight by listening to one of the radio ads also being aired with the obvious purpose of getting the black vote out for John Kerry.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, THE MEDIA FUND AD) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bush is a rich man in the White House who is sending black men and women to be slaughtered in Iraq, while Cheney and his Halliburton boys get rich on oil. Don't keep getting played.


ZAHN: Is that ad over the top?

SHARPTON: I think that the ad is not only over the top. I think that when you look at the fact that everyone in politics gives towards the market that they are trying to interest, they are directly talking about how a disproportionate amount of people that died in Iraq were black.

ZAHN: So, wait a minute. You're saying it's not over the top? You agree with the essence of what it's saying.

SHARPTON: I'm saying that there is no question Halliburton made money. There's no question a lot of blacks died in Iraq. No one should have died if the premise for going in was weapons of mass destruction.

So I think that, clearly, you can't deny that Halliburton made the money. You cannot deny that people white and black died, and you cannot deny that blacks died disproportionately. So the Republicans need to answer it, rather than talk about what is over the top. Let's talk about what has in fact happened.(Emphasis mine)

Yes, Mr. Sharpton, “let's talk about what has in fact happened.” Turns out, I can deny it.

Lucky me. I just realized the other relevant statistics will be the same, and I only need to look at updated totals of soldiers who have died in Iraq, the country specifically mentioned by Sharpton. The two relevant stats from my other post:

African Americans as % of U.S. population: 36.4 million (12.9%) of total US population

African American males 18-29 as % of all males 18-29: 3,079,238 (13%) of 23,672,589 (all males 18-29)
(Arbitrary age range to approximate “military-aged” males)

And the variable in the equation, updated death totals in Iraq:

Total US military deaths in Iraq and percentage of those deaths that are African Americans(click “race” at the bottom): 1,016 total deaths, of which 12.4% (126) are African American.

12.4%. Funny, it’s the exact same percentage as in my original post on July 23, 2004. And it’s still below the African American percentages of our total population and military-aged males. Please also keep in mind that we have no draft; everyone in our military volunteered. How long can Sharpton keep saying this? This statement is another in a line of false statements made by prominent lefties to engineer the defeat of President Bush in November.

Update: Here's what Paula Zahn said a moment later in the transcript: “ZAHN: You look at statistics and they do tell you that more African men and women are dying in this war than whites.”

Do they really? I wonder which statistics Zahn is looking at. I made my calculations based on the fatality meter on CNN's own website! So now we can't trust CBS or CNN?
Blacks are actually underrepresented in death figures in Iraq when compared to their total #s in the military!

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