You Cannot Cite Data That Does Not Exist


This past week, Bill O’Reilly cited, for the second time, statistics that supposedly show that more Whites than African-Americans are killed by police. Although he framed the discussion of these statistics by stating that he was in no way condoning the recent police shooting of an unarmed African-American man in North Charleston, South Carolina, he was nonetheless arguing that the assertions that Black men are disproportionately victims of police brutality is some sort of lie being disseminated by Liberal activists and Liberal media.

Putting aside for a moment that the study that O’Reilly cited has been described as limited, somewhat dated, and something of a statistical outlier, one does not need a degree in mathematics to challenge O’Reilly’s assertions on several levels.

First, since White Americans outnumber African-Americans by a four-to-one to five-to-one margin, it is possible that more Whites than African-Americans are killed by police. But unless Whites are…

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About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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