I saw this story in the paper today (Black troops as much as twice as likely to be punished by commanders, courts (usatoday.com)), and I cringed. Another brainless use of statistics!
WASHINGTON — Black troops are far more likely than their white comrades to face court martial or other forms of military punishment, according to a study to be released Wednesday.
Black service members were as much as two times more likely than white troops to face discipline in an average year, according to an analysis by Protect Our Defenders, an advocacy organization for victims of sexual assault and military justice. The group combed through Pentagon data from 2006 to 2015 for its report.
USA TODAY received an advance copy of the study. (continued here)
Are black troops are far more likely than their white comrades to face court-martial or other forms of military punishment? Let’s assume that that much is true. Let’s assume that the raw data was properly collected. Let’s assume crunching the numbers shows that black troops are far more likely than their white comrades to face court-martial or other forms of military punishment. What does that statistical “proof” demonstrate? Well, it does demonstrate that black troops are far more likely than their white comrades to face court-martial or other forms of military punishment, but that is it. What these statistics do not tell us is why black troops are far more likely than their white comrades to face court-martial or other forms of military punishment.
The study does not support is this conclusion.
“From the findings of the study, race appears like it plays a big role, which is disheartening,” Don Christensen, president of the group and a former top prosecutor for the Air Force, said in an interview. “It seems to have a sizable role in determining if somebody’s going to go to court or receive non-judicial punishment. I’m really not sure what exactly explains it, and that’s what is really troubling. The military has known about these numbers for decades and has done nothing about it.” (from here)
What is the military supposed to do? What is the military supposed to do it is not already doing?
Consider another statistic, the one discussed in this article, CNN’s Don Lemon says more than 72 percent of African-American births are out of wedlock (politifact.com).
In the middle of a national conversation about race following the George Zimmerman acquittal, CNN anchor Don Lemon gave an on-air commentary that went viral on social media. The focus of the commentary was a five-point list of recommendations. “Black people,” Lemon said, “if you really want to fix the problem, here’s just five things that you should think about doing.”
The No. 1 item on that list — “and probably the most important,” he said — had to do with out-of-wedlock births.
“Just because you can have a baby, it doesn’t mean you should,” Lemon said. “Especially without planning for one or getting married first. More than 72 percent of children in the African-American community are born out of wedlock. That means absent fathers. And the studies show that lack of a male role model is an express train right to prison and the cycle continues.” (continued here)
Politifact reported that the birth of 73 percent of Non-Hispanic blacks are considered “non-marital” whereas as the birth of only 29 percent of Non-Hispanic whites are considered “non-marital”. Is it possible that Non-Hispanic blacks have a greater problem with military discipline because Non-Hispanic black fathers did not help their children to learn self-discipline?
The family is the building block of our society. We cannot make our society any stronger than the families which make it up. Government — even the best part of it, our military forces — is incapable replacing what families must do for children, build strong character.
If you are not happily married, please don’t have sex. Fornication is not recreational sex; it is just irresponsible, animal pleasure. Fornication fouls up three lives. Statistically, the odds are good that fornication will lead to an absent father, an unwed mother, and a child bereft of what only a father can provide. In fact, we can confidently state the statistics demonstrate that much.