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Which State Has The Best Blacks?
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September 12, 2011, 09:28 PM
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Audacious Epigone has a table ranking states by the ratio of the percent of blacks on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families versus the entire population`s ratio. In one state, blacks are only very slightly more likely to use welfare than the general population. Which is it? Also, in which state are blacks the most likely to be on welfare relative to the whole population?

Answers under the fold, although they won`t be too surprising to my long term readers.

45) Texas 2.39
46) Colorado 2.38
47) Mississippi 2.22
48) Rhode Island 2.11
49) New Mexico 1.70
50) Hawaii 1.06

So, the state where blacks are most equal, where there is the least local evidence supporting stereotypes of black fecklessness, turns out to be that hellhole of racial prejudice and bigotry where Barack Obama was forced to grow up in a discriminatory environment where, as he recalled decades later in Dreams from My Father, a white girl at his exclusive prep school wanted to touch his hair.

Second best is frequent commenter Truth`s New Mexico. I think the common denominator is that blacks in both states mostly got their through the military, or that they just had to be kind of independent-minded and self-starting to move there.

I think the good ranking of Mississippi, the blackest state, is more a statistical artifact of Audacious comparing blacks to the entire population (including blacks) rather than to the non-black population or to whites. Say that blacks make up 40% of Mississippi`s population and 100% are on welfare and 0% of everybody else is on welfare. Then, the ratio would still only be 2.50 (instead of the actual 2.22). Something similar is true for other highly black states like South Carolina and Louisiana.

Rhode Island seems to have pretty feckless white people, with RI whites with a lot on the ball moving to Boston or New York. Colorado strikes me as a pretty good all-around state that usually does well on state rankings on just about anything. Perhaps the altitude drives away the sickly and lazy?

The really interesting number here might be giant Texas, which suffers less from Mississippi-style statistical illusion because its black share is relatively modest. As you`ll recall, during the orgy of media hate following Hurricane Katrina in which anybody who said anything obviously true was denounced, Barbara Bush got in trouble for saying that black refugees from New Orleans` long dysfunctional Lower Ninth Ward would be better off making new lives for themselves in Houston. There is a lot of evidence that blacks do relatively well in conservative-dominated Texas.

So, which states have the worst blacks relative to the general population? Once again, iSteve readers shouldn`t be too surprised:

StateTANF
1) Wisconsin9.04
2) Minnesota8.90
3) Nebraska7.92
4) Idaho7.33
5) Iowa7.23

 

The peculiar awfulness of Milwaukee`s black slums, relative even to, say, Chicago`s black slums, has been on the radar for a long time. It`s not a coincidence that a number of important innovations in policy aimed at blacks, such as welfare reform and vouchers and charter schools were heavily pioneered in Wisconsin in the early 1990s. 

Also, keep in mind that rural whites in Wisconsin have their act together more than rural whites in a lot of other states. Driving around back roads in Arkansas in the early 1990s, it wasn`t uncommon to see thirtyish Winter`s Bone white guys sitting on the porches of their shacks at 3pm on a Thursday, glaring at me as if I might be an undercover revenooer. Driving back roads in Wisconsin, in contrast, past all the lovingly maintained family dairy farms, it looked like rural Wisconsin would make a credible stand-in for rural Austria in a remake of The Sound of Music.

The roots of this appear to be Wisconsin`s traditional social democratic tendencies. As Alice Cooper points out to Wayne in Wayne`s World, Milwaukee three times elected a Socialist Party mayor. If you have a feckful, cooperative population like most of Wisconsin, then it made sense to set liberal welfare rules in the 1960s to make sure that neighbors in need weren`t shut out by bureaucratic red tape. The problem with this generous attitude is that it attracted in the most parasitical blacks from the South and from Chicago. 

A long time ago in VDARE I mapped 1997 data on imprisonments by race by state. The three states with the highest ratio of black to white imprisonment were Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, which are three of the top five in Audacious`s TANF ratio table.