Liberty Matters

Models Misbehaving and the Smothering of Liberty Effects

Professor Harold Black’s, Darcy Nikol Bryan, M.D.’s, and Robert F. Graboyes’s essays on education and health care, as related to “systematic racism,” are excellent in their use of data presentations and conclusions. Modeling racial inequality has always been inadequate because the effects of liberty are, for the most part, included in the models. How liberty variables affect these outdated models is important.  One must develop models which take into account what people do, rather than who they are, to understand the dynamic of inequality. Systemic racism, like all system dynamic models, is difficult in any field, especially in the field of racial inequality.
Models allow prediction, whether of earthquakes, stock markets, or renderings of future automobiles. Physical sciences have fewer difficulties with mathematical models because inanimate variables are what they are because of their physical properties. There are no identity politics involving rocks or materials, and thus models can be more predictable and behave as theory expects them to behave. In the social sciences models behave badly because the equations do not allow for “liberty effects” of different groups. Unmeasurable concepts, such as minority,  people of color, and diverse or poor are recoded into the equation rather than teasing out important effects.[1]  More importantly, achievement by members of what models call “underserved” is masked by these recodes, and thus the mathematical models misbehave.  
If liberty is defined as allowing one to achieve, then models do not show that 70 percent of all people in poverty are white, although models present whites as “privileged.” As noted by Wray and Newitz, “It has been the invisibility (for whites) of whiteness that has enabled white Americans to stand as…the standard by which all other are judged (and found wanting).”[2]  But works such as Jonathan M. Metzl’s Dying of Whiteness, which looks at the relationship between being poor whites, pride, and deteriorating health among whites, tell us that we need new mathematical models which decompose race in a different way. In the same way, these models could never understand Daniel C. Thompson’s[3]  work, A Black Elite, which shows that for black students from black colleges “…overall success is indeed comparable to that of their white peers from much more affluent socio-economic backgrounds.”[4] Models such as Systematic Racism, which use a systems approach for modeling which is very difficult, do not allow liberty and freedom to breathe because there is no room for excellence.  This is the problem, for example, with the 1619 Project.
Because of misbehaving models, Doris Wilkson argues, from  a scientific point of view the term minority should be deleted from the academic literature, especially for blacks, because it has no history and has become a “catch all” for government defined white minorities.[5] There is no objection to the government creating a minority every year, but these minority groups, such as whites who are females or LGBT, should stand on their own unique history because blacks have no history with them, although there are blacks who are gay and blacks who are women. But the mathematics drop the white and say Women, LGBT, Transgender etc. and blacks. Blacks are just black, with no opportunity to be women or gay in these models. Certainly there is research that looks at interaction effects, for example LGBTxBlack. The research on white gay wealth is extensive and shows lots of liberty effects, at least for those who chose to “come out,” which means that the models are really behaving badly since the sampled universe is unknown. The model does pick up the relationship between whiteness and opportunity, and that is the important thing.[6] 
Segregation laws were enforced by race, not by sexual orientation, rural location, diversity, people of color, region, or the urban/rural divide. A black gay person had to go to the colored only facilities or was arrested, and that of course was also true for black women. And research has shown the possibility of sexual activity between black men and white women was the major reason for racial segregation.[7]  Because this is done, models behave badly because everyone is considered who are poor, rural etc. Thus the idea of any kind of racism becomes moot because there are no main effects or interactional effects to help us to untangle race, poverty, rural etc.   
We need models that behave well because there is a lumping effect. There is no place for black excellence or liberty effects. Means and standard deviations are interesting when models are applied that are destined to misbehave. I live in Hill County in Austin, and Michael Dell is right down Loop 360. His income is over 3 billion a year, which means that the average income in the community is….well, you know the point about the average being sensitive to extremes. There’s a model that would really misbehave.
[1] For a review of models that are not specified correctly see Emauel Derman (2001 ). Models Behaving Badly:  Why Confusing Illusion and Reality Can Lead to Disaster on Wall Street and Life. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Th e Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8SQ, United Kingdom
[2] Matt Wray and Annalee Newitz (1997). White Trash:  Race and Class in America (New York:  Routledge), p. 3.
[3] Daniel C. Thompson( (1986).  A Back Elite:  A Profile of Graduates of UNCF Colleges (London:  Greenwood Press), p. 30.  See also Erika Blackshere and Sean A. Valles (2021) “Poverty:  Reckoning with Class and Race in America.”
[4] Daniel C. Thompson( (1986).  A Back Elite:  A Profile of Graduates of UNCF Colleges (London:  Greenwood Press), p. 30.  See also Erika Blackshere and Sean A. Valles (2021) “Poverty:  Reckoning with Class and Race in America.”
[5] Doris Wilkerson (2002), “The Clinical Irrelevance and Scientific Invalidity of the “Minority” Notion:  Deleting it for the Social Science Vocabulary.”  Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare June Volume XXIX, Number 2.
[7] John Sibley Butler, J.M. Schmidtke, Bryan Stephens and Letisha Engracia Cardoso Brown (2022).  “Old Southern Codes in New Legal Bottles?  Sexual Harassment, Race, and Masculinity.  Race and Social Problems