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The Cause of All Discrimination? Me.

One man makes a shocking confession.

William M. Briggs


April 3, 2011 - 12:00 am
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So I called Anderson. He claims that the last time he discriminated was in August of 1973, after being cheated at a gas pump in Albuquerque, New Mexico (he asserted an aberrant association of the attendant and his ancestor).

Peterson, I learned, has been missing for at least the last year. His mail piles up. Neighbors say no lights have been seen in his house.

That leaves me. I am male, white, Christian, happily in the top 10% of earners, middle-aged, undriven by uncommon desires, sound in limb, conservative, and ludicrously educated (I have a PhD!). Since everybody else cannot possibly discriminate by reason of membership in at least one victim’s group, I must be responsible for all the ills of discrimination.

I beg your pardon. And I promise to behave better in the future.

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William M. Briggs is a statistical consultant in New York and San Francisco. He is an American Meteorological Society member and serves on their Probability & Statistics Committee. His specialty is on the philosophy of evidence, forecast evaluation, and marketing.
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