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March 02, 2010


In addition to being unfamiliar with the film, Blow's statistics are . . . what's the right term in the field of statistics? . . . bogus. We learn that black college undergraduates aren't smoking crack very much, which proves pretty much nothing. We are shown a chart of admissions to public treatment facilities, itself not a very meaningful statistic, but learn that it includes in its 1996 results data for the District of Columbia but does not include data for D.C. in its 2005 results. Call me crazy, but I'd imagine that the omission of D.C. results has a big impact on the number of admissions shown for black crack smokers. And even this silly and flawed chart shows admissions for black crack users at roughly twice the number of white crack users, despite the fact that blacks constitute only about 12% of the population. The chart does suggest that the age profile of crack addicts trends older than it did in 1996. Does this support Blow's thesis that the image of the crack-addled black mother is "increasingly passé"? Not really.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the show?

Nitpicking Blow: He writes: A National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a report released last week, found that young black adults ages 18 to 25 years old were less likely to use illicit drugs than the national average. (For those doing the math, you’re right. Those are the children born during the crack epidemic.)

However, young black adults also had a low rate of admissions in 1994, as did young white adults in both surveys. So, the low rate of black cocaine admissions in 2005 is mostly due to age, rather than being born during the crack epidemic.

Incidentally, I understand that Blow objects to a negative portrayal of black women. However, to my taste, the mother being a monster was essential to the plot. It shows how difficult and impressive Precious's development was.

"Incidentally, I understand that Blow objects to negative portrayal of black women. However, to my taste, the mother being a monster was essential to the plot."

What the heck does the second sentence here have to do with the first? A negative portrayal of a black woman being "essential to the plot" is still a negative portrayal of a black woman, David.

daniel, I'll try to clarify. Blow's complaint seemed to imply that he would have preferred modifying the story to make the mother less monstrous. My point was, IMHO they had a choice of a negatively portrayed mother or a mediocre movie.

I'm unsure what your preference is, daniel. Today Native Americans are generally portrayed positively in movies. Would you agree? And, are you suggesting that you'd prefer a similar practice to apply to black characters?

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