Mr. Sullivan links to a George Borjas posting about an economics study, the abstract of which tells us that blacks and Hispanics spend more on bling than "comparable" whites, whatever that means - were the ancestors of these white folks brought over as slaves and subjected to something like the Jim Crow laws until the 1960's?
Prof. Althouse denounces the whole enterprise as looking "like racism -- really old-fashioned racism" and adds this in her comments:
I just don't think it is very appropriate to point to a study that appears to confirm very old and offensive racial stereotypes and to say almost nothing but put up some jokey video clip. I really don't care about the British subgroup represented here or what black stereotypes they like to imitate. He's [Sullivan] put up a post that seems gleeful about what has long been an offensive stereotype.
Well. Kerwin Charles, one of the authors of this hateful study, is himself black, so maybe it is not quite so hateful.
For myself, I thought that a point of emphasizing racial diversity in, for example, college recruiting was to celebrate cultural differences. Is that a sham, or do we expect that there are in fact some cultural (NOTE - I'm not saying genetic!) differences amongst races?
And if there really are cultural differences, do we really expect each and every one of them to reflect well on each race as viewed through the eyes of another? Or might there be moments when a cultural difference to which one group might object can be documented?
And a final rhetorical question - what does Prof. Althouse have against bling? Maybe white folk are under-spending on conspicuous consumption, or spending on different types of conspicuous consumption, or spending on something inconspicuous but otherwise detrimental to their well-being. Is there some objective measure by which she has been able to determine that "comparable" whites were spending an amount on bling that was closer to optimum, or is she simply projecting her own cultural pre-dospositions onto this data? (Hmm, was that one question?)
MORE: Her commenters draw a distinction between "racist" and racialist", which seems right. OK, it seems obvious.