84% white, 8% black, according to Wikipedia. Sounds pretty white to me.
Sounds pretty white to you if you, like the Economist, don't bother putting it in context. Maybe that sentence up there was too confusing? Let's break it down:
• Twenty-one states are whiter than Massachusetts.
• Twenty-four states are less black than Massachusetts.
In other words, Massachusetts' level of whiteness is: pretty much average, for a state. Middle of the pack. Unremarkable.
Or actually fairly low for a state that wasn't a slave state. The three whitest states in America all border Massachusetts, in fact.
Not exactly, if you're going by the linked chart. Twenty-four states are less black than MA, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're "whiter." NH has a 1.2% black population. NH is white as fuck, but comes in 44th. Montana has the lowest black population percentage, but isn't as white as NH, probably because NH doesn't have much of a Native American population.
Use the second link in the sentence, which leads to the Census figures for white population.
Haha, I'm a dipshit. Sorry. I didn't see that the two links in that sentence were different (05 and 06 at the end).
Oh, and because I'm a pedantic asshole, Maine doesn't border MA, but they used to be the same state.
Correct on both counts. My bad. And I've driven from MA to ME multiple times.
The 18 miles of NH in between is hardly noticeable. I understand the mistake.
Regarding race relations in Maine: there's a significant Somali population in Portland. I have a family member who is a cop there, and he likened the sensitivity training to "Diversity Day" from season one of The Office. "If you see two or more black people together, make sure to check it out. There aren't a lot of black people here, so they're up to no good," or something to that effect. Also, this family member is not all white (neither am I), so I like to piss him off by asking how it feels to hold himself down now that he's the man.
For as white as northern New England is, we never experienced racism growing up. We definitely grew up with white privilege.
Pretty condescending for someone who's misusing statistics to make a point. Your fallacy is to assume that the average American state isn't lily-white. In fact, only 12% of the population of the entire country is black, and there are a handful of states with a very high percentage of black population. It doesn't matter that Mass. is average for the country—and in fact it's significantly below the mean black population, if not the median—since the country, on average, is actually pretty white.
By your logic, if Alberta, say, were the fifth whitest province in Canada, it would be wrong to call it a particularly white place. But it is, since the whole country is.
It would be meaningless to call Alberta a lily-white Canadian province if there aren't any non-lily-white provinces in the mix at all for comparision. It's a relative term.
There are states in New England that are more than 95 percent white. In that context, a state that's only 84 percent white does not count as lily-white.
Or coming at it the other way, when there are states whose percentage of black population is less than 10 percent of the national mean, it doesn't make sense to refer to a state that has 55 percent of the mean as lily-white.
(Of course, the more telling stupidity of the Economist is its apparent expectation that the electability of black candidates would rise in proportion to the state's black population anyway. When in fact the states with the greatest percentage of black residents are the former slave states, which erected the strongest barriers to black political participation. It would be much more remarkable, as a feat of racial progress, for Mississippi—which is 37 percent black—to elect a black governor than for Massachusetts to elect one. )
Basically we are just disagreeing over whether lily-whiteness is relative or absolute here.
See, this is why I think we should institute a licensing program as to who gets to talk about race. Why did the Economist even think it had something to contribute? Go back to rationalizing about how structural adjustment programs actually lift people out of poverty.
Also, in the series 24, starring Kiefer Sutherland, the president was black.
"White bias against non-white candidates is hard to detect."