Help Me Out Here

I was just reading this report about the progress North Carolina has made toward representational racial equality. (It's a slow day at work.) The report is pretty rosy—which is good if true—but it's real, real short on causes. That is, it offers a lot of data, but doesn't do much looking into why the data trends the way it does. (I was doing some skimming; please correct me if I missed something.)

The report is by the American Enterprise Institute. I have a hard time keeping my think tanks straight, and I don't ever assume that their names say much about their missions. So looking up AEI I find that they're "an extremely influential, pro-business right-wing think tank" that "promotes the advancement of free enterprise capitalism" and "is the center base for many neo-conservatives."

So here's my question: what is the motivation for a free-market group to sell the successes of minority voter-registration and participation? Knowing that would help me know how to read the report.


Without reading the report . . .

I know from LOTS of experience with right wing stink tanks: they look at the world through hand painted glasses. Take, for example, John Hood's creepy missive on how the poor aren't really poor. When you have a vested interest in everying being just fine, well, you just pay a big wingnut brand (AEI is the biggest) and get them to say, "everything is just fine." You cook your measures to measure what you've already decided and then declare success. I'm guessing wingers want evidence of representational racial equality so they can dismantle the voting rights act and get down to more serious gerry-mandering.

As I said, I haven't read the report and wouldn't have the stomach for it anyway. But I know AEI and their motivations. They are very good at what they do: lie with statistics to pursue their agenda.