Paul Kusuda’s column

Paul H. Kusuda

Persons who respond to those who ask about why the data reveal marked differential results between Whites and Non-
Whites often state that poverty is an element basic to the disparity, pointing out that poverty is a large problem affecting both
White, meaning White Non-Hispanic, and Non-Whites.  Further discussion about the question generally occurs without
considering that important element because definitive data are not currently available.  There are no data dividing White
Poverty from White Non-poverty.  Thus, despite acknowledgement that poverty is a factor that should be considered in
examining data depicting racial disparity, analysis is not possible absent a major factor.

Despite costs that will necessarily be involved, I suggest that efforts be made by city, county, and state staffs to add the
element of “poverty” to statistical analyses of issues relevant to elementary and secondary schools, arrest and detention
records, legal representation, conviction,  local detention, withheld sentences, use of bail and probation, state incarceration,
institution use of solitary confinement, parole.  In other words, whenever data are grouped by race and gender, the cate-
gory of White Non-Hispanic should be divided into White Non-Hispanic Poverty and White Non-Hispanic Non-Poverty.The
divisionbetweenWhite-HispanicandWhite Non-Hispanic is possible because since the 1960s Hispanic or Non-Hispanic
has become a separate category in addition to Race.

Elementary and secondary school data identify children whose families qualify to school-lunch programs.  That can be
used in establishing new categories of White Non-Hispanic Poverty and White Non-Hispanic Non-Poverty.  Other publicly-
collected data elements have available sufficient information to enable similar divisions to point up poverty’s impact on
actions reflecting social dysfunction. Obviously, data sets would become more complicated for analysis; however, through
use of statistical know-how, data compilations and presentations can be generated to enable better understanding of the
role played by the strong negative influence of poverty when reviewing racial minority disparity as related to many social
By Paul H. Kusuda

While attending community meetings to review statistical data highlighting disturbing
differential treatment of Blacks, Hispanics, “People of Color” compared with Whites, I noted
that many participants were convinced the former are treated differentially and negatively
because of prejudices long-embedded and often not recognized at a conscious level.  
Audience members observed or made statements that not enough is done to “educate”
Whites about topics such as (1) racism;(2) how racism affects those who are its victims;(3)
how “people of color” view those in authority; (4) how past historical experiences affect current
relationships with those in authority; (5) the element of high visibility as a factor in race
relations; (6) racism as a factor in employability; (7) housing discrimination; (8) how teachers
should relate to Non-White children; (9) how educators should handle discipline problems;
(10) grouping of children according to test-score results; and (11) how to handle “people of
color.”   (I enclose in quotation marks the words “people of color” because often that term is
substituted for African Americans or Blacks instead of Non-White.)
Computers can be used to help
us understand what needs to be
done to plan, develop, and carry
out public and other programs to
reduce the terrible disparity  
disclosed so graphically in the
recent past, conditions of which
many were long aware but unable
to find handles for the public in
general to grasp and seek
possible solutions.  So, will the
needed data be made available
by statisticians, sociologists,
social researchers,  and others to
enable sufficient attention to the
long-standing social conditions
that so many of us abhor?