'Cold Sweat' Wrong!

RECEIVED Sat., June 14, 2014

Dear Editor,
    Two mysteries appear in the article “Cold Sweat,” [Music, June 13]: 1) Why the nostalgia for segregation in the bar scene? I hate segregation whether it occurs by public policy, organizational activity, or market force. I decline to identify my race, even in the census (with difficulty). Race needs to become an unimportant incidental in life. 2) Why do the authors of the report cited in the article (from Eric Tang and Chunhui Ren, titled “Outlier: The Case of Austin’s Declining African-American Population”) think that Austin's black population is declining, where did they come up with 2010 data cited in the article, and why has no one who has cited or reported on it done the simplest data checking to determine that the report is apparently based on statistical error? The report, which I have now read and fact-checked, states that the African-American population in Austin in 2010 was 60,760. The census states the number of persons who reported themselves as black was only 64,406, which is a small increase, not the decline that is overlying feature of the report and which is cited in “Cold Sweat.” The Tang/Ren report does not mention the difference between their number and the 2010 official census data, nor does it address persons who may have reported themselves as black in combination with another race, although, as obvious from persons such as Barack Obama and Halle Berry, persons who acknowledge themselves as multiracial often identify primarily as black. The 2010 census reports that the total number of persons in Austin who are listed as Black or African-American alone or in combination with one or more races is 71,130. No disappearing African-Americans in Austin! I was an urban professional whose work included a lot of intense census number crunching for over 25 years, and I have seen high-ranking academics make serious mistakes before but this one was really easy to catch and no one bothered.
Robert Allen
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