Structural racism and anti-racism: Chatham citizens want to see statistics

By Douglas Sedlak

Pittsboro, NC – Hi, Zachary Horner. Thanks for presenting the Chatham County Board of Health sentiments on structural racism, and anti-racism.

senior man discussing business strategy with new young african american female employee in office
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

As the formal County spokesperson for the Board you say, “It is an irrefutable fact that race and socio-economic status have innumerable influences on health outcomes. This is evident in a multitude of statistics in Chatham County, and throughout the State, including, but not limited to, the disproportionally high COVID-19 case percentage of Chatham County Latino community members, the decreased life expectancy of African American men, and the suboptimal birth outcomes of African American women.”

Given “innumerable influences” making these statements “irrefutable fact” then you have in hand the “multitude of statistics” proving this. Right?

Citizens of Chatham County are your employer. We demand to see these statistics.

Being anti-racist you are aware that below BIPOC means Black, Indigenous, People of Color. Being inclusive it means Asians of Color too, County citizens with ethnic roots to China, India, and so on. It excludes whites. I state this for the benefit of possible non-antiracist readers unaware of the term BIPOC. (For the record, I am vehemently anti-racist).

For Chatham County ONLY, please present statistically valid measures proving:

  • Race and socio-economic status cause disproportionally high COVID-19 case percentages across ALL Chatham County BIPOC citizens.
  • Race and socio-economic status cause decreased life expectancy of men, women, and transgender Chatham County BIPOC citizens.
  • Race and socio-economic status cause “suboptimal” birth outcomes of BIPOC women and transgender child bearers.

Keep in mind some County citizens are trained statisticians. Indeed, some are or were employed at SAS Institute, a world leader in statistics and statistical methods. As a very elementary example, mixing county and state statistics would be a fundamental flaw. At this time please present ONLY County numbers/stats, and do not mix in State of North Carolina numbers/stats. All numbers must bear up to scrutiny of valid statistical analysis. Other topics like proper data collection/cleansing can be addressed later if needed.

If you cannot prove what you as the formal spokesperson for the Board stated are “irrefutable facts”, then recant them. Recanting involves not just messaging from you, but an apology from the Board too, as you are their formal spokesperson. In political parlance, “the Board approved this message” before you transmitted it.

To reiterate, Chatham county citizens expect you and the Board to renounce your Structural Racism and Antiracism sentiments, if indeed they are sentiments: opinions not fully grounded by clean data and valid statistical methods and analysis.