Arizona Vindication

A few months ago, I did a short post using data from the FBI demonstrating that recent cries of “spiraling crime” to justify Arizona’s gestapo like immigration law were based on, well, nothing at all. It turns out that others have also gotten on the evidence train and written about the incredible divide between reality and fantasy in US cultural politics.

Center for American Progress has done a quick fact check on Jan Brewer’s outlandish (and false) claims. I can assume that a) Gov. Jan Brewer is a bigot of the first class variety, b) Gov. Brewer is dirtily playing election year politics or c) she’s a total moron. I’m going to vote for all three, but it’s clear that she obviously wants to repel as many new residents and tourists from Arizona as possible.

NPR did an interesting segment on how people tend to believe what they want to believe despite evidence to the contrary, particularly when it comes to political issues. This doesn’t surprise me at all but it’s a good read. As a data nerd, I find it discouraging, however, knowing that presenting evidence, particularly statistical evidence, is largely fruitless and often ignored. If people want to hate, they will.

About Pete Larson

Researcher at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Lecturer in the University of Michigan School of Public Health and at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I do epidemiology, public health, GIS, health disparities and environmental justice. I also do music and weird stuff.

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