In economics and the study of statistics we are taught to becareful of comparing statistics based upon gap analysis only.

So for example, if I am watching two runners, and I observe that the fastest runner is 2 seconds ahead, that is gap analysis. I may say look, he is 2 seconds faster than the other guy, and yesterday he was only one second faster, that other guy must really have slowed down.

However the problem with this form of analysis is that we don't know what happened to the slower guy unless we know what he started from the day before. For example, maybe he actually ran 1 second faster himself the than he did yesterday but the other guy who won may have run that much faster.

As it relates to this concept of oppression. To me there are two perspectives on oppression, the gap analaysis version, and the philosophical ideal version.

The gap analysis version goes lack this:

Blacks are X amount behind whites, and therefore blacks are being oppressed because blacks should be the statistical equivalent of whites in these categories. In fact, this is how traditional reporting is done in the media.

The philosophical ideal version goes like this:

There is an ideal condition of freedom, the ability to create self-identity and the ability to move and interact freely (or something like that). If this ideal is reflected it does not necessarily mean that there will be statistical equality. If statistical equality occurs it doesn't necessarily mean we have met the philosophical ideal.

Oppression Ideas:

One is a statistical measurement, the other is a philosophical ideal.

Which idea do you think we should focus on in our fight against oppression?

Original Post