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The best reporting on social science statistics, like the best reporting in most areas, comes from The Onion: What do you think of this? And that standard of whiteness not only erases the experience of people of color; it reflects the actual exclusion of these people in poly life and communities.

But it seems to eventually settle on a thesis that black people really are strongly underrepresented. For the record, here is a small sample of other communities where black people are strongly underrepresented: Occupy Wall Street protesters unknown but low, one source says 1. Environmentalists various but universally low. Wikipedia contributors unknown but low. Yoga enthusiasts unknown but low.

Can you see what all of these groups have in common? But what I noticed when I looked up those numbers was that in every case, the people involved have come up with a pat explanation that sounds perfectly plausible right up until you compare it to any other group, at which point it bursts into flames. For example, Some people explain try to explain declining black interest in baseball by appeal to how some baseball personality made some horribly racist remark.

But Donald Sterling continues to be racist as heck, and black people continue to be more than three-quarters of basketball players. But blacks are also underrepresented in groups with precisely the opposite politics. That they make up only 1. Blacks are more likely to endorse environmentalism than whites, but less likely to be involved in the environmentalist movement.

I would guess most of the underrepresentation of black people in all of these things are for the same couple of reasons. For example, bird-watching requires you live somewhere suburban or rural where there are interesting birds, want to waste money on binoculars, and have some free time.

Swimming requires you live in an area where the schools or at least the neighborhoods have pools. Third, the thrive-survive dichotomy says materially insecure people are going to value community and conformity more.

Many of these things require leaving the general community to participate in a weird insular subculture, and that requires a sort of lack of preexisting community bonds that I think only comes with the upper middle class.

Being a black person probably already exposes you to enough stigma, without becoming a furry as well. Fifth, we already know that neighborhoods and churches tend to end up mostly monoracial through a complicated process of aggregating small acts of self-segregation based on slight preferences not to be completely surrounded by people of a different race. Sixth, even when black people are involved in weird subcultures, they may do them separately from white people, leading white people to think their hobby is almost all white and leading mostly white academics to miss them in their studies.

I once heard about a professor who accused Alcoholics Anonymous of being racist, on the grounds that its membership was almost entirely white. The white professor had surveyed AA groups in his white neighborhood and asked his white friends and white grad students to do the same.

Meanwhile, when more sober minds no pun intended investigated, they found black areas had thriving majority-black AA communities. Seventh, a lot of groups are stratified by education level.

This matters a lot in areas like atheism that are disproportionately limited to the most educated individuals. There has to be a strong education filter on polyamory to produce those kinds of numbers, and I think that alone is big enough to explain most of the black underrepresentation.

Eighth, people of the same social class tend to cluster, and black people are disproportionately underrepresented among the upper middle class. Most of these fields are dominated by upper middle class people. Commenter John Schilling says this better than I a lot of these groups are about differentiating yourself from a presumedly boring low-status middle class existence, but black people fought hard to get into the middle class, or are still fighting, and are less excited about differentiating themselves from it.

The eight points above add up to a likelihood that black people will probably be underrepresented in a lot of weird subculturey nonconformist things. This is not a firm law black people will be overrepresented in a few weird subculturey nonconformist things that are an especially good fit for their culture but overall I think the rule holds. A few paragraphs back I mentioned that Occupy Wall Street was had disproportionately few minorities. Here are some other people who like to mention this: View From The Right.

In theocracies ruled by the will of God, people will find that God hates weird people who refuse to conform. In philosopher-kingdoms ruled by pure reason, people will find that pure reason condemns weird people who refuse to conform.


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