jeffaustinlaw | Indy Week

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Re: “Why climate change is more perilous to our national security than Syrian refugees

This column is not the first time Indy Week has left me disappointed with its lazy depictions of Africa. The column describes sub-Saharan Africa, along with several other regions of the world, as a place of wrenching poverty, civil wars, criminal gangs, terrorism, and despotic governments on the verge of collapse. For those who bother to look, the most interesting stories playing out today on this dynamic continent reveal how fast it is growing despite some very real and deep challenges. And to say that Islam is the predominant religion of Saharan and sub-Saharan Africa paints a diverse continent with a brush so wide as to be outright misleading. Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Pew Research Center on Religion & Public Life, contains nearly twice as many Christians as Muslims. Indy Week may choose to continue with its lazy and hurtful stereotypes of Africa, but it ought at least try to get its facts straight.

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Posted by jeffaustinlaw on 12/01/2015 at 8:50 PM

Re: “Engaging Raleigh's African immigrants


Posted by jeffaustinlaw on 09/22/2014 at 8:41 AM

Re: “Engaging Raleigh's African immigrants

I am happy to see news coverage of this topic, but these numbers raise a lot of questions. At the top of the list is why “African” is listed as if it were a nationality alongside Zimbabwean and Ugandan. Who are these 11,697 people? They are not sub-Saharan Africans from non-listed countries, because there is an “other” category for that. They are not non-sub-Saharan Africans, because subtracting 16,326 from 55,982 suggests there are 39,656 of them. (And if there really are so many more north Africans than sub-Saharan Africans, then isn’t that the story?) My east African friends find it hard to believe there is not a single Ugandan or Sudanese in Raleigh, but assuming there are none, why list these zero counties instead of splitting out some of the countries that make up the “other” category? Finally, the data is from 2012 but the map does not reflect the independence South Sudan gained in 2011.

I am genuinely interested in better understanding this topic, so I tried to find the raw data from the American Community Survey but was not able to. I would welcome a point in the right direction.

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Posted by jeffaustinlaw on 09/19/2014 at 4:18 PM

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