Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Conservative columnist explains away anti-gay lie with ANOTHER lie

Walter Williams
I am not that familiar with Walter Williams. I only know that he is in a cadre of "black conservatives" who do nothing but appear on television or write pieces serving as "beards" for white racism. And this allows them to collect fat paychecks from white-led think tank groups as sort of a wingnut welfare program.

But hey, I'n not "mad" at these folks. People do what they can to get paid. However, when folks like Williams repeat distortions about the lgbt community, that's when I bristle and get angry. Recently Williams wrote a piece, Things I Don't Understand. It is a bizarre, ramble about several things, including the following:

According to the International Journal of Epidemiology, life expectancy at age 20 for homosexual and bisexual men is eight to 20 years less than for all men. That's a lifestyle shortening of life expectancy greater than obesity and tobacco use. Yet one never hears of insurance companies advertising lower premiums for heterosexual men. You say, "That would be discrimination." You're right, but why is it acceptable for insurance companies to discriminate against smokers and the obese but not homosexuals? After all, they are all Americans and protected by the Constitution. It's really a matter of politics, as seen by the journal's publication of an article titled "Gay life expectancy revisited" (http://tinyurl.com/25ejq2d). The publication had to soft-pedal its study results because of complaints that pointing out life expectancy differences between heterosexuals and homosexuals had become fuel for homophobia. The bottom line is that homosexuals have far greater political power and sympathy than smokers and the obese.

Williams is wrong on several accounts with that paragraph. He claims that the journal backpedaled its claim about gay men having short lifespans because it was "forced" by politics to soft pedal.

First of all, study in question was done by six researchers - Robert S Hogg, Steffanie A Strathdee, Kevin JP Craib, Michael V O'shaughnessy, Julio Montaner, and Martin T Schechter - who published their findings in the International Journal of Epidemiology in 1997.

In 2001, they were the ones who complained when they discovered that their work was being distorted by anti-gay groups to falsely accuse homosexuality of being a "dangerous lifestyle."

In their letter, published by the International Journal of Epidemiology, they said the following:

It is essential to note that the life expectancy of any population is a descriptive and not a prescriptive measure. Death is a product of the way a person lives and what physical and environmental hazards he or she faces everyday. It cannot be attributed solely to their sexual orientation or any other ethnic or social factor.

And there was no political pressure involved in getting these researchers to write the 2001 letter.  However, the fact that Williams makes that accusation (and without any proof) is a bothersome development. It demonstrates that he knew that the claim he was making about the supposed gay life span was wrong but he chose to make it anyway and then explain it away with another lie.

Perhaps Williams doesn't understand certain things like basic integrity and honesty.

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