Take this boiler plate article by Yvonne Roberts about racism and the underachievement of black boys. Wonder whether anything she says should be listened to. Note the following:
Black youth has only one image in the media and MTV and its clones, and it's a bad one: sexually overt; rapacious; materialistic; neanderthal man dripping in gold. In fact, one in four black teenagers achieves five or more GCSEs.
Keep on reading. Note the next bit three paragraphs down.
The flip side of the GCSE figure is, of course, the poor educational achievement of many black boys. In 2002, according to the Department for Education and Skills, only 21.9% received five or more GCSEs; almost 80% left school with next to nothing.
Marvel at how, in the space of three paragraphs one in four has become one in five, dependant only at the polemical point Roberts is trying to make.
Look wearily at the headline:
Calls for new role models for black boys let the white establishment off the hook
See how it argues that black children don't require black 'role models'. Flick down the article:
Failure breeds failure. In Lambeth and Southwark, for instance, where there are black pupil populations of up to 50%, fewer than 25% of teachers are black
See how it argues that black children do require black role models. Sigh.