A brilliant examination of the value of Affirmative Action (AA) for ethnic minorities in racist cultures likes the United States (contrasted with the de facto AA for Whites). The author, Tim WISE, talks in detail about racism today (2005) set against the context of the historical events that made the USA what it is today. In such a society, de facto AA is customary for Whites while de jure AA is frowned upon for Blacks, in all areas of life such as jobs, housing & education. Yet, 80% of US Whites today claim racism is no longer an issue. They thus believe they can then claim AA is "reverse discrimination" against Whites without presenting evidence for this; implicitly asserting the absurdity that no White receives a benefit from racism.
Yet no White claiming to believe in so called reverse discrimination ever sends their children to schools in Black neighborhoods where, they claim, Black kids are getting advantages denied Whites. They know perfectly well that such advantages do not exist because institutional racism always trumps AA; making it less useful than it could be in minimizing racial discrimination. Thus, the very Whites complaining about any kind of AA are the primary beneficiaries of it!
The only means of justifying racism is to become overtly racist – in the absence of scientific data to prove anyone's genetic inferiority – otherwise the system of racial discrimination collapses when this simple biological fact is pointed out. It is necessary to make the intended victims of racism fear racists in order to exploit them otherwise the intended victims are unlikely to just accept second class citizen status. This is why racist behavior always comes before attempts to justify it – retrospectively; thus proving it has no basis in biology.
WISE makes more telling observations.
Data suggests US Whites are becoming more overtly racist as their unearned race privileges are eroded through being exposed for what they are – de facto apartheid.
Norm referenced standardized testing (Whites being the norm) guarantees educational inequity, presently, in the US. Moreover, "ability tracking" blatantly favors Whites since low tracked students are never taught how to rise above the remedial classes into which they are dumped. They have been placed there because it is believed they cannot – and never will - rise above the stereotyped (& stereotyping) race thinking of Whites. The allegation that Whites are superior and that Blacks are the cause of their own problems is a self fulfilling prophecy.
Hardly surprising then that 26% of US high school science teachers believe Blacks inferior to Whites despite the lack of scientific evidence to support such a view. And that White teachers punish Black students three times more than their White counterparts despite the lack of evidence that Blacks are any more disruptive.
The entire purpose of such racism is to claim the problem of racism has nothing to do with Whites. This basic White denial of the existence of their own racism is simply more of the same racism and also serves to conceal class and gender hostilities and, thereby, provide Whites with false unity.
WISE's book concludes that Whites decry AA for Blacks because they want to entrench unearned White racial privilege by exploiting pre existing racial resentment among Whites toward Black advancement. And is nothing less than an attempt to reap the benefits of US White Supremacy in perpetuity. What this book does not do is analyze why Whites would want a racist polity in the first place and why They are prepared to go on living with the inevitable race guilt it inspires. However, that would be a subject for a different, more psychologically oriented, book.
Article copyright © 2009 Frank TALKER. Permission granted to reproduce and distribute it in any format; provided that mention of the author’s Weblog (http://franktalker.blogspot.com/) is included: E-mail notification requested. All other rights reserved. Frank TALKER is also the author of Sweaty Socks: A Treatise on the Inevitability of Toe Jam in Hot Weather (East Cheam Press: Groper Books, 1997) and is University of Bullshit Professor Emeritus of Madeupology.