Affirmative Action for Whites
Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2003
by Ravi Grover
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"Far more whites have entered the gates of the 10 most elite institutions through 'alumni preference' than the combined numbers of all the Blacks and Chicanos entering through affirmative action."
- S.F. Examiner, April 1995
"We must understand the cynicism that exists in the Black community. The kind of cynicism that is created when, for example, some in our party miss no opportunity to roundly and loudly condemn affirmative action that helped few thousand Black kids get an education, but you hardly heard a whimper from them over affirmative action for lobbyists who load our federal tax codes with preferences for special interests."
- Colin Powell at the 2000 Republican National Convention
One of many stops during Bush's 2000 campaign for the Presidency was Bob Jones University, an ill-famed school which refused to allow the entry of Black students up until 1971. Soon after admitting Blacks measures were taken in 1975 to make sure that such people didn't intermingle with whites. The school set a ban on interracial dating, citing a Biblical story which talks of God creating barriers between different peoples. During his campaign Bush didn't blink an eye or lodge any sort of moral protest against Bob Jones University. But he sure did speak passionately a few weeks after Senator Trent Lott's resignation over Affirmative Action at the University of Michigan.
To me, George Bush is symbolic of America and business as usual. Here we have a completely unintelligent and unqualified white guy who made bad grades both in high school and in college yet is somehow in a high leadership position with the support of a significant number people white and non-white. For whatever reason these people deliberately overlook his stupidity and lack of competency. His career title 'leader of the free world' requires knowledge of the international community and global affairs; yet he makes blatantly ignorant statements like "Africa is a nation that suffers from great disease" and "unrest in the Middle East causes unrest through out the region." He got into Yale not because of his intelligence (because he's obviously lacking that), but because 30% of admissions in Ivy League schools are reserved specifically for children of alumni, regardless of academic achievement. Why is it opponents of Affirmative Action never seem to criticize the discriminatory policy of legacy admissions? And no surprise that historically alumni at these schools have been majority white males, so it would then make sense that the incoming 30% will also be majority white. Bush also experimented with cocaine in his past yet avoided going to jail (and moral judgment from white America). Yet another fine example of Affirmative Action for whites: even though the majority of drug users in America are white and Blacks make up a mere 13% of drug users, somehow Blacks are 74% of the people imprisoned for possession of drugs.
Bush is also a staunch supporter of the War on Drugs as are many white parents - so long as white kids who are caught are filling up rehab clinics and not jail cells. And here is the most important aspect of Bush that resembles the structure of America: the guy goes on vacation every other week and does very little work.
Who's doing his work for him? An administration full of both men and women of color who have had to prove their intelligence (Condoleeza Rice went to Stanford and Colin Powell went to West Point) by working twice as hard as their fellow whites, who have had to struggle to get to the top instead of having power handed over to them on a silver platter, and who are in that cabinet specifically because of Affirmative Action. Yet even though it's people of color who are doing all the work behind the scenes, the under-worked, unqualified, and unintelligent white guy is praised by his supporters as exhibiting great leadership. Not to mention many people deliberately overlook the fact that maybe the idiot shouldn't be in charge.
You can see this pattern reflected in American businesses. In the agriculture industry the majority of labor is done by Latino workers who are sweating 10 hours a day in 100 degree southwest weather. Yet almost all of these companies are owned and managed by white guys. In the Information Technology, medical, and science industries a large number of the employees are Asians with Ph.D?s and Master Degrees. Again, most hospitals and computer companies are run and managed by less educated and less experienced white guys. In the sports industry where the majority of the athletes are Black virtually all teams and merchandising companies are run and owned by white guys. You look at the garment business, most of the workers are immigrant women of color, and again who runs and manages these companies? White people.
Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of qualified and hard working whites deserving of their jobs and college admissions. But if America's businesses and its education system show us anything it's that time and time again, unqualified white males are being promoted and accepted over qualified, educated, hard working people of color and white women.
Which brings me to these two questions: does Bush, a man who's received hand-outs his whole life and is on vacation half the year while getting paid a high salary, have the right to talk about discrimination? Do whites like to 'play the race card' to ensure access to opportunities? Here are some facts showing that they do:
- The Glass Ceiling Commission, headed by Republican Elizabeth Dole, reported in 1995 that even though many minority (particularly Asian) workers had higher levels of education and better work credentials than their white counterparts, lesser qualified white males were still being promoted over them. 97% of the sr. managers of the Fortune 1000 Industrial and Fortune 500 companies are white, and 95%+ are male while 57% of the work force are people of color, women, or both. Of the 5% of managers that are women, 5% of that are women of color! When polled at the workplace the majority of white workers stated that they'd rather answer to a white male boss (even if he's got the vocabulary of a 4 year old like George Bush??) over a person of color.
- In the state of Washington Blacks only make up a little over 3.8% of the college student population. This means that for every 100 students (who are majority white in Washington) only 4 students are Black. White residents felt so threatened by this ridiculously tiny FOUR PERCENT that they passed a state ballot initiative to get rid of Affirmative Action from state universities and colleges. I wonder who white parents scapegoat now when their kids don't get into college?
- Even though Canadians make up the 4th largest illegal immigrant population in the US, Irish are the 1st largest illegal population in New England, and Italians are the 2nd largest illegal population in NYC, over 95% of people stopped and/or imprisoned by the INS are people of color. The majority of Border Patrol activity occurring at the US-Mexico border. According to www.ins.gov, Mexicans only make up 30% of undocumented aliens in the US, yet are targeted the most by law enforcement. The New York Times reported that of 37 work raids conducted by the INS use of Spanish by workers was criteria for investigating people believed to be illegal.
- According to a 1997 USDA report several southeastern states took 3 times as long to grant loans to Black farmers as it did to white farmers. In 1992 94% of the committees that granted loans had no minority or females employed.
- A study by the Leadership Council on Civil Rights reported that Black youth who've committed a violent crime are 9 times more likely to be sent to prison than white youth who've committed the exact same crime.
- The Department of Justice reports that white college students are the overwhelming majority of drug users and underage drinkers in the USA. Yet Black motorists in NJ are 9 times more likely to be pulled over by cops and have their cars searched for drugs. A Boston Globe investigation found that in Massachusetts Blacks are twice as likely as whites to have their cars searched when stopped by the police. In St. Louis, IL Latinos are 1% of the population yet 40% more likely to be pulled over by cops than whites.
- Even though suburban whites consume the most resources and produce the majority of waste in America (and in the world) a United Church of Christ report found that 3 out of 5 of the largest commercial landfills garbage dumps are in Black and Latino neighborhoods. 60% of Black & Latino and 50% of Asian American & Native American neighborhoods have uncontrolled toxic sites.
- The University of Chicago and MIT studies showed that resumes with Black-sounding names were 50% more likely to be passed up then resumes with white sounding names (ironically I saw this same news story reported the same day Bush came out against Affirmative Action)
- The Fair Employment Council of Greater Washington reported that Blacks are twice as likely to be denied mortgages as whites who are making the same income and have the same qualifications
- According to an Equal Pay Day study, women earn 89 cents for every $1 earned by a man, even when women are working the same job and have the same experience
- Blacks earn 80% of whites with the same education level The President of the University of Michigan (who's a white male) has come out in support of Affirmative Action. You would think that he would be against such a policy if his school is being overrun by stupid, unintelligent minorities, right? But this isn't the case. What's also not mentioned about the white woman who is suing U of M is that white students who had lower GPA's and aptitude test scores were admitted into the school over her. So where's the lawsuit for that? Sometimes it seems like some whites have no problem looking the other way when it comes to the stupidity of other whites but get easily infuriated over the presence of imaginary 'unqualified' people of color.
It's worth noting that when I (or anyone else) write about the existence of institutional bigotry we have to present as many facts as possible just to prove our damn point to all the skeptical whites. But when whites talk about being denied jobs or not getting admitted into a school because of 'reverse' discrimination we're just supposed to automatically take their word for it even thought they have no facts to back up their claims. Why is it we never see Labor studies conducted on how large numbers of whites are unemployed because immigrants have 'stolen' their jobs? Why is it rich whites aren't funding research to publish statistics on the large number of whites across America denied education because of Affirmative Action? Why is it through the media we don't ever hear of the wide spread impact that institutional 'reverse' discrimination has on white America? Why aren't American businesses and corporations coming out against Affirmative Action by showing that all these incompetent minorities and women are bringing them down and making them lose profits? Why isn't the US military, one of the largest proponents of Affirmative Action in America speaking out against such a policy? Where is the proof that universities are admitting brainless people of color into their schools who are dumbing down the quality of education at such institutions?
If there was proof of such discrimination going on we'd see studies conducted and analytical reports issued by both government and private organizations trying to expose the suffering of whites. Instead we listen to a lot of empty rhetoric on 'reverse' discrimination (which is really insulting because it implies that it's natural to discriminate against women and people of color) . There are clearly more whites in this country with most of America's wealth concentrated in this population. Surely they can finance and produce such a study to back up their claims of this supposed rampant unfairness they are encountering. But they don't and they can't.
Why? Because there simply is no proof.
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