"Most working- and middle-class white Americans don't feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience — as far as they're concerned, no one handed them anything. They built it from scratch...And in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear an African-American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they're told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time..."
BTSF in chronological order (most recent articles appear first):
- ► 2016 (85)
- ► 2015 (95)
- ► 2014 (107)
- ► 2013 (109)
- ► 2012 (136)
- Pointing the Blame
- Twitter Conversation about Privilege
- The Social Gospel Saved my Soul
- Affirmative Action (part 4)
- Affirmative Action (part 3)
- Affirmative Action (part 2)
- Affirmative Action (Part 1)
- Marcus Garvey
- "Basically good" and "I'm not a racist, but..."
- Welcome New Followers!
- White Savior Complex
- James Baldwin
- Free-trial loans on Kiva!
- ▼ August (13)
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Affirmative Action (Part 1)
In this series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4), we will examine concept of 'affirmative action'.
In discussions about "reverse discrimination" the conversation often quickly slides to the subject of affirmative action. Again, I defer to Dr. Tatum whose devotes an entire chapter to the subject, subtitled "I'm in favor of affirmative action except when it comes to my jobs." She notes that many white people wonder "Will I get the job I want or will it go to some 'minority'?" The implication being that the minority that got the job is inherently less qualified and only got it based on color.
Obama eloquently acknowledged fears of white people in his A More Perfect Union speech (oh man, what a speech!):
I get the fear. Without a doubt, particularly in this economy, it is scary to think that one might lose a job opportunity because of skin color. First, let me point out that this is the fear that black people have had to deal with ever since they were allowed to work for pay in this country. Not saying that it is right--just saying 'welcome to the club'.