Re: Is white racism nec. all bad?

Travis C. Porco (porco@pathos.Berkeley.EDU)
7 Apr 1995 19:41:11 GMT

In article <3m3u0o$>,
John Otteson <> wrote:
>In article <3m2g61$>, porco@pathos.Berkeley.EDU (Travis C. Porco) writes:

>|> Of course whites gain by eliminating quotas (which is
>|> probably true), and that they have a selfish interest in
>|> eliminating them (which is also true); nevertheless quotas are
>|> discrimination. The civil rights laws were not supposed to
>|> lead to quotas, and they were meant as short term stopgaps.
>|> Many members of minority groups can earn respect through hard
>|> work and actual accomplishment. They don't need quotas and
>|> they certainly don't need sympathy from a little guy like me.
>I didn't realize we were talking about quotas. My point is that
>there are advantages to whiteness in our culture; advantages that
>white people are often oblivious to. You simply cannot have 400
>years of systematic oppression of blacks by whites, without there
>being *some* benefits to white people. There have also been
>severe penalties put on Blacks; penalties they continue to fight
>to get out from under. Penalties that whites would deign


Certainly there have been severe penalties. A rule that says
Blacks cannot vote or are condemned to a life of slavery is a
severe penalty. No one in their right mind deems this
"irrelevant". And I don't know of anyone who would say, "Even
though this brilliant neurosurgeon of proven ability is Black,
still we won't hire them simply because they are Black," or
"It's true that this brilliant analysis should be published
and would make a significant contribution to the literature,
but unfortunately the author is Black." This sort of thing is
long dead.

In the South this kind of thing was a last legacy in many ways
of an older,
European form of aristocratic thinking. It really is alien to
the American character, and it just isn't a big force.

What we have now is subtle aftereffects. Sure there is some
discrimination, but more important, the society is open to the
advancement of anyone in any race. The obstacles facing
Blacks today are surely less than those which faced everyone
say 50 years ago, in the era before student loans and so on.

And by always saying, "Ah, Blacks can never achieve true
recognition in a racist society; the tragic history of their
race inexorably must frustrate all their designs," the
liberals help perpetuate the problem. This belief itself is
crippling to the soul. Never forget history, but don't live
in the past either; less time on politics (and sports and
entertainment), and more on math, physics, engineering.