Re: Is white racism nec. all bad?

Donald Edwards (
15 Apr 1995 22:11:02 -0700

Don Pajerek ( wrote:
"In article <3mhcmr$>, (John Otteson)

">I really don't understand you. I agree that whites are mostly oblivious to
">the advantages of being white. So what?!?! That certainly does not make
">the advantages irrelevent.

"It does when you're trying to convince a white person that he has to
"give up his job in favor of a black person, not because the black person
"is more qualified, but because he is black and therefore 'disadvantaged'.
"In order to convince a white person of the justice of AA, he must accept
"that he has been the beneficiary of unjust advantage, and whites don't
"and won't accept this.

I'll go further than that.

Most whites are willing to listen to claims that they have been
given unjust *rewards*... if someone tried to pay all their white
workers $1000 a week and all their black workers $100 a week for
the same quantity, quality, and nature of work, most whites would
agree that this is unfair and join in demanding that the black
workers get another $900 each...

But if you tell whites that they have been given unfair *opportunity*
*to* *earn* *status* and therefore must be denied the benefit of the
status, quite a few will disagree.

For example, a white male who graduated from a highly-regarded
engineering school, which had a no-blacks policy when he was
admitted, might agree that the policy was wrong and should be

but he won't agree that a degree from a lesser school, when held by
a black, should be held to be of equal or superior value by
potential employers. The reduced competition might have made it
easier to get *into* the school, but he still had to do well in
all his classes, at an extremely demanding school, in order to

He might agree that his first employer's sexist policies made it a
bit easier for him to get his first job... but point out that the
10 years of steady promotions over his peers were *earned* by
his own effort, and 2 years of experience with a lesser performance
record shouldn't outweigh that even when it's a woman he's competing
against for a management job.

And at the bottom end, the guy who realizes that he was one of 800
people in line to apply for 10 positions, doesn't see that his
race (the same as most of the other people in line) *helped* him
*enough* *to* *notice*. If the line was proportionate and the
company had a whites-only policy, that would reduce the meaningful
portion of the line from 800 people to about 700... being one of
700 people in line for 10 jobs is hardly a privileged position.