Re: Is white racism nec. all bad?

Travis C. Porco (porco@pathos.Berkeley.EDU)
10 Apr 1995 06:35:32 GMT

In article <3m4pe3$>,
Robert Hartman <> wrote:
>In article <3m2g61$>,
>Travis C. Porco <porco@pathos.Berkeley.EDU> wrote:

>>The civil rights laws were not supposed to
>>lead to quotas, and they were meant as short term stopgaps.

> is unseemly and counterproductive for minorities
>to rely on quotas forever. Even so, at some point it became clear that
>voluntary measures alone were not going to be sufficient to change the
>prevailing culture of discrimination.

>>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.

>They don't need your sympathy,

...thank goodness. For a minute there I was worried.

>but they might need quotas. Otherwise,
>the big guys won't have any reason to change their ways and take them

But if they can do the job right, the big guys will hire them.
The big guys these days care about money, and if a person can
help them make money, they'll get hired. See the work of the
economist Becker on the costs of discrimination.

>What they do need from you is an equal chance to sell you
>on their qualifications. And that may take a bit of extra selling on
>their part because you might not be able to recognize that their
>qualifications are relevant at first glance.

I just don't get this.

>Another thing that they need from other small guys is to be treated
>with respect.

Respect must always be earned. To demand respect is to show
you don't deserve it. When they earn respect they get it; I
expect the same from them.

>If you take the attitude that your minority coworker
>must have been less qualified, only got hired because of AA, and
>therefore "stole" a job that was rightfully someone else's, you add to
>the burden she or he has to overcome to achieve equal regard in
>the workplace.

True enough. But promoting people above their qualifications
to prematurely achieve racial parity will inevitably create
this impression. Why not figure out the cultural reasons for
the disparity in qualifications? How many, say, intensive
summer school programs are run to help minority students
improve their academic preparation? How much visibility do
they get?


>AA or no AA, let each person on the job prove his or her own worth.

Right on!

>By the same token, someone who
>can't perform should be treated the same whether they fulfill a
>minority quota or not. But of course, you need to be sure that the
>perception of nonperformance is real and that the person isn't being

Fair enough!