racial and sexual inequality
Bradley M. Kuhn
Sun, 8 Aug 1999 14:19:52 -0400
Josh Baugher wrote:
> * Bradley M. Kuhn <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
> > [...]
> > > Brad> Again, I agree, however, if given a choice between two
> > > Brad> qualified candidates, why not pick someone from the
> > > Brad> group that has been passed over for years because of the
> > > Brad> oppressive nature of our social structure.
> > > Isn't that unfair to the other candidate?
> > What is the concept of "fairness" here? IMO, it's unfair to anyone
> > born to a marginalized group in our society from birth. Our culture
> > is built up around a center of white male privilege.  When one
> > is born a white male, he immediately has all the advantages in the
> > culture. How is it unfair if we use hiring practices and similar
> > systems to help set right that inequity?
> > [...]
> I am a 20 year old, white male. I don't think that (with practices such as
> affirmative action) a while male has "all the advantages in the culture."
Perhaps you are right. You may not have "all the advantages". You probably
have to be a wealthy white male to have all the advantages. However, you
definitely have great advantages over all those who aren't white and aren't
"All" was probably a poor word choice. However, you are always going to
have more advantages over someone who isn't white or is a woman, given that
you are roughly from the same economic background.
(Economics play into this too---it just so happens that whites are the
richest people, on average, in the country; so the correlation is high.
However, I will conceit that you have to be rich and white to have *all*
> When I finish college and am out in the "real world," I certainly am
> concerned about what opportunities will be available.
Understandable. But this is because we have a structure in this country
where there are fewer opportunities available all the time because corporate
USA keeps insisting that more people work harder and have to do multiple
people's jobs to keep their jobs.
Just because corporate USA is built to screw you over doesn't mean you don't
have advantages for your race. Your argument is a red herring.
A black person who graduates with you will be twice less likely to get a
job. Even if you have trouble finding a job, that black person will have an
even harder time.
> When I'm interviewing for a job position, will I be valued for my
Hopefully, you will. But as a white male, you have a much better chance of
being judged by your intelligence than if you were a black female.
> Or will I be devalued because of my gender and race?
What in anything that has been said here made you think you would devalued?
Consider this: If some interviewer has three candidates, all of who are
qualified, who should this interviewer pick?
Normally, it would be a coin toss, right? I mean, it has to be, if they are
all qualified. All affirmative action says that if one of these three
candidates is not a white or not male, you pick that candidate instead of
flipping a coin.
How is that wrong? We are trying to right wrongs that have been built and
reinforced for centuries. We have really only been working on this since
the 1960s for the most part, and for the last hundred years if you take a
stretch. How can we right the wrongs of centuries in one century or 40
> What is wrong with selecting the best person for the position?
Nothing. But, given people who are equally qualified, what's wrong with
choosing someone who has been beaten down by our culture for centuries
instead of flipping a coin?
> When will all of these inequities be "righted"?
Perhaps when women don't make $0.70 on the male dollar, and when white
families don't make twice as much as black families?
Did you take a look at the data I posted in the last message? It seems that
> I've done my best not to make judgments about people based on their
> gender, race, etc.
This is not a personal blame on you. We have a society that is full of
inequities. You didn't cause it; but as a white male you experience many
advantages because of it.
Black people were enslaved until the mid-1800s. They haven't been able to
safely vote in most parts of the country except since the mid-1960s. Women
couldn't vote until early this century, while men were voting long before
that. These inequities just don't go away when you make constitutional
amendments and laws!
The statistics and anecdotal  evidence still indicate that there are great
inequalities. Should we just ignore that?
The society is already unfair. We can't make it more fair by pretending
that it is a fair society.
> If my grandfather was a mass murderer, should I have to serve jail time
> to set "right" that inequity?
No one is asking you to serve jail time. However, affirmative action does
ask that you not be handed
 As a little anecdotal evidence: in my neighborhood in Baltimore when I
was 8, a couple (black man, Italian woman). As recently as 4 years ago,
you could still see the spray-paint (faded a great deal) of NIGGER on
the side of their house.
A year ago, my parents sold my grandmother's house a block away from
theirs to a black family. My brother (at 13) was riding his bike in the
neighborhood, and a neighbor accosted him and said: "How in the hell
could your parents sell to those niggers?" My brother said (being the
flippant kid he is) said: "What the hell are you talking about?" and the
guy said: "It's a proven fact that when they move in the property value
When I worked at Hardee's in Baltimore when I was 16, there were only
two white teenagers working there. All the others were *adult* black
men and women who were supporting their families with the jobs in
question. One Sunday, me and the other white teenager were the only one
visible working. A regular customer bought his coffee and said: "I
guess those darkies don't like working on Sundays. It's refreshing."
- email@example.com - Bradley M. Kuhn - firstname.lastname@example.org -