In previous parts to this series, we have explored the fact that blacks, on average, have lower cognitive skills; that this is not caused by a difference in innate intelligence, but by environmental factors; and what the main environmental factors are.
Now, let’s come back to the main, over-arching question of this series: Is there still enough white racism to be a significant factor in limiting blacks’ progress?
First, we have very good evidence that racism against blacks has dramatically declined from the bad old days: In 2013, 87% of the population approves of black-white mixed marriages, compared with only 4% back in 1958. This shows an incredible transformation of our society, away from racism and towards racial tolerance.
“In 1958, 44 percent of whites said they would move if a black family became their next door neighbor;” by 1998 it was 1 percent. That’s huge progress in 40 years!
In 1997, 9 out of 10 black teenagers said that racism was “a small problem” or “not a problem at all” for them in their daily lives. However, 6 out of 10 of those same black teenagers also said that racism is “a big problem”. So it appears that half of our black teenagers had been convinced to believe that racism is a big problem, even though they did not experience it that way themselves.
There is still some white racism against blacks, for sure. However, there are also a great many whites who intentionally discriminate in favor of blacks. In order for white racism to be a factor at all, the racism against blacks would need to be greater than the racism in favor of blacks.
So far, I have not found any good studies that show this to be the case. This leads me to believe it is not the case, because our academia and media are dominated by leftists. Leftists are bound and determined to blame white racism for the ills of blacks, and to ignore all other causes. So if there was any quantifiable evidence that racism against blacks exceeds racism in favor of blacks, I believe we would be hearing about this non-stop. Instead, we see studies attempting to quantify racism against blacks, but nothing attempting to quantify racism in favor of blacks.
Yet we have evidence that massive discrimination in favor of blacks is occurring, both in higher education and in hiring.
First, in college admissions, black applicants on average get 230 bonus points on their SAT scores, compared to white applicants.
In the words of Heather MacDonald, “Every selective college today admits black and Hispanic students with much weaker academic qualifications than white and Asian students, as any high school senior knows. At the University of Michigan, for example, an Asian with the same GPA and SAT scores as the median black admit had zero chance in 2005 of admission; a white with those same scores had a 1 percent chance of admission.”
In other words, half of the blacks who were admitted to U of M had lower scores than all Asians, and all but 1% of whites, who were admitted. She gives many additional examples.
As an aside, this massive discrimination in favor of blacks does not actually help them. According to Thomas Sowell, university graduation rates for blacks are higher where the racial differential in admissions standards is lower. It does no good to attract black students to colleges where they are under-qualified and have a high chance of failing:
“Compare racial preferences in Colorado, for example. At the flagship University of Colorado at Boulder, test score differences between black and white students have been more than 200 points — and only 39 percent of the black students graduated, compared to 72 percent of white students. Meanwhile, at the University of Colorado at Denver, where the SAT score difference was a negligible 30 points, there was also a negligible difference in graduation rates — 50 percent for blacks and 48 percent for whites.”
And what about discrimination in hiring? According to Heather MacDonald, “One would have difficulty finding an elite institution today that does not pressure its managers to hire and promote as many blacks and Hispanics as possible. Nearly 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies have some sort of diversity infrastructure, according to Howard Ross. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requires every business with 100 or more employees to report the racial composition of its workforce. Employers know that empty boxes for blacks and other ‘underrepresented minorities’ can trigger governmental review. Some companies tie manager compensation to the achievement of ‘diversity,’ as Roger Clegg documented before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission in 2006.”
In other words, most large companies are desperate to find qualified blacks they can hire. Ms. MacDonald has asked numerous people in the diversity hiring industry whether they could provide any examples of highly qualified black applicants who were over-looked because of skin color. They could not.
Police departments are frustrated in their attempts to hire more black officers, because there just isn’t a big enough pool of qualified applicants.
In fact, many companies are actively discriminating in favor of blacks, even significantly lowering their standards, in order to find people with dark skin to hire. As one example, Joseph Switzler enumerates the specific steps that have been taken and/or advanced by diversity activists at a tech company, to hire more blacks and more women:
“1. Give people of a certain race a numerical boost on their interview feedback scores….
“2. Stop preferring to hire people with a college degree in CS (or related fields) over people without a college degree because that’s sexist….
“3. Stop considering some colleges as better than other colleges because that’s racist….
“4. Start recruiting at certain schools with worse computer science programs explicitly because of race….
“5. Stop looking for people with relevant industry experience because it is sexist….
“6. Stop considering some companies such as Google better than other companies [on a resumé] since it is racist/sexist….
“7. Stop looking for highly experienced people with 15 years of experience since it is sexist because women tend to leave the industry before 10 years of experience….
“8. Stop asking for a link to a portfolio of work on the job application because it is sexist….
“9. Stop having employees refer good people they have worked with since it is sexist/racist….”
Many employers also discriminate in favor of blacks for promotions. White firefighter Frank Ricci sued the New Haven, Connecticut fire department because of racial discrimination against him and other white firefighters. “The last time the city offered a promotional exam, he said in a sworn statement, he gave up a second job and studied up to 13 hours a day. Mr. Ricci, who is dyslexic, paid an acquaintance more than $1,000 to read textbooks onto audiotapes. He made flashcards, took practice tests, worked with a study group and participated in mock interviews.
“Mr. Ricci did well, he said, coming in sixth among the 77 candidates who took the exam. But the city threw out the test, because none of the 19 African-American firefighters who took it qualified for promotion. That decision prompted Mr. Ricci and 17 other white firefighters, including one Hispanic, to sue the city, alleging racial discrimination.”
The government is a huge employer. Harry Stein, who wrote the provocatively-titled book No Matter What… They’ll Call This Book Racist, recounts his experience collecting signatures in an attempt to end affirmative action in Missouri.
“We soon figured out that among the most likely places to find eager signers was in the parking lots outside Lowes or Home Depot superstores. We’d get there early, around 7:30 am, because that’s when contractors would begin showing up in their pickups or vans. My come-on was brief and to the point—‘Sign my petition to end affirmative action?’—and it was generally greeted with some version of either: a resigned ‘That’ll never happen, not in this lifetime’; or an eager ‘How many times can I sign?’ Often, those replies came with harangues about the government and its misbegotten policies…. Several guys told me they’d had to hire blacks to front their businesses, so as to nab contracts for which they’d otherwise not have been considered; one had made the elderly black woman who cared for his mother ‘president’ of his firm. Another guy reported he had a black friend who’d managed to get himself named to the boards of several construction firms, each of which paid him a stipend for doing nothing at all.
“…. We rarely saw a black guy until after nine….”
Now, you may or may not approve of a contractor deceiving the government into believing that his company has black leadership. However, the point here is that being black is a strong advantage, not a disadvantage, in getting lucrative government contracts.
The main research I can find which claims to show hiring discrimination against blacks studies call-backs from resumés. For example, University of Chicago’s Marianne Bertrand and MIT’s Sendhil Mullainathan sent out resumes that they believed had equivalent qualifications, some with white-sounding names and some with black-sounding names. “White names got about one callback per 10 resumes; black names got one per 15.”
However, this does not prove that blacks are discriminated against in actually getting jobs. All it means (assuming that the methodology was sound) is that on average, if a qualified black-sounding-named candidate and an equally qualified white-sounding-named candidate both send out 30 resumes, the one with the black sounding name will get two callbacks and the one with the white sounding name will get three.
However, if the two callbacks that the black-sounding-named candidate received were from employers who have a diversity hiring program, then this candidate, if he or she has decent interview skills, will have a good chance of ending up with two job offers. In contrast, there are no special incentives for hiring white candidates, so it is possible that a white candidate needs more callbacks in order to land a job.
(One additional note about this study: From what I have seen published about the study, it does not prove that the cause of fewer callbacks was racism. It only shows discrimination against out-of-mainstream names. The researchers could have included some white-sounding out-of-mainstream names, like Brunhilda, Urmgard, Grzmisława, Ulrich, Vladlen, and Günther. Would they get as many callbacks as Susan, Ruth, Jill, Tom, Michael, and Peter? I doubt it. But this study only looks at black-sounding unusual names, so we don’t know how much discrimination there would be against white-sounding unusual names.)
Considering all the diversity hiring incentives, and considering the efforts to overlook lower qualifications in order to hire more blacks, it appears highly unlikely to me that qualified blacks are losing out on employment opportunities. In fact, it is much more believable that qualified whites are the ones facing employment discrimination, on average. Whites are getting paid less than blacks with the same cognitive skills. And it is indisputable that whites face discrimination in higher education, which prevents many whites from gaining the qualifications they need in the first place.
So, even though there is still some anti-black racism, there is also rock-solid evidence that anti-white racism exists. And it’s even possible that the latter outweighs the former.
Since the relative lack of qualifications already explains blacks’ underachievement, as documented in Part 1 of this series, there is no reasonable basis for blaming this underachievement on anti-black racism.
Why, then, do SJWs apparently believe that white racism is holding back the progress of black people? Continue on to Part 5 to find out….