Friday, April 8, 2011

Affirmative action: primary beneficiaries are white women


Note to strawmen creators before we begin: The discussion below has nothing to do with "denying" that an individual white woman has not worked hard to attain whatever position or education she has. Nor does it fault any white woman who heard of an opportunity opened up under AA or "diversity," and took it. What? She was just supposed to ignore these opportunities when they opened up- oh, just like men "ignore" opportunities that open up for them? Really? Nor does said discussion have anything to do with bogus claims that  "liberals" or "social justice warriors" trying to "hurt" white people by pointing out the simple fact that the major beneficiaries of affirmative action are white women. This is not a "liberal" point- it has been made for decades now by CONSERVATIVE authors and right-wing favorites like Thomas Sowell, as shown below. Inevitable strawmen exposed and out of the way, let's get down to bidniss.

First- Here is what a conservative has to say- that comparing white women to poor minorities like blacks, and classifying white women as "minorities" as white  policymakers have done,  makes little sense says conservative scholar Thomas Sowell, because white women are way ore advantaged and privileged right off the bat- being an integral part of white social, cultural and economic networks in a way blacks have never been. QUOTE: -

"One of the fertile sources of confusion in this area is the thoughtless extension of the "minority" paradigm to women. It makes sense to compare blacks and whites of the same educational levels because education has the same positive effect on black incomes and white incomes, though not necessarily to the same extent.. Minorities have serious problems of cultural disadvantages, so that faculty members from such groups tend to have lower socioeconomic status and lower mental test scores than their white counterparts, and black colleges and universities have never been comparable to the best white colleges and universities,46 whereas female academics come from higher socioeconomic levels than male academics, female Ph.D.s have higher IQs than male Ph.D.s in field after field, and the best women's colleges have had status and student SAT levels comparable to those of the best male or coeducational institutions. Women have been part of the cultural, informational, and social network for generations, while blacks and even Jews have been largely excluded until the past generation... Marriage and childbearing trends over time are highly correlated with trends of women's participation in high-level occupations, as well as being correlated with intra-group differences among women at a given time. In short, women are not another "minority," either statistically or culturally."

--FROM: Thomas Sowell. 1975. "Affirmative Action Reconsidered Was It Necessary in Academia-Was It Necessary? American Enterprise Institute- Evaluative Studies 27. Dec 1975.

Begin full discussion:
A virtual article of faith among the right wing faithful is how piteous white people are being "oppressed" by vile "affirmative action quotas" being given away to the "culluds." This laughable narrative is undermined right off the bat by the fact that numerically and culturally, the major beneficiaries of AA "quotas" are white women. Some attempt to wave this away by saying that not ALL women benefit from AA. But this is a diversionary strawman. Of course not "ALL" women benefit from AA. In lower-level or lower-paid jobs that are mostly female anyway such as among restaurant servers or waitresses, AA is not needed to secure employment, or promotions, save into management positions. Who doesn't know this?

The key factor is the areas where AA has been most vigorously applied or has been most influential, above and beyond already lower-level female-dominated jobs. That area has been the public sector or sectors influenced by government policies or rules such as federal contractors, public institutions like colleges, and the gains made in jobs not traditionally held by females. Another area where white women have benefited most is the application of AA in large private corporations, including utilities like AT&T. Teachers who are already mostly white females do not need "affirmative action" save as a historical note to those times when said white teachers were the beneficiaries of "white quotas". Blacks were excluded altogether from being hired as teachers, or if they were they were shunted off to inferior, run down "colored" schools, usually at lower pay no matter how qualified they were. It was only until the 1940s that lawsuits in some areas forced white school boards to finally pay black teachers equivalent to whites.

Hiring venues have an impact. Banks, real estate agencies, motels/hotels, or things like country clubs for example are generally more discriminatory or already have many female employees. Most real estate agents or bank tellers (a relatively low paid occupation) for example are white women. AA impact would be expected to be less in these. Strawmen arguments may divert attention to lower end jobs already dominated by females, but again, they were never much of an issue as far as AA.

Size of employer is another area where detailed analysis is sometimes skipped. A small restaurant with 8-10 employees, 80% of which may be already be low-level female waitresses will not show much impact from "affirmative action" allegedly "imposed by the Washington bureaucrats." However the larger the employer the more AA impact. One major study in large cities for example found that firms with affirmative action policies were 15% more likely to have hired white women, even controlling for other factors, (Holzer &; Neumark, 1999). Larger firms also face more negative national or regional publicity and retaliation if they are discovered to discriminate against women, or refuse to promote them. Governments are particularly vulnerable to negative public opinion on such matters. In addition, the gutting of equal employment opportunity enforcement, (particularly during the Reagan administration) leaving tens of thousands of cases backlogged is a damper on the applicability of affirmative action.

The crucial test is where AA has been most applied or is most influential. This means government influenced sectors like contractors, non-profits or directly-hiring government agencies and institutions, OR larger corporate establishments. Those who seek to dodge the test concentrate on pointing to things like small or medium sized private retail establishments, restaurants, etc where (a) AA has not been most vigorously applied, (b) females ALREADY make up a large portion of the lower-level or lower-paid workforce (sales clerks or waitresses for example). But again, in places with few employees there are few workers to apply AA to. 

Some have also argued that since some polls show many white women opposing affirmative action, how then can they be beneficiaries? The answer is obvious, once the game is understood. Since white women are the primary beneficiaries they have a large incentive to oppose other competitors, particularly Blacks and Hispanics, from getting a piece of the pie. Why highlight your advantaged, and central place in many privileged white networks? A nominally oppositional or denialist stance is the best camouflage of all. Hence you can be for and against at the same time, as long as the parameters of the game are camouflaged or disguised. Indeed since "affirmative action" has been so often spun as a "black" or minority program, said blacks and browns can be out front to take the negative heat, while white women, so sweet and innocent, quietly benefit on the other end. Nice.. Thus it is commendable when big corporations, such as AT&T that discriminated against women in the past, are forced to implement make-whole affirmative action remedies that benefit mostly white women. But when a black man shows up for redress, you can raise the bogeyman of "reverse discrimination." Sweet! Furthermore, the coming of Civil Rights Laws and enforcement finally opened up many jobs from which whites were sheltered from real competition because of their race. It was inevitable that some white job losses would occur. Even in things like baseball - the coming of better players like Jackie Robinson, Campanella, Newcombe etc etc meant less slots for mediocre white players. As sisters, mothers, wives, girlfriends of white males, and members of privileged white networks, (along with males), white females also resented the disappearance of the almost total white monopoly on better opportunities. This again, gives them a large incentive to look unfavorably on black advances. It should be noted however, that credible scholarship, such as Gavin Wright's Sharing the Prize (2018), shows that most of the black gains after 1964 did not come at the expense of whites, or were a very small portion of a pie whites overwhelmingly controlled.

White unions were the pioneers of affirmative action such as make-whole remedies when union members were discriminated against. But when black folk showed up for make-whole remedies due to racial discrimination, there was deep opposition and obstructionism. In like manner, right-wingers (and some liberals), deploy a heavy rain of continual propaganda to divert attention away from the fact of continuing employment discrimination, or voter suppression, or abuses of government power (giveaways to abusive corporations, some police practices etc etc) - smoke-screening continued white profit and privilege. The propaganda barrage also disguises right-wing efforts to rollback civil rights gains, such as the Reagan regime's gutting of civil rights enforcement in some areas. 

Let's look at large private corporations like utilities and acknowledge how in some cases, affirmative action helped to overcome discrimination gains females. Into the 1970s, major corporations routinely discriminated against women. AA policies were put in place that directly tackled such discriminatory practices against women. See the AT&T example below:

"As recently as 1970, American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) then the nation's largest employer, was an Orwellian patchwork of occupational caste. White men occupied virtually all managerial positions throughout the company. Women filled the ranks of operators and clerical workers, and even the managers of women's departments were male. Unionized craft jobs were exclusively white male. The only jobs open to blacks were as janitors or maintenance workers. As other avenues of employment began to open up for white women during the 1960s, more black women were hired as operators. All of this changed dramatically with the landmark AT&T Consent Decree in 1973, in which the Bell System agreed to change its employment practices and meet employment targets for women and minorities."
--Mark Major 2010. Where Do We Go From here, pg 178

Let us now turn our attention to the government or government-influenced sector. We can see that white females, long  poised to take quick advantage of new opportunities opened up, have taken advantage of them. Leonard 1989 (Women and Affirmative Action, Jrnl Eco Persp. 3) in a study of federal contractors found that the growth of female employment among federal contractors was almost double that of females in non-contractor venues. This gain may be modest in proportion to total workers involved- given military contracts- nevertheless the data does show white females benefiting since the start of AA in the early 1970s. QUOTE: 

"Nevertheless, although minorities have moved into the federal bureaucracy, white males (41.77 percent) and white females (33.68) percent, dominate white-collar positions as white females replace white males.. During the period 1974-1990 the percentage of women of all races in the Senior Executive Service increased from 2 to 11 percent."
     Likewise "a study of state and local government employment during the 1970s found that women were over-represented in financial administration, public welfare, hospital and sanitarium, health, and economic security positions and were especially underrepresented in such positions as police and fire.. Another more recent study of state employment found evidence that there are better opportunities for promotion for women in state government than in the federal government, and that pay equity was becoming less of a problem."
--Kul B. Rai, John W. Critzer (2000). -Affirmative Action and the University: Race, Ethnicity, and Gender.

In SOME cases white women have seen minor reductions in some areas, like federal contractors, where their numbers declined some 2.3% or less as these contractors, under pressure, finally began hiring blacks. A 2.3% reduction still leaves whites in control of the other 97.7% of the board, hardly the vale of suffering claimed by assorted right-wingers. Quote:

"As regards occupational advance, the relative occupational position of black males advanced 2.48 per cent, and black females 9.19 per cent more rapidly in firms with government contracts. However, Morris Goldstein and Robert Smith63, in a study covering the period 1970-72, found that black workers had only slightly improved their position among contractors’ firms, although employment of black males tended to be higher in firms that had been subject to a compliance review. They found an insignificant increase in employment for black females and a decrease in employment for white females. Other studies were limited to particular geographical areas. James Heckman and Kenneth Wolpin,64 in a study of the Chicago Metropolitan area covering the period 1970-73, found that in the short run, federal contractors employed 2.2 per cent more black males than identical non-contractor firms. They found a negative effect for both white females (2.3 per cent fewer white females than in non-contractor firms) and black females (0.6 percent fewer black females than in non-contractors). Like Goldstein and Smith, they found that employment of black males tended to be higher in firms that had been subject to a compliance review.65"
--Christopher McCrudden. 2007. Buying Social Justice: Equality, Government Procurement, & Legal Change. p 596

Yet another similar study found a minor drop in white female employment in federal contracting- some 0.122 percentage points, (leaving white women with about 90% of the board) and notes that -quote: "that the fastest growth in the employment shares of minorities and women at federal contractors relative to non-contracting firms occurred during the 1970s and early 1980s, decelerating substantially in ensuing years." That is, affirmative action has long been rolled back or severely limited since 1981when the Reagan regime took over. Interestingly enough, over this 30-year period, white male shares of contractor jobs went UP - primarily in managerial ranks - Quote:

"There was a dramatic reversal in federal support for affirmative action in the 1980s. In 1981, the OFCCP came under new leadership that was neither committed to the organization nor to affirmative action. In 1982, a fervent opponent of affirmative action, Clarence Thomas, was appointed to head the EEOC.6 During the presidency of Ronald Reagan a serious effort was made to rescind Executive Order 11246 and when that failed, steps were taken to weaken affirmative action enforcement. During the Reagan years, the OFCCP rarely issued sanctions for non-compliance and the number of employment discrimination lawsuits plummeted (Donahue and Siegelman, 1991, Leonard 1990, Leonard, 1996, Anderson, 1996)7. Enforcement activity increased a bit in 1989 when President George H.W. Bush took office, and accelerated with the inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1993... In recent years, there have been efforts to rescind affirmative action at the state level, with California prohibiting affirmative action in public employment in 1996, Washington in 1998, Michigan in 2006, Nebraska in 2008, Arizona in 2010, and legislation is pending in several other states..
Table 2 further reveals that affirmative action increased the employment of black and Native American women and men at the expense of white women -- becoming a federal contractor resulted in a 0.122 percentage point decrease in the employment share of white women on average during 1973-2003.. Another finding in Table 2 that is contrary to apriori expectation is that becoming a federal contractor was associated with a 0.09 percentage point increase in the share of white men on average during 1973-2003."
Fidan Kurtulus 2012. Impact of affirmative action on the employment of minorities and women 1973-2003. (Univ of Mass)

Thus over 30 years, contrary to hysterical claims, white women lost a relatively small percentage of contractor jobs, and white men actually made gains during the same period. But even this loss is primarily in the early years of AA, when the Civil Rights Laws began to be enforced. In the 1980s, beginning with the Reagan regime's rollbacks, this movement slowed substantially. And yet various white feminists like Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth 1991) claimed that the Reagan regime was terrible for women, when in fact during the Regan era, white women showed steady gains in education, employment and other measures, and indeed, had potential competition from minorities slowed down and cut back by the regime's policies. This pattern continued with further rollbacks in the 1990s as in California's Proposition 209, and the key Croson (1989) and Adarand (1995) decisions (Rice and Mongkuo. Did Adarand Kill Minority Set-Asides? Public Administration Review. V58, n1, 1998. pp. 82-86) which gutted minority set -side contract procurement programs. All these facts are in stark contrast to the massive propaganda narrative being churned out by right-wingers of "huge" suffering an losses by white people "due to affirmative action." 

Other data on AA- no loss of benefits after moving from covered AA jobs.

"Economists commonly gauge discrimination by observing the gap in earnings between, say, Blacks and Whites or females and males, that cannot be accounted for by differences in observed characteristics such as education, experience, or seniority. Virtually every empirical study shows that nonwhites and females earn less than White males with similar observable characteristics and most scholars have concluded that discrimination is a feature of the American labor market."
--Fletcher A. Blanchard, Faye Crosby, 2012. Affirmative Action in Perspective - Page 156-57

".. affirmative action positions are probably most common in the public sector, from which a disproportionate share of women and nonwhites are also displaced. If job-specific wage premiums in affirmative action employment explain post-displacement earnings differentials, we would expect females and ethnic minorities leaving government jobs to lose more than those terminating from private sector employment (relative to corresponding White males).
            The data do not support these predictions. In earnings change regressions which  are stratified by the  sector of employment, the wages of nonwhite males leaving government employment grow eight percent compared to their White counterparts, whereas those departing from private sector positions suffer a relative earnings reduction of at least twelve percent. Similarly, nonwhite females gain almost fifteen percent, relative to White males, when displaced from government employment, but lose twenty-two percent when laid off from non-government positions. these differences between government and non-government workers provide strong evidence against the hypothesis that nonwhites suffer post-displacement wage reductions due to the loss of "overpaid" affirmative action jobs."
--Fletcher A. Blanchard, Faye Crosby, 2012. Affirmative Action in Perspective - Page 156-57

"The evidence that minorities leaving government jobs fare better than those departing private sector employment suggests two possibilities. First, employers may carefully screen nonwhites, only selecting those of exceptional quality for affirmative action jobs; being unusually productive, these individuals are then able to replicate their relatively high wages following displacement. Second, affirmative action may impart training which raises earnings in future employment.. Even if screening is prevalent, however, there is no evidence that affirmative action stigmatizes program participants.."
--Fletcher A. Blanchard, Faye Crosby, 2012. Affirmative Action in Perspective - Page 156-57

Minorities obtained more opportunities in covered federal contractor jobs as Civil Rights laws were enforced, versus other non-covered jobs but may have seen no substantial gains overall in the economy- a "musical chairs" shifting of minorities between covered versus non-covered sectors, with little net advance.

"A 1989 study examined the effect of the goals and timetables instituted by the federal government in 1971 as part of its equal employment opportunity program. The study found no significant gains by blacks in the higher grades of government employment, where blacks had been traditionally underrepresented. There were slight increases in the proportion of women employed in these higher grades, but women still remained substantially underrepresented in these grades. On the other hand, examination of the rates of employment in particular government agencies indicated that the agencies that experienced the most substantial increase in employment of women and blacks in the higher grades were those that had had the lowest proportion of women and blacks in these grades prior to the instigation of the affirmative action program. The author of this study made three general observations. First, he concluded that the problem at hand (the underrepresentation of women and blacks in high-level government positions) was complicated dramatically by broader social inequities. Second, he found that the goals and timetables had not altered substantially the trends for hiring women and blacks. Third, he concluded that the goals and timetables had had some impact and definitely had a symbolic value that would be important for minorities and women who were considering jobs in the public sector (Kellough 1989:108-15).

A 1994 study took a somewhat different approach to determining whether government regulation of the employment process justified the problems inherent in giving preferred treatment to certain members of the society. This study focused in part on the differences in hiring practices between those firms that contract with the federal government (and thus are covered by the Executive Order 11246 affirmative action requirement) and those firms that are noncontractors. The results confirmed an earlier 1990 study that showed that "contractors have fostered significantly higher growth in the employment rates of protected class members [women and minorities] than noncontractors” (Bloch 1994:96). However, when attempting to reconcile this conclusion with the increasing gap in the unemployment rate among blacks and white, the author of the study observed that “the contractor-noncontractor differences primarily represent demographic shifts across these two employer categories rather than net economywide gains for minorities” (p. 103)."
--Bruce Kaufman ed. 1997. Government Regulation of the Employment Relationship 362-63

Source: Courtesy of The New School and Duke Center for Social Equity

Contrary to dishonest narratives about "massive losses" for whites "due to affirmative action", hard data tells a different tale. Black college students are only as likely to get hired as whites who have dropped out of high school. As one Forbes article notes:

"African-Americans college students are about as likely to get hired as whites who have dropped out of high school. So says a new report from a non-profit called Young Invincibles, which analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census and examined the effect race and education levels have on unemployment. “We were startled to see just how much more education young African-Americans must get in order to have the same chance at landing a job as their white peers,” said Rory O’Sullivan, deputy director of Young Invincibles, in a statement."

Another article echoes Forbes, offering more detail:

"The researchers looked at data mainly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census, isolating the effects of race and education on unemployment. They found that an African-American male with an associates degree has around the same chance of getting a job as a white male with just a high school diploma. “At every level of education, race impacts a person’s chance of getting a job,” [says] Tom Allison, a research manager and one of the study’s authors.. 

The gap in employment chances between whites and African Americans leads to a huge gap in unemployment rates, even long after the recession. In May of this year, African-American millennials faced a 16.6 percent unemployment rate, compared to a 7.1 percent rate for whites of the same age range (18 to 34 years old). The study attributes the employment gap mainly to hiring discrimination, high incarceration rates for black people, and African Americans’ lack of inherited wealth from past generations due to a long history of discrimination. Less inherited wealth results in low homeownership rates and high deficits among African Americans: While a college-educated white American has an average net worth of $75,000, a college-educated black American has a net worth of less than $17,500."

The full report, led by college professors -economist D. Hamilton of the Milano School and  W. Darity of Stanford University, challenges the false narrative that all it takes is "gumption," noting that whites have accrued massive advantages- having forcibly and deliberately locked blacks out of substantial economic gains for multiple decades. Black wealth is thus a fraction of whites, and impacts their ability to pursue education and handle the emergencies of life. Title: “Umbrellas Don’t Make it Rain: Why Studying and Working Hard Isn’t Enough for Black Americans.”


Trust me. There is no discrimination against women...
Some examples of primarily white women, discrimination and affirmative action- NWLC 2000

[Some examples of discrimination against women which some claim "doesn't happen"]
"Over 900 past and present women brokers at Merrill Lynch assert that they have experienced gender-based discrimination.(1) Officials at M.I.T. admit long-standing and pervasive discrimination against women on its faculty, reaching all areas of employment — hiring, awards, promotions, committee appointments, and allocation of research funding.(2) The EEOC settles a class action law suit on behalf of hundreds of women employees at a Mitsubishi plant who had endured sexually explicit verbal harassment and threats of sexual attack.(3) A woman relegated to 21 years behind a grocery store cash register is denied opportunities for training and advancement offered to male employees — including her own teenaged son.(4) A study reveals that a female musician has a 50% greater chance of advancing in the orchestra selection process if she performs behind a screen; if the judges can see that the player is female, she is much less likely to progress past the preliminary auditions and ultimately land a job.(5) Texaco agrees to give 186 of its female employees more than $3 million in back wages and pay adjustments to settle findings that the company consistently had paid women in professional and executive positions less than their male counterparts.(6)"

[Examples of how Affirmative action keeps expanding white female opportunities even as assorted deniers claim it is not happening.]

"A government study showed that women made greater gains in employment at companies doing business with the federal government, and therefore subject to federal affirmative action requirements, than at other companies: female employment rose 15.2% at federal contractors, and only 2.2% elsewhere. The same study showed that federal contractors employed women at higher levels and in better paying jobs than other firms.(40)

Many individual companies that have adopted affirmative action plans have demonstrated the impact on women. For example, after IBM set up its affirmative action program, its number of female officials and managers more than tripled in less than ten years.(41) Corporate commitment to women and minorities enabled Corning to double its number of female and black employees and increase the proportion of women managers to 29%.(42) Motorola has been rewarded with an increased representation of women and people of color in upper-level management. The company had two women and six persons of color as vice president in 1989, but boasts 33 female and 40 minority vice presidents today.(43)

Affirmative action requirements have changed entire industries. In 1978, the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) reviewed the employment practices of the five largest banks in Cleveland. Three years later, the percentage of women officials and managers at these institutions had risen more than 20%. When OFCCP first looked at the coal mining industry in 1973, there were no women coal miners. By 1980, 8.7% were women.(44)

Litigation against police and fire departments has resulted in affirmative action plans that have produced dramatic increases in the employment of women (and minorities) in these fields as well.(45) In 1983, for example, women made up 9.4% of the nation’s police, and 1% of firefighters. Sixteen years later, women are 16.9% of police, and 2.8% of firefighters.(46)"

[Affirmative Action and alleged Quotas or Handouts for Unqualified Women]

Affirmative action is not “quotas” nor the substitution of numerical dictates for merit-based decisions. Some affirmative action plans include the management tools of numerical goals or targets for representation of women or minorities, and timetables for meeting those objectives. But the courts have held that these goals and timetables must be flexible and take into account such factors as the availability of qualified candidates. They may not constitute “blind hiring by the numbers;” if they do, they are unlawful.

The program that imposes affirmative action requirements on federal contractors, under Executive Order No. 11246, expressly states that “Goals may not be rigid and inflexible quotas which must be met, but must be targets reasonably attainable by means of applying every good faith effort to make all aspects of the entire affirmative action program work.”(48)

Johnson v. Transportation Agency of Santa Clara County, illustrates the use of flexible goals in practice.(49) There were no women in the agency’s 238 “skilled craft worker” positions, which included road dispatchers. Under its affirmative action plan, the agency set a target for increased employment of women in this category (and others in which they had been under-represented), and in its effort to meet the goal it took gender into account in deciding to promote a woman, rather than a man with substantially equal qualifications, to road dispatcher. Gender was only one factor among many considered, and the woman who received the promotion was fully qualified for the job. The Supreme Court ruled that this constituted a reasonable approach to eliminating an obvious gender imbalance in the workforce.

Research confirms that affirmative action does not lower the quality of workers’ performance on the job. In a 1996 study of the performance of new hires by over 3,200 employers, economists from Michigan State University compared the performance of employees who were identified as having benefitted from an affirmative action plan with the performance of white men in comparable jobs and other employees hired without affirmative action. The researchers concluded that there is “essentially no performance shortfall” among most groups of women and persons of color hired under affirmative action programs.(50)

A 1998 study concluded, further, that affirmative action increases the number of recruitment and screening practices used by employers, increases the number of minority or female applicants as well as employees, and increases employers’ tendencies to provide training and to formally evaluate employees. The researchers also found that when affirmative action is used in recruiting, it does not lead to lower credentials or performance of women and minorities hired.(51)

Finally, no evidence supports the notion that “reverse discrimination” is widespread. According to a report commissioned by the Labor Department, very few complaints of reverse discrimination are filed and the great majority of those claims lack merit. Of over 3,000 reported discrimination opinions from federal courts, fewer than 100 involved claims of reverse discrimination; in only six individual cases was the claim substantiated. In one claim rejected by the courts, two employees who were dismissed for sleeping on the job alleged that they were fired so their company could replace them with a person of color or a woman. Not surprisingly, they could offer no evidence to support this accusation.(52)"

If as some authors hold AA benefits mostly white women,
white guys also benefit from that extra pay and perks brought
home by their white wives under AA

Affirmative Action primarily benefits white women says conservative female author

"I regard affirmative action as pernicious — a system that had wonderful ideals when it started but was almost immediately abused for the benefit of white middle-class women. And the number one sign of it is in the universities. The elite schools were destroyed by affirmative action for women, not for blacks."
--Author/lecturer Prof. Camille Paglia


Authors below argue that affirmative action primarily benefits white women, not blacks or men.


"Affirmative action” means positive steps taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education, and business from which they have been historically excluded. —Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

"In recent years, the affirmative action debate has focused on government-sponsored affirmative action and university admissions, leaving corporate affirmative action relatively unexamined." --Christopher M. Leporini

To pay-equity feminists and the mainstream media, this perspective on affirmative action may be the most threatening of all perspectives on any topic. Hence it will be the most ignored by them.

Black Americans have at least one good reason to persist in demanding affirmative action: their wages, which ought to be the true reflection of affirmative action's success -- where the rubber meets the road -- continue to gain poorly on whites’.

Between 1985 and 2000, blacks’ median wage advanced on whites’ by a mere 1.2 percent. Why? Because although “affirmative action programs are often described in the press as being based on ‘racial preference,’” says Dr. Manning Marable, Director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies, Columbia University, New York City, “the overwhelming majority of those who are the chief beneficiaries of affirmative action are white women.”

Dr. Marable is hardly the only person aware of this fact. In the 2006 book Legalizing Misandry: From Public Shame to Systemic Discrimination Against Men, the authors write, "Although polls have shown considerable American support for affirmative action, those who advocate equality of opportunity (even in a modified form) have criticized it for...conferring greater benefits on white women than blacks of either sex, for whom affirmative action was originally designed."

Citing a statistic representative of many employers up and down the country, a March 1998 press release from the State of Washington’s Office of the Governor informs: “Of Washington state workers who have benefited directly from affirmative action, 60 percent are white women….”

Thanks to the myriad mandated affirmative-action programs at public institutions and at employers doing business with or receiving funds from the federal government, and thanks to the voluntary affirmative-action programs of private-sector employers, white women have done quite well. Compare their wage gain from 1985 to 2000 to other groups'. White men's median wage rose 60 percent, black men's 65 percent, and black women's 70 percent: white women came well out on top with a 78 percent gain. White women's big leap contributed greatly to blacks’ paltry gain on whites.

Feminists in particular strongly support white women’s inclusion in affirmative action. The Gloria Steinemites believe white women experience an oppression similar to blacks'. White women's oppression, say these feminists, stems primarily from the fact that white women have been excluded, like blacks, from “white men’s” jobs. But unlike blacks, says Warren Farrell, author of Why Men Earn More (read about the book and watch a Real Video of Farrell with audience participation), “Women are the only ‘oppressed’ group…to be born into the middle class and upper class as frequently as the ‘oppressor.’”

Moreover, white women generally have been able to find a well-paid husband roughly to the same degree that white men have been able to find a well-paid job. Via marriage, birth, and inheritance, white women have benefited from white men’s jobs as much as white men themselves. When they divorce, they receive, on average, more child support and alimony than blacks. (The term alimony may provoke cynical laughter among the black women who consider alimony a privilege reserved for white women.) Recognizing women’s economic well-being, a front page in 1996 touted: “Who controls most of the wealth in the nation? Women.” The headline was not, of course, talking about black women. Says PBS's "To the Contrary" : "Women actually control 51.3% of percent wealth in the United States." Women also control, according to American Demographic, consumer spending by a wide margin in nearly every consumer category.

Linking white women to affirmative-action goals, right or wrong, has yielded a great irony in an unintended consequence. Just as most white men share their income and assets with white women, most white women reciprocate with white men. More to the point, they share with them their affirmative action gains. This means, possibly, that by virtue of the huge number of white women assisted by affirmative action, white men are the program’s second biggest beneficiaries, despite however often they as individuals may suffer “reverse” discrimination. For every white man hurt by affirmative action, another might be obliquely aided. Perhaps even many of those who are hurt are partially or fully compensated — "under the table," some blacks could argue — when affirmative action rewards their wives.

That white men profit via this roundabout fashion is no secret. “Affirmative action has enabled wives and daughters and mothers and girlfriends to compete in the workplace,” said Ralph G. Neas, former executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, “and that has helped entire families, including white males in those families.” Corretta Scott King, speaking at a Washington County university on Martin Luther King Day, didn’t explicitly say affirmative action helps white men, but implied as much when she said, “So affirmative action benefits all families.” [Why a program to help all families?!]

"Between 1974 and 2004, white and black men in their 30s experienced a decline in income, with the largest decline among black men. However, median family incomes for both racial groups increased, because of large increases in women’s incomes. Income growth was particularly high for white women. The lack of income growth for black men combined with low marriage rates in the black population has had a negative impact on trends in family income for black families." -Economic Mobility Project

Thus, a program that was conceived to help the oppressed appears to help the “oppressors” about as much. Who knows, it may lend a hand to more middle- and upper-class white families than to poor black ones, since a beneficiary's economic status isn’t a qualifying factor. How many times, I wonder, has the wife or daughter of a well-paid white man been boosted by affirmative action into a well-paid job herself -- a job that might otherwise have gone to a poor but qualified black American? This perversion of justice may occur often, and it would at least partly explain why, despite the strides of many individual blacks, blacks as a group have economically progressed so little on whites. And at a appalling 1.2 percent progression every 1.5 decades, black households won’t reach wage parity with whites' for at least 200 years.

Which group has affirmative action benefited the least? Black men. Which group was originally intended to be the sole beneficiary of affirmative action? Black men. Shhh! Don't talk about this!
----------------------------------------------------------- END excerpt -----------

The data below show some wage gains by white women from 1982 to 1988. While ALL such gains cannot of course be attributed to AA, the primary gainers have been white women, in percentages double that of black women, and far ahead of both white men and black men. And as noted above, losses in certain narrow areas like federal contracting have been minor.

PSAT and SAT modified college admission tests so white girls primarily would score higher, and reduce the number of men
College Board Revises Test to Improve Chances  for Girls. 1996. Karen W. Arenson 10/2/1996 NY Times

"Resolving a complaint that girls lose out to boys unfairly in the awarding of the prestigious National Merit Scholarships, the College Board has agreed to modify its Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test, the main determinant in awarding the scholarships, the Federal Department of Education announced yesterday.

In the agreement, reached with the department's Office of Civil Rights, t he College Board said that beginning in 1997, it would add a multiple-choice test on writing to the P.S.A.T. exam, which is taken by juniors. One version of the test taken by seniors, the Scholastic Assessment Test, already contains a similar section on writing.

Donald M. Stewart, president of the College Board, which oversees both tests, said the board expected that the addition of the additional test was likely to give girls higher scores since girls ''tend to do better than boys'' on that type of test."

Social security setup benefits primarily white women at the expense of blacks says conservative author- Says historian/economist Thomas Sowell:

"[Social Security] is not a racial policy...but economists who have studied it have long described it as a system that transfers money from black men to white women, given the different life expectancies of these two groups.” 


Other "minorities" quickly piggy-backed on a program ostensibly set up to help blacks including white women who are not a numerical "minority" argues conservative author Sowell.

"As in other countries, however, these policies spread far beyond the initial beneficiaries. Blacks are just 12 percent of the American population, but affirmative action programs have expanded over the years to include not only other racial or ethnic groups, but also women, so that such policies now apply to a substantial majority of the American population... the top 20 percent of black income earners had their income share rising at about the same rate as that of their white counterparts, while the bottom 20 percent of black income earners had their income share fall at more than double the rate of the bottom 20 percent of white income earners. In short, the affirmative action era in the United States saw the more fortunate blacks benefit while the least fortunate lost ground in terms of their share of incomes. Neither the gains nor the losses can be arbitrarily attributed to affirmative action but neither can affirmative action claim to have advanced lower-income blacks when in fact those fell behind."

Sowell holds that immigrants classified as "minorities", suffering no past discrimination in the United States are benefiting well from Affirmative Action. The Fanjul family from Cuba for example, with a fortune exceeding $500 million - received contract set asides for minority businesses. European businessmen from Portugal received the bulk of the money paid to "minority owned construction firms" between 1886 and 1990n in Washington D.C. Asian businessmen immigrating to the United States had also received preferential access to government contracts. 

Sowell also argues that while blacks are the claimed beneficiaries of a program primarily intended to benefit blacks, a huge majority of "minority and female owned" businesses are in fact owned by groups ''other'' than blacks, including Asians, Hispanics and women. In addition the vast majority of "minority" firms appeared to gain little from government set-asides. in Cincinnati for example, 682 minority forms appeared on the city's approved list but 13% of these companies received 62% of preferential access and 83% of the money. Nationally, a miniscule one-fourth of one percent of minority-owned enterprises are certified to receive preferences under the Small Business Administration, but even within this tiny number, 2% of the firms received 40% of the money.
--Sowell, 2004. Affirmative Action Around the World, pp 115-147

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------OTHER DATA ON AFFIRMATIVE ACTION:
Some scholarly studies find biggest gains of Affirmative Action go to already affluent white women



Alleged "calamity" affecting white males "swamped" by black AA quotas is bogus, according to detailed US Dept of Labor survey of reverse discrimination cases. Most cases brought by white complainers lacked merit, courts ruled.


Reverse-discrimination claims fell into two categories: individual decisions in which a white man asserted that he would have been hired for a job had he been black or female, and cases that claimed programs or plans unfairly favored women and minorities.

“Many of the cases were the result of a disappointed applicant failing to examine his or her own qualifications,” Mr. Blumrosen wrote, “and erroneously assuming that when a woman or minority got the job, it was because of race or sex, not qualifications.

Affirmative action has caused very few claims of reverse discrimination by white people, according to a draft of a report prepared by the Labor Department. The author says his findings poke holes in the theory that affirmative-action programs unfairly benefit minorities at the expense of white workers.

The report, prepared by a law professor at Rutgers University, Alfred W. Blumrosen, found fewer than 100 reverse-discrimination cases among more than 3,000 discrimination opinions by Federal district and appeals courts from 1990 to 1994.

A "high proportion" of the reverse-discrimination claims lacked merit, the review found. Reverse discrimination was established in six cases, and the courts provided appropriate relief in those cases, it said.
"This research suggests that the problem of 'reverse discrimination' is not widespread; and that where it exists, the courts have given relief," Mr. Blumrosen wrote. "Nothing in these cases would justify dismantling the existing structure of equal employment opportunity programs." Reverse-discrimination claims fell into two categories: individual decisions in which a white man asserted that he would have been hired for a job had he been black or female, and cases that claimed programs or plans unfairly favored women and minorities.

"Many of the cases were the result of a disappointed applicant failing to examine his or her own qualifications," Mr. Blumrosen wrote, "and erroneously assuming that when a woman or minority got the job, it was because of race or sex, not qualifications."
(Blumrosen, A. (1996: pp 5-6) US Department of Labor: Discrimination Complaints Review (1990-1994))

Other detailed studies BY SCHOLARS show very little reverse discrimination against whites in employment, exposing the bogus propaganda spun by racist "biodiversity" proponents. Most discrimination complaints brought by white men actually involve sex, not race discrimination, and the main opponent of the white men in said complaints was WHITE women.

"Reverse discrimination is rate both in absolute terms and relative to conventional discrimination. The most direct evidence for this conclusion comes from employment-audit studies. On every measured outcome, African-American men were much more likely than white men to experience discrimination, and Latinos were more likely than non-Hispanic men to experience discrimination (Heckman and Siegelman 1993, p. 218) Statistics on the numbers and outcomes of complaints of employment discrimination also suggest that reverse discrimination is rare. According to national surverys, relatively few whites have experienced reverse discrimination. Only 5 to 12 percent of whites beleive that their race has cost them a job or promotion, compared to 36 percent of African AMericans... Alfred Blumrosen's (1996, pp. 5-6) exhaustive review of discrimination complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offers additional evidence that reverse discrimination is rare... [of cases] two percent were by white men charging sex, race or national origin discrimination (three-quarters of these charged sex discriminatin) and 1.8 percent were by whote women charging race discrimination (Blumrosen p. 5)"

--Tracy E. Ore - 2005. The social construction of difference and inequality p. 390

Other detailed studies show trivial to almost no "reverse discrimination" against whites in employment. These studies note that reverse discrimination has occurred, but its prevalence is rare
"Barbara Reskin 1998) also acknowledges that some white men are hurt. In the four-page section n reverse discrimination, she discusses studies showing that few EEOC cases involving charges of discrimination filed by white men (Blumrosen 1995, 1996) and the few federal appeals court cases involving discrimination where white men are the plaintiffs (Burstein, 1991; She concludes, "Although rare, reverse discrimination does occur." 
--Fred Pincus 2010. Reverse discrimination: dismantling the myth 


Assorted right wingers charge that "[liberal] elites" give faux praise for that "lower achieving part of their heritage." The "liberals" also give false praise because the society in which they live "gives away" free stuff to that "lower achieving part." 

Actually "society" gives plenty of praise (and sometimes cash) to low achieving parts of white society, from white beer-guzzling slackers, to corrupt union feather-bedders. As for freebies, white society hands out
plenty to white low achievers- from the higher proportionate percentages paid to white welfare recipients in states with high white welfare populations, to low-academic ranking white union teachers - raking in a
lucrative suite of cash and benefits while delivering mediocre "education." These white slackers get paid even while they are not working, as New York's comfortable "rubber rooms" for white teachers demonstrate.

According to some scholars, "Affirmative action quotas" for a handful of minority students, are a mechanism to screen the much greater privilege enjoyed by mostly white legacy/alumni/big donor admittees to universities- who on average take up 20% of the slots. The "legacy" system for some years, has been under  attack to give way to a more purely based system, but if it were to disappear, "people not like us"- namely Jews and particularly Asians would grab the freed up slots. White people are not so incredibly generous as to just give away 2-5% of places to blacks and browns out of th goodness of their hearts. The "cullud quotas" act as a lightning rod, drawing the heat- allowing various whites to pose as champions of "diversity"- while behind the scenes, ensuring that their affluent white kids maintain their privileged positions. QUOTE:

"Ironically, Theodore Cross and Robert Bruce Slater, among others, have contended that 'the tremendous success of Asian students on standardized tests may save affirmative action programs for blacks at the most selective institutions,' including Harvard, because 'a strict merit-based admissions system would pose a particularly serious threat to the sacrosanct system of legacy admissions.' According to a U.S. Office of Civil Rights Compliance Review, alumni/ae children admitted to Harvard scored 35 points below the mean for all freshmen.. The controversy over racial preferences involved only the most competitive 20 percent of colleges and universities, where the number of applicants far exceeded he number of available places, since the overwhelming majority of institutions are not selective. Most whites denied admissions were rejected in favor of other white applicants, not in favor of the comparatively small number of minorities admitted."
--- Marcia Graham Synnott. 2010. The half opened door: The Half-Opened Door: Discrimination at Harvard, Yale, Princeton.

Curiously, the background of "Affirmative Action" quotas- Richard Nixon's "Philadelphia Plan" of the 1970s, does not reveal any hard push for such quotas by black leaders at the time. The main drive for the quota plan seemed to have come from elsewhere. History does not show blacks lined up at the time clamoring for quotas, as alleged by assorted right wingers... 
"What needs to be explained however, is why, if affirmative action was the result of civil rights activists moving into the halls of government, very few calls for affirmative action programs were heard at the time of their "capture".. Besides localized demands for quotas in large cities, and a brief national discussion of their possibility before the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, during which civil rights leaders made clear their opposition to quotas, very little was heard about the issue at all...

"What needs to be explained however, is why, if affirmative action was the result of civil rights activists moving into the halls of government, very few calls for affirmative action programs were heard at the time of their "capture".. Besides localized demands for quotas in large cities, and a brief national discussion of their possibility before the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, during which civil rights leaders made clear their opposition to quotas, very little was heard about the issue at all...

"key civil rights movement figures ignored or opposed the Philadelphia Plan when it was introduced an affirmative action policy in the construction industry in 1969... David Skrennty devotes an entire section in his book, The Ironies of Affirmative Action, to this very question. Noting that, in fact, none of the civil rights groups asked for affirmative action before it was implemented, he asks why, if racial preferences was in their interest, they did not demand it in 1964? His answer is simple: 'Anything beyond color blindness has a strange taboo-like quality. Advocacy of racial preferences was one of those 'third rails' of American politics: touch it and you die.
--Yuill, K, 2006. Richard Nixon and the Rise of Affirmative Action. p- 2-14


Could it be as some cynics have suggested that:

1) Nixon, the white architect of Watergate, pushed AA quotas, knowing that this "third rail" would  be a "wedge issue" in the Democrat camp, dividing its customary constituencies- blacks, Jews, union members, white ethnics, etc? And that the "wedge" would give certain right wingers a perennial bonus talking point- railing against "undeserving" or allegedly "unqualified" minorities "taking our jobs with quotas"?


(2) Could it be that the white initiators of Affirmative action quotas foresaw it would create  inevitable demand that OTHER groups also get quotas, most notably white women? Hence in this view, blacks would be pushed out as front men to be used as justification, and take most of the negative fallout/backlash, but white constituencies would quietly reap most of the benefit behind the scenes?  



Contrary to other claims, Affirmative action in higher education did not have the apocalyptic effects critics predicted. As one book notes, quoting another study: 

"The catastrophic scenarios conjured by the neo-conservatives and the [Jewish] agencies never came to pass. In fact between 1968 and 1973, blacks' share of total university faculty jobs grew from 2.2 to 2.9 percent; with historically black colleges and universities removed from the calculations, blacks made up only 0.9 percent of the professoriate. Over the next twenty years, black representation among full-time faculty members grew only .05 percent."
-- Mark Major (2010) "Where Do We Go From here,"

Right wingers fulminate about "cutting off all welfare for blacks" but avoid mentioning or conveniently downplaying the welfare largess being enjoyed by whites 

Not only are more whites than blacks on welfare in absolute numbers, but whites make a nice living as administrators, case workers and to use Thomas Sowell's phrase in his 1975 'Race and Economics" where he points this out- "miscellaneous processors of paper". Administering welfare to blacks provides many white people a nice bureaucratic sinecure, as do other social programs. You sometimes hear assorted "biodiversity" proponents hollering about "getting the blacks off welfare" while maintaining a hypocritical silence on how white people are reaping fulsome benefits both at the client and administrative ends. In fact Sowell calculated that about two-thirds of the money spent on welfare does not reach the poor. His general conclusion is bolstered by recent 2003 data. 70% of the money spent on anti-poverty programs is estimated to go towards mostly white government bureaucrats or towards payment to the non-poor as part of anti-pov programming. Medicaid payments for example flow to mostly white doctors. Housing subsidies usually are paid directly to landlords, many of whom are white, and so on. (See "The poverty of welfare: helping others in civil society" By Michael Tanner, 2003, Cato Institute).

Furthermore, the BLACKS who actually receive welfare long term are a MINORITY in the black community. Approx 36% of long term AFDC clients AS A WHOLE are black, but this 36% on the statistical rolls does not "represent" the black community as so often alleged. When the hard data is actually examined, as of 2000 census data, only about 6.7 percent of blacks NATIONWIDE are on welfare .See: (The progress paradox: how life gets better while people feel worse, By Gregg Easterbrook, 2004). Thus while welfare AS A WHOLE shows more blacks, WITHIN the black community, actual welfare recipients remain a small minority- a far cry from the dubious "biodiversity" picture depicting black America as subsisting mainly on "welfare".

Finally let's look at the the dirty little secret of white welfare we seldom hear about. On one hand, the Wisconsin governor recent change efforts can be commended for helping to reduce welfare dependency, but from another angle, his actions are typical of white government regimes that historically, have redirected a greater percentage weight of welfare benefits towards better-off whites than blacks, a pattern that exposes and undermines HBD charges of "undue" black benefit.

States with larger black welfare populations offered significantly LOWER welfare benefits, than in states with larger white populations. In essence, white welfare recipients saw greater amounts of aid given than blacks proportionately in said states, even though whites overall are better off than blacks, whether measured by income, net worth or family structure. Far from "undue" black benefit, white people got higher welfare payments in states where they were the majority welfare population, while the black share was cut where they were the majority. We keep hearing about massive legions of "undeserving" blacks on welfare, but the bottom line is that better off whites, disproportionately, are feeding more extensively and profitably from the welfare trough than blacks. QUOTE:

"To determine if the negative association between single-mother families and AFDC generosity is dependent on race, I incorporate the percentage of the population that is black into the model.. Doing so significantly improves our models in 1980 and 1990, as states with relatively large black populations have less generous AFDC payments... states with a larger percentage of black single-mother families have less generous welfare spending, while states with a larger proportion of white single-mother families offer more generous welfare spending.. These findings suggest that black and white families are granted uneven support by AFDC, or more specifically that the racial component of single parents in a state influences that state's generosity."
-Marlese Durr and Shirley Hill (2006) Race, Work, and Family in the Lives of African Americans. 125-129

The above pattern is the typical game some white people run. Put black folk out front as scapegoats to take the heat, while, quietly, behind the scenes, white people reap the benefits. White right wingers do their utmost to screen and obscure the basic pattern of the game. 

The book 'When Affirmative action Was WHite', by Ira Katznelson shows that whites systematically rigged social programs to benefit themselves while talking the soothing language of progressivism. As far back as the New Deal, which everyone these days celebrates as so "helpful" to blacks, (with nice pics of Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary Mcleod Bethune holding hands, etc etc), whites ensured that most of the benefits flowed to them, and released only marginal trickle-downs to blacks. The New Deal's Social Security for example specifically excluded people working as domestics- which would have been a large proportion of blacks. Result- while tax-paying blacks saw a little cash, most of the Social Security money went to white people, cutting blacks out of the loop. It was only until the Republicans came to power in the 1950s that this coverage problem was finally corrected.

Same with many of the touted New Deal programs. Time and time again, whites ensured that blacks were cut out of the largess, while they fed from the trough- all the while speaking the glowing language of progress, and sometimes having non-racial procedures on the books. Same with the War Industries that pulled the US out of the Depression- soothing language on the surface by whites, while behind the scenes, war industries systematically excluded blacks from employment - funneling almost all the better opportunities to whites. A. Phillip randolph had to threaten to embarrass Roosevelt by a March on Washington before there was some movement but even then- it was only the dire emergency of WWII that finally opened up many better paying jobs for blacks, not white goodwill.


When Affirmative Action Was White- (2005) author Katznelson traces
history to show that goals, timetables and quotas were specifically put in
place to benefit whites at the expense of blacks beginning in the New Deal
era. Indeed such quotas were embraced by southern whites with the
specific understanding that they would benefit and not blacks. In program
after program, blacks were cut out of the loop and sidelined while whites
garnered the benefits and filled body count quotas. Katznelson shows how this
was accomplished while whites used a seemingly "race neutral" approach.
 EXCERPT from some book reviews:

"Rather than seeing affirmative action developing out of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, Katznelson  finds its origins in the New Deal policies of the 1930s and 1940s. And instead of seeing it as a leg up for minorities, Katznelson argues that the prehistory of affirmative action was supported by Southern Democrats who were actually devoted to preserving a strict racial hierarchy, and that the resulting legislation was explicitly designed for the majority: its policies made certain, he argues, that whites received the full benefit of rising prosperity while blacks were deliberately left out. Katznelson supports this startling claim ingeniously, showing, for instance, that while the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act was a great boon for factory workers, it did nothing for maids and agricultural laborers—employment sectors dominated by blacks at the time—at the behest of Southern politicians. Similarly, Katznelson makes a strong case that the GI Bill, an ostensibly color-blind initiative, unfairly privileged white veterans by turning benefits administration over to local governments, thereby ensuring that Southern blacks would find it nearly impossible to participate...

Katznelson places into contemporary context the cause of racial inequity that is directly related to government policies, which are widely believed to benefit blacks but which have actually benefited whites. He eschews the more generalist focus on slavery and white supremacy as the causes of racial inequality and focuses on government policies of the New Deal and post-World War II distribution of veteran benefits. He identifies in a practical sense government policies, most of which appear neutral on their face, that were designed to restrict blacks and, in fact, impeded them from progressing commensurate with white America. The war economy and labor needs expanded opportunities for blacks and substantially reduced economic disparities. But postwar policies to promote home ownership and labor laws regarding minimum wages deliberately excluded blacks. Other policies providing the engine that produced today's middle class, including the GI benefits that financed college education, reinforced the discriminatory patterns... 

From a NY Times review:

"This history has been told before, but Katznelson offers a penetrating new analysis, supported by vivid examples and statistics. He examines closely how the federal government discriminated against black citizens as it created and administered the sweeping social programs that provided the vital framework for a vibrant and secure American middle class. Considered revolutionary at the time, the new legislation included the Social Security system, unemployment compensation, the minimum wage, protection of the right of workers to join labor unions and the G.I. Bill of Rights.

Even though blacks benefited to a degree from many of these programs, Katznelson shows how and why they received far less assistance than whites did. He documents the political process by which powerful Southern Congressional barons shaped the programs in discriminatory ways -- as their price for supporting them. (A black newspaper editorial criticized Roosevelt for excluding from the minimum wage law the black women who worked long hours for $4.50 a week at the resort the president frequented in Warm Springs, Ga.)

At the time, most blacks in the labor force were employed in agriculture or as domestic household workers. Members of Congress from the Deep South demanded that those occupations be excluded from the minimum wage, Social Security, unemployment insurance and workmen's compensation. When labor unions scored initial victories in organizing poor factory workers in the South after World War II, the Southern Congressional leaders spearheaded legislation to cripple those efforts. The Southerners' principal objective, Katznelson contends, was to safeguard the racist economic and social order known as the Southern "way of life."

Katznelson's principal focus is on the monumental social programs of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal and Harry Truman's Fair Deal in the 1930's and 1940's. He contends that those programs not only discriminated against blacks, but actually contributed to widening the gap between white and black Americans -- judged in terms of educational achievement, quality of jobs and housing, and attainment of higher income. Arguing for the necessity of affirmative action today, Katznelson contends that policy makers and the judiciary previously failed to consider just how unfairly blacks had been treated by the federal government in the 30 years before the civil rights revolution of the 1960's.

I wrote about the impact of the G.I. Bill and segregated suburbia in "How Integrated is your neighborhood?" Katznelson goes much deeper into just how post WWII programs set the stage for minority exclusion from upward mobility.

Katznelson reserves his harshest criticism for the unfair application of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act, known as the G.I. Bill of Rights, a series of programs that poured $95 billion into expanding opportunity for soldiers returning from World War II. Over all, the G.I. Bill was a dramatic success, helping 16 million veterans attend college, receive job training, start businesses and purchase their first homes. Half a century later, President Clinton praised the G.I. Bill as ''the best deal ever made by Uncle Sam,'' and said it ''helped to unleash a prosperity never before known.''

But Katznelson demonstrates that African-American veterans received significantly less help from the G.I. Bill than their white counterparts. ''Written under Southern auspices,'' he reports, ''the law was deliberately designed to accommodate Jim Crow.'' He cites one 1940's study that concluded it was ''as though the G.I. Bill had been earmarked 'For White Veterans Only.' '' Southern Congressional leaders made certain that the programs were directed not by Washington but by local white officials, businessmen, bankers and college administrators who would honor past practices. As a result, thousands of black veterans in the South -- and the North as well -- were denied housing and business loans, as well as admission to whites-only colleges and universities. They were also excluded from job-training programs for careers in promising new fields like radio and electrical work, commercial photography and mechanics. Instead, most African-Americans were channeled toward traditional, low-paying ''black jobs'' and small black colleges, which were pitifully underfinanced and ill equipped to meet the needs of a surging enrollment of returning soldiers.

The statistics on disparate treatment are staggering. By October 1946, 6,500 former soldiers had been placed in nonfarm jobs by the employment service in Mississippi; 86 percent of the skilled and semiskilled jobs were filled by whites, 92 percent of the unskilled ones by blacks. In New York and northern New Jersey, ''fewer than 100 of the 67,000 mortgages insured by the G.I. Bill supported home purchases by nonwhites.'' Discrimination continued as well in elite Northern colleges. The University of Pennsylvania, along with Columbia the least discriminatory of the Ivy League colleges, enrolled only 46 black students in its student body of 9,000 in 1946. The traditional black colleges did not have places for an estimated 70,000 black veterans in 1947. At the same time, white universities were doubling their enrollments and prospering with the infusion of public and private funds, and of students with their G.I. benefits. "

Joint products of "racial evolution"...


The Teflon Don- Covid-era approval rating may signal November success

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Racial discrimination is alive and kicking in employment, housing and credit markets

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Sowell- Liberal intellectuals and hard questions about race differences- Trump era may force them to focus?

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Go with the flow 2- African gene flow into Europe in various eras

DNA studies show African movement to Europe from very ancient times

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Guilt2- Media collaborates with guilt mongers - or how to play the white victim card

How Obama plays on white guilt- Hilary capitalizes

Hands off the Confederate flag

Despite much more wealth than blacks, whites collect about the same rate of welfare and are treated more generously

African "boat people" ushering in European demographic decline

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Are violent minorities taking over California and the West?

Presidential hopeful Ben Carson meets and Greeks

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Time for liberals to respect "the south" ... in a way of speaking.. the south of Egypt that is..

Irony 2: touted High IQ "G-men" cannot reproduce themselves

Unz and Sowell: Unz debunking Lynn's IQ and Wealth of Nations. Sowell debunking the Bell Curve

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Elite white universities discriminate against Asians using reverse "affirmative action"

Deteriorating state of white America

Racial Cartels (The Affirmative Action Propaganda machine- part 2

Hereditarian's/HBD's "Great Black Hope"

Exploding nonsense: the 10,000 Year Explosion

We need "rational racism"?

The Affirmative Action Propaganda Machine- part 1

Two rules for being "really" black- no white wimmen, no Republican

The Axial age reconsidered

Cannibal seasonings: dark meat on white

"Affirmative Action" in the form of court remedies has been around a long time- since the 1930s- benefiting white union workers against discrimination by employers

Mugged by reality 1: White quotas, special preferences and government jobs

Lightweight enforcement of EEO laws contradicts claims of "flood" of minorities "taking jobs"

Railroaded 3: white violence and intimidation imposed quotas

Railroaded 2: how white quotas and special preferences blockade black progress...

Railroaded 1: How white affirmative action and white special preferences destroyed black railroad employment...

Affirmative action: primary beneficiaries are white women

7 reasons certain libertarians and right-wingers are wrong about the Civil Right Act

Social philosophy of Thomas Sowell

Bogus "biodiversity" theories of Kanazawa, Ruston, Lynn debunked

JP Rushton, Michael Levin, Richard Lynn debunked. Weaknesses of Jared Diamond's approach.

In the Blood- debunking "HBD" and Neo-Nazi appropriation of ancient Egypt

early Europeans and middle Easterners looked like Africans. Peoples returning or "backflowing" to Africa would already be looking like Africans

 Ancient Egypt: one of the world's most advanced civilizations- created by tropical peoples

Playing the "Greek defence" -debunking claims of Greeks as paragons of virtue or exemplars of goodness

Quotations from mainstream academic research on the Nile Valley peoples

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