Re: White Male Discrimination

From: James Rogers (
Date: Tue Aug 07 2001 - 18:38:28 MDT

On 8/7/01 4:24 PM, "Emlyn O'regan" <> wrote:
> Mike Lorrey wrote:
>> Rather, count, for instance, the middle and upper class black kids who
>> get free rides to colleges based on their race while poor white kids
>> just as capable are rejected specifically because they are white.
> This discussion just seems silly. It's extremely hard to swallow this line
> that white males are underprivileged in the US. In Australia, it seems to me
> that being male and white is the easiest thing in the world. Maybe things
> are substantially different there?

My impression has generally been that social welfare is more equitable in
Australia and Europe with respect to race than it is in the U.S.

While I haven't seen it or heard it from older generations, who generally
have no complaint in this regard, I know many white people from my
generation (I'm in my late twenties), who grew up destitute and were
essentially ignored simply for the fact that they were white. As far as I
can tell, this was only really noticeable to a relatively narrow
generational band, and even then, only if you were poor enough to fall under
the purview of social welfare systems, as I technically was. I know of
several specific cases of covert and overt racial discrimination with
respect to public health care facilities that service the poor, that
discriminated against white people. Circa 1990, I remember substantial
inequality of opportunity with respect to college admissions, especially at
the "good" universities. I had a wealthy black friend with modest academics
get accepted to a well-known law school that had rejected one of my other
friends applying for the same program, a lower-middle class white guy with
excellent academics. And this is just one of numerous examples from my
personal experience during that time. This kind of thing left an impression
on people and I have many friends my age who can cite a litany of personal
experiences to this effect.

Now, some of this could be attributed to overcompensation for allegations of
institutional racism in previous years, as many public institutions were
sensitive to accusations of racism at the time and were trying to avoid them
at all cost. However, for the people who lived through that period and had
to deal with the system, it felt like institutional racism against white

Speaking unofficially for poor white people from my generation, most of us
don't really begrudge the fact that this went on; most of us found ways to
survive and sacrifice with the situation handed to us. However, what really
pisses us off (and you see some of this on the list in these discussions),
is that we are being told that we are under some kind of obligation to
support this system financially, after being told to piss off by the same
system when an equitable social system would have given us some help.

Things may be more balanced now (I wouldn't know), but I do see a strong
resentment of racial preferences of any type in caucasians of my generation,
largely as a result of firsthand experiences with an over-the-top program to
reverse racism with racial preferences in social programs. This may very
well be an unintended consequence that will strongly limit the popularity of
any future race-oriented programs.

Hopefully this broadens your perspective some.


-James Rogers

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:40:04 MDT