Re: White Male Discrimination

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Tue Aug 07 2001 - 22:20:10 MDT

At 05:38 PM 8/7/01 -0700, James Rogers wrote, lucidly as ever:

>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.

The biggest difference is that ten percent of our population isn't derived
from visibly identifiable people long treated as chattels. Perhaps one or
two percent of the population are aboriginal people, with varying degrees
of black skin, and they do pretty badly (despite a lot of money thrown at
various aspects of their miserable circumstances). But they're often *so*
out of synch with the dominant culture that the very idea of entering
university rarely arises. Aboriginal and Islander people who *do* manage to
achieve schooling (often, to their later bitterness, after having been
raised by adoptive white families or institutions: `stolen generations'
abducted from their families under government order, `for their own good')
have abundant scholarships available, I believe. But Russell is probably in
a better position to comment.

>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.

Another way to deal with this `problem' is to put sufficient central
revenue funds into education that *everyone* has access to the limits of
their ability. I realize this isn't the American Way, but it's how it was
done in Australia during the '70s and '80s (and allowed me in my poverty to
go back and do a PhD--on a scholarship that paid my modest living expenses,
as well as tuition). More recently, conservative govts have throttled those
opportunities back. Now we seem on the verge of twitching again back to a
more `left-liberal' position. Makes sense to me.

Yet another method is to have loans available to all students, payable at
moderate interest well after graduation (and frankly, I'd cut a lot of
slack to those who fail, forgiving their debt: some people fuck up, but
let's not foreclose psychologically on their entry out of their *fear* of
fucking up). This is somewhat like the system we currently use in Oz, with
deferred payment--although wealthy parents can currently pay a smaller fee
up front; presumably this reduces expensive paperwork and saves the
institutions the risk of losing money on the kids who kill themselves, go
mad or default.

>Hopefully this broadens your perspective some.

Same here.

Damien Broderick

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