Sunday, December 17, 2006

Discrimination, my ass: I have avoided commentary on this blog, figuring that the last thing the blogosphere needs is another fact-free gasbag, but after reading yet another "achievement gap" article, I really need to vent.

Students of the so-called prejudice problem obsess about race (thereby making ME obsess about race) but there are people with any number of traits that those in power might not want to help. The traditional power-holder has been a Christian, an English speaker, an American by culture, heterosexual, a member of a particular family, a man, and a white. An employer or professor, for example, might have something against people not matching himself in any of these characteristics.

So let's forget the facts for a moment and predict who would be at the bottom of the social ladder on the basis of the preceding points. He, or rather, she would be non-Christian, not good at English, not steeped in American culture, and not white. The woman who fits this desciption perhaps the best is Chinese. So is she at the bottom? Exactly the opposite of correct. She is more likely than a female member of any other American ethnic group to have a bachelor's degree or higher. In fact, according to the General Social Survey, the only men more educated than she are Chinese and Indian men. Discrimination, my ass.

6 comments:

pjgoober said...

Besides blacks and american indians, was *any* race treated as bad as the chinese when they first arrived? They seem to not to have experienced any "lingering effects". I doubt that even the Irish got it *quite* so bad.

agnostic said...

Not only are there no "lingering" effects -- they were never there in the first place. How many Chinese and Jewish gangs ran rampant in the early 20th C. Chinatowns and Lower East Sides?

tggp said...

Agnostic, I think there were a lot of jewish immigrants involved in mob activity in the early 20th century.

Razib said...

he's got you there assman.

perroazul del norte said...

Agnostic, I think there were a lot of jewish immigrants involved in mob activity in the early 20th century.

Organized crime and a culture of widespread criminality are distinct phenomena. The OC element among Jews(and ethnic Italians) was always a rather small group that only involved a tiny percentage of the group as a whole. Contrast this with the situation in the black community for the last two generations.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the "discrimination" does not apply to personal achievement but to professinal acheivement. One can control personal achievement in America as long as you can find some way to pay for an education. The problem of inequality and discrimination still lies in the professional realm. Statistics still hold to income discrimination. Income for a white male, a white woman, a male of color and a woman of color who have equivalent degrees breaks down like this: A white male is the top earner, and white woman and a man of color make 1/3 less than the white male, women of color make 1/3 less than the white woman/male of color. Therefore, even if a Chinese woman is educated, she will still be releatively unsuccessful in the professional realm which is still a white man's world in America.