That Old Small-Minded Racial Thinking


Reading Lawrence Proulx’s observations in yesterday’s Providence Journal, one can easily predict what sort of reaction he’d be apt to get:

In my work, I read one of the world’s great newspapers; in my leisure time I read other general-interest papers and magazines. And I have slowly gotten the impression that white people and men are treated in a particular, unenviable, way. They are, in reporting and commentary, what you might call fair game. Where writers are generally reluctant to call attention to the sex, ethnicity, religion or race of people when the result would be unflattering, they make an exception for whites and for men. There is something in the air that implicitly imparts the message that white people and men have it coming.

One comment to a related Facebook post from commentary editor Ed Achorn captures the flawed thinking of the racist worldview that lumps people together based on the color of their skin:

… complaining that white men are being treated unfairly is absurd. Take a look around this room and tell me what you see. Especially on the Republican half of things.

The appended picture appears to be from a state of the union address to Congress.  The reasoning is: It can’t be that white men are treated unfairly when there are so many of them in power.  The problem is that, while white men dominate in Congress, a vanishingly small percentage of white men are Congressmen or Senators.  By definition, most white men are not members of the elite.

What the American elite (which is overwhelming white) has done by permeating our society with the anti-white bias about which Proulx complains is to reduce opportunity for lower-class whites.  Those who are surrounded by privilege have opportunities no matter their sex or race; those whose families and associates are not so well positioned need to find opportunities where they can.  Dividing the playing board by race ensures that those who lack opportunities are the ones who pay the dues for their race.

If it’s true that white men of all classes have advantages over others in their own classes, then racialism impedes the greatest competition facing white men in upper classes.  I’m not so sure the racial assumption is true, though, which means racialism allows elites to help out their privileged peers of other races by way of denying opportunities to those whom they’ve demonized.

  • Mike678

    It is all about power. Not reality or truth. Power.

  • ShannonEntropy

    Where writers are generally reluctant to call attention to the sex, ethnicity, religion or race of people when the result would be unflattering…

    That “policy” has really back·fired cuz now whenever you hear of a violent crime or other felony being reported, you just automatically assume that the perp is a “person of color”

    Like this story =►

    Hmmm … Robertson. McLaren … sounds like two white guys, right ?? But the article doesn’t specifically mention that they are white, so they must be black

    Elementary, my dear Justin =►