Being White Is Awesome, So How Could We Be Racist? (Column) - the York Daily Record

b_sharp5/14/2013 8:24:39 am PDT

re: #1 SanFranciscoZionist

It’s a good piece. One thing I would nitpick about is that I see the whole ‘twice as many whites on welfare as blacks’ thing quite a lot these days—it seems to be a Thing To Point Out now—and I have two problems with it. One is that it quite simply ignores the ratio of white Americans to black Americans—there are a hell of a lot more white Americans, and a higher percentage of black Americans on public assistance. We don’t let the wingnuts get away with statistical silliness like that, and we shouldn’t do it either.

The purpose of stating it here is to stress that the assumption of a welfare queen being black is erroneous, the likelihood that a person on welfare chosen at random is black is lower than that person being white.
If people were to base their mental image on the reality rather than on racial bias (read racism) they should have an image of a white person in their minds.

As stated in the article, this isn’t a statistical silliness. That there are more whites on welfare and that the highest percentage by race on welfare are black are not mutually exclusive. In fact the point in the article concerning racial bias in employment goes directly to the higher percentage of blacks on welfare by showing a systemic racism in employee selection increases the number of blacks on welfare.

And building from that, I feel as though it dismisses the whole issue of black poverty and economic disadvantage for a throwaway gotcha point. “Twice as many whites on welfare as blacks!” OK, am I supposed to think now that white Americans are twice as economically disadvantaged as black Americans? Should I assume black Americans are doing fine in this economy? Well, no. So what is the point of this point?

No, you are supposed to question why the image of a black comes to mind when welfare is discussed. By pure numbers, the image of a white person should come to mind.

I have witnessed the process of resume dumping and interview callbacks mentioned by the author personally. I was an assistant manager of a Consumer’s Distributing back when dinosaurs roamed the plains and was trained on hiring by a regional manager. He would dump any resume that had an aboriginal sounding name or had a reservation as an home address. I should have said something but didn’t because I needed the job. Thankfully, I became a manager 8 months later and changed that practice.