Why Whites Hate Affirmative Action
Lack of knowledge on the actual policies. Very few people actually understand the original executive orders, subsequent judicial decisions and legislation beyond sound bites via “news” that is insistent upon painting this as “taking stuff” from Whites for Black people (as if it is “just” about Black people). Honesty, how many White people have reviewed the actual history of why this is needed? It’s almost as rare to find as anyone who calls themselves “patriotic” who has actually read the Constitution or a Christian who has read the Bible. Media soundbites shaped by bigotry (in a White supremacist capitalist patriarchal society) absorbed by many Whites whose life ideologies have been shaped by bigotry is not going to produce the nuance and thought necessary to understand affirmative action. (Even so, these two simple, non in-depth cartoons explain this almost as well as the complex legalese: 1 and 2.)
Anti-intellectualism. Piggybacking on the first point, the current culture of anti-intellectualism doesn’t encourage most White people (and Americans at large) to actually investigate things they are “for” or “against.” It’s much simpler to decide to be “for” anything shaped by a legacy of White supremacy and White privilege and against anything that appears to be contrary to the former. Whites are used to being a “baseline,” the “norm,” or not considered a group at all, but those whom other groups are compared to. Sociopolitically, many Whites are having a “day of reckoning” moment by even being classified as a “group,” or a “race” as Tom Scocca pointed out so well in a recent article about Romney’s overwhelming support from Whites. These factors contribute to the resistance to affirmative action.
Ahistorical views on race. If a White person takes the “why isn’t there a White history month” and “why isn’t there a White Entertainment Television station” stances on Whites and the media, it can be safely assumed that they are either uneducated or being willfully ignorant about the role of race in America and why certain spaces exist for Black people amidst the media, public discourse and culture itself. By pretending that the tide of history has no racial element, they can then infer that if everyone “is equal” (as if being equal means being treated equally) Black people are “unfairly” getting “goodies” through affirmative action. This also ignores the fact that even with said theoretical ”goodies,” unemployment, health care, finances, real estate, and more is markedly worse for Black people (and other people of colour) versus White. The latter is written off as Black “character failures” in the ever so common victim blaming ideologies such as American “exceptionalism” and even “patriotism” at times. This is where LIES about “poverty culture” come about as a way to praise greed, wealth and Whiteness and demonize suffering, poverty and Blackness.
The concept of what “greatness” is. The inherent racism involved in assuming that someone White is always “more” qualified, as if being White is a skill itself, is common in everything from college admissions to employment applications. The idea is that some “stupid” minority “stole” a slot from the perfect White knight on a horse who deserved things because he “worked” for them prevails. Further, the idea that perhaps a series of advantages afforded by White privilege is “hard work” would be even more humorous if it wasn’t despicable. Said privileges often place Whites ahead in spaces by sheer virtue of the luxury of Whiteness, not any actual work. The myth of meritocracy is a plague on the American psyche. (Christopher Hayes wrote about this oh too well in his book Twilight Of The Elites - America After Meritocracy. Also, I recently read a fascinating study about the REALITY of financial aid versus the myth that “stupid” minorities “take all of the college monies,” and other assorted lies.)
A zero/sum view of racism. Ultimately, many Whites feel that any joy, success or progress in Black life means misery, failure and regression in White life. Period. This tunnel vision view is rooted in racism and fear. Research has revealed that many cisgender heterosexual White men feel like the “real” victims in America. Even if they are victims, would that not be at the hands of men just like them, except of a higher social class? Not to them. Racist social narratives involve the worship of “job creators” (the same ones who fire these men) as heroes because after all, they share Whiteness even if they don’t share class, status or cash. Other research has revealed that while some Whites view past times (during and pre-Civil Rights era) as a time more racist against Blacks, they view today as “more racist” against Whites. Of course this is false and has more to do with the idea of some Black people not suffering and Barack Obama’s existence more than any in-depth study of how race is a primary factor to consider when examining socioeconomic status. The enlightened exceptionalism involved in some who even choose to praise Oprah or Beyonce or LeBron James is what allows them to pretend that life for the average and for most Black people has dramatically changed, when for many, it has not. Claims of “reverse racism,” which doesn’t exist, are more common now than ever.
People who benefit from affirmative action also want it destroyed. While more than anyone else, White women have benefited from affirmative action, many of them stand with White men against affirmative action while simultaneously benefiting from it. Most people now know the name Abigail Fisher and know it well. Further, many older Black people (primarily men from what I’ve seen) want it dismantled despite the fact they benefited from it in the past. They clearly knew that in their time especially, being qualified was not enough. Assumed inferiority blocked their way.
"They found that a year after the event, the women who were turned away from an abortion were more likely to rely on government assistance, more likely to be living beneath the poverty line, and less likely to have a full-time job than the women in the study who had obtained abortions. They also registered more anxiety a week after they were denied an abortion and reported more stress a year out. They were no more or less likely to be depressed. And women who gave birth suffered from more serious health complications—from hemorrhaging to a fractured pelvis—than the women who aborted, even later in their pregnancies.
Happy home lives also failed to materialize. The women who were turned away were more than twice as likely to be a victim of domestic violence as those who were able to abort. The researchers found that “a year after being denied an abortion, 7 percent reported an incident of domestic violence in the last six months,” compared to 3 percent of the women who received abortions. The researchers concluded that this “wasn’t because the turnaways were more likely to get into abusive relationships,” but that “getting abortions allowed women to get out of such relationships more easily.” Carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term helped abusive men stay in these women’s lives, but it didn’t encourage delinquent new dads to stick around: The researchers found that “men were no more likely to live with a turnaway who’d borne their children than they were to live with a woman who had an abortion.”
The abortion debate often focuses on a woman’s health during those first nine months. This study shows that an unwanted pregnancy can have long-lasting effects on a woman’s body and well-being far after she carries it to term."
[NB: More people than just cis women need and want access to abortion care.]
In no state can a minimum wage worker afford a two bedroom unit at Fair Market Rent, working a standard 40-hour work week.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, but that figure varies depending on where you live. Earlier this year*, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released their annual housing report documenting the disparity between what minimum wage workers can afford to pay for rent and how much rent costs. While it’s not surprising that these workers have trouble paying their rent, it is shocking to see just how big the gap is in many states. For example, in Hawaii, the most expensive state, a person needs to make $31.68 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment. (An apartment is considered affordable if rent and utilities cost under 30 percent of a person’s income.) For someone making minimum wage, that would mean working 175 hours — which isn’t even possible (since there are only 168 hours in a week). The disparity exists for every state and commonwealth with the shortest work week in Puerto Rico, where you would still need to work 55 hours to make the rent.
Since 2008, the affordability of housing has steadily eroded for working households in 24 states. Nearly one in four working households spends more than half its income on housing costs, according to a report from the Center for Housing Policy.
"If my father were alive today, he would be in his 90s. He grew up financially well off in the Depression but his disinheritance by his father and service in WWII opened his eyes to the suffering of most of the world. He did not contribute to charitable religious organizations, preferring to support governmental or secular groups. Here’s why: I vividly remember driving by the Salvation Army store one day, and my father saying he wouldn’t give them a cent. When I asked why, he said, “they make those poor bastards say a prayer before they’ll give them a hot meal.” He believed, rightly or not I cannot say, that religious charities served the poor only to recruit them to their faith. The thought of a man bending his knee to a god he didn’t believe in, in exchange for a hot meal, made my father sick. Government doesn’t make you say a prayer before they give you a hot meal. This has always been a very powerful argument, to me, for supporting public social programs over private charity."
A Dish Reader
Women perform 66 percent of the world’s work, produce 50 percent of the food, but earn 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property (UNICEF, ‘Gender Equality – The Big Picture’, 2007.)
Poverty has a woman’s face and that face is definitely that face of a woman of color, not a white woman!!
Seriously, this point is very important and I still do not understand why it is always sidelined. As if our poverty issues were in anyway comparable to women’s in the west. Race plays a major role in the way patriarchal white supremacist capitalism affects us.
Most food producers in the west are men who have access to the latest technologies, while they are overwhelmingly very poor women in developing countries. This is why, not mentioning race or the developing / developed countries dichotomy makes sentences such as this one “Women […] produce 50 percent of the food” at best a distortion of the truth.
"Poverty is not simply having no money — it is isolation, vulnerability, humiliation and mistrust. It is not being able to differentiate between employers and exploiters and abusers. It is contempt for the simplistic illusion of meritocracy — the idea that what we get is what we work for. It is knowing that your mother, with her arthritic joints and her maddening insomnia and her post-traumatic stress disordered heart, goes to work until two in the morning waiting tables for less than minimum wage, or pushes a janitor’s cart and cleans the shit-filled toilets of polished professionals. It is entering a room full of people and seeing not only individual people, but violent systems and stark divisions. It is the violence of untreated mental illness exacerbated by the fact that reality, from some vantage points, really does resemble a psychotic nightmare. It is the violence of abuse and assault which is ignored or minimized by police officers, social services, and courts of law. Poverty is conflict. And for poor kids lucky enough to have the chance to “move up,” it is the conflict between remaining oppressed or collaborating with the oppressor."
Megan Lee (via sociolab)
Black Nigger Monkeys can’t have shit! Not even the tiniest morsel of luxury. So what they are poor/homeless and have a smart phone! No one says shit to white rich kids who don’t even pay their own fucking bills! And if these people are poor. NYC its because u fucking made them that way! Urgh rage
erasure of the poor and the glorification of the rich
the problems of the rich are marketed as everyone’s problems. We ignore the fundamental problems with our economy and instead focus on superficial issues. We listen to those with the loudest voices and best reputations, because we’re distracted by charm and glamour. The nation’s poor are rarely given a voice in the national discourse, nor do they have the time or the resources to fight for a voice. They are simply forgotten as the rest of America indulges in the illusion that we are all middle class. Thus, class is perpetuated. The wealthy does as they please while the rest of America works at trying to be as successful as the wealthy. No one wants to stop and give voice to those at the bottom of the ladder, because everyone else is to busy staring at the top of it.
"If white America would come face-to-face with white poverty, it would realize that these anti-poverty programs are needed in their communities, too. And we would move beyond a view of poverty as the pathology of a specific racial or ethnic group. Would white people casually accept Newt Gingrich telling them that their children have no work ethic and need to start cleaning school bathrooms?"
According to a National Women’s Law Center analysis of the census data, the poverty rate for women grew from 13.9 percent in 2009 to 14.5 percent in 2010. It’s even higher for women of color: One in 4 black and Latina women lived in poverty in 2010.
— Ms. Magazine blog: The Women in Poverty Epidemic, Visualized (click image for larger pdf)