Affirmative Action: Still White!

The Washington Post reported on a study showing that white scientists are still more likely to receive government grants than black scientists, a finding that reminded me of all the low-down racism that occurred during and after the great depression that essentially excluded African-Americans from the New Deal policies and agencies that created the American middle class.

Even after the researchers accounted for other factors that could help explain the discrepancy, such as differences in scientists’ education and training, black applicants were still about 10 percentage points less likely than whites to get NIH funding, the researchers reported. About 27 percent of white applicants’ requests were successful, compared with only about 17 percent of blacks’.

Asians applying for money appeared to be slightly less likely than whites to get grants, but that gap disappeared when the researchers matched equally qualified white and Asian U.S. citizens. Hispanics were about as successful as whites.

This why when privileged white dudes like Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn spew crap like this:

Responding to a man in Langley who asked if Obama “wants to destroy America,” Coburn said the president is “very bright” and loves his country but has a political philosophy that is “goofy and wrong.”

Obama’s “intent is not to destroy, his intent is to create dependency because it worked so well for him,” he said.

“As an African-American male,” Coburn said, Obama received “tremendous advantage from a lot of these programs.

I get really pissed off. This is essentially a scarcely evolved version of Nixon’s Southern Strategy and comes from the same place as Reagan “welfare queen anecdote and Bush I’s Willie Horton ads. Racial animus and anxiety are essentially the bread and butter of Republican identity politics. Toss in some classism and you have the cocktail of our present electoral game. Rather than North v. South its coming down Rural/Exurban v. Urban/Suburban and the dark folks are always the scapegoats.

Sigh. Racism. Aint it a bitch.



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