The dominant society seems to be in uproar about pretty much everything these days. And with all the uproar comes misinFORMATION. Lets clear up a few things about the way systematic racism has worked in the U.S.A. Racism implies a system of power that deprives one group and advances another. Therefore, only one group of people can truly be racist as it currently stands.
A Long History of Racial Preferences - For Whites
Many middle-class white people, especially those who grew up in the suburbs, like to think that they got to where they are today by virtue of our merit - hard work, intelligence, pluck, and maybe a little luck. And while they may be sympathetic to the plight of others, they close down when they hear the words "affirmative action" or "racial preferences." "We worked hard, we made it on our own," the thinking goes, why don't 'they'? After all, it's been almost 40 years now since the Civil Rights Act was passed.
Without readily acknowledging that racial preferences have a long, institutional history in this country - a white history. Here are a few ways in which government programs and practices have channeled wealth and opportunities to white people at the expense of others.
Affirmative action in the American "workplace" first began in the late 17th century when European indentured servants - the original source of unfree labor on the new tobacco plantations of Virginia and Maryland - were replaced by African slaves. In exchange for their support and their policing of the growing slave population, lower-class Europeans won new rights, entitlements, and opportunities from the planter elite.