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Racism Against White People

Sam Sommers ’97 and Michael Norton ’97 write in the Washington Post:

We asked 417 black and white respondents to assess how big a problem anti-black bias was in America in each decade from the 1950s to the present. We then asked them the same questions about anti-white bias — the extent to which they felt that racism against whites has changed since the 1950s.

Black and white Americans both thought anti-black bias had decreased over the decades. Whites saw that decline as steeper and more dramatic than blacks did, but the general impressions of the trend were similar for both races.

When asked about anti-white bias, though, black and white respondents differed significantly in their views. Black respondents identified virtually no anti-white bias in any decade. White respondents agreed that anti-white bias was not a problem in the 1950s, but reported that bias against whites started climbing in the 1960s and 1970s before rising sharply in the past 30 years.

When asked about the present-day United States, a striking difference emerged. Our average white respondent believed that at the time of our survey in 2011, anti-white bias was an even bigger problem than anti-black bias.

Lots of Trump voters agree.

This perception is fascinating, as it stands in stark contrast to data on almost any outcome that has been assessed.

What a perfectly clueless statement! The outcomes for different groups will be different, even in a world of zero bias, if those groups have genetic and/or cultural differences.

From life expectancy to school discipline to mortgage rejection to police use of force, outcomes for white Americans tend to be — in the aggregate — better than outcomes for black Americans, often substantially so.

And, in all those areas, the outcomes for Asian-Americans are much better than those for white Americans. Would Sommers/Norton argue that this is evidence for a bias against whites? If not, why not? If so, then maybe those white respondents are on to something!