There was a time when I could not have had a conversation with any of my White working class male friends without the subject of “affirmative action” coming up. The general theme was something like this: “I lost my job to some Black guy because of that dammed affirmative action!” The term “Affirmative Action Babies” became a staple on right wing talk radio and among most talking heads on Fox. Working class Whites who lost their jobs due to globalization or who were passed over for a promotion, or missed some educational opportunity found affirmative action babies to be a natural scapegoats. The one problem is that White women benefited from affirmative laws far, far more than Blacks.
“people are more likely to support affirmative action if it is portrayed as a remedy benefiting “women” rather than “people of color, particularly African Americans.” The consultants also seemed to be saying that affirmative action supporters should target their message to white women as a group, appealing to the group’s self-interest in maintaining the programs.”
Below Tim Wise opens an old, new door on affirmative action. He details the unmistakable connection between affirmative action and white privilege: (Tim Wise, one of my favorite White “Black Militants”.)
Just as the corporate media has made Blacks the face of welfare recipients (By sheer numbers many more Whites are on the welfare roles than Blacks) ; The “dead beats” caused the housing crash by not living within their means (sound a bit like knowing their place). Rick Santelli’s rant on the trading floor of Wall Street set the tone that placed the recent housing crash squarely on the worn out shoulders of America’s Black population. America’s Black population has been solidly branded by the media with the label of affirmative action babies.
What I find puzzling is that White women who have benefited far more than Blacks were and are today shamefully quiet, allowing Blacks to take the brunt of white male rage.
“Insiders agree that Blacks, with only 14 percent of the population, hardly can match the power or influence of White women, a whopping 51 percent, who have links to White men, the future husbands and community builders. Said Katherine Spiller, the national coordinator for the Feminist Majority Foundation, speaking on the absence of women in the debate, “Affirmative action for women is popular. They dare not wake a sleeping giant that is in fact the majority of the American electorate.”