Ezra Resnick writes a Letter to a successful white male.
Congratulations! You’re a successful white male. Or, as you might prefer to put it, you’re a successful person who just happens to be a white male — why would anyone think your gender and race have anything to do with your success? That’s textbook sexism and racism. You worked hard to get where you are. You never asked for special treatment, nor do you recall ever receiving any.
There was discrimination in the past, sure, but that’s all over now. It ended one afternoon in…let’s see…1977 was it? That sounds right.
Now there is perfect total universal equality of opportunity, and all you have to do to know that is look around. Or sit in your armchair and think about looking around – it’s the same thing. People have the jobs they want. There are no signs on doors saying “Go away black people.” Everything’s worked itself out, like rocks rolling down a hillside.
You naturally assume, then, that if women or minorities are underrepresented in certain fields, they must generally be less suited for them, or less interested in them, or less inclined to do the work necessary to succeed in them.
Well obviously. There are women doctors and lawyers on tv; there are black doctors and lawyers on tv. Everything is fixed now. If you didn’t get that job it’s because you didn’t really try.
Nevertheless, you keep hearing talk about “privilege” and “unconscious bias” from people who seem unimpressed by your logical reasoning. In order to silence the agitators, perhaps there is some scientific way to demonstrate the absence of discrimination in our society?
We could perform a controlled experiment. For example, we could send emails to university professors from fictional prospective students seeking to discuss research opportunities prior to applying to a doctoral program, varying only the name of the fictional student to signal gender and race — and discover that faculty ignored requests from women and minorities at a higher rate than requests from white males (particularly in higher-paying disciplines and private institutions). Or, we could send fictitious resumes in reply to help-wanted ads, varying only the name on the resume to sound either white or African American — and discover that white names received 50 percent more callbacks for interviews. Or, we could ask university science faculty to rate a fictional student application for a laboratory manager position, varying only the student’s name to be male or female — and discover that the male applicant was rated as significantly more competent and hireable, and was offered a higher starting salary and more career mentoring, than the (identical) female applicant. And so on.
POLITICAL CORRECTNESS RUN MAD.