April 30, 2017

The BBC and the Myth of White Privilege

Recently, the BBC put out a 10 minute mini documentary entitled “Inside the Mind of White America”. In this clip, a Black from England interviews several White Americans about whether or not they feel sufficiently guilty about the state of Blacks in America.

Such a thing would only ever be done to White people. If a journalist interviewed Hispanics, or Blacks, or Jews, or Native Americans, or Asians, about race relations and racism, they would be asked about racism against their own ethnic group. It is only when talking to White people that we are allowed to ask a group of people exclusively about how evil they are. That is the set of norms which has been set up by racist, white supremacist, America.

What Whites Think About Race 

The clip begins with the narrator saying “surveys consistently show that, while most Black people think that race is an issue, most White people don’t”. This is a lie meant to cast Whites in a negative light.

Gallup polling shows that, until very recently, most Blacks and most Whites described relations between the two races as good. Today, most Blacks still do, while most Whites do not.

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Gallup polling also shows that, until last year, most Whites and most Blacks said that they did not worry a great deal about race relations. Blacks have always been more likely than Whites to worry a great deal about race, but until recently this was a minority of people in both races.

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Perhaps most surprisingly, Gallup polling shows that a majority of Blacks and Whites agree that Black’s having worse jobs, income, and housing, than Whites is mostly not due to discrimination. Other polls show that Blacks are far more likely to think that discrimination plays some role, but neither group thinks that it is the major factor in explaining group differences.

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As I said before, if the BBC was interviewing non-Whites they would have asked about racism against the ethnic group of the people they were interviewing. This would have been a worthwhile question to ask Whites. Gallup polling shows that between 32% and 46% of Whites think that racism against Whites not only exists, but is widespread.

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For the sake of having a diversity of sources, let’s look as Pew polling as well. Pew writes

” Nearly three-quarters of African Americans (73%) now characterize racism as a big problem, along with 58% of Hispanics. Although whites are far less likely to say racism is a big problem (44%), the share of whites expressing this view has risen 17 points since 2010.”

However, Pew polling also shows that a majority of Whites have recently come around to thinking that the United States needs to continue to change in order to give Blacks equal rights to Whites.

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On the whole then, polling does not support the BBC’s assertion that most White people have a sane view of race relations in America. Sadly, the majority of White people have bought the basic liberal narrative on race.The fact that liberals would lie about this just goes to show how obsessed they are with pushing the fantasy that there exists a racist White society for them to fight against.

The narrator goes on to explain his decision to only interview Whites in this film: “Discrimination is obviously a Black issue, but when you think about it, it’s mainly a White problem.”

This too would never be said if we were talking about anyone but White people. Can you imagine the BBC saying that some social problem was really a Black, Jewish, or Asian Problem? Of course not. Our society has banned us from thinking racially, and so that would be seen as racist, unless we are talking about White people, who we have a different set of standards for, because we are allowed to discriminate against, and be racist towards, Whites.

The narrator of this film is thus ironically demonstrating the main sense in which discrimination is a White person problem: Whites are discriminated against.

Of course, discrimination against Whites will be totally ignored. The fact that, for instance, Blacks are over 5 times more likely than equally qualified Whites to be accepted into an elite American university, will be ignored. The fact that Whites pay a disproportionately high share of taxes while consuming a disproportionately low share of government services, will be ignored.The anti-White affirmative action policies of the U.S. government will be ignored, as will the cultural ban on White, and only White, ethnic identity.

Racial Differences in Home Loans

All this will be ignored so that we can focus on how mean Whites are to Blacks. The example this mini documentary gives is home loans. Blacks live in crappy neighborhoods, and this, evidently, is because they cannot get good home loans. Some people will argue that Blacks are more likely than Whites to be denied a loan because they are riskier to loan money to. However, the BBC found some guy with a PHD to say that this is false because rich Blacks (income > $125,000) have the same loan approval rate as poor whites (income < $25,000).

The assumption here is that rich Blacks are less risky to give loans to than poor Whites, and so economically rational decision making cannot explain this… therefore racism.

The first problem with this argument is that Blacks and Whites with equal incomes do not have the same credit scores. According to one study, as reported by The Washington Post:

“The study found that whites earning less than $25,000 had better credit records as a group than African Americans earning between $65,000 and $75,000. Overall, 48 percent of blacks and 27 percent of whites had bad credit ratings, as defined by Freddie Mac in this study.” – Loose, The Washington Post

This, readers may note, does not explain why Blacks making 125K have the same approval rating as Whites making 25K. After all, Blacks who make 125K should still have higher credit scores, even if they don’t have as high of credit scores as whites who make 125K.

This is true, and the explanation is that the credit scoring system is biased against Whites. According to a report given to congress by the federal reserve on how well loan performance is predicted by credit scores:

“Consistently, across all three credit scores and all five performance measures, blacks, single individuals, individuals residing in lower-income or predominantly minority census tracts show consistently higher incidences of bad performance than would be predicted by the credit scores. Similarly, Asians, married individuals, foreign-born (particularly, recent immigrants), and those residing in higher-income census tracts consistently perform better than predicted by their credit scores”

In other words, if you give out a loan to a Black and a loan to a White with equal credit scores you are more likely to get your money back from the White.

This bias was shown to be strongest among those with low credit scores and to be much weaker among those with good credit scores. In other words, there is not much of a difference in the riskiness of giving loans to Blacks and Whites with good credit scores, but Blacks with poor credit scores are significantly riskier than Whites with poor credit scores to loan money to.

This probably explains why, according to a study by the Chicago federal reserve, among people with good credit scores there is no racial differences in loan approval rates while among those with bad credit scores there is a 8 point difference in favor of Whites. This is exactly what we would expect if those who give out loans were acting in an economically rational way.

Perhaps the strongest evidence that racism is not the cause of differences in loan approval rates comes from a study of several thousand banks which found that Black owned banks discriminated far more harshly against Blacks than White owned banks. Specifically, at a White owned bank a Black person was found to have a 78% higher chance of rejection for a loan compared to a White person, and at a Black owned bank a Black person was found to have a 179% higher chance of rejection for a loan compared to a White person. 3.PNG

Thus, racial differences in the riskiness of loans probably explains why Blacks have a harder time getting loans, and even if it does not explain the totality of the gap, racism on the part of bankers is an extremely unlikely explanation.

Employment Discrimination

This video also references the famous callback myth studies showing that Blacks are less likely than Whites to get calls back from job applications even when they have identical credentials. Since they are equally credentialed, the reasoning goes, they must be equally good potential employees and, therefore, employers must be racistly discriminating against Blacks.

The flaw in this argument is similar to the flaw we saw with home loans: just as matching Blacks and Whites on income and credit scores doesn’t make them equally risky to give loans to, matching Blacks and Whites for credentials like educational attainment does not make them equally good potential employees.

Consider, for example, a study done by the department of education which found that Blacks in graduate school were about as cognitively skilled as White college drop outs:

With results like these, why would employers not hire a White over a Black with “equal credentials”? Especially when the affirmative action already covered in the college admissions process taints any degree a Black american gets?

Why Black Neighborhoods Suck 

In the clip, White privilege is described as ” growing up in a society and not understanding that not everyone has benefits that are unearned as a result of being in white skin”. An example of such an unearned benefit is that Whites live in nice areas while Blacks do not.

We’ve already seen that racism in home loans and employment are not good explanations for racial differences in outcomes like neighborhood quality. Another common myth is that poor education is what causes Black areas to exhibit so many problems. This is false, as we have already seen, Blacks are given an advantage over Whites in college admissions. Moreover, contrary to popular mythology, spending per pupil is actually higher for black students than it is for White students.

Furthermore, a report by the department of education which looked at how the proportion of a school that is black predicts student performance on achievement tests given in the 4th, 8th, and 12th, grades found that, on average, both whites and blacks did worse in school the larger the school‘s black population was but that the achievement gap between blacks and whites was the same no matter what proportion of the schools population was black.

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This is very hard to square with the racism causes Black schools to suck theory. If Blacks do poorly in education because they go to bad schools then why do Whites do so much better than them even when going to equally black schools?

Black students receive more money than White students and don’t do nearly as well as the White students in the same schools that they go to. The problem is not racism; it’s Black students.

Similarly, several studies have shown that the larger Black population an area has the higher its crime rate tends to be even after controlling for regional differences in education rates, wealth, population density, and family structure. These factors don’t make Black neighborhoods criminal, Blacks do.

Whether its employment, home quality, education, or crime, the liberal excuses for Black pathology don’t pass the test of empirical scrutiny. White Privilege does not exist. Black behavior does.

 

Facebook Comments
  • Mark Stoval

    Very good article. Thanks.

    As Thomas Sowell has pointed out on many occasions over the years, blacks need to look at the real truth if they expect to improve their lives. Walter Williams has said the same thing on many occasions.

    This post should be required reading for school teachers around the nation as they are often the ones who plant the seeds of error very early in the children’s lives.

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