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Systematic Racism and White Privilege

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Systematic Racism and White Privilege

  1. 1. Systematic Racism and White Privilege By Randi Hovey
  2. 2. How does Karen Brodkin support her claim that educational and Occupational GI benefits provided after World War II really constituted an affirmative action program for white males? Would George Lipsitz, whose article also appears in Part Two, agree or disagree with this claim?
  3. 3. GI Bill of Rights (Servicemen’s Readjustment Act) • Passed by U.S. legislation in 1944 • Intended to benefit WWII Veterans • Benefits provided by the Veteran’s Association due to the GI Bill • School grants/college tuition • Hiring privileges • Job training • Low-interest mortgages • Small-business loans
  4. 4. Affirmative action af·firm·a·tive ac·tion: noun • an action or policy favoring those who tend to suffer from discrimination, especially in relation to employment or education; positive discrimination. https://www.google.com/search?q=affirmative+action&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=681&source=lnms&sa= X&ei=zEY8VfCQMMSyoQTasIHYBA&ved=0CAUQ_AUoAA&dpr=1#q=affirmative+action+definition
  5. 5. Affirmative action and the GI Bill of Rights “Educational and occupational GI benefits really constituted affirmative action programs for white males because they were decidedly not extended to African Americans or to women of any race. White male privilege was shaped against the backdrop of wartime racism and postwar sexism. (Brodkin, pg.53).”
  6. 6. Support for Brodkin’s claim • Strong evidence of discriminatory social attitudes toward African American citizens: increase in violent acts toward blacks, rise in KKK activity, several anti-black race riots, and increasing numbers of lynchings in war years. • Proposed systematic racism in government programs such as the Federal Housing Administration, the Veteran’s Administration, and the U.S. Employment Service. • Disproportionately giving dishonorable discharges to minority veterans. • Hiring discrimination • Educational segregation • Women’s units were not treated as military
  7. 7. Systematic Racism: a product of historical discrimination “We can’t give you a loan today because we’ve discriminated against members of your race so effectively in the past that you have not been able to accumulate any equity from housing and to pass it down through the generations (Lipsitz, pg. 81).”
  8. 8. Systematic Racism: a product of historical discrimination • Social Security Act • Excluded farm workers and domestics from coverage • Federal Housing Act of 1934 • Confidential city surveys and appraisals created boundaries that disproportionately favored white citizens • Home buyer’s in county received six times the loan amounts offered to individuals in the city who were dominantly minorities • Trade union contracts • Offered private medical insurance, pensions, and job security • Union workforce was dominantly white
  9. 9. Systematic Racism: a product of historical discrimination • Urban renewal programs • Destroyed 20% of central-city housing inhabited by minorities • Destroyed 10% of central-city housing inhabited by whites • FHA and VA financed $120 billion in new housing • Less than 2% was available to minority families, most of which were located in segregated neighborhoods • 90% of low-income housing units destroyed under these programs were never replaced • 80% of this land was developed as commercial, industrial, and municipal projects
  10. 10. Affirmative action? an action or policy favoring those who tend to suffer from discrimination, especially in relation to employment or education; positive discrimination. • Intended beneficiaries: all veteran’s • Face-value contingencies in GI Bill requirements led to systematic discrimination disguised as common procedure • Women were not considered military • Dishonorably discharged individuals did not qualify • Current social paradigms led to hiring discrimination and disproportionate socioeconomic boundaries within government funded housing programs • Educational segregation presented less opportunity for minority males
  11. 11. Affirmative action? an action or policy favoring those who tend to suffer from discrimination, especially in relation to employment or education; positive discrimination. • Actual beneficiaries: Male veterans who were honorably discharged (predominately white), were recipients of job offers which allowed them enough earning potential to afford suburban homes, and who were able to attend accessible colleges which had the space to accommodate their education • Social stigmas, in combination with details of government programs ensured that any positive discrimination resulting from the GI Bill favored white male veterans
  12. 12. Systematic Racism: discrimination based on government view of individual worth • Policies which cater to upper-middle class citizens • Importance placed on corporate/industrial growth • Implicit bias solidifying support of stereotype beliefs “As long as we define social life as the sum total of conscious and deliberative individual activities, we will be able to discern as racist only individual manifestations of person prejudice and hostility. Systemic, collective, and coordinated group behavior consequently drops out of sight (Lipsitz, pg. 87).”

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