Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This Week in White Victimology: U.S. Navy's "Secret Plot" to Discriminate Against White Men Exposed

"In practice, the Navy will be creating a list of privileged "diverse" officers who will enjoy special benefits and career mentoring not available to people of the wrong race, as well as a virtual guarantee of fast-track access to the highest reaches of command. Fifty-six years after the Supreme Court struck down the concept of "separate but equal" treatment of races, the U.S. Navy is erecting a wall of segregation between what will amount to two parallel promotion systems: one for the "diverse" and another for the monotone. If this isn't illegal, it should be."

With the long hot summer of white racial resentment, white victimology, and the nonsense meme of "reverse racism" showing no signs of coming to an end, I thought it would be helpful to offer a weekly update on how white folks are being discriminated against in Barack Obama's America.

Apparently, the United States Navy is working hard to diversify its officer corps. In order to do this, a "secret" list of up and coming young sailors of color have been identified for mentoring by senior officers. Predictably, the defenders of colorblindness and meritocracy on the Right are up in arms for once more "qualified, hard working" white men are being disadvantaged by "racist" policies and "reverse discrimination."

As this story develops over the upcoming weeks, the argument made by the white victimology crowd will be a predictable one: the forces of political correctness aided by Barack Obama are using social engineering to tamper with the foundations of American society to the detriment of national security. Once more, this is evidence of a profound and deep "anti-White" bias in American society. Predictably, for the most extreme on the New Right (the "birthers", racially reactionary conservatives, and the Glenn Beck et al. crowd) this "secret" U.S. Navy program is more proof that Barack Obama wants to make America less safe and not more so.

In their gasps and protests, white victimologists will of course miss out on a few key details--details that are both subtle and obvious. To the latter, the military is one of those places where personnel choices can mean life and death. Here, the U.S. Navy has identified a human resources problem where the best and brightest are not receiving the mentoring needed to reach their full potential. Consequently, the U.S. Navy is not maximizing its pool of available talent. The result? A less effective war fighting machine.

Although now a dirty word because of the success of the Right in co-opting language, it is little discussed that the goal of "diversity" in recruitment and promotion has been long supported by the U.S. military and many corporations. In fact, senior representatives from the U.S. military have been cited as "friends of the court" in legal cases supporting affirmative action. Why? Because pragmatic, results oriented institutions understand that a diverse workforce is more profitable and successful than one which is not.

The subtle point missed by the reverse racism crowd is that they operate from a position where white men are the default choice for all things, and white people are always the wisest of the wise, the best of the best. Rarely is there a moment of reflection where one asks, "did I get this job because of the color of my skin?" "How was I given advice or guidance that perhaps someone of a different color, sexuality, or gender would not have received? How did this help me get a job or promotion?" "Am I really the most qualified person for this job?" "Did I get a leg up because of who I know and my access to certain social networks?"

Here, the myth of meritocracy is a comfortable shield and set of armor to protect the reverse racism crowd from hard questions about success in life...at least until the complications of race, class and gender are exposed as variables in how fast one is able to climb the social and career ladder.

We see echoes of this privileged and myopic worldview all around us. In Judge Sotomayor's confirmation hearings the presumed normality of white men was used by her detractors to paint her as a "racist," and a potential member of the Supreme Court who would let "racial and gender identity" influence jurisprudence (for we most certainly know that white Supreme Court justices, scions of neutrality that they are, have never been influenced by their race, gender, or class backgrounds).

Certainly there are echoes of white racial resentment in the hostility against President Obama where some cannot accept the symbolic power embodied by having a President who is not white. And in the most obvious example, the calls that "we want our America back" by the Tea Party crowd represent a herrenvolk ethic that clings to a bygone Leave it to Beaver imagined golden age where white people were at the center of all things--and a return to which the white victimology and reverse racism crowd ultimately yearns for.

The full editorial, "High Seas Segregation" can be found at the Washington Times.


Dorothy Potter Snyder said...

In a country where women of color, as the tag goes, have 100-120 bucks saved in the bank on average vs. the median 40K available at the ATM for most white women, and where all women are still making on average about 75% of the income per hour that white men make, we really like to crow about how racial / gender differences have been eliminated.

See! We elected a black president! Too bad he's not gay too, then we could dispose of all those nasty worries about anti-gay policies and violence.

When he was elected, Obama perfectly mirrored the voting public's aspirations for this country. But he hardly represents the average citizen of color and to aver as much (as Beck and others do) is utterly ludicrous.

I challenge any Tea Partyer (Tea Partista? Tea Partisan?) to come forth and explain to the rest of us what the heck Their America is/was so we can form a mental image. I'd prefer not to assume, as I do now, that it was composed of a bunch of overweight white people in clothes from WalMart sporting bad grammar and a worse historical perspective.

fred c said...

When I was a Bluejacket, any Black sailor over thirty was still probably a cook. This new thing just might be a good idea.

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Poplar said...

I've been in and around the US Navy since 1978 . . . and for 35 years, I've watch them segregate applicants base on skin color. It's creepy regardless of which way it goes. It's wrong too.

chauncey devega said...

Do share more. Give up the ghost if you would...