Reverse discrimination vs. the regular kind

September 15, 2011

The new diversity and tolerance survey numbers from
the Public Religion Research Institute were released last week for the 9/11
anniversary, and many of the findings are about religious freedom, pluralism
and Islamophobia. But the one I found most sobering was this:

A
slim majority of whites agree that discrimination against whites has become as
big a problem as discrimination against minority groups, compared to only about
3-in-10 blacks and Hispanics who agree.

Wow. I've certainly been
turned down for many jobs over the years, some at places where I know my white
face and so-Anglo-he-probably-has-a-castle name didn't help my chances. But
I've never been pulled over for no reason, followed around by staff at a store
or stopped on the street and asked to prove that I'm a U.S. citizen.

I happen to support
affirmative action as a general concept, but I'm not interested in a debate
about whether or not it technically qualifies as discrimination. The survey
doesn't ask whether white people ever suffer discrimination; it asks whether it's "as
big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities." What kind
of bubble do you have to be living in to think that it is?