Monday, November 21, 2011

So what are the advantages of being a (non-elite) white person in the US anyway?

A lot of ink is spilled talking of the mythic creature known as 'White Privilege'.  Normally these arguments say---hey, these elite guys, who happen to share the same skin color as you, have a lot of things going for them and the system cuts them obscene amounts of slack.  Therefore you, Mr Non-Elite white person shouldn't grumble about you or your kids being discriminated against for the benefit of Mr. Present or Future Elite non-white person.  Obviously this is a crock, and, even if we DID enjoy a substantial advantage by way of something shady, we'd be fools to volunteer to reverse that advantage.  But let's investigate just what a non-elite white person has going for him in the US today.

An observer can reasonably infer that your IQ, conscientiousness, executive function, etc are drawn from the white distribution.  Which is to say, in the case of IQ, 100 mean with approximately 15 as a standard deviation.  Whether you want to toss in the fact that, as a non-elite white person, your 'attributes' are generated in the first place using that sort of distribution is something of a philosophical point, and not one I'll go into in this post.  The point is, when an observer is analyzing your capabilities, and doing that little regression towards the mean thing to correct for his fairly low r-squared in his estimate, that's the underlying distribution he's using for his priors.  He'll likely do a similar computation when estimating how criminal or antisocial you are.  Were you, a black guy, his prior estimate of the probability of you being, say, a murderer, and thus potentially very dangerous, would be around 9x higher (if he had a set of priors informed by the FBI UCR or reality).
One can infer that this is probably reasonably advantageous in most cases, although someone visibly Jewish or Japanese/Chinese might in fact do slightly better in terms of the priors.
Ironically, the better the tests you've got available in your battery, the less said priors matter.  If you've got, say 95% reliability or more, like a lot of the most popular psychometrics on intelligence, the correction for regression towards the mean is pretty small.  On the other hand, if you're doing what I'll call folk psychometrics (and people are actually not half bad at this), that correction is pretty large.  So having a lot of tests and such pervasively applied actually reduces this advantage, insofar as it exists.

The next big advantage is the places wherein you look out of place are usually a lot less desirable than if you were, say, a NAM.  You are likely to fit in culturally in a considerably larger fraction of reasonably functional neighborhoods.

The final big advantage is that you presently enjoy demographic hegemony.  Hopefully you're not so foolish as to fail to defend it.


Johnny Dissidence said...

Good post. One for the linkage!

Hail said...

Nice commentary. I'd like to see a future post discussing the "attributes" point you pushed aside above.

Hail said...

What has intrigued me is that the precise opposite of the social model posited by White Privilege Theory actually exists.

Institutional discrimination is against whites, not against nonwhites. It is so obvious that it is almost cliche by now. Keith Alexander, a host of the Political Cesspool radio program, likes to point to a scheme developed in the 2000s by the Federal government. It delineates 36 classes of person, for purposes of contract issuance, to meet its diversity quotas. #1/36 is Black females, i.e. Black-females are the most-favoried. Dead last, #36/36 is, naturally, White native-born males. Only if a white man is the absolute only available person for a job will they be given a contract to do something under this Federal-level pro-Diversity program.

More intriguing, though, to me, are the cultural ("soft") disadvantages to 'Whiteness', certainly in majority-nonwhite areas and even "Blue" areas that still have white majorities. Whites born in the 1970s in some places already, and certainly those born in the 1980s and 1990s, have been socialized to idolize nonwhites and to be ashamed of the inherent evilness of their own race. They thus either "whiggerize" their own thinking and tastes, or turn into SWPLs, a big part of which involves inherent anti-racism (well-parodied by the delightful satirical 'diary' of "I Bismuth, Anti-Racist"). And -- quite contrary to White Privilege Theory -- everyone with an "out", a way to define yourself out of Whiteness, takes it. I'd like to hear your thoughts on this.

Jehu said...

Hail, as both of us know, the apparatus of most of the institutions in the US works strongly against males and whites, and in particular against those who are both. Claiming that a white person who is, say, +2 sigma in intelligence has an advantage on say, admissions to Harvard/Yale/etc over a similarly endowed NAM is laughable (in reality, +2 sigmas as a NAM will let you write your own ticket, and if you fail to write it yourself, someone will pursue you begging you to accept it---not even +4 sigmas as a white person will get you that kind of treatment).

My take is white people need to get over their addiction to universalist status mongering and advocate for their own interests without any shame or compunctions. My methodology is to demonstrate that nearly everyone who espouses universalist cant is at best a hypocrite and more normally just anti-white. By temperment, I prefer the application of brute force, both intellectually and physically, to the use of finesse when the force is actually available. Experience has taught me that people profoundly resent being finessed far more and far longer than being overmastered by main force. So strategically my MO is to iteratively destroy any supports of the opposition prior to forcing a decisive engagement where the ability to manuever is limited.