However, the reasons why minorities may not be as outwardly qualified as white people is due to a deeper social problem rather than any inadequacies with the people themselves (McConahay, Hardee & Batts, 1981). The purpose of this paper is to explore how white people have (and still do) experience racial preference and to show that it is so ingrained into society that it can be difficult for many people to understand the level at which it operates in America today.
Wise (2003) explained the long history of white affirmative action in the U.S. in his article Whites Swim in Racial Preference. For example, the article states that white families have eleven times the net worth of the average African American family. To put this into context, this would afford the average white family a far higher quality of healthcare and education than the average African American, and therefore make the children of the white family appear to have more merit. This would then translate into the white children having more opportunities in college and the job market, allowing them to earn more money than their African American counterparts, ensuring that the cycle continues. This, therefore, explains the purpose of affirmative action, in that it goes some way towards counteracting the “culturally sanctioned beliefs” (Armour, 1997) of white supremacy that have led to this situation in modern America.
What is perhaps most striking is that much of the information provided by Wise (2003) seems historical, but many of the statistics date from modern society. Feagin (2000) has used information such as that described in the article (and from further afield) and come to the conclusion that America is a “total racist society” (p121). This may be inadvertent in many cases, and many sources have shown that racism is either changing in form to become less aggressive or less commonplace (Dovidio & Gaertner, 2004). However, despite these positive