Invisible Victims: White Males and the Crisis of Affirmative Action

By Frederick R. Lynch | Go to book overview

and conflict, but most experts have avoided public acknowledgement of these contradictions.

Materials already presented in this book illustrate the problems caused by these logical holes. In the next two chapters, I will to examine the conflict and other latent consequences of affirmative action problems in greater detail.


NOTES
1.
A 1987 survey of business executives by The Wall Street Journal ( March 20, 1987: 21D) yielded similar results: most were white, male, college-educated.
2.
An apparent anomaly here would be Verba and Orren's discovery of an antiquota majority among the intellectual and media elites in the mid-1970s. By way of explanation, Verba and Orren suggest some members of these elites may see their current positions or future promotions at risk ( 1985: 84-85). They ignore the obvious fact that if people are already in an "elite" they are not likely to be easily threatened by quotas usually aimed at new-hires and middle-level managers.

Data presented in this book and in studies of the media of Gans ( 1980) and by Lichter et al. ( 1986) strongly suggest that either Verba and Orren's finding are incorrect or that attitudes have changed. If attitudes have changed, the spiral of silence and the New McCarthyism surely are factors. Clearly, reporters and commercial television writers do not like to deal with affirmative action, especially as reverse discrimination. When such matters are discussed, there is the "progressive" language and etiquette of the media described by Sobran ( 1987).

3.
Tamarkin noted that 100,000 employee grievances per year were pouring into the EEOC and that "American industry has shelled out more than $1 billion in back pay, promotions and training for minorities and women" ( 1978: 29).

It is ironic that private business bears the brunt of the onslaught by bureaucrats and activists for business has made more progress in equal employment opportunity than any other sector of society, including federal and state government, educational institutions and unions. . . .

The federal government, nevertheless, is committed -- almost obsessively -- to correcting "patterns and practices" of discrimination against entire classes of employees, mainly women and blacks. . . .

The present atmosphere is one in which the government and activist groups -- often acting together -- serve as prosecuting attorney and often treat business as if it were guilty unless proven innocent. ( 1978: 29-30)

4.
In addition to the overt costs, "there's no way to calculate the cost to Sears's image, but the retailer worried about it constantly after feminists led a smear campaign. The National Organization for Women, for instance, created a Sears Action Task Force, and local NOW chapters, sometimes claiming in surveys of Sears employees to be partners in the EEOC investigation, launched their own probes of the company's alleged sexism. . . . T-shirts displayed at the group's 1975 convention showed the Sears Tower and the demand, '$100 Million and Nothing Less,' Sears court filings show" ( Weiner, 1986:1).
5.
An additional benefit of affirmative action is that it can be used as a technique to threaten or replace older, expensive, or "troublesome" white male employees. There were indications of such mischief in both the press accounts cited in Chapter 2 and in the individual interviews in Chapters 4 and 5.

-154-

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