Kilroy Was Here
December 23, 2002
More on Race Preferences
In the blog Just One Minute, The Minute Man attempts to justify the results of the University of Chicago study mentioned below by arguing that 'blacks degrees are worth less' because
"A school makes a great effort to recruit minorities. Might the faculty feel some pressure to keep those students afloat? And, for the more sinister-minded among you, suppose a white student complains to a dean that a professor is unsympathetic. Possible consequences for the Prof? Now, suppose a minority student complains. Is the Dean more likely to get involved? Is there a possibility that professors think this way as they meet with students who have questions about the professor's grading policy?"
Given the results of the study Alan Krueger reported on, I'd conclude the exact opposite. Since evaluating resumes and evaluating college papers is a somewhat similar exercise, I'd theorize that it would be more likely to that professors grade blacks more stringently than whites.
Consider the following results from the 1990 Survey of the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.
Given to a cross-section of about 1200 Americans, 150 of whom were black, the following results were tabulated:
- 53.2% of respondents saw blacks as less intelligent.
- 62.2% of respondents saw blacks as lazier than whites.
- 77.7% of respondents thought blacks more likely than whites to prefer living on welfare.
(From A Country of Strangers, by David K. Shipler)
Given the predominance of this attitude concerning the intelligence of blacks, I think that it's spurious reasoning to think that professors at colleges would somehow act so differently as to make a college degree held by an African American as somehow worthless of consideration.
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