Yesterday, the NY Times ran an editorial, When Whites Just Don't Get It, Part 4. Author Nicholas Kristof bemoans the whites he knows who want to move beyond race, and who are angered at the eternal guilt they are supposed to feel for this country's history of discrimination.
From there Kristof launches into the case for how discrimination continues in this country. As proof, he cites the following two statistics: that non-Hispanic whites have a median household income of $58,270, compared to $34,598 for blacks, and that black life expectancy is four years shorter than that of whites.
Ergo, while whites are still benefitting from the black slave labor of the past, blacks are hurt by their association with whites.
Strangely, Kristof neglects to mention that financially, Asian-Americans do significantly better than whites. According to Wikipedia, the median household income of whites (including Hispanic whites) in this country is $54,857, whereas for Asian-Americans it's $68,088.
Why would Kristof ignore that disparity? And how would he account for it? Is it because Asians don't let whites into their country clubs to make those all-important business contacts? Because of yellow privilege? Kristof is certainly willing to advance social theories to account for the white-black gap, he must have some theory to account for this difference as well.
To find out just how much racism -- or, at least, contact with each other -- has helped or hurt the races in America, one must look outside America to see what the median average incomes are for whites and blacks elsewhere.
Here is a list from Gallup.com on the self-reported median household incomes of the ten richest and ten poorest countries:
Country Median Household Income
United States 43,585
And here are the ten poorest:
Burkina Faso 1530
Sierra Leone 2330
Even a cursory glance at these statistics reveals that whites in the US are doing roughly the same, perhaps slightly better, than their European counterparts, whereas blacks in the US are doing far, far better than their counterparts in Africa.
As far as life expectancy in this country, according to the Kaiser Foundation, whites average 78.9, African-Americans 74.6, Hispanics 82.5, and Asian-Americans 86.5. Again, Kristof seems to have cherry-picked his data. Why do Hispanics have a life expectancy 3.6 years greater than whites? Brown privilege?
Is there some sort of discrimination practiced by Asians against whites which accounts for the gap between those racial groups of 7.6 years? Why is Nicholas Kristof not upset about that disparity?
Again, any such conclusions would be silly unless weighed against how each of those ethnicities do in other countries. Here are the top eleven countries for life expectancy, from the listing by Wikipedia:
Hong Kong 83.8
San Marino 83.5
(Ireland ranks 20th, at 81.4, and the UK ranks 27th, at 81.0.)
And the bottom eleven countries:
Sierra Leone 46.2
Central African Republic 45.9
Once again, it seems that whites are doing roughly as well as their counterparts in Europe, whereas blacks in the US seem to have benefitted greatly from their proximity to whites. (Nicholas Kristof would undoubtedly be shocked to see these figures, given that blacks in Africa never had to live under Jim Crow.)
Obviously, diseases flourish in the tropics more than they do in colder climates, so that has an effect. And third world countries have poorer health care systems than do the developed nations.
But what accounts for the differences within the US? If it's white racism, how exactly do whites discriminate against Hispanics and Asians to make them live longer? Is it possible that there are differences in dietary habits and exercise between the groups? Might the levels of violence within each community have an effect? Are there genetic factors contributing to high blood pressure and the like that have an effect?
The great unmentionable here is, of course our diversity: our genetic diversity, to be precise. Might that also affect cognitive ability, which might in turn affect income and life expectancy?
As long as liberals like Nicholas Kristof refuse to accept that possibility, they will forever be penning silly editorials about how "racism" accounts for all differences in outcome. And they just won't get it.