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Snowflakes: 55% of White Americans Feel Discriminated Against

snowflakeSpeaking of entitlement-minded majoritarians stricken with anxiety as their privilege slips away, a new NPR poll finds that “majorities in many ethnic, identity and racial groups in America” think they are being discriminated against… including white people:

White Americans are among those who feel their group is discriminated against, with 55 percent saying discrimination exists against whites in the U.S. today.

These results are part of a large national statistically representative survey of 3,453 adults from Jan. 26 to Apr. 9 [Joe Neel, “Poll: Most Americans Think Their Own Group Faces Discrimination,” NPR: Shots, 2017.10.24].

Someone remind me how a group so dumb became the ruling class.

Let me be clear, fellow palefaces: we are not an oppressed class. We walk into a store, restaurant, classroom, or other public space and get skunk eye just because of our color far less frequently than Indians, blacks, Mexicans, Chinese, and anyone else deviating from our creamy palette.

Even more shockingly, among that majority of whites who mistakenly think they suffer discrimination, more than a third think they suffer not only at the hands of prejudiced individuals but of laws and government policies:

NPR "You, Me, and Them" poll, data for Q1 and Q2, released 2017.10.24.
NPR “You, Me, and Them” poll, data for Q1 and Q2, released 2017.10.24.

Get real. Our laws, our policies, our law enforcement, our courts, our schools, our workplaces—not one American institution is rigged to perpetuate the oppressive power of any ethnic group over the descendants of the Europeans who have invaded and dominated everyone else on this part of the continent over the last 400 years. Not one.

I don’t like the current derogatory use of the term snowflake. As a liberal Democrat in South Dakota, I hear far too many angry conservatives (pretty much all white folks) tweet-shouting Snowflake! as an insult to distract us from discussing inequality and injustice and to assert their macho superiority. But if we need a definition of snowflake, white folks crying “Discrimination!” as they see their dominance and privilege replaced with diversity and equality may be the most apt illustration I’ve heard.

After all, snowflakes are white.


  1. Ryan 2017-10-24 15:12

    Yeah, maybe white people are all delusional and we think we have it as bad as everyone else. Or maybe it was a yes or no question.

    Can anybody honestly say “My people (race, gender, sexual preference, or any other trait) face absolutely no discrimination in this country.” Nobody can say that, not even the dastardly White Man. You would have to be crazy to think that just because a group of people is “the majority,” those people don’t face discrimination.

    Or maybe the type of people who willingly partake in phone surveys are not a good representation of the country as a whole…? At least I hope not.

    Or maybe using the opinions of about 70 Native Americans as the voice of their people is less than ideal. And maybe 175 opinions from Asian Americans isn’t quite enough to call it a consensus.

    But hey, I’m a white guy, so I must be the devil, and I have never faced anything other than unabashed glory and success for being a white man, and my opinions are far less important because I wasn’t born a member of a minority class. Any success I enjoy is due to my skin color and not my actions. Accordingly, all adversity facing all people other than white men is caused by white men.

    Kind of ironic that this post seems to advocate treating white people differently than people who aren’t white, while simultaneously telling white people that we are stupid for suggesting we have ever felt discrimination.

  2. Roger Cornelius 2017-10-24 15:38

    Under what circumstances do whites feel discriminated against and do these circumstances happen on a regular basis?

  3. Rorschach 2017-10-24 15:54

    I can understand how some white people may feel discriminated against.

    Certain workplaces are actively trying to hire more women to boost the number of women closer to 50% of the work force, which sometimes results in more qualified and experienced men being passed over. Those men may view this as discrimination, and those men may be white.

    Other workplaces may pass over more qualified or experienced white people – both men and women – in an effort to increase the number of minorities in the work force. Watching someone less qualified and/or experienced get a job you applied for certainly may feel like discrimination.

    Universities are decidedly trying to boost minority enrollment. When there are a limited number of admissions available and minorities with lower scores are accepted over white people with higher scores it sure feels like discrimination based upon race.

  4. mike from iowa 2017-10-24 16:01

    White men being overlooked for jobs is a new phenomenon and they don’t like it. But whites in general and men in particular have been the king of the hill since this country was founded.

    White women were oppressed until the 70’s. Not nearly as bad as minorities, but they weren’t equal in the eyes of white men.

  5. o 2017-10-24 16:19

    As a first-generation immigrant to the US, I have never been questioned by ICE; I have never been told to “go back to where you came from”; I have never been told that “my people” were to be feared and protected against. I knew that as candidate Trump railed against immigrants, he didn’t mean me. t have been allowed the full measure of welcome in my new home. I have been afforded those luxuries because I am white (male and English speaking). I know far too many life-long citizens of color who have not been afforded that same social acceptance.

  6. o 2017-10-24 16:27

    Mike, “White men being overlooked for jobs is a new phenomenon and they don’t like it. ”

    I have to parse your language: I do not think white men are “overlooked”; I think they more now find them(our)selves on a field less tipped by white-privilege. Removing the unearned bias and privilege is NOT discrimination.

  7. Darin Larson 2017-10-24 16:27

    Cory, you seem to be conflating the issue of whether an individual member of a white majority race can be discriminated against with the issue of whether systemic discrimination exists against whites in general. I will give you a personal example. During college, my friends and I went to Daytona Beach, Florida. As it happens, the first two days that we were there for Spring Break, it was Black College Week. My friends and I, being Caucasian, were a tiny minority of the people there at that time. As we strolled down the avenues, we were subjected to verbal scoldings, such as “Don’t you know this is Black College week, fool?” It was quite disturbing. We were clearly being discriminated against because of our race.

    Based upon my personal experience, I was discriminated against based upon my Caucasian race. So, depending upon how the survey question was asked, I could have answered that I have been a victim of racial discrimination even though I am white.

    On the other hand, if the survey question was asked regarding whether the white majority race as a whole is discriminated against in any meaningful fashion in the US, my answer would be entirely different.

    Thus, the details of the survey questions are important.

  8. Ryan 2017-10-24 16:31

    This blog wasn’t about the spectrum of discrimination, or who receives better or worse treatment, or what was the racial or gender discrimination landscape in the 70s. The questions being asked, and the answers being picked on, where whether or not “your people” had felt discrimination. I think it is reasonable to assume all groups have.

    I read the study. The part I can’t let go of is how subjective the feelings are that are being used to portray an objective reality.

    Here is what I mean: if something doesn’t go my way, I go through a short list of reasons it didn’t go my way. Maybe I wasn’t prepared for whatever the situation was. Maybe I was unlucky. Maybe the person making the decision that affected me was in a bad mood. Maybe that person is not good at their job and made my life harder. Because racial and gender discrimination are not issues I deal with often, the possibility that one of those affected the situation never enters into my mind. In contrast, when something doesn’t go my wife’s way, she will dwell on that for weeks. She will assume the person who didn’t do the thing she wanted is out to get her. She assumes everyone was talking about her behind her back. She thinks the waitress over-charged her for that appetizer on purpose. She creates imaginary conspiracies that everyone is a part of to make her life harder. Now, we are both white, but we look at the cause of our frustrations, failures, or adversity very differently.

    I have never been anything other than a white person, you see, so this next part is just me thinking out loud. If you have a whole population of a certain kind of people (you pick the trait) who are constantly told that “white men make life harder for you,” then maybe they are more likely to project their frustrations arbitrarily on that universal boogeyman than they would be if they were not a member of that minority. Maybe if a white person has no job, no income, no collateral, and no credit, and he gets denied for a home loan, he has no scapegoat to blame. But if a person who isn’t white has no job, no income, no collateral, and no credit, and he gets denied for a home loan, what is the chance he will assigns blame to factors outside his control, such as racism, rather than being introspective? It seems like the social justice movement has people drinking enough koolaid so that the reality has now become if you don’t accommodate even the most unreasonable minority in any given situation, you are shamed into social media hell; you are the scum of the earth and the root of all inequity.

    I have no doubt that minorities experience more discrimination than white people in America. I also have no doubt that many people face hurdles I wouldn’t understand because I have not lived that life. However, I also think that if you create an unpopular scapegoat (the white man!) to blame everything on, things will be blamed on that scapegoat that aren’t related to the “victim’s” status as a minority. Then everything just becomes a result of “the system, man!”

  9. Richard Schriever 2017-10-24 17:36

    The two most frequent forms of discrimination have to do with physical attractiveness (I suppose race “could” be a sub-category of that) and personality affinity (He/she thinks/feels, like I do – I favor them). I suppose racial identity “could” be a sub-category of that as well.

    BTW, I can relate personal experiences that do demonstrate how a white person could feel discriminated against based on the above. Race/culture could be read into it I suppose.

  10. Richard Schriever 2017-10-24 17:45

    o – Oh no, here’s one of those incidents where I can definitely say that the scales are deliberately tipped against white men. Many moons ago (mid 1990’s) I took the City of Los Angeles examination for professional administrative positions. It’s kind of like a city civil service exam. Of the 1800 people that took the exam, I scored in the top 200 (183). However, people who scored lower to me were given bonus points for 1. Female, 2. Minority and 3. Veteran status. Therefor, after the application of bonus points, my position sank to around 580. I.E., because I was a white male with no service record, 397 people jumped over me. The test is given once every 5 years, and the city MUST offer a position to the top 600 scorers, within the following 5 years. I just made it into that group, and was offered a position as an administrator for the LAPD – 4 1/2 years later. I had moved on and declined the offer.

    Ryan, It IS the system man.

  11. Curt 2017-10-24 18:25

    Ironic timing? Jeff ‘Flake’?

  12. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-10-24 18:48

    Darin, the conflation is by the 26% of “Aye” respondents who think laws and policies are made to discriminate against whites (and another 11% who think they’re catching discrimination equally from individuals and institutions).

  13. grudznick 2017-10-24 20:21

    Ironically today I lunched at Tally’s Silver Spoon, and beforehand had a cup of coffee in the back room at the nearby Hardees with some old people, kind of in Mr. C’s old neighborhood. Nobody blinked at me or even asked me my color and I got served promptly so that must mean something.

  14. grudznick 2017-10-24 20:28

    Mr. Schriever, that’s an astounding revelation, and one so obvious we should have all already been aware of it. I, myself, prefer pretty young gals to serve my breakfast over old ugly hags, and clearly people turn a sour eye at my visage at times. That does make a lot of sense. Thank you.

  15. o 2017-10-24 21:20

    Richard, allow me to nit-pick your analysis: the “veteran status bonus” is part of your narrative, yet you choose to employ your example to show only the plight of the white male – your evidence doesn’t solely tell that story.

    Taking the larger view, you seem to work on the underlying assumption that every applicant’s pathway leading into that test (including the test itself) was “fair.” I understand that so close to the goal line of a job, the bonus points seem to be the only factor tipping the scales (and only against you), but is that accurate? Is your argument that those who got the bonus points for being women or minority had the same opportunities you had to get to and succeed on that test?

  16. Neal 2017-10-24 21:22

    White men are absolutely discriminated against in employment decisions across a wide spectrum of jobs. This is done, presumably, to right the wrongs of the past, which young men today had absolutely no part in perpetrating.

    Many men of this generation will spend their most productive years being looked over in favor of women and/or minorities. Their entire career trajectory will be negatively affected. This is wrong, their anger is valid, and it deserves to be acknowledged, the sins of past generations notwithstanding.

  17. o 2017-10-24 21:24

    Darin, were you denied housing, food, opportunity? Were you compensated at a rate lower than others? I get you were abused and made to be uncomfortable – even unsafe. I agree that your experience was terrible. I’m not sure that is discrimination in an institutional context.

  18. o 2017-10-24 21:37

    Neal, I deny your assumption that women and minorities being overlooked for jobs or denied opportunities is only a wrong of “the past.” Minority and gender discrimination is alive and well.

    The wealth gap for minority citizens compared to their white counterparts is well documented. The glass ceiling is statistically undeniable. Studies show hiring rates actually lowering when the employer becomes aware the applicant is not white.

    White candidates are not “paying for the sins of the past,” they are only losing SOME of the white privilege that perpetuates those sins.

  19. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-10-24 22:08

    Maybe we can “understand” the misperception, as Ror says he can, but O makes clear why it’s a misperception: losing the special treatment propped up by institutional racism is not discrimination or oppression; it is the proper balancing of liberty, justice, and opportunity for all.

  20. Neal 2017-10-24 22:59

    When decisions that affect a person’s future — hiring decisions, acceptance or denial to an academic institution, etc. — are made based on skin color or gender identification instead of merit, it is absolutely, positively discriminatory. In fact it’s worse than the “institutional racism” it’s designed to counter, because it has the imprimatur of the state.

  21. OldSarg 2017-10-25 04:06

    “Me too”. . . .

    Poor babies, everyone is discriminated against at one time or another. A degree is a discriminator, tallness, sex, test score, color of your jacket, whatever. . . You can’t pass laws, rules, regulations or even hang up enough posters to make someone like you or treat you how you think is “fair”. It is up to you personally to make that inner decisions to treat others as you would like to be treated. Pretty simple. . .

  22. Ryan 2017-10-25 08:41

    Oh man, somebody must have spiked my coffee – I agree with OldSarg this morning.

  23. Rorschach 2017-10-25 08:53

    When men are passed over for jobs in favor of less experienced or less qualified women or minorities, the employer may be trying to look progressive – building up the number of women or minorities in the workforce. But the motives of that employer may not be so pure – as evidenced by the gender and race pay gaps. The employer can claim to be an “equal opportunity employer,” but the underlying motivation is that they can hire someone to do the job for less money. The motivation of the employer is not necessarily race or gender discrimination. The motivation is to obtain cheaper labor. Yet de facto discrimination against white/male applicants is the means to that end.

  24. Rorschach 2017-10-25 08:54

    By the way, I agree with OldSarg today too.

  25. o 2017-10-25 09:13

    When white men in the upper-middle class (if not the 1%) start “what about”ing the discrimination they have encountered, it trivializes the institutional reality and structures that perpetuate white privilege and gender/ethnic discrimination. “We are all discriminated against at one time or another” elevates the fallacy of equivocation to a new level. That the cute, popular girl wouldn’t go to prom with me is NOT the same as a woman’s pay being 74% of a man’s or not having access to home loans because of skin color.

    Shall we next begin railing against the reserved parking situation around shopping centers?

  26. Ryan 2017-10-25 09:38

    First, has anybody really looked at that phoney “Women make 75 cents on the dollar compared to men” line? Most people just rehash that same statistic without knowing the details. It’s called spin. That number comes from comparing apples to oranges – it ignores relevant work experience, education, physical fitness, and several other characteristics that are important when you want to see what a man and a woman make who are equally qualified and experienced for the same work.

    Second, when people tell those in the majority that their adversity is false, or unimportant, or “not as bad” as somebody else’s adversity, it trivializes the path toward the wonderful and just goal of equality. I wish all men and women were treated equally by all people and by the law. However, I don’t think we achieve equality by saying things should be “less equal” for white men, or for the upper middle class, or for whatever other group you think already has it too good for your liking. That encourages resentment and is the antithesis of equality. I’ve noticed that a lot of people who scream for equality don’t really want it – they want advantage. And here’s the thing – if you think that Native Americans or Indians or Gays or Women or any other group had it bad for so long that they should get some socio-economic boost, then say so. You might have a point. But don’t call it equality.

  27. o 2017-10-25 10:12

    Ryan, I get your point on all wanting equality. I hope that all the sparring back and forth doesn’t bury the lead that we both (all) hold that value.

    I do believe that Native Americans or Indians or Gays or Women and other groups DO deserve a boost – not because they have had it bad for so long (past tense), but because they DO have it bad now. Sometimes in small, sometimes in large ways; sometimes overtly, sometimes institutionally; but in real ways opportunity and the pathways to opportunities are limited to non-white non-males. As I have posted, I can point back to times in my life where I see that I experienced white-privilege. The amazingly difficult discussion is trying to move forward: how to make the playing field – the WHOLE field – fair and not rely only on a sharp skew at the very end (like quotas).

  28. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-10-25 22:05

    I hear the word “absolutely” a lot from people who are losing the argument to O. White folks are not being discriminated against when society dismantles all the built-in favors of white privilege.

  29. Wayne B. 2017-10-26 14:00

    Darin, your assessment about conflation was close, but I think missed the mark.

    The survey question asked:

    Q1. Generally speaking, do you believe there is or is not discrimination against (Respondent’s own group identity) in America today?

    It didn’t ask if the interviewee had been discriminated against personally, or even if they thought discrimination against their demographic was systemic. Rather, it was simply whether it existed, which is a much lower threshold.

    This is a question of perception – do members of a demographic believe something happens to them. Honestly, I think the question doesn’t tell us much; it would be foolish to think no white people anywhere in the US experience discrimination. It’s more amazing to me that 8% of African Americans didn’t think there was discrimination in the US against African Americans. Who are they, and how do we extend the life opportunities they had to so color their perspective?

    In regards to Mike, I’d argue the perception of discrimination against whites is NOT a new phenomena. My father tells how his first professional job in Colorado in the 70s was landed because – his boss informed him – no minority applied for the position. Can you imagine what it feels like to be told that? That you’re the best candidate, but you’re lucky someone didn’t apply which the company had a statutory obligation to hire, even if they weren’t the best candidate.

    I’m pretty certain discrimination happens to every demographic. It’s the unfortunate nature of identity politics. I believe we conflate much of the discrimination people experience based on race/ethnicity with that of socio-economic status. The widening gap between the haves & have nots probably, I would surmise, has a greater impact in whether people feel they are being held back than actual overt racial discrimination.

    If we can find pathways for those on the bottom rungs of the ladder to prosperity (regardless of skin color), then we’re a better society for it.

  30. Richard Schriever 2017-10-26 19:16

    o – There were no restrictions on who could take the test I mentioned – other to being limited to the first 1800 applicants. ALL of the administrators of the test – who also conducted individual interviews were either woment and/or minorities.

    It was in Los Angeles after all, where 48% of the populace is Spanish speaking, and “whites” make up a bare 2-3% majority. Opportunity equal? In my experience, in that specific scenario – yep. The question I responded to had to do with being able to relate a specific instance.

    BTW – Most of the people in my doctoral program were women and/or minorities.

  31. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-10-27 07:24

    Even Wayne’s pretty good analysis doesn’t lead me to accept 55% of whites’ perceptions as valid.

    Contrary to the relativism that conservatives have adopted and expanded, mere perception does not create validity. We really can look at a perception and say, “No, sorry, that perception is wrong.” Whatever white people think is discrimination is not discrimination of the type or magnitude of the discrimination to which white people have subjected pretty much everyone of different hues on this continent since our arrival. It’s like “first-world problems”—the hunger one feels when the pizza-delivery guy runs late is nothing like the hunger one feels because poverty keeps one’s kids from getting three meals a day every day for years. Seeing one job for which one applied go to someone else is nothing like the discrimination.

    Contrary to Wayne’s pretty certain assertion, real discrimination does not happen to every demographic. White power is dwindling, but it remains in effect. The group in power cannot experience the same kind of discrimination as the groups not in power.

  32. Wayne B. 2017-10-27 09:13

    We really can look at a perception and say, “No, sorry, that perception is wrong.” Whatever white people think is discrimination is not discrimination of the type or magnitude of the discrimination to which white people have subjected pretty much everyone of different hues on this continent since our arrival.

    But the survey didn’t ask the magnitude of perceived discrimination, Cory. It asked very simply if people thought there was discrimination against their demographic. There was no qualifier to discrimination, such as “do you think Caucasians are discriminated against more than Asian Americans?”.

    This survey is only good at measuring perception, not reality. We must acknowledge its limitations. To say the perceptions of one demographic in this survey are valid, while the perceptions of another demographic are not is a foolish exercise of willful ignorance. 55% of white respondents thought that whites faced some form of discrimination. I’m more interested in finding out why they thought that than in trying to argue their perceptions are wrong.

    And again, are you going to call the 8% of African Americans who didn’t think their demographic experienced discrimination are stupid too?

    Cory, can you explain what “real discrimination” is v. (I assume) “fake discrimination” that apparently you feel only whites can experience?

  33. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-10-27 13:55

    I agree that the survey didn’t provide a Likert scale for respondents to rate the intensity of the discrimination. But I maintain that the perceptions behind the responses from brittle white people are akin to First-World problem complaints: an overreaction to a small perceived slight that does not compare to the real, oppressive discrimination rooted in power and institutions that racial minorities suffer continually in a white patriarchy.

  34. mike from iowa 2017-11-03 12:06

    Many of these snowflakes are being discriminated against because right wing radio and Fake Noize tells them they are discriminated against.

  35. jerry 2017-11-03 13:42

    The United Nations can attest to discrimination The proven discrimination of white/trump America against brown/Puerto Rico Americans. The numbers in now are just over 900 dead Americans in Puerto Rico directly related to the hurricanes. More deaths are coming with less support coming from the United States government, you and I. Now we are learning that IV is coming into short supply on the mainland of the United States as that is manufactured in Puerto Rico and they have no power or water to produce it. That could well mean the deaths of citizens right here in South Dakota due to the lack of IV solution. Republican cannot govern, never could and never will be able to do so. That is not in their makeup. trump is the biggest failure yet they have produced that thinks the wholesale slaughter of Americans is acceptable.

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