American and Canadian institutions — business, education, military, medical, legal, and government — have all intentionally instituted systemic discrimination against white citizens who are increasingly treated as villains or excluded entirely.
In the past, when the democratic norm of respect for the majority was taken for granted, white citizens, who make up strong majorities in both countries — 60% in the U.S. and 70% in Canada — did not suffer from racial discrimination. But with the adoption of the Marxist model of society, in which there is an oppressor class of villains and an innocent victim class, whites have been cast as the villains to be legitimately attacked and thwarted.
Today, the discrimination against racial minorities in the past is no longer seen as justification for equalizing rights so that all enjoy equal citizenship and equal opportunity but as justification for flipping the racial hierarchy and giving minorities rights and benefits which are forbidden to white citizens.
I can report this firsthand from universities, where I taught for fifty years. For a couple of decades at least, there was a double standard, with preference given to minority racial applicants over more academically accomplished white and Asian applicants. This of course was institutionalized in the U.S. by “affirmative action,” transformed from President Kennedy’s insistence on equal treatment to President Johnson’s preferential treatment.
Today universities in Canada and the U.S. do not just favor certain minority races but systemically exclude other races, particularly whites, from fellowship support and from jobs as professors and administrators. It would be easy to offer hundreds of examples (see them listed on the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship website at safs.ca), but this one from the University of Ottawa illustrates the pattern:
Job Number: J0223-1057 Job Type: Tenure-track Job Category: Academic Faculty: Faculty of Social Science Department: Political Studies Union: The Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa (APUO)
The hiring for this position will be done in accordance with the University’s initiatives to combat systemic racial discrimination as announced by the University President in January 2021, which aim among other things, to remedy the under-representation of racialized peoples and Indigenous peoples within the ranks of its faculty members. In order to strengthen the diversity of the School of Political Studies, only qualified applications from racialized or Indigenous peoples will be considered and evaluated for the position. (emphasis added)
For a moment, let’s leave aside the fundamental philosophical objections to and the horrendous historical experience of official racism. As a comment on a recent article of mine put it, what does it really matter if anthropologists [or political scientists] are mediocre rather than excellent? A rather philistine view of the liberal arts, but let’s say, okay, it would not be earth-shattering. But are we really ready for mediocre engineers, doctors, airplane pilots, and generals? When you exclude 60% or 70% of the possible candidates because of their race, that means that six or seven out of 10 times the best candidates for any position would be excluded. Think about what that means to our lives and to the state of our countries.
How did this happen, and what are its consequences? It is no mystery. The American vision of society as many individuals and consensual groups cooperating and competing in economics and politics was challenged vociferously beginning in the 1960s by feminists who substituted the Marxist claim that society consisted of a class of evil oppressors and a class of innocent victims. Feminists replaced the Marxist bourgeois capitalists with the male “patriarchy” and the Marxist proletariat with “females.” This neo-Marxist feminist model of society was taken up enthusiastically by race activists and scammers, by LGBTQ2S++ sexuality activists and grifters, and by transgender activists and scammers.
The Marxist violent revolution of the proletariat never took place in economically developed countries and the identity revolution of racial, sexuality, and gender activists could not be violent because these minorities are small compared to the population at large. Rather, they could only succeed in flipping the hierarchy and gaining advantage over whites by winning white allies and with their aid undermining liberal ideals of equality of opportunity, achievement and merit, and color-blind equality before the law, replacing them with “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” which in practice means replacing whites with BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color).
It should not be a surprise that strong allies in advancing anti-white discrimination are educated white females, illiberal feminists all. That educational institutions should be particularly strong in anti-white (not to mention anti-male) discrimination is due to the female overrepresentation at both the school and higher educational levels, where they have a stranglehold. This includes the multitudes of DEI bureaucrats who serve as political commissars to police ideas, just as they did in the USSR and do in Communist China.
The decline of universities began with the beachhead serious academia being breached by departments of female grievance, a model also picked up by racist, sexuality, and gender activists. Grievance and victimology spread with increasing female dominance throughout the humanities and social sciences, encouraged by the feminist-dominated administrations. Now “diversity, equity, inclusion” has replaced the teaching of the world’s greatest achievements and the search for truth as the raison d’etre of academia, and the replacement of scholarship and research has been replaced by political activism.
The results of this for ordinary Americans and Canadians have been drastic. Whites, alleged to be “privileged” oppressors, are now second-class citizens, vilified and excluded. Individuals are no longer respected for their individual characteristics and achievements but only for what race, sex, sexuality, and gender category they can be assigned to. They can no longer count on equality before the law, which has now been hijacked by race, sex, sexuality, and gender activists whose requirements are now enforced by law. If you do not call someone by the terms they demand, object to your groomed child “transitioning,” or say something biological, such as “men can’t be women,” you could go to jail.
White Americans and Canadians do not have any class consciousness or hold any race ideology.
Whites are a highly diverse category with different religions, heritage languages, and national backgrounds: Ukrainian and Armenian, German and French, Italian and Irish, and many others.
Mostly they want to be treated as individuals and to be free to treat others as individuals. This is the great liberal goal that fueled the civil rights movement. White supremacy as an ideology, however often invoked by leftists for political reasons, is virtually nonexistent.
What white Americans and Canadians have a right to is equal treatment and fair treatment as individuals and as citizens. They are not getting those now, and if they remain passive and silent, they will see their place in society deteriorate, the way that men’s position has deteriorated under the feminist onslaught. So too, remarkably enough, with other racial minorities, such as Asians and Jews, who, in spite of centuries of discrimination and victimization, have, because of their individual efforts, done the unforgivable by becoming too successful and so are classed with whites (Asians as “white-adjacent” and Jews as “hyper-white”) and discriminated against. Asians, more solidary than whites, lobby more energetically for fair treatment and have applied to the U.S. Supreme Court for relief from the racial double standards of university admissions.
Our elites, saying that the United States and Canada are “systemically racist” societies and the leaders of every organization repeating the same about their own organizations have worked hard and succeeded in actually making them “systemically racist.” Congratulations: great job, guys.
Philip Carl Salzman is a senior fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. This column originally here.