This past weekend I overheard, but did not participate in, conversations by white males about how hard it is for white males in America and how President Obama is going to make it worse by giving all the jobs to blacks and other minorities.
Growing up in a very blue collar family in a relatively blue collar city, I've heard this argument countless times. Some whites feel slighted and discriminated against because of affirmative action. A lot of them feel that AA is outdated and not relevant anymore because racism doesn't matter these days.
This is a very complicated issue, one which I'm not 100% sure about where I stand on it, but I am positive that when I hear a bunch of employed, white males sitting around talking about how hard they have it because of their skin color, I want to laugh and shake them violently.
I think back to when I grew up in Worcester and went to school in the inner city at a private, albeit extremely diverse catholic school; I worked my ass off and never felt slighted when a person of color got something over me. I think about how some of the kids I knew growing up lived, whether white, black, hispanic, mixed race, asian or whatever... some of us had it harder than others. I'm happy as hell if one of my friends ever got called up for a special program because of their story.
So many "conservatives" talk about pulling yourself up by the boot-straps and making your way no matter what your circumstances. So, I simply pose to them; why didn't you over-perform and get whatever you were going after? Was it impossible? Could you not overcome your circumstances?