I support affirmative action. Nevertheless, I do understand some of the objections to it, that maybe it should be more class-based rather than gender and race based, and that it could potentially set people up for failure (someone who might have flourished at UC Riverside but flounders at Berkeley hasn’t been done a favor). So I don’t think everyone who opposes it is necessarily some kind of a right-wing nut.
In an experimental context, when reviewers were told the author of a legal brief was black they consistently rated identical pieces lower in quality and identified more spelling, grammar, factual, or analytical errors. It’s evidence that, even if the days of overt bigotry and explicit discrimination are mostly past, the United States still struggles with a deep problem of implicit racism.
Arin N. Revees, the president of Nextions and the author of the study, argues that the implicit racism happened because reviewers take the racial information she provided as a cue for how they should judge the work. When the author is supposed to be white, reviewers excused errors as out of haste or inexperience. They commented that the author “has potential” and was “generally a good writer but needs to work on” some skills. When the author is supposed to be black, those same errors became evidence of incompetence. A reviewer said he “can’t believe he [the author] went to NYU,” and others said he “needs lots of work” and was “average at best.”
Are you surprised? I’m not.