Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: UNC professor Dr. Keith Payne has written an important book for understanding how racial bias is splitting Americans. To understand how the Church can bridge this divide and bring people together, church leaders must first take a look at this well researched book. Here are some excerpt from an article the author wrote about this important topic.
The Truth about Anti-White Discrimination
by Keith Payne, Scientific American Magazine, 6/17/19. Dr. Payne is a Professor in Psychology and Neuroscience at UNC Chapel Hill. He is author of The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die.
…News stories are full of statistical evidence for disparities between black and whites, such as the fact that the average black family earns about half as much as the average white family, or that the unemployment rate for blacks is twice that for whites, or that the wealth of the average white family is ten times the wealth of the average black family. But this kind of evidence is like a political Rorschach test that looks very different to liberals and conservatives. What looks to liberals like evidence of discrimination looks to conservatives like evidence of racial disparities in hard work and responsible behavior.
…The only kind of evidence that can hope to bridge this divide comes from experiments which directly measure discrimination — and these experiments have been done.
…Consider an experiment by sociologist Devah Pager, who sent pairs of experimenters—one black and one white—to apply for 340 job ads in New York City. She gave them resumes doctored to have identical qualifications. She gave them scripts so that the applicants said the same things when handing in their applications. She even dressed them alike. She found that black applicants got half the call backs that white applicants got with the same qualifications.
…The key is to keep repeating the facts and their basis in reason and science, until they become part of the background that any conversation takes for granted. It is frustratingly slow work. But to even get started, we need to move the conversation about discrimination beyond evidence of disparities, and focus on the experiments and the stubborn facts they deliver.