Tuesday, April 15, 2008

doubt black achievement

When white Americans encounter black Americans who have achieved educational or professional success, they tend to doubt that success. They do so because the ordinary white mind transmogrifies the notion of "affirmative action" into "giving unqualified black people an advantage."

There's a sad irony in the white doubting of black achievement. Black professionals know that others doubt their qualifications and abilities, so they tend to make absolutely certain that they are qualified and able. Personally, if I had a choice between two doctors, and all I knew was that one was black and one was white, I would choose the black one:
One way that African Americans consume personal energy is in determined efforts to succeed in the face of racism, including overachieving to prove their worth in the face of whites' questioning black ability and competence. . . Several respondents felt that it was common for black employees to prove themselves in white settings to overachieve, doing more than white employees with similar resources and credentials would have to do.

This extra pressure dealt with by successful African Americans does have an upside for them, as one law professor in the study notes: "Once you succeed, you know that you have the ability. There's no question about it, because you've had to do a little bit more than the next guy to even get through."


  1. Your blog is incredible! So glad to have found it! I am linking you. Cheers.

  2. What...the hell was the context in that video? Was I supposed to laugh? Is it to expose prejudice or something?

  3. Glad you like the blog, carmen. I'll soon link you too.

    Yes, alston, it's an exposure of prejudice against black doctors. And no, you're not supposed to laugh--you're supposed to go out and switch to a black doctor so you can get better health care.

  4. I love the way white people use 50 cent words that no one understands except the other white people who rush to a dictionary and then make like they knew it all along. The more 50 cent words you can use, the more likely you are to feel good about yourself and view yourself as superior to others. Other white people will look at you and shake their head affirmatively but you know and they know they have no idea WTF that word meant.
    Alright, well cool, but I gotta go. . . I got me some transmogrification to do out in the barnyard. . . yea, gotta transmogrify me some manure.

  5. Gee SH, I thought you were more sagacious than that.

    By the way, I have another post to write--can you lend me 50 cents?

  6. MD,
    Sagacious, but not finely educated.
    Gotcha covered with the coin.

    BTW, I've got a great doctor. . . a Harvard man. Spends hours with me figuring out my health problems (blood pressure, anger, ulcers, anger).
    Do I have to give him up or risk being accused of being something less than sagacious?

  7. yeah my friend was dating a white guy who refuse to believe that I was an atty. The next meeting he told me Oh I googled you You are an atty!

    like being an atty is equivalent to curing cancer of some astronomical feat.

  8. Thanks anonymous, that's hilarious. Or rather, no, pretty sad, actually.

  9. I have worked for a company, which foreign language and foreign travel were the requirements including a college degree. By the way, I am tri-lingual. In any case, I was never allowed to travel overseas with the company, because they felt that i wasn't ready to travel.

    I probably failed to mentioned that I have traveled many times to Europe, Canada, South America and North Africa. Oh i also forgot to mentioned that I taught english in Brazil for 6 months. But with the "doubt black achievement: I had to deal with the fact that my white co-workers who mostly did not have a college degree and if they did, were unable to speak the languages in the countries they traveled. But I guess the company wanted to have the white face for the company abroad.


Please see the "commenting guidelines" before submitting a comment.

hit counter code