Study condemns US universities for promoting ‘white racial privilege’
U.S. colleges and universities are guilty of promoting “white racial privilege,” according to a report, which was produced by Georgetown University and funded, in part, by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The report, called “SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL: How Higher Education Reinforces the Intergenerational Reproduction of White Racial Privilege,” was released by Georgetown late last month and explains that higher education is a “passive agent” in promoting racial inequality.
“The higher education system is more and more complicit as a passive agent in the systematic reproduction of white racial privilege across generations,” according to a press release that accompanied the study.
Affirmative action does not go far enough to solve the problem, the report continues.
Universities are problematic in that caucasians are overrepresented in the top 468 schools, while 70% of the new African-American and Hispanic enrollments have been at open access colleges instead of elite institutions, according to the study.
The study points-out that graduation rates at elite schools are higher and these institutions spend more money per student to ensure their success.
Lower enrollment among minorities at these elite schools affects their ability to find employment and their overall life earnings, it says.
“The higher education system is color blind--in theory--but in fact operates, at least in part, as a systematic barrier to opportunity for many African-Americans and Hispanics, many of whom are college-qualified but tracked into overcrowded and underfunded colleges where they are less likely to develop fully or to graduate,” added Anthony Carnevale, the co-author of the report and director of the center.
Carnevale further explained that social science indicates that it’s “very clear” white privilege has increased in the United States in the past two decades.
He added in an interview with Campus Reform, that while unintentional, “college has become part of that systematic reproduction of privilege across generations."
Carnevale said affirmative action is a good thing but if it were eliminated “it won’t affect many people.”
“I’m not saying higher ed is a racist or classist institution, there’s no intent to be that, but in the end it has the same effect,” he said.
The report was supported through the efforts of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and various other advocacy groups.
According to Andrea Porter, a spokeswoman for the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, the costs of publication for studies of this nature range between $5k and $20k.
Porter mentioned this figure does not include the labor costs of the research itself, but purely reflects the costs for printing the study.
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