More Evidence of Racial Discrimination, this time in Academics
Our reader Frank has left comments issuing a challenge for Irregular Times and Irregular Times’ readers to provide “ONE EXAMPLE” of evidence pointing to “white privilege” and discrimination against black people in America. Earlier this week, I named and provided references to not one but six research studies that document discrimination against black people in controlled field experiments (also known as “audit studies”) in which actual auditors or paper applications are paired in a way so that the only difference between them is racial identity. Over and over again in these six research studies, statistically and substantively significant results indicate that among equally qualified pairs of applicants, white members of the pairs are more likely to receive positive treatment than black members of the pairs.
Frank is still working at responding to the first of the six research articles, and I don’t mean to rush him through his work, but I would like to add a seventh piece of research. This is another recent field experiment, the results of which were published in the peer-reviewed journal Psychological Science in 2012. In that paper, authors Katherine L. Milkman, Modupe Akinola, and Dolly Chugh (professors of management at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia Business School and New York University respectively) describe research in which they sent e-mails to 6,548 professors in all doctoral-level graduate programs in the United States. These e-mails featured requests to meet “next Monday coming from fictional people describing themselves as interested in applying to those graduate programs. The fictional applicants’ requests were of comparable written quality, differing only by names, which were selected to strongly indicate racial and gender identity. In their research results, requests by otherwise equivalent applicants with strongly typical white and male names received positive responses 26 percent more often than applicants with non-white and non-male names, indicating both racial and gender discrimination.