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Does Bill Gates Hate White People?

Bill-Gates-WorkMicrosoft gazillionaire-turned-philanthropist Bill Gates has apparently decided to award Gates Millennium Scholarships only to Americans of  non-European descent.  He did so back in January but the word is just slowly getting around.

Brian Garst observes, “Now, he is free to direct that his money be spent however he pleases.  The rest of us, likewise, are free not to purchase the products of a racist.” He’s right on both counts.   But is Gates really a racist?

First, to state the obvious, Gates looks, um, white.  I mean, he could be the archetype of whiteness.  Granted, there’s such a thing as self-loathing.  But charges of racism against your own kind do tend to require a higher burden of proof.

Second, the stated purpose of the Gates Millennium Scholars program is “is to promote academic excellence and to provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students with significant financial need to reach their highest potential.”   Given that whites remain the majority (if not for long), we’re excluded by definition.

Now, my personal preference would be for need-based scholarships to be race neutral.  It’s not obvious to me why a poor white kid from Appalachia is any less deserving than an equally talented poor black kid from Compton.  But, then again, it’s not my billions funding the program.  Most notably, because I don’t have any spare billions laying about.  So, if Gates wants to use the money he’s earned and raised to combat the vestiges of a system that privileged his own race over others, I won’t hold it against him.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. David says:

    “Given that whites remain the minority, we’re excluded by definition..”

    Should be majority.

    Yes! Fixed. – jhj

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  2. john personna says:

    I agree that Gates can do with his money as he wishes.

    I’m wary of those who say “That person is helping minorities. That’s racist!” That observation is a meaningless tautology for the non-racist, and would seem only to animate true racists.

    Probably the most interesting thing is what it implies about Gates’ arc though life. As far as I know he was born in white privilege, and attended private and mostly-white schools. Perhaps what he saw leads him to believe there are still imbalances to be countered.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  3. sam says:

    If that whiney Garst had done just a little research, he’d have found this:
    The Gates Cambridge Scholarships at the University of Cambridge and these folks: Gates Scholars’ Alumni Association. Check out these people of color:

    Jennifer Gibson (2001) Co-Chair
    Hilary Levey (2002) Co-Chair
    Andrew Robertson 2001 Co-Chair

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  4. sam says:

    Check out all the Gates Cambridge Scholarships (at the University of Cambridge). I had a link-filled post, but the spam thing put the kibosh on it. Check out all the people of color heading up the Alumni Association. Had Garst done a modicum of reseach, he’d have found this himself, the whiney right-wing weenie.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  5. TangoMan says:

    His money, his rules. That’s fine.

    He needs to embrace his inner racist though. He looks at a deserving white student and because of the kid’s race he declines to provide aid. He looks at a deserving minority student and because of the kid’s race he’s inclined to provide aid. That’s flat out racism – you look at a person and you don’t see the individual, you them them as being a token for their race.

    James, you really should look into the psychopathology of “Stuff White People Like” and you’ll get a deeper understanding of people like Gates and pretty much most liberals.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  6. Franklin says:

    I’m not a big fan of BG and his products, but c’mon is this stupid or what? Throughout history and happening right this very second, we have people choosing which other people to help, by whatever criteria they want.

    That criteria has often been “people I know,” which tends towards a situation of privilege. Rich white people tend to know other rich white people. I got a summer job long ago from one of my father’s buddies. He didn’t actively search for the best applicant (hell, I doubt there was even an actual “opening”).

    In this case, BG is specifically choosing people he never would have otherwise known. Again, with his own money. So WHO CARES?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  7. John425 says:

    Probably an element of self-loathing going on in BG’s head.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. TangoMan says:

    So, if Gates wants to use the money he’s earned and raised to combat the vestiges of a system that privileged his own race over others, I won’t hold it against him.

    Huh?

    The analyses of the General Social Survey data from 1974 to 2000 replicate earlier findings from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth that racial disparity in earnings disappears once cognitive ability is controlled for. The results are robust across many alternative specifications, and further show that blacks receive significantly greater returns to their cognitive ability than nonblacks. The trend data show that there was no sign of racial discrimination in the United States as early as 1970s. The analyses call into question the necessity of and justification for preferential treatment of ethnic minorities.

    Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reports:

    In 2004 blacks with a doctorate had a median income of $74,207. This was slightly higher than the median income of whites with doctoral degrees, which stands at $73,993. The high demand for black academics at American colleges and universities produces a good job market with high wages for blacks with doctoral degrees.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  9. TangoMan says:

    In this case, BG is specifically choosing people he never would have otherwise known. Again, with his own money. So WHO CARES?

    An employer decides to exchange his money for someone’s services and decides he doesn’t want to associate with black people. His money, right? WHO CARES?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  10. […] my terminology, which lead to James Joyner of Outside the Beltway asking the question, “Does Bill Gates Hate White People?” Brian Garst observes, “Now, he is free to direct that his money be spent however he […]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  11. john personna says:

    “Huh?”

    What matters here is Gates’ perception of the world, not yours. If he is helping those who he perceives as suffering, then he is not, from his perspective, creating an advantage. It is, from his perspective, a remedy.

    As I say above, there might be something about Gates’ life-journey that leads him to that conclusion. As far as I know he hasn’t shared that story.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  12. TangoMan says:

    What matters here is Gates’ perception of the world, not yours.

    So what? Why should Gate’s personal “perception of the world” shield him from criticism for his racist actions? The “perceptions of the world” of employers who wish to exercise their right to free association by choosing not to hire minorities doesn’t shield them from charges of racism.

    I don’t get the double standard that you’re defending. If you’re prepared to strip an employer of his constitutional right to free association and publicly brand him a racist for not wanting to hire minorities, then why are you sugar coating Gates’ outright declaration of racism, and for that matter, why are you even allowing him the right to freely associate on the basis of race when you’re supportive of efforts to restrict that same right to others?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  13. john personna says:

    What matters here is Gates’ perception of the world, not yours.

    So what? Why should Gate’s personal “perception of the world” shield him from criticism for his racist actions?

    For anyone who isn’t a jerk, yeah. For a normal person an honest effort at “helping” is viewed somewhat kindly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  14. TangoMan says:

    For anyone who isn’t a jerk, yeah. For a normal person an honest effort at “helping” is viewed somewhat kindly.

    You crack me up. Don’t you imagine that this same rationale can be applied in other situations, situations which you would undoubtedly condemn? Situations like the white employer making an “honest effort” at “helping” the white employee when he refuses to consider hiring a black employee.

    Look, just because you’re sympathetic to Gates’ racism doesn’t mean that you can wash it away as though it doesn’t exist. These feeble rationalizations you’re offering make you look like you’re either in denial or that you’ve abandoned any sense of reasoning with your invocation of double standards.

    Look, one of the justifications for restricting the Constitutional right to free association in the labor marketplace is that employers who associate on the basis of race inflict harm on the potential employees they reject simply because of their race. That harm that anti-discrimination legislation seeks to prevent is the same harm that Gates is inflicting upon deserving white applicants. He’s outright declaring to them that they are being denied aid simply because of the color of their skin. The harm these kids suffer is the same kind of harm that minority applicants would suffer if informed that they were not hired simply because of the color of their skin. Society has accepted the notion that the infliction of this harm will not be tolerated, so why are you tolerating Gates inflicting this harm on kids who can’t change who they are? Why aren’t you advocating that his right to free association be restricted and that Gates not be permitted to satisfy his racist impulses at the expense of innocents?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  15. just me says:

    Gates can spend his money however he wants.

    And I don’t think in and of itself a scholarship program limited to minorities or some other specified group means the creator is racist or elevates one race over another or anything like that.

    However, I agree with James that needs based scholarships would be a better way to go-especially since there are a lot of poor white kids who are just as trapped as minority children in their circumstances without the cash to go to college.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  16. TangoMan says:

    And I don’t think in and of itself a scholarship program limited to minorities or some other specified group means the creator is racist or elevates one race over another or anything like that.

    It’s funny, but I don’t recall coming across such a measured response when there are protests directed at private clubs or private universities which are discriminating in favor of selected groups. In those cases I distinctly recall over-the-top antics and rhetoric directed at the organizations who are simply exercising their rights to freely associate with people of their own choosing.

    You know, this makes me think that people don’t live by principles, but simply bend principles to justify their own biases. Who’d have thunk that, huh?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  17. john personna says:

    You crack me up. Don’t you imagine that this same rationale can be applied in other situations, situations which you would undoubtedly condemn? Situations like the white employer making an “honest effort” at “helping” the white employee when he refuses to consider hiring a black employee.

    Now we’ve moved to society’s perceptions. If Gates’ judgment of harm is considered reasonable, non-loony, and non-racist, people will be sympathetic to him.

    On the other hand, the employer claiming to help oppressed whites will probably be perceived as a loon, if not a racist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  18. john personna says:

    Note that Jame’s proposed standard, “for need-based scholarships to be race neutral,” would probably also be perceived as “reasonable, non-loony, and non-racist.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. john personna says:

    Put another way, if Gates were funding a homeless shelter for women, would that be ‘wrong’ because there are also homeless men?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  20. TangoMan says:

    Put another way, if Gates were funding a homeless shelter for women, would that be ‘wrong’ because there are also homeless men?

    I haven’t argued that what Gates is doing is wrong, I’ve argued that it’s racist. If he started funding gender-based homeless shelters, that wouldn’t be wrong, it would simply make him a sexist.

    Look back to my first comment, I declared that I believe that Gates is well within his right to do as he pleases with his own money. I’m a huge defender of freedom and liberty. None of this though takes away from the conclusion that Gates is a racist. He sees a deserving white kid in need and refuses to provide aid but will provide aid to a deserving minority child simply because of the color of the child’s skin. That’s racism, buddy. He’s not seeing individuals before him, he’s seeing tokens, or representatives of racial groups. I don’t really expect you to see the point here because almost the entire liberal experiment, especially in the political realm, is built on this racist worldview. To give an inch here would be to seriously undermine a worldview that is dear to many liberals.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  21. Grewgills says:

    The trend data show that there was no sign of racial discrimination in the United States as early as 1970s.

    Having lived through the 1970s in the US I find that statement laughable. The article appears to be behind a firewall, but I think that assertion calls into question the validity of the study.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  22. TangoMan says:

    <I.Having lived through the 1970s in the US I find that statement laughable. The article appears to be behind a firewall, but I think that assertion calls into question the validity of the study.

    The article is available at the author’s London School of Economics website. Further, it replicates earlier studies which found the same thing.

    Taking a bunch of black high school graduates and a bunch of white high school graduates and then taking data snapshots of them in the job market may well reveal an income disparity, but when they control for cognitive ability in those two cohorts, the blacks with IQ of 85 will have the same mean income as whites with IQ 85, the blacks with IQ of 100 will have the same mean income as whites with IQ of 100, etc. The distributions don’t overlap perfectly and that’s why you see income disparities. The reason for those income disparities isn’t overt or covert discrimination, it’s simple a reflection of returns to cognitive ability. There’s no one to blame.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  23. An Interested Party says:

    The reason for those income disparities isn’t overt or covert discrimination, it’s simple a reflection of returns to cognitive ability. There’s no one to blame.

    So you’re saying that, as a whole, black people just aren’t as intelligent as white people?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  24. TangoMan says:

    AIP,

    We’re talking about Bill Gates, the racist, not about the most replicated findings in the social science literature. That’s another debate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  25. anjin-san says:

    Is WangoMan really just a really badly written piece of software? Sort of the Windows Vista of OTB posters. And I am talking pre service pack here…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  26. An Interested Party says:

    re: TangoMan | April 22, 2010 | 11:50 pm

    Such a cowardly, weasel response…of course, your past comments give some indication as to how you might answer the question…I wonder if Peter Brimelow would answer the question directly…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  27. virgil xenophon says:

    I would throw in my 2-cents here to state the belief that the fact that Parliament was able to change the wording and intent of Cecil Rhodes’ will and trust to allow women, minorities and non-Christians scholarships instead of limiting them to the white Christian males the original will specified, no man’s will or trust documents are sacrosanct, i.e., they aren’t worth the paper they’re written on if the Leviathan wishes otherwise.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  28. Grewgills says:

    We’re talking about Bill Gates, the racist, not about the most replicated findings in the social science literature. That’s another debate.

    Shorter, yes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  29. TangoMan says:

    AIP & Grewgills,

    You liberals crack me up. Getting indignant about social science data describing the world as it is rather than the way you think it should be, fits the liberal stereotype to a tee.

    If you have social science evidence that you think contradicts the reality that’s been cited then make an argument based on that evidence. Getting huffy and pouting because people see the evidence around them is a pretty weak response. Fire the big guns at me, make the case for your proposition. Don’t hold anything back. Let’s have a full-on debate.

    Conclusions are better formed by evaluating evidence rather than adhering to wishful thinking.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  30. anjin-san says:

    Fire the big guns at me,

    A spitball will be more than adequate for you…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  31. TangoMan says:

    A spitball will be more than adequate for you…

    In other words, you don’t have any argument to make other than being upset that I’m not adhering to your vision of how reality should be and that I’m choosing to deal with reality as it is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  32. An Interested Party says:

    re: TangoMan | April 23, 2010 | 01:30 pm

    I wasn’t indignant or huffy, nor was I pouting…I merely asked you a question that you have yet to directly answer…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  33. Bill Gates says:

    Bill Gates: White Man Burden 2010.

    19th 20th century. it was in the form of Jim Crow and “seperate but equal”

    21st. century: Father-child.
    Kipling Poem: White Man’s Burden: Half-Devil…Half child.

    Read Bill Gates speeches. The White Man is here to rescue the poor, educated sick people of the world

    White Man Burden in 21st century.

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