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June 17, 2003

White boys only please

Clothing Chain Accused of Discrimination. So it seems Abercrombie & Fitch, the clothing brand that appeals to annoying frat boys, hires people that can relate to such individuals. What a surprise! Yeah, I'm sure it's discrimination under the law, but check this out:

"If you look at a store like Banana Republic," Mr. Gonzalez said, "there's a huge difference. Banana Republic has almost all minorities working there."

Go shop at Banana Republic then!

Godless disagrees:

Hmmmm. This might be one of those situations where there really *is* discrimination going on, of the invidious kind.

It's one thing to deny people jobs on the basis of their lack of competence (e.g. in science, writing, etc.), but another to do so on the basis of their skin tone. Are the applicants really that much worse at sales?

Some might contend that Abercrombie has a legitimate business interest in promoting the white aesthetic, even if the minority applicants *are* just as competent at sales. But if that's legitimate then I think that (say) a boycott by minorities and sympathetic whites would be a perfectly legitimate capitalist response. Abercrombie would have to weigh the costs and benefits and respond appropriately. Right?

In this case I think they'll respond to consumer pressure and refrain from locking non-whites out of sales positions. If they could make more money by keeping whites-only in sales, they could do that too, but I think that's unlikely b/c it's bad publicity and they'll lose customers.

Posted by razib at 08:03 PM

It's like something I've always wondered: how, in this day and age, does Victoria's Secret get away with only hiring hot babes as salesgirls? Not that I mind, not that they shouldn't be able to discriminate in any way they want to, but you'd think someone would have sued them into hiring ugly girls (like the airlines) by now...

Posted by: jimbo at June 18, 2003 06:51 AM

What mall do you all shop at? My Victoria's Secret has a mix of gorgeous, pretty, 'she's ok' and on the less fortunate side of average.

Posted by: duende at June 18, 2003 10:08 AM

Upscale department stores mos'def' discriminate in favor of good looking, or at least, thin, in NYC. Downscale lots of minority fatties.

Re: law firms, I thought that one job for a hottie was to accompany an attorney to court and sit next to him, merely to gain the jury's favor. They do a little work, too, on the side. Is that just a NY thing, I wonder?

Posted by: Diana at June 18, 2003 10:53 AM

"The fat and ugly unite!"

Sue Victoria's Secret, etc. into total submission (and hefty damages).

We must not tolerate intolerance (especially "lookism")!

Posted by: friedrich braun at June 18, 2003 11:47 AM

the "Jesse Jackson shakedown crowd" is going to spell the death of America....

What the fuck is going on?? Is the fucking government going to interfere in everything now?? Is there no individual freedom left in this country??

And when will the "Jesse Jackson shakedown crowd" be happy?? when all the jobs have been taken by jet black men??

Posted by: marinara at June 18, 2003 12:24 PM


Move to the Free State with us! www.FreeStateProject.org

If that doesn't work, I'm going to Costa Rica. They're on a libertarian trajectory, at least.

Posted by: Jacqueline at June 18, 2003 01:04 PM

oh, i'm sure discrimination is going on. but i think that a&f is doing this rationally-their target market is conservative white frat boys & their feminine arm-pieces and the like. but you are right, public pressure and shaming would do far more than suing them-though the persons in the class action will probably make some good money in a settlement.

as a libertarian i think we should let businesses discriminate-but that's not the law.... (though in practice there is plenty of discrimination going on even in large companies probably, rational and irrational).

Posted by: razib at June 18, 2003 03:11 PM

Hold on godless--there are attractive well-spoken black prepsters, but they won't be working as salesmen at Abercrombie or Brooks Brothers, they'll be recruited for front office positions.

Posted by: Diana at June 18, 2003 07:56 PM

I was in Washington D.C. about a year ago on business and I saw an elderly black gentleman working at the Brooks Brothers store as a salesclerk.

Posted by: friedrich braun at June 18, 2003 08:55 PM

Sue everybody for everything. Get more politicians in office who are sympathetic to trial lawyers, and get judges who assess very stiff judgments. Pass more laws that give everyone more chances to sue about something.

Let the lawsuits do for america what fundamentalist muslim militants have not been able to do so far.

Posted by: RB at June 19, 2003 01:49 PM


I am opposed to laws that outlaw discrimination in the private sector. Rights of free association and property should both take precedence.

Do you oppose hiring preferences for hiring waitresses, sales reps, models, actors and actresses, receptionists, and other visible workers based on:

  • youthful looks.
  • Buxomness in females.
  • Specific types of facial shapes.
  • Lack of fatness.
  • Well developed musculature (mostly in males).
  • ethnicity in ethnically themed establishments.
  • Accents in ethnically themed establishments.
  • Tallnesses in establishments that cater to the tall.

Why should Abercrombie be held to a standard that fashion shows are not held to?

Why should the government have any say in private sector preferences?

Posted by: Randall Parker at June 19, 2003 03:33 PM


Imigration is controlled by the government in the first place. It is the proper function of government to decide whether the government should have ethnic or sexual or age or intelligence or whatever other qualifications for who can immigrate. Ditto for deciding who the government hires.

As for damage to the American economy from discrimination: in a sufficiently competitive marketplace any company that discriminates will be at a competitive disadvantage. When Wall Street firms wouldn't hire Jews the Jews started their own finance companies that came to rival and surpass the financial firms run by WASPs. The Jews made huge in-roads into medicine and other high-status occupations by founding their own schools. They took over the movie industry. They did incredibly well without any government laws against discrimination.

Irrational discrimination local equilibriums: their effects are much exaggerated. It took government regulations to force blacks into the back of the bus and into separate commercial establishments. Companies did not want to discriminate because in many cases doing so cost them revenue. The history of discrimination in America is a history of government intervention. Jim Crow was a system of laws. That means it had broad popular support. It took a decrease in that broad support to role back the laws that codified the discrimination.

However, you didn't answer my question. Do you think Abercrombie should not be able to do what the fashion industry routinely does? It is kinda odd. Here are these shows that millions watch on TV that use people who are obviously chosen as a result of discrimination based on a long list of characteristics and this is accepted. But Abercrombie's hiring of people with the white frat boy look is a problem?

Why should discrimination based on ethnicity be unacceptable while in the same settings discrimination based many other criteria is acceptable?

I think we have the right to free association and that government laws against discrimination interfere witht that right. I think we have the right to decide who we trade with and hire as a result of basic rights to property and contract.

Competent Jews were kept out until there was a government push? What are you talking about?

Posted by: Randall Parker at June 19, 2003 05:16 PM

hmm. i'll let you guys fight this out, though i tend to lean toward randall on this issue, but let me add that JFK became president BEFORE the 1964 civil rights act, so catholics too were breaking the barriers....

i haven't studied the issue too much but some conservatives argue that blacks were well on the way toward economic progress BEFORE 1964 as well.

Posted by: razib at June 19, 2003 08:18 PM

GC “…there is a government & national security interest in making the US as cohesive as possible without damaging economic efficiency.”

Firstly, such an argument can be, and is, advanced by opponents of mass-immigration (and one that Peter Brimelow and Vdare.com columnists make frequently), i.e., mass-immigration (especially Third World immigration) has a markedly negative effect on social cohesion in the host countries, etc.

Secondly, if a clear majority in a given country doesn’t wish to receive immigrants, and, for all intents and purposes, wants to stop immigration completely (e.g., the US in the 20s, Japan now, etc.) I cannot see how a representative, democratic government can just override the will of the people and continue to accept mass-immigration. Even if such a decision is irrational on economic grounds (and such folks as Peter Brimelow, Diane Francis, etc. hold that the so-called economic benefits of mass-immigration are marginal, if not an outright fallacy), the people have a right to decide in favour of remaining racially/ethnically/religiously homogeneous. Who’s to say that they’re wrong? I believe that the current and unhappy situation in much of Western Europe indicates that the acceptance of such large waves of immigrants since the late 50’s was very short-sighted, and didn’t take into account the wishes of local indigenous populations who never agreed to find themselves inundated and submerged with tens of millions of inassimilable and increasingly hostile immigrants (especially Muslims).

Finally, Ralph Lauren ads feature upper-middle class, attractive, White youths (more often than not blonds); should they also be forced through legislation, or the courts, to change their profile? Is this the Big-Brother world you want?

Posted by: friedrich braun at June 19, 2003 10:47 PM

i love the women in polo commercials....

btw, ralph lauren's mother wanted him to be a rabbi ;)

Posted by: razib at June 19, 2003 10:57 PM

Yeah -- there is one model (don't know her name) that just takes my breath away every time I see her picture.

Posted by: friedrich braun at June 19, 2003 11:19 PM


Again, you are saying you don't like Abercrombie's actions in preferentially hiring young attractive white males (my guess is that they don't want 50 year old white males or even fat or ugly white males or really short guys or guys with long hair or any number of other characteristics either). But you don't seem to mind a fashion industry that has far more work for attractive white females than for just about anyone else (I don't mind either but then I don't favor laws against private sector discrimination).

There are tons of establishments that show favor in hiring decisions based on ethnicity, race, age, sex, breast size, etc. Many (probably most) discriminate for business reasons. They get more business with waitresses or sales reps that have specific racial, sexual, age, build, height, and other characteristics that make us all different. Should race be disallowed as a factor in making hiring decisions while everything else is allowed? After all, there are lots of bars that will hire waitresses but not waiters. You think they should have to hire males as well as females to wait tables?

I suspect you care more if one differentiating factor is race if young fit-looking white males are the beneficiaries. My guess is that you wouldn't be so opposed if black males were the ones favored (certainly the society at large is not). If a store catered to a young black clientele would you object if it only hired young black males? My guess is we'd never even see the media report on such a thing. My further guess is that there are plenty of establishments that generate more sales by having young black male sales reps (and good for them).

Rational discriminaton: But if a business hires people based on race or sex or whatever because it increases sales (and I would not be surprised if it does for Abercrombie) then isn't that rational discrimination?

You also say:

Thing is, there is a government & national security interest in making the US as cohesive as possible without damaging economic efficiency.

But (correct me if I'm wrong) you also favor an immigration law based on IQ criteria with no consideration of racial, cultural, religious, or other characteristics. If national cohesion is important then this begs the question: what types of characteristics of immigrants can have a negative impact on national cohesion? Do you agree that there are other characteristics besides IQ that will impact national cohesion and that those characteristics depend at least in part on the norms and values of the existing population?

To repeat: I think the private sector should be free to do what it wants in choosing who to hire. Also, while I think national cohesion is important I doubt that laws against discrimination in the private sector are even improving national cohesion. In fact, since anti-discrimination laws inevitably get used unfairly to undermine hiring and promotion based on merit they are pissing off a lot of people and breeding resentment among many white people toward other groups. This reduces national cohesion. Given that whites are (at least for another couple of decades) the majority I fail to see how this can be a good thing.

Posted by: Randall Parker at June 20, 2003 12:31 AM

While I too tend to lean on the side of Randall, Godless is not outside of consideration either. This is basically an extended version of Affirmative Action. Do we really want to allow double-standards into our laws? Even if they do help rectify a current problem (greater black societal exclusion), do we undermine, perhaps permenently damage, more important standards of law and policy by allowing them? Could this kind of discrimination be ultimately more destructive for a multi-racial society? As an analogy would it be Ok to legislate against free-speech in a certain circumstance (say when it could somehow enable terrorism) where doing so could prevent temporary harm, or do we stick by the principled value (i.e free speech at all costs) because it has greater projectable utility to us? This relates to the Ashcroft style of National Security which might be viewed as the flip-side to Affirmative Action in that respect.
So understanding that hip-hop fashion stores, BET, etc. are still able to hire with race as a demographic hiring criteria, we have to realize that we are allowing a double-standard into our laws by not letting whites do the same. It may be of use to permit this, as it will allow even less areas in white life-style where blacks are de facto excluded, and thus further enable blacks to assimilate into white American culture. Of course to do this by say, legally preventing bands such as Weezer to exist, would overstep too many clear laws, but to do this by preventing hiring discrimination (even when it is a common, expected, and even logical form of discrimination) might be an acceptable avenue for promoting racial cohesion.

Immigration is another issue. I don't think the two issues should be mushed together. Blacks are not immigrants, they are Americans with a unique disadvantaged history.

Posted by: Jason Malloy at June 20, 2003 06:50 AM

Razib, Ralph Lauren didn't become a rabbi but in a sense he became a high priest.

I haven't read all these posts carefully but I think that a store should be able to hire the staff they want and let the market take care of the problem, if problem there be. In a place like NY, you *will not* be able to get many whites to be sales staff. It's just not a white person's job anymore. Hence you have good looking, classy A/A's in the better stores, and fat ugly ones in the downscale stores. I believe many whites would prefer to buy from a handsome, tall A/A than a short stocky Latino, because we are accustomed visually to distinguishing between different types of blacks, and culturally we accept Negro beauty/good looks (ie Naomi Sims, Kobe Bryant) becuase A/As are part of the American fabric.

Posted by: Diana at June 20, 2003 07:42 AM

"Yeah -- there is one model (don't know her name) that just takes my breath away every time I see her picture."

the one with the big blue eyes and frenchy lips? i'll try to post a pic....

also, godless, how do you define merit? the thing is that if most of your clientele is white and kind of bigoted, whites are just a much better business proposition in terms of a sales force. the contention that government is needed to change the masses viewpoint seems obvious on the surface, but i think it's much more complex than that, the civil rights act et al. accompanied a wholesale change in elite attitudes and was a reflection, not a cause of that. would the masses have changed their perspective (in 1960 most white people polled did not want to sit next to a black person on a bus!) without government fiat. i suspect so, though it might have happened more slowly (see the jews, catholics, etc.).

Posted by: razib at June 20, 2003 08:18 AM

"Yeah -- there is one model (don't know her name) that just takes my breath away every time I see her picture."

"the one with the big blue eyes and frenchy lips? i'll try to post a pic...."


You'll have me checking out your blog every day!

Posted by: friedrich braun at June 20, 2003 01:16 PM

Godless. Why couldn't Jews or Catholics have started their own Harvard grade universities. I suspect that if they were still descriminated against they would have done so by now and our country would be two 1st class universities the richer. Instead they crowded out the decendants of the people who actually founded our countries original universities. To my mind, universities ARE substantially social clubs, so if discrimination is allowed anywhere it should be allowed there. OTOH I'm basically anti-university. We need more enterpreneurs and fewer parasitic "intellectuals".

Posted by: michael vassar at June 20, 2003 02:11 PM

was there ever a quota for catholics at ivy league universities? if so, what was it?

Posted by: friedrich braun at June 20, 2003 02:59 PM

Why couldn't Jews or Catholics have started their own Harvard grade universities.

brandeis-for all those jews who were rejected by the ivies because they didn't make it under the 10% quota. also, for the religiously minded, yeisheva.

for catholics, take your pick, notra dame, georgetown, or a notch or two down, boston college.

of course the ivies were also founded by religious organizations/denominations.

Posted by: razib at June 20, 2003 03:07 PM

Michael Vassar,

You're right, ivy league u's were originally built by WASPs for WASPs.

pat buchanan made a similar point a while ago:

The Dispossession of Christian Americans
by Patrick J. Buchanan
November 27, 1998

Where does this leave Middle America? Not to put too fine a point on it, the white Christian middle class is being dispossessed. If elite colleges and grad schools enroll 75 percent of their students from the small Democratic minorities while white Christians and Catholics, who make up 75 percent of the population, are relegated to 25 percent of the seats, there is no doubt who is going to run America in the 21st century...

Buried in the editorial page of the Nov. 16 Wall Street Journal was a remarkable essay, which exposes the true, and hidden, story of who is really "underrepresented" in our elite schools, and who are the real victims of ethnic bigotry in America.
The author is Ron Unz, a Harvardian 20 years ago, now a California political activist and entrepreneur, who led the successful state initiative to abolish bilingual education.

According to Unz, today at Harvard College, Hispanic and black enrollment has reached 7 percent and 8 percent, respectively, slightly less than the 10 percent and 12 percent of the U.S. population that is Hispanic and black. This has been a cause of protests at Harvard, as Hispanics and African-Americans insist on more proportional representation.

But Unz does not stop there. He goes on to report that nearly 20 percent of the Harvard College student body is Asian-American, and 25 percent to 33 percent is Jewish, though Asian-Americans make up only 3 percent of the U.S. population and Jewish-Americans even less than 3 percent. Thus, 50 percent of Harvard's student body is drawn from about 5 percent of the U.S. population!

When one adds foreign students, students from our tiny WASP elite and children of graduates, what emerges is a Harvard student body where non-Jewish whites -- 75 percent of the U.S. population -- get just 25 percent of the slots. Talk about underrepresentation! Now we know who really gets the shaft at Harvard -- white Christians.

The same situation, says Unz, exists at other elite schools like Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Berkeley and Stanford, where Chelsea Clinton goes. As Hispanics, Asians, African-American and Jewish-Americans also vote overwhelming Democratic, the picture that emerges is not a pretty one. A liberal elite is salving its social conscience by robbing America's white middle class of its birthright, and handing it over to minorities, who just happen to vote Democratic.

Harvard does not keep enrollment statistics by religion, but it is clear Evangelical Christians, Catholics, Mormons and Muslims are the victims of a bigotry so embedded Harvard cannot see it right in front of its eyes. As for the ethnic identity of Harvard's rejects, it must include many kids of Scots-Irish, Irish, Welsh, German, Italian, Greek, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Slavic, Scandinavian, Russian, Croatian, Serbian, Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian descent.-- and dozens of other small ethnic groups.

Growing up Catholic in America, one knew the Ivy League was hostile terrain; few Ivy League recruiters were ever sent out to offer scholarships to deserving boys from Catholic high schools. But I had no idea how far the Ivy League had gone in denying its first-class tickets to the upper crust of society and the best professions to kids whose ancestors happened to come from Europe.

Since affirmative action was instituted, conservatives have battled for the idea that character, ability and excellence should be the criteria for advancement, not gender, race or ethnicity. Boy and girls, men and women, should be admitted to schools or promoted in jobs based on what they have accomplished, not on which country or continent their kinfolk came from.

But we are now stymied. Bill Clinton has said he will veto any bill that abolishes racial, ethnic or gender preferences; and the GOP Congress is too terrified even to try to pass such legislation.

Where does this leave Middle America? Not to put too fine a point on it, the white Christian middle class is being dispossessed. If elite colleges and grad schools enroll 75 percent of their students from the small Democratic minorities while white Christians and Catholics, who make up 75 percent of the population, are relegated to 25 percent of the seats, there is no doubt who is going to run America in the 21st century.

And with immigration -- 1.5 million legal and illegal aliens entering yearly -- increasing the share of the citizenry that is black and Hispanic, this means an endless ratcheting up of black and Hispanic demands for proportional representation. And, as Unz has pointed out, these demands are invariably met at the expense of white Christians. Is there a way out? Perhaps.

Perhaps ethnic Catholics and Christians can stop resisting proportional representation -- and demand their fair share of the slots at Harvard, etc., based on their share of the U.S. population. How can Harvard say no to the Irish if it says yes to Hispanics?

If Harvard balks, denounce it as bigoted and demand a cut-off of federal funds. If proportional representation is the name of the game, Christian and European-Americans should get into the game, and demand their fair share of every pie: 75 percent, and no less.

Posted by: friedrich braun at June 20, 2003 03:25 PM

Jews had their own universities including Brandeis and the blacks (e.g. Howard U) and Catholics (too many to mention) had theirs as well. The discrimination against Jews was not uniform. As a consequence the Jews put places like CCNY on the map academically speaking.

It is worth noting that most of the discrimination against Jews, blacks, Catholics, and other groups by institutions of higher education was ended without government intervention. It is also worth noting that the discrimination that those same institutions now practice against whites (and in some cases against East Asians) was similarly done without the need for government prompting. I'm saying keep the government out of it whether it hurts or helps me.

Posted by: Randall Parker at June 20, 2003 04:10 PM

Razib – where’s my babe? I’m still waitin’

Intellectual debates accompanied by pictures of tall, leggy, blonde hotties…

If that’s not a formula for a successful blog, I don’t know what is!

Posted by: friedrich braun at June 21, 2003 01:26 PM

Thanx, dude!

Posted by: friedrich braun at June 21, 2003 01:44 PM

Razib, You say:

also, godless, how do you define merit? the thing is that if most of your clientele is white and kind of bigoted, whites are just a much better business proposition in terms of a sales force.

Kind of bigoted? What about situations where the serving workers (wait staff, clerks, etc) are supposed to be sexually attractive as part of their appeal? If someone prefers the appearance of white women over the appearance of other races are they bigoted? Suppose the person with that preference is not even white? Are they bigoted?

If the person waiting on you is sexually attractive to you then is it okay for the establishment employing that person to take their race in account to suit the tastes of its clientele? But if the person is not supposed to be sexually attractive to the customers is it suddenly not okay to use race as a hiring criterion?

Suppose a white person prefers the appearance of East Asian woman? I had a Jewish roommate in college who thought the Oriental look was absolutely the best and he hated Jewish women because they reminded him of his mother and sister. Is he bigoted? I had another Jewish roommate who had this to say about JAPs (Jewish American Princesses - he called them JAPs; I'd never heard the term before that point): "A few of them are alright but most of them I just want to walk on their faces". Was he bigoted? He was very proud of being Jewish but couldn't stand Jewish women.

Is it bigoted for a white heterosexual male to want to be waited on by another white heterosexual male in a clothing store? But is it less bigoted if he wants to be waited on by a white heterosexual femal? Also, is it bigoted for, say, black heterosexual males to want to be waited on by white heterosexual females?

As far as I can tell GC, by not not explicitly stating exactly what makes the Abercrombie case special, is making an implicit exception for workers who are supposed to be sexually attractive to their customers. GC, what about waitresses serving guys? What about actresses? Okay to do racial discrimination when choosing them?

Also, GC is making an exception for all races that are, on average, not doing as well economically. Sounds like heterosexual white males have to live up the highest standard and below that the standard declines. GC is consistent in this with the society as a whole at this point.

GC, You say:

Blacks can get away with stuff like FUBU because there's a common perception that they don't generally organize to do violence to the popoulation, and because people feel sorry for them. Whites on the other hand are far better at organizing violence. Thus the return or introduction of explicitly white-specific products tacks the hint of violence onto the already injurious separatism. That's why the double standard exists.

Blacks kill more whites than whites kill blacks even though blacks are a much smaller percentage of the US population. Where is the organized white violence on blacks? It is extremely rare. The opposite is, relatively speaking, much more common but underreported. You are buying the liberal fantasy of what those horrible working class whites are like.

Also, for non-high IQ immigrants it sounds like you are conceding that other qualities matter. What other qualities matter? You want to state? Do you think that, for instance, we ought to keep out Muslims?

I understand you believe that high IQ people are much more likely to judge others based on ability. But your love of the cognitive elite does not change the fact that out away from the elite research universities half the population is below the median. These people should not be treated with contempt by basically delegitimzing their preferences. I think they deserve more respect than that.

You say:

The cognitive elite (not just whites) needs to give all the breaks it can - without sacrificing too much efficiency - to the best members of the not-so-smart in the interests of societal cohesion.

You seem to think that all whites can do so well for themselves in this society that whites as a group are fair targets to be discriminated against in order to achieve the larger goal of promoting social cohesion. But approximately half the whites have IQs less than 100. I'm here to tell you from personal experience growing up with working class white folks that there are a lot of dumb whites out there. You seem to be oblivious to them. Discriminate against them for some decent paying government job with health benefits and they are going to work at some worse job with little or no benefits.

Regards the massive governmental intervention to stop some kinds of discrimination and to promote other kinds: You seem to be missing my point. Many kinds of discrimination were already on the decline for decades before government stepped in. You can point to the dramatic intervention points. But look at trends before those points. Things were already changing.

Posted by: Randall Parker at June 21, 2003 02:30 PM

GC: “Blacks can get away with stuff like FUBU because there's a common perception that they don't generally organize to do violence to the popoulation, and because people feel sorry for them. Whites on the other hand are far better at organizing violence. Thus the return or introduction of explicitly white-specific products tacks the hint of violence onto the already injurious separatism. That's why the double standard exists.”

This entire sentence is puzzling. I have no idea what you mean.

A casual perusal of international newspapers strongly indicates that Blacks can organize for violence just fine.

Posted by: friedrich braun at June 21, 2003 02:37 PM

What do you say to WASPs (like me) who couldn't care less about military or economic greatness and would much prefer to live in freedom? Your idea that government minders watching everyone will bolster the economy is just a fantasy anyway. Nothing could stop a policy from quickly becoming an ethnic spoils system such as we have now.

Posted by: Sporon at June 21, 2003 03:48 PM

GC, Yes, we all accept that Jim Crow happened. I even made the point that laws were necessary to keep it going. But return to that era of organized white violence against blacks is not in the cards. The fear of it is not a legitimate reason to promote a double standard on racial discrimination.

But you are still not facing the core issue here. You say:

I don't think that preferring the white aesthetic is bigoted at all.

Does that mean that one is not morally inferior if one has esthetic tastes for a particular ethnic group? Can one act on those tastes at a personal level? Then you say:

I guess I'd only be convinced that this suit was viable if the plaintiffs could demonstrate that a large number of the rejected non-white applicants had credentials equivalent or superior to the successful white applicants.

I do not know what to make of this. Do businesses have a right to appeal to customers using a racial esthetic or not? The second quote from you suggests you are saying they do not have that right. If Abercrombie's goal was to create a racial esthetic in their store (which seems plausble and one can see why that might help their sales) do you think doing so should be illegal? They obviously could do that only by preferring white applicants. If they didn't have to prefer white applicants to accomplsh that goal then they never would have had to try to create that esthetic in the first place. It just would have happened.

If you are saying that Abercrombie shouldn't have been allowed to do that then are you saying this should only be disallowed for the white esthetic? Or for the whites and for any ethnic group that earns on average more than the national income average? Or what?

Also, do you think other industries shouldn't be allowed to do this? I'm thinking of the entertainment industry in particular.

Posted by: Randall Parker at June 21, 2003 04:56 PM

"I had another Jewish roommate who had this to say about JAPs (Jewish American Princesses - he called them JAPs; I'd never heard the term before that point): "A few of them are alright but most of them I just want to walk on their faces". Was he bigoted? He was very proud of being Jewish but couldn't stand Jewish women."

Was this guy using "JAP" as a synonym for "Jewish woman"? I've heard some Jewish guys lump all Jewish women under that term, and others have a fairly clear line drawn between JAPs and non-Jappy Jewish women. Just curious...

Posted by: duende at June 22, 2003 01:38 PM

Duende, he didn't see all Jewish women as JAPs. But it was my impression that he saw most that way. To what extent was all this just late adolescent bluster by a sexually frustrated college student? I dunno. Probably some of it. But I have certainly known Jewish guys who have had a notable aversion to Jewish women. I've lost track of them and do not know if they later changed their minds. I also know Jewish men who are very happy with their Jewish wives.

I've personally found Jewish women more interesting on average than women of other ethnic and racial groups because they are generally brighter and with more intellectual interests.

Posted by: Randall Parker at June 22, 2003 02:51 PM

Amazing how the media has manipulated what women should look like, wear, ditto for men, I personally think its all about a woman's character and personality, looks are an added bonus, but who the heck wants to date somebody who's over her head?

Posted by: obh100 at July 13, 2003 09:20 PM