The Wall Street Journal‘s James Taranto picked up a nice bit of Millennial confusion today (but not before Roger Clegg of the Center for Equal Opportunity had already emailed me about it). The Red and Black, the University of Georgia student newspaper, wrote a few days ago about a survey of Millennials conducted by MTV:
A survey conducted by MTV asked 3,000 Millennials ages 14 to 24 their thoughts on race-related issues, including affirmative action for college acceptance, in May. And what it found was seemingly paradoxical: 90 percent of Millennials surveyed “believe that everyone should be treated the same regardless of race,” yet 88 percent opposed affirmative action.
Most DISCRIMINATIONS readers will find it odd that anyone, even a student journalist, could find it “seemingly paradoxical” that 90% of the Millennials surveyed could believe in colorblind racial equality and at the same time oppose preferential treatment based on race (aka affirmative action). On the other hand, perhaps she is an ideal candidate for a job after graduation reporting on civil rights for some mainstream media organization, where she would fit right in.
Forty-one percent of white millennials say that the government “pays too much attention to the problems of racial minority groups…. More jarring is the 48 percent of white millennials who say discrimination against whites is as big a problem as discrimination against racial minorities…. [T]here’s no doubt that a substantial plurality of young white people believe their race is a disadvantage.”
Bouie exasperatedly exclaims that “this reaction doesn’t seem to have a basis in reality.” Indeed, he finds it “ludicrous” because of “the small number who say that they’ve felt excluded because of their race (10 percent) or say that they’ve been hurt by racial offenses (25 percent).” Bouie doesn’t mention that the question asked how many had “often” felt excluded because of their race or ethnicity, or that only 23% of the minorities said they had. Presumably that 23%, unlike 10%, is large enough “to have a basis in reality” and not to be “ludicrous.”