OneSTDV says OWS protesters feel entitled to white collar employment and won’t take blue-collar jobs. Half Sigma notes an NYT article on the lack of women in STEM fields, but that white Americans in general don’t do this work.
What neither says- but I suspect HS understands- is that certain types of work have become to “belong” to certain ethnic groups. First let’s look at the situation OneSTDV describes, no- or low-skill labor.
Long ago, in the sands of time, all kinds of people- anybody who needed money- did this kind of work. Construction workers obviously did construction, but college students would do it on their breaks, or after graduating when searching for other work. The same was true of restaurant work, cleaning, and landscaping.
At some point Mexicans- I’m going to say “Mexicans” because “Latinos” or “Hispanics” doesn’t describe this group, and “Mexicans and Central Americans” is too long- became the preferred employees for most of these jobs. They worked for less, for cash, couldn’t or didn’t complain, were quiet and worked hard. If you needed more workers, your Mexican employee could come up with others quickly. At a certain point only Mexicans were hired for new openings. When they reached a certain critical mass, the Mexicans didn’t want others there, and even if the employer didn’t prefer them it was easier just to keep the peace by not hiring anybody else.
The same thing of course happened in what we have come to call STEM- science, technology, engineering, and manufacturing. Cheap immigrants arrived. They became the majority. Not liking or wanting white people around, it was easier for employers to hire more cheap immigrants. When they, like the Mexicans, obtained supervisory positions they could hire their countrymen and encourage whites to leave.
I’m white, and I will admit I prefer to be around people like myself. Partly this means “white” but also means “educated, intelligent and not a dick.” But as an American I’m cool with most other peoples of the world. Americans are pretty comfortable with a multi-ethnic environment. This is not true of most people of the world though. They like, prefer, and want to work with their own ethnic group, regardless of job performance. They are unashamedly nepotistic.
Robert Lindsay claimed some time ago that white people were the problem with a multi-ethnic society but I say just the opposite. European whites were long ago pretty clannish and ethnocentric- that is preferential of their own ethnic group, subgroup and family, not European whites in general-but time living together and the New Deal system worked that out of them. But since 1965 we have imported a vast number of new people who are, by human nature racist, ethnocentric and clannish, but who not only have not had this worked out of them, have had it reinforced by their special status as minorities.
If you are a young white guy with a strong back, and you think you would like to make some money working construction, you can go down to a site, but I suspect you will be out of luck. All the laborers, and most of the first-line supervisors, will be Mexicans. If there was need of another guy, one of their (Mexican) friends would be there. The only whites will be high-level supervisors or skilled tradesmen such as electricians. Even if the boss wants to hire you, he knows you don’t speak Spanish, and your presence will piss off the Mexicans.
You turn away, and consider going back to school for computer programming. Again, cheap foreigners are preferred for the same reasons. Even if you get the job, it won’t be fun being an outsider and you won’t be welcome.
A third situation, much less common but still relevant would be a college student or graduate going into a blue-collar white workplace. The racial friction would not be present, but the cultural friction would be very strong. We don’t have a common culture any more, and different classes of white people are much more separated than they once were. A friendly person with some savoir faire could handle it, but it would be hard.
The two basic pieces of advice given to frustrated, unemployed white people- do more humble labor, or get technically educated- work poorly because elite whites decided to semi-segregate these kinds of work to other races.