One Step Forward, One Step Back

Lest we take the Conservative view that Racism is a thing of the past. . .

Lets not confuse Progress with Perfection, eh. Especially since such is generally only done by hard-core Conservatives when in full duplicity mode.

Lighter skin makes for heavier pay packets
* 01 February 2007

Lighter skin leads to heavier pay packets, according to a survey of US immigrants.

Joni Hersch, who researches law and economics at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, analysed a 2003 US government survey of just over 2000 recent immigrants whose skin tones were rated on an 11-point scale during face-to-face interviews.

After taking into account differences in English-language fluency, education and occupation, she found that immigrants with the lightest skin earned an average of 8 to 15 per cent more than those with much darker skin. Each extra point of lightness on the scale was roughly equivalent to one extra year of education in terms of salary increase.

"There are well-known differences in salary based on race and country of origin, but I was surprised that, even after accounting for these, skin colour still had an independent effect," says Hersch. The findings could support the growing number of lawsuits brought on the grounds of colour, rather than racial, discrimination, she says. At present such cases rarely succeed.

Hersch also checked for correlations between salary and height. "There's a common saying that all US presidents are tall, and immigrants tend to be shorter on average than Americans," she explains. She found that taller immigrants indeed earn more, with 1 per cent more income for every extra inch of height. Hersch will present her research at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in San Francisco on 19 February.


  1. Not surprising. Even among African-Americans, there is still stigma attached to the range of pigmentation.

  2. i want to do a post on the pigmentation problem that evven exists here in india

  3. Folks are just so visual that, even when we know better, those initial sensory clues still get more emphasis than they deserve.

    And man, once such stuff becomes culturally counted on as a reliable reference... Shiite like this is just way hard to overcome.

    I think that's why it's important to talk to our friends and family members about it though, no matter how "uncomfortable" such topics can often be. If we help them do so more easily, they'll do so, then so on, and so on... Such bigotries will eventually evolve out of our cultures.


  4. Of course where does this leave Joe Biden's comment that Obama is clean? Granted, Bossy doesn't think Biden is racist. Just stupid.

  5. Hhhmmm... Maybe he meant Obama smelt like something he'd like to get him some of.

    Not that there's anything wrong with.



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