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Had I been born a few years later or a few years earlier, however, it’s entirely possible that I would have either found a crew of co-ethnics with whom to bond or I would have felt like much more of an outsider.But instead I grew up in an in-between moment in which people didn’t have a strong sense of what people like me were supposed to be like, and so I at least felt that I had the breathing room to define myself.There are good reasons to question the moral appropriateness of strong same-race preferences and their close cousin, in-group favoritism.In , Nancy Di Tomaso argues that persistent racial inequality in the United States is not solely or even primarily a reflection of racism and discrimination.This kind of “opportunity hoarding” is accepted as par for the course.We could make an effort to eliminate in-group favoritism, but such an effort would inevitably fail, as in-group favoritism is a powerful human impulse.Di Tomaso observes that while Americans place very high value on the of equal opportunity, virtually all of us seek “unequal opportunity” in our own lives by leveraging our intimate relationships to achieve our goals, including our professional goals.

Like it or not, they had to interact with and rely on people outside of their ethnocultural group.A few weeks ago, Ok Cupid, the popular “freemium” dating service, started offering its paid subscribers a very cool new tool.Rather than just sort through potential dates by using familiar filters like age and height, you could use the answers Ok Cupid members gave to various questions, such as “Do you like to watch sports on television?In a somewhat similar vein, one of Ok Cupid’s questions reads as follows: “Would you strongly prefer to go out with someone of your own skin color/racial background?” I was struck by the not inconsiderable number of people who answered “yes”—including some people I know “in real life,” many of whom are hilariously self-righteous about their enlightened political views.

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