America's whitest jobs


My first reaction was that our local vet practice (we live on the south side of Chicago) probably skews the numbers a bit…meaning, vets as a group are probably even whiter than the article says, since we have several of the outliers in one location.

But then I read the ending paragraph, specifically discussing how racism in unions has affected non-white participation in the skilled trades on the south side of Chicago. No question, that is still very true, but I have to say that for those of us who live here, we can see that the numbers are starting to diversify. It’s not as bad as it was. And there are a lot more workers in the building trades than there are vets. So…a ray of hope.

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“U.S. President” has still got to be near the top of that list (~98.86% to date, considering that the only exception is still half white).


If by “farmer” you mean “owner of a farm” rather than “person who does the work of farming”…




Yep, and Geography/history plays a big role in this. Many farms are passed down through the family and are in the midwest (which is much whiter than the rest of the country).

Mexican labor is not as massive of an influence as you might think. A good number of those farmers grow corn/soybeans which have very efficient planting/harvesting machinery available that allows a single man to manage dozens of acres.

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Fuck me, @Brainspore, but you’re wired into everything! Fabulous post.

Yup. For medium to large size growers it is typical to contract combine teams that harvest and transport. You would be amazed at how fast 4 combines and their trucks can clear fields. The labor intensive side of the industry is the picking and gathering of fruits and roots.

As for being a black farmer - is a good place to start if you’d like more information on exactly how rough of a proposition that is. There have been a few good journalism pieces done (and a few bad ones) but I don’t have time atm to google them up :frowning:

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Hmm. I’m trying to suss out why that bothers me. Whenever, that is, white people say, “Well, at least things are getting better!”

Instead of, you know, getting incensed that they’re taking such a goddamned long time to get better. Or that, in many ways, they’re actualy NOT getting better–as the linked article points out, to just give one example:

The differences in unemployment rates, participation rates, and average earnings between whites, blacks, and Hispanics aren’t just stark. They’re also sturdy, rarely yielding over the last 40 years.

I think that falling back on “Well, at least it’s getting better” is, as people used to say, a cop out. And it makes me want to say in return something else that people used to say: “That’s mighty white of you.”

That’s gotta be worse than the rate for Grand Dragons. At least they have notables like Leroy Green and Clayton Bigsby to break up the monotone.

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You’re wrong about my admixture.

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Um, I wasn’t assessing your admixture, nor anything about you, really. Just what you wrote.

Yeah, and my local vet when I lived in Washington DC too. But from moving around and vets retiring I probably have dealt with 20 vets over my life – and when I think about it, I don’t think any of the others were anything other than west-european white in descent – so noticeably less diverse than physicians or dentists, for example.

I knew there was something that just didn’t seem right. Couldn’t quite figure it out. At first I thought it was how he could talk to the animals. Sometimes squawk with the animals. I got over that, but there was something weird I couldn’t put my finger on. It’s bugged me for years.

Now I know what it was: Eddie Murphy playing a vet is just too improbable.


It’s true that I’m normally less optimistic about human nature. Don’t know what came over me, to think of the glass being partly full for once. Thanks for reminding me how to properly think about the circumstances in my community.

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It wouldn’t bother me if I didn’t hear it so often, and the other so little.

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It’s worth remembering that vet schools are even harder to get into than medical schools (unclear why, may simply be number of opportunities vs. number of applicants), and that whites historically have had access to better primary/undergrad education. So this may just be a reflection of problems earlier in the pipeline, rather than being directly about veterinarians.

No question. The old-white-boy network still holds for CEOs and others on that list, but preparing for and getting into vet school is a huge hurdle all on its own, regardless of racism.

No. The article states that 92%+ of “misc agricultural workers” are also white.

You’re thinking of the temps?

Interesting - I had not RTFA. I would not have thought that of agricultural labour - even excluding “temps”.