The way to test your argument for validity is what we might call the that’s-like-saying test. You give me your argument, I provide an analogous argument – analogous in the sense of sharing what we call your argument’s argument form – and if the conclusion of the analogous argument doesn’t follow from its premises, then neither does the conclusion of yours follow from yours.
Your argument is this:
- Relative to non-indigenous people, indigenous people are vastly under- represented in virtually every plum position one can name, so
2. indigenous people are obviously being discriminated against for these plum positions because of their race.
The analogous argument – an argument sharing the identical argument form – is this:
Relative to non-Jews, Jews are vastly over-represented in every plum position one can name, which is logically equivalent to saying that
3. relative to Jews, non-Jews are vastly under-represented in every plum job one can name, so
4. non-Jews are being discriminated against for these plum positions because of their race.
Why does (4) not follow from (3)? Because there’s a perfectly serviceable explanation for Jewish over-representation in these plum positions, one that need make no appeal to discrimination against non-Jews. It’s that Jews are typically – ‘stereotypically’ if you prefer – inordinately better qualified for these plum positions than their non-Jewish counterparts. Is this because Jews are innately superior to non-Jews? No. It’s because of certain historical contingencies which can be, and have been, readily enumerated.
Are there historical contingencies which can be, and have been, readily enumerated as to why indigenous people are typically – ‘stereotypically’ if you prefer – less qualified than non-indigenous people for these plum positions? Obviously. So notwithstanding the truth of (1), (2) does not follow from it.
Does this mean that indigenous people are not being discriminated against for these plum positions because of their race? No. Do I nonetheless have an opinion on the matter one way or the other? I do not. My purpose here – my only purpose here – has been to call out a piece of bad inferencing. Why? Because that’s what professional philosophers are paid to do.