I once had a boss who promoted anyone, minority or not, whom he thought was "qualified." So far so good.
But there was one period in the company's history, where there was a massive exodus of people. This often led to their replacements through speculative promotions, of people who weren't clearly qualified, and in some cases were manifestly unqualified, for their new roles.
When this happened, the boss declined to "gamble" on minority candidates, and all of the (few) "unqualified" candidates he promoted during this period were white. (Minority candidates, including yours truly, still got their "merit" promotions.)
When I asked him about this, his answer was something like, "white people fail all the time, but when a minority fails, people remember longer. Because none of my minority promotions of this period failed, and some of my white promotions did, my higher ups nowadays scrutinize my minority promotions much less, meaning that the chances of those promotion proposals holding up are actually better."
This happened about 30 years ago. How would this behavior be viewed today? Is is racist, protective of minorities, or something else, such as "pragmatic?"