Racism 41

Racial “color-blindness” was tried for decades in America between the end of the Jim Crow laws and the election of Barack Obama. He ended it. The idea of the ethnic “melting-pot” – persons of any national origin becoming American nationals so citizens of the United States would be bound together by law (ius) not territorial nativity (rus) – which did work quite well for about two hundred years, was repudiated along with “color-blindness”.

Bruce Thornton wrote in the Hoover Digest in 2012:

The melting pot metaphor arose in the eighteenth century …  and it described the fusion of various religious sects, nationalities, and ethnic groups into one distinct people: E pluribus unum. …

The image of the melting pot drew its strength from the idea of unity fostered by beliefs and ideals—not race, blood, or sect.

This image, then, communicated the historically exceptional notion of American identity as one formed not by the accidents of blood, sect, or race, but by the unifying beliefs and political ideals enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution: the notion of individual, inalienable human rights that transcend group identity.

If some custom, value, or belief from the old country conflicted with those core American values, then the old way had to be modified or discarded if the immigrant wanted to participate fully in American social, economic, and political life. The immigrant had to adjust. No one expected the majority culture to modify its values to accommodate the immigrant

Logically, the change has meant a person’s race matters; it is to be taken into account when his/her candidacy for everything from school to job to advancement is considered by authorities. Rus matters more than ius after all. And some races are more worthy than others.

So is separation of races and ethnicities the best way to prevent inter-race conflict? If so, are the races to be treated as “separate but equal”, or are some races and ethnicities really more worthy than others?

Yes, goes the argument, some races and ethnicities need to be recompensed for past injury inflicted by other races and ethnicities, so those who have been oppressed must be favored over those who oppressed them. That is “social justice”.

Some argue that racism is natural. Races, nations, tribes, as such, are antipathetic to each other and presumably always will be.

A counter-argument to that is: so is nakedness natural. People will always be born naked, but that’s no reason not to cover ourselves. The nakedness cannot be changed, it can only be remedied. And is, easily enough.

Ah, but racism is much more difficult, in fact impossible, to remedy.

This question arises: Is it possible that even if racism is natural and common in individuals, it is not standard? As a sense of humor is natural and common, but not standard like a heart and a head. It is not essential to life.

Even if it is not standard, comes the reply, it is far more common than a sense of humor. Too common to be eliminated.

And regrettably that may be true.

If racial/national/tribal antipathy cannot be eliminated among the citizens of the United States, it cannot be eliminated anywhere.

It clearly cannot be eliminated in the United States.

It clearly cannot be eliminated.

If there is no racial-national-tribal discrimination against individuals by law, then everything that can and must be done about it has been done. In America it has been done. And yet racism is still with us.

Scolding people about being racist will make no difference. Privileging a minority with “affirmative action” or grants of unearned money will make no difference.

Racism cannot be compensated or educated out of existence. It cannot be reasoned away. It cannot be legislated, compelled, punished, “brain-washed” or habituated out of existence.

If it is natural, the best that can reasonably be hoped for is that most of us will make it ineffective with our own behavior.

Posted under Race by Jillian Becker on Sunday, August 13, 2023

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Affirmative action affirms inequality 42

Archimedes – nom de plume  of a member of our forum – wrote an essay against affirmative action in 1977 when it was a topic of intense debate in America. The reason for the interest in the subject then was an appeal by a white man, Allan P. Bakke, to the Supreme Court against the rejection by many universities, partly on grounds of his race, of his application to their medical schools.

In 1978 the Supreme Court issued its verdict in the Bakke case. It found for Bakke, but also allowed affirmative action in favor of black applicants. The universities launched it as a policy which persisted – against majority opinion – until this year, 2023. Now the Supreme Court has declared affirmative action to be illegal.

We have reviewed the essay by Archimedes and we agree with the him that his argument is still valid. We think he makes it excellently well.    

Here is the essay:

To reward or punish a person on the basis of his race is morally wrong; no good can come of it. And what the opponents of Bakke are proposing is not an end to this pernicious practice, but merely a change in victims and beneficiaries. The results, however, will be the same: resentment, envy, bitterness, social divisiveness, stereotyping, and a general corrosion of the spirit.

The American judicial system is based on precedent. Should the Supreme Court rule against Bakke, the equal protection amendment, which has been the bulwark of the civil rights movement, could be severely weakened, in which case there would be little left in the law to prevent a new Supreme Court or a vengeful majority from legally institutionalizing an inferior status for blacks.

Preferential treatment is condescending and patronizing and both stimulates and nourishes the very attitudes we are supposedly attempting to eradicate. One does not patronize a person one regards as an equal; neither does one regard as an equal a person one patronizes. Similarly, one does not accept preferential treatment without a loss of self-respect and integrity. I suspect that behind all the fine talk by white liberals is a posture of noblesse oblige and superiority, and behind all the strident demands by certain black groups and leaders is a gnawing sense of inadequacy.

Preferential treatment taints all black achievement, makes it suspect, gives it the appearance of a benefit conferred rather than something earned. Let this policy continue for another twenty or thirty years and not a single black doctor, lawyer, civil servant, teacher, engineer, scientist, business manager, or politica appointee will know for sure whether his success is the result of his own talent and efforts or is at least in part the result of some gracious indulgence on the part of Whitey. I cannot conceive of a policy more degrading and damaging to the black person of real merit. By the same token, I cannot conceive of a policy more likely to arouse the skepticism, resentment, and disdain of whites, however well-intentioned and kindly disposed toward blacks they may be initially. And the longer this policy is pursued, the more likely it is that all black achievement (except achievement in sports and entertainment, where excellence is immediately obvious) will come to be regarded by most whites and probably many blacks as not genuine.

We are told that quotas and affirmative action are necessary if we are to put an end to the underrepresentation of certain groups in various aspects of American life. But what does the word “underrepresentation” mean? When is a group properly represented? The quota people have the answer to that one. They tell us that if a group constitutes X per cent of the population as a whole, then that group should constitute roughly X per cent of every profession and trade. The premise here is that attitudes, aptitudes, tastes, and desires are, or at any rate ought to be, uniformly distributed among all racial and ethnic groups, and if in fact they are not, we must simply go ahead and pretend that they are and force people into their predetermined slots. This is egalitarianism at its worst. It is totally at variance with traditional American notions of individual merit and personal freedom. There is absolutely no health in it.

The argument that blacks as a group require quotas and special treatment as compensation for deprived and disadvantaged backgrounds lumps all blacks in one category and all whites in another category. Blacks are by definition “disadvantaged”; whites are by definition “privileged”. Yet we know that tens of thousands of black children are growing up in comfortable, middle-class homes and can by no rational standard be termed “underprivileged” or “disadvantaged” and that an even larger number of black children attend integrated schools and receive the same instruction and enjoy the same opportunities for learning as their white classmates. If the opponents of Bakke were truly sincere about taking into account and compensating for deprivation, they would exempt the above children from special consideration. But they do not. Deprivation is determined by race and race alone. What this says is that a black child who attends school in the wealthy, innovative, richly endowed Berkeley system is disadvantaged, while a white child who attends an impoverished, woefully understaffed school in Appalachia or the rural South is a member of a privileged group – the white race – and hence can learn to live with a few minor handicaps, such as exclusion from college or graduate school.

The whole argument about inferior schooling and disadvantaged backgrounds is shot through with cant and self-deception. It is true that blacks going to “bad” ghetto schools learn very little. However, it is also true and the NAACP knows this that – blacks enrolled in “good” desegregated schools do just as poorly. (This unwelcome fact has emerged from virtually every one of the numerous studies of the effects of school desegregation on academic achievement.) Thus, as things stand right now, even if the entire country were desegregated and every school had a statistically “correct” racial balance, the educational gap between blacks and whites would remain unaltered (as it has after nine years of integration in the much vaunted Berkeley school system) and there would still be a demand for quotas and preferential treatment.

What is required is not quotas but a fundamental change in the attitude of blacks toward academic achievement and a determination on their part to perform as well in the classroom as they do on the basketball court. But the policy of quotas and special placement seems to be precisely the kind of policy that will discourage such a shift in attitude and emphasis. It implicitly assumes that blacks cannot or will not do well enough to be admitted to colleges and graduate schools on their own merits; it awards blacks easy and unearned victories at the expense of a generation of whites that played no role in the previous subjugation of the black man; it discourages rather that stimulates a desire to excel on the part of blacks. And because it treats the symptoms instead of the causes of the problem, it cannot bring about fundamental change. To succeed in its goals, it can never be relaxed; it must be maintained forever. Is this what we really want?

Fortunately it can no longer be openly maintained.

Posted under Race, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, July 9, 2023

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Who are the racists? 2

I have been asked: If elite colleges do not create lower admission standards, how are they going to have enough black students? My response is: That’s their problem. Black people cannot afford to have our youngsters turned into failures in order to support the agendas of diversity race hustlers and to lessen the guilt of white liberals.

So writes Professor Walter Williams in an article against “affirmative action” – ie. discrimination on grounds of race – here.


Walter Williams

Derryck Green of Prager University makes it plain on which side of the political divide the racists are – and it isn’t the conservative side.


(Hat-tip for the video to our Facebook commenter Robert Nabors)

Posted under Race, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, December 29, 2015

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Power race 6

Judge Stephen C. Robinson

Affirmative action is, of course, racism. Obama is the biggest beneficiary of this unjust policy. Now comes the One Minority Voter, Six Votes policy.

The Washington Post explains it. It ‘s all about race.

The court-ordered election that allowed [some] residents of one New York town to flip the lever six times for one candidateand produced a Hispanic winner – could expand to other towns where minorities complain their voices aren’t being heard. …

The unusual election was imposed on Port Chester after a federal judge determined that Hispanics were being treated unfairly.

The 2010 Census is expected to show large increases in Latino populations and lawsuits alleging discrimination are likely to increase, said Rob Richie, executive director of FairVote, a nonprofit election research and reform group.

“The country’s been changing in a lot of places, with minority growth in exurbs and commuter cities, and there will be a realization that those minorities can’t elect candidates of choice,” Richie said.

That will leave minority groups, federal prosecutors and municipalities looking for ways to keep elections from violating the federal Voting Rights Act, which protects minorities’ constitutional right to equal protection under the law.

In Port Chester, trustees had been elected two at a time every two years, with conventional at-large voting. Most voters were white, and there were always six white trustees even though Hispanics made up half the population and nearly a quarter of the voters. Judge Stephen Robinson concluded the system violated U.S. law by diluting Hispanics’ votes.

The standard remedy was to break a municipality into districts, with one district including many from the minority, thereby increasing the chances for a candidate backed by the minority group. The Justice Department proposed that solution for Port Chester.

But the village of about 30,000 objected to districts. It suggested instead a system called cumulative voting. All six trustees would be elected at once and the voters could apportion their six votes as they wished – all six to one candidate, one each to six candidates or any combination.

The system, which has been used in Alabama, Illinois, South Dakota and Texas, allows a political minority to gain representation if it organizes behind specific candidates. Judge Robinson went for it, and cumulative voting was used for the first time in a New York municipality.

And surely not the last time. Obviously this idea has legs. It could become a peaceful caring way of disenfranchising despised classes and races, such as white males, Jews, Republicans, Tea Partiers, conservatives, individualists, soldiers, libertarians, anti-feminists, capitalists, free-marketeers, patriots, the rich, Iraq war approvers, habitual Rush Limbaugh listeners, global warming skeptics, big business executives, bankers, SUV drivers, fatties, Mormons, smokers, tobacconists, hunters, non-recyclers, furriers, gun-owners …

Note: This post needs correction. Please see comments by Malachi and Jillian Becker.