End racial preferences now

We should end affirmative action programs. They cannot be mended. The idea that you can judge a person’s circumstances and prospects by the color of his skin is a fundamentally racist concept. We need to scrap all these programs. Let’s hope the Supreme Court does this.

The U.S. is not the only place to have racial preference program. The Economist magazine talks about many around the world. None of them work as intended. They soon become corrupted.

I have a personal story about how silly it can be. My daughter is of Eastern and Northern European descent, tall, blue eyed and blond like her parents, but she was born in South America. So - following the instructions on the forms that said "origins in Latin America ..." - I have always checked off the "Hispanic" box on formulas. When we moved into a new school district, we were told that she could not get into the gifted program since she had not been in the year before, kind of silly logic but the logic they used. A couple weeks later, I got a letter telling us that the schools had determined that our daughter was so smart that they were inviting her to take part in the program. It also talked about how important it was to get more Hispanics into such programs. In other words, our white daughter was not good enough to get into the program no matter what. But our "Hispanic" daughter would not only be welcomed but positively sought out. She changed not one bit. Does this make sense to anybody?

It is clear that whites and especially Asians (ironic since many Asians came from backgrounds economically worse than blacks or Hispanics. Setting out on small boats into the South China Sea is a difficult way to get to America.) suffer from affirmative action because they are excluded in greater numbers, but I doubt that affirmative action programs help their supposed targets. When California did away with race-based admissions the number of blacks graduating from universities went UP. Students were more likely to get into appropriate schools where they could prosper.

Again, a personal story. I have been successful in life and academia, but I started out pretty stupid because of my "disadvantaged" background. Fortunately for me, I went to a less demanding school as an undergraduate. This gave me time to get my academic skills up to snuff. Had I been thrown into deeper academic waters at first, I am fairly sure I would have failed. Thank God there was no affirmative action for me.

Beyond the fairness issues above, I think there is a very important tradeoff between inclusion and excellence. Ideally, we would have people doing in college and work things that are appropriate to their abilities. We want the best qualified we can get. How stupid would it be for a professional basketball team to demand "inclusion" or make it "look like America." Such a team would need to fire around 60% of its best players to achieve the proper racial balance. Affirmative action would be silly in basketball and it is silly elsewhere too.

My solution is community colleges. They have open enrollment and don't cost much. Poorer or less prepared kids can go there to learn how to be better students and then move on to university if they have the talent, skills and inclinations.

Posted by Christine & John at April 28, 2013 2:27 PM
Comment #365111

Agree C&J, mostly J, but this is red meat for the Corpocracy and they will not go lightly into uni-race world, IMO.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at April 28, 2013 8:28 PM
Comment #365112


You are right. The establishment loves affirmative action. Millions of people make piles of money in the grievance industry, matching “oppressed” groups with special privileges.

Posted by: C&J at April 28, 2013 8:57 PM
Comment #365143

Your concept, ironically enough, is too politically correct. It’s perhaps not racist, but most definitely naïve to suppose that after years of discrimination, we can just let the chips fall where they may, and get an equitable result based on merit, based on test scores and grades alone.

It’s a matter of cultivation. I do not believe that test scores and grades tell us everything about a person’s potential, though we should most definitely let those measures predominate. I believe that admissions offices should consider race not to simply hand those unqualified a chance they don’t deserve, but to give those nearly qualified a bit of a better chance.

And why? To segregate whites out from society? To throw their fortunes to the dirt?

Are you kidding me? No. I am not racist against my own race. What I believe is that years of economic and social segregation have resulted in a non-integrated society, one where even if we have tremendous ideals of equality, practice is grossly unequal. Now, we can either justify this by the notion that supposedly these people are inherently inferior, or we can take the non-racist position that having your population concentrated in brutal, impoverished circumstances is going to drag down your fortunes in general, since in general it’s easier to concentrate wealth, and aid one’s development when one is already relatively well off.

Ignoring the circumstances that years of racist policy left these people in is neither a kindness not a show of respect for their equality. It also won’t help folks break free of having to identify so strongly in ethnic terms.

I think you might want to consider a stark possibility, though: that one reason this reverse racism stuff was popularized was that certain people wanted to play to those who are just plain racist, who don’t want integration.

But really, are whites disadvantaged, in any real sense? We remain about 63.4 percent of the population, 78.1 percent if you include folks who consider themselves Hispanic as well as white.

We really enjoy a whole bunch of advantages they don’t. And its those advantages, and their disadvantages, which has created a class difference in many cases between white, black and Hispanic, not merely a difference of appearance.

It’s the socioeconomic problem that affirmative action is meant to solve, a problem that, properly tackled will make affirmative action policies largely obsolete. But if we just let the chips fall where they may, it might be a long road up from that, and the racial identity you look your nose down on will be more pronounced. Why shouldn’t it be? Somebody left your ancestors down at the bottom of a hole, but they won’t help set that right. They’ll just insist that you compete with them as equals, even though the playing field is tilted against you. You have fewer economic resources, you don’t come from the best neighborhoods, because as recently as two or three generations before, they were pushing you out of those neighborhoods when you tried to get in. The media is only slowly beginning to portray your people as something else than thugs, criminals, and fools on a regular basis, and the Hispanics have only recently gotten past the Mariachi band sort of stereotypes.

Resentment of integration is what this is about. This was what your leaders, back in the day, played upon in order to get white people scared and angry, or to play on their fear and anger from the sixties and seventies as the old way of life was marched to its destruction.

Me, I’m too young to remember a time when I didn’t walk among all kinds of people. As I grew up, a number of my friends were Hispanic and black, and I thought nothing of this. I can remember with some embarrassment some of the stereotypes I bought into as a kid, and I think those too will fade over time.

But they’re fading, in part, because there are legal barriers to maintaining them. Legal barriers your folks seem oddly intent on breaking apart.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 29, 2013 7:55 AM
Comment #365151

If the goal in getting a good solid education for everyone who is intellectually capable and willing to study hard, then the starting point, whether community college or ivy league college, of study becomes insignificant.

As C/J pointed out, community colleges are an excellent place for nearly anyone to begin their higher education to learn a profession.

Our eldest son did well as a computer tech person until those jobs almost disappeared. With our encouragement and some financial help he attended our local community college for two years and graduated as a respiratory therapist. Months before graduation he had job offers all over the country.

He wanted to work at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, for reasons of his own, and was hired. Four years later he is still with Parkland and doing well except for very long hours which are very tiring even for a young person. He is earning about $65K per year. In Texas this is a good living wage. He is saving some money and hopes to continue his studies and eventually become an anesthesiologist.

Had he started at some big university, with much more financial help from us, to prepare to become an anesthesiologist, I believe he would have failed. His success at the community college level prepared him for a good job in the medical field and now, with actual experience in that field, he will be an even better student with greater chance for greater success.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 29, 2013 3:28 PM
Comment #365155


I believe that much of the plight suffered by poor blacks is the result of racism, but it is past racism that has flawed the cultures and behaviors of the victims. THEY need to change behaviors and WE should help. Affirmative action does not help do these things. In fact, to the extent that it creates a feeling of entitlement and a perpetuation of the idea of victim, it is negative.

You have a point re socio-economic problems, but race is not the factor here. Affirmative action if based on race would advantage the Obama daughters. Meanwhile, the poor sucker in the ghetto is too far gone to get into college or a good job. In fact, if you look at who benefits from affirmative action, it is often immigrant blacks (who never suffered discrimination in the U.S.) or children of white parents (like Obama).

Re Hispanics - there is absolutely NO justification for affirmative action. My grandfather was Polish. Remember the Polish jokes? So what? Hispanics are not recognizable as a “race”. My daughter is officially “Hispanic” BTW. I consider it a joke, but one that is not very funny.

It takes many people around three generations to become really American. Hispanics are on track. In the third generation, many lose their Spanish and join the mainstream, as our ancestors did.

RE “Me, I’m too young to remember a time when I didn’t walk among all kinds of people.” - so are all applicants to college these days. Racism is largely a thing of the past. There remains some on all sides (yes, Blacks can be racist too) but it is not a determiner any more.

I believe that the group identification of blacks is one of the things that hurts individuals. The sooner we get rid of that vestige of racism and judge by content of character, not color of skin, the better off we will be.

I hope the Supreme Court strikes another blow against hateful racist institutions. There should be no recognition of race under any laws of our free country.

Posted by: C&J at April 29, 2013 6:57 PM
Comment #365158
Resentment of integration is what this is about. This was what your leaders, back in the day, played upon in order to get white people scared and angry, or to play on their fear and anger from the sixties and seventies as the old way of life was marched to its destruction.

I’m not sure who “your leaders” are, Stephen Daugherty, but I can’t believe you’re saying it was Republicans of the sixties and seventies who were resisting integration. You are really going to have to explain that one because it sounds like you’re trying to rewrite history. It was Democratics who resisted integration. You are making an argument out of fiction simply to make an argument.

I think I finally figured Stephen Daugherty out. He’s actually a Tellarite.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 29, 2013 9:09 PM
Comment #365167

C&J: RE: Your daughter being a “Hispanic”. I recall a friend who was attending USF, who tried to get a scholarship as an African-American. He was a blond, blue-eyed South African native who was naturalized. The school was not amused. I’m surprised that your duaghter was able to make that fly.

Posted by: Mike in Tampa at April 30, 2013 8:20 AM
Comment #365177


She didn’t put it down on her college applications and got into University of Virginia w/o the special help she could have had.

I think she could have made it work, however. She was indeed born in South America. Hispanic is not a race in any way. We think of Hispanic as people from Northern Mexico, but there is a wide variety. Descents of English or German settlers from Chile as as much Hispanic as Spanish speaking Indians form Guatemala.

Posted by: C&J at April 30, 2013 6:33 PM
Comment #365261

My prediction: There will be no such thing as “Hispanic” in this country in a century; all Hispanophone immigrants will have assimilated by then.

Posted by: Warren Porter at May 2, 2013 6:47 PM
Comment #365263


Probably sooner than that.

Recall that the largest minority in America are still Germans. Nobody notices or cares.

Posted by: C&J at May 2, 2013 7:09 PM
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