Third Party & Independents Archives

July 27, 2007

Those Screwy Conservatives

Those screwy conservatives have done the absurd, again. An amendment by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) to the Dep’ts of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill, prohibits federal funds being used by the Dep’t to create “regulations based on race, ethnicity or sex.” Appears to open the door for unisex Rest Areas on our highways - good-bye to Men’s and Women’s separate facilities? It is, of course, discrimination based on sex.

The National Center for Public Research, an adamantly conservative organization, with a deceptive political action arm called Project 21, praised this amendment and Walberg. Project 21 hails itself in the following way: "Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992." Apparently, like Pres. Bush, polls will not alter their delusions of grandeur. Polls show the African American community as predominantly liberal, but, that is not going to deter them from lying about being the community's voice.

The primary impetus for this amendment is obviously affirmative action, which conservatives oppose with fervor. Walberg said "The federal government should never view any American as part of a group, rather than as an individual." And Mychal Massie, chaiman of Project 21, had this to say: "Representative Walberg has displayed the character and leadership long sought from our elected leaders, said Massie. "The task for the citizenry must now be to watch closely that the race-obsessed in Congress do not mitigate the will of the people."

The race-obsessed in Congress are mitigating the will of the people? Such hyperbole must appeal to some in our society as Project 21 is receiving funding from somewhere.

They sincerely believe that our government should turn a blind eye to groups of people, and address the people's needs on a person by person basis? This is absurd. Talk about unintended consequences which conservatives are now noted for. The idea of government providing assistance to the poor on a person by person appeal basis, as opposed to providing assistance for all persons falling below a certain income level, is a prescription for growing government bureaucracy, and taxes to support it, many fold. It is absurd.

The cost of assessing poverty in an urban area by person to person polling instead of far more cost efficient methods such community condition like urban blight, is absurd on its face. Yet, that is precisely what conservatives like Walberg call for. Government and politics have always been about groups and consensus which by definition requires grouping of individuals. But, their aim is clear. If they can force government to treat the nation's problems on a person to person basis, problems like racism or sexism, the government will not be able to address such problems at all.

Which is a decidedly conservative philosophy in which the least government is best, since less government means less constraint on those with other kinds of power, like wealth, employer capacity, or even private security and army forces. Their wet dream is a society of feudal lords sharing the bounty of serf labor and lording power over those not adept in a dog eat dog world. These are the folks who cheer on the war lord Bethlehem in the movie 'The Postman". Is it any wonder that with supporters such as these, the Republican Party lost control of Congress in 2006 and will lose the White House in 2008?


Posted by David R. Remer at July 27, 2007 03:48 PM
Comments
Comment #227588

No wonder at all David. The overlords have made great strides in their quest for class dominance over the last 6 years. It really does amaze me that they continue with such sleazy agendas while at the same time continuing to knowingly lose credibility with the american people. I think this speaks volumes about precisely where their moral compass points.

Posted by: RickIL at July 27, 2007 10:24 PM
Comment #227591
They sincerely believe that our government should turn a blind eye to groups of people, and address the people’s needs on a person by person basis? This is absurd. Talk about unintended consequences which conservatives are now noted for. The idea of government providing assistance to the poor on a person by person appeal basis, as opposed to providing assistance for all persons falling below a certain income level, is a prescription for growing government bureaucracy, and taxes to support it, many fold. It is absurd.

The exact reason why instituting charity is an unmitigated failure, resulting in generations of those who choose to live on welfare than see a need to advance beyond.

Of COURSE assistance should be dealt with on a case by case basis, since each individual needs different things when they need help. By simply giving everyone a check we do NOTHING to educate or assist the individual, who most often needs to feel that they are special and want only the help that they need.

And, of course, if helping the poor was working there wouldn’t be so many who need continual assistance and they could receive the help that they need individually instead of being treated as ‘a black guy’ or ‘a white woman’, etc. If we are ever going to teach our children that there really is no difference in race we need to stop TREATING people differently based on race.

BTW, This is also why I have been stating for decades that assistance must be handled at the local level, because the needs of a poor person in Wisconsin will be DIFFERENT than the needs of a poor man in Arizona. Or from a big urban area to a small farm community.

But in creating a nice wedge issue it sure does help to treat individuals as part of an arbitrary grouping, doesn’t it?

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 27, 2007 10:32 PM
Comment #227593

What could possibly be in this bill that would need to be based on skin color or sex??? Seems to me that that if the government is appropriating money based on these things, people who support it would be the racists, not the other way around.

Oh, and I never understood the point of seperate bathroom facilities either. Totally redundant. Isn’t that segregation?

Posted by: Cassie at July 27, 2007 10:47 PM
Comment #227596

David, As the conservative movement continues to splinter into smaller and smaller groups in its rush to out conservative each other, I believe we will see much more of this type of nonsense. I guess we owe Bush a certain degree of credit for his efforts in the past 6 years to accelerate this crash and burn of “the movement”.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 27, 2007 11:10 PM
Comment #227597

So, j2t2, you think we should be enacting policy based on someone’s gender or race?

Interesting…

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 27, 2007 11:16 PM
Comment #227598
The idea of government providing assistance to the poor on a person by person appeal basis, as opposed to providing assistance for all persons falling below a certain income level, is a prescription for growing government bureaucracy, and taxes to support it, many fold. It is absurd.

David, what is absurd is this massive contradiction in your article, and your failure to address what Walberg’s amendment actually says.

How in the world do you maintain that banning “regulations based on race, ethnicity or sex” is a measure which is “opposed to providing assistance for all persons falling below a certain income?”

Do all blacks and other ethnic minorities and women “fall below a certain income level”? Are all whites, especially white men, privileged and rich?

How do you propose to deterimine who these “persons falling below a certain income level” are without evaluating them on a case-by-case individual basis? Or do you just make the stereotyped assumption that ethnic minorities=poor and white and male=rich.

Once you start to make these determinations, you’re doing exactly what Walberg’s amendment suggests: evaluating each individual’s ACTUAL circumstances instead of just thinking about race, ethnicity, and sex.

Should government measures favor a black millionaire over an impoverished white person because one is black and the other white, or are you ready to contradict yourself and say that “income level” and race are two totally different things?

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 27, 2007 11:26 PM
Comment #227599

Rhinehold, I am of the opinion that this type of amendment is unnecessary. I believe we should keep our options open and deal with the gender and race issues as we deal with the policy/regulation. A blanket law prohibiting any regulation issued by DOT and/or HUD from addressing a gender or race issue seems to be based on ideology rather than good goverence.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 27, 2007 11:55 PM
Comment #227600

I’ll add something else: the idea that giving government assistance or creating regulations which help individuals on a person-to-person basis instead of by race would become “a prescription for growing government bureaucracy, and taxes to support it” is a ridiculous assertion, especially from the mouth of a liberal.

Programs which provide government assistance (including but not limited to those based on race) already include numerous levels of individual consideration. Starting, for example, with the determination that an individual really does belong to a specific category.

In any case, you don’t just walk into a welfare, Medicare or other government office and expect to walk right out again with a check because bureaucrats don’t bother to evaluate you as an individual.

“Hey, I see you’re black. Here’s your check, bro.”

Or, “Wow, you look like you must be unemployed. That must be terrible. Here’s some money!”

What nonsense. To the extent that individuals are not evaluated as individuals on a case-to-case basis, with a complete evaluation of ALL their circumstances, we’re talking about massive amounts of waste and misdirected resources. Where this happens, we should be calling for reform—not more of the same.

If you have a problem with big government bureaucracy and taxes, then just become a radical libertarian and demand we stop it all—because that’s the system we have now.

It’s actually NOT a system now in which some poor Appalachian dirt farmer is refused government assistance because he’s white and male and Oprah Winfrey is showered with government handouts because she belongs to the most unprivileged and downtrodden category of all: black females.

Maybe that’s what should happen, though. I mean, if we should treat people as groups instead of individuals. If that’s what you want, then just say so. Actually, you already have.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 28, 2007 12:00 AM
Comment #227601

Yeah, like that pesky freedom of religion clause too, just gets in the way of good governance sometimes.

I agree that the amendment shoudn’t be needed, it should be pretty obvious that we shouldn’t be making any federal policy decisions based on race or gender, but the posting of this article I think speaks to the unfortunate need for it. People still need their wedge issue.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 28, 2007 12:01 AM
Comment #227602

David,

I can see from some of the replies that there’s confusion over Walberg’s amendment so I’ll let his words speak for themselves:

““I come to the floor today to pose an important question to this House: Do we really need affirmative action for roads?

“Today, I am offering an amendment to the transportation bill we are currently debating that would stipulate no funding in this bill may be used by the Department of Transportation to discriminate based on race, ethnicity or sex.

“Though this policy may be motivated by good intention, I agree with Justice Clarence Thomas about the DOT’s Affirmative Action programs, ‘The paternalism that appears to lie at the heart of this program is at war with the principle of inherent equality that underlies and infuses our Constitution.’

“Last fall, in my home state, Michiganders voted overwhelmingly, 58 percent to 42 percent, in favor of amending our state constitution to outlaw racial preferences in public education, employment and contracting.

“Like my constituents in south-central Michigan, I oppose any and all forms of discrimination, but I also support nondiscrimination — the practice or policy of refraining from discrimination.

“My support of nondiscrimination compels me to state on this floor that every American deserves equal treatment when competing for business contracts, and our federal government should treat all applicants for such contracts on an equal basis.

“The federal government should never view any American as part of a group, rather than as an individual.

“By granting the Department of Transportation the ability to discriminate based on race or sex, this House would essentially create Affirmative Action for our nation’s highways.

“I urge my colleagues to support my amendment and ensure that all American businesses competing for public works projects are given a fair, nondiscriminatory opportunity.””

It’s all a part of the “reverse discrimination” problem that’s never really existed and it exemplifies the GOP’s desire to disenfranchise the 90% of black voters that are consistently aligned with the Democratic party.

After all, we all know that black (or other minority) contractors get jobs just because they’re black, or Hispanic, or gay………..

One more example of hysterical Theo-conservative protectionism………….”Oh My God, the mud people are taking over the country”!

Posted by: KansasDem at July 28, 2007 12:08 AM
Comment #227605

I should also have added, “the gays and lesbians are destroying marriage”!

Posted by: KansasDem at July 28, 2007 12:15 AM
Comment #227606

KansasDem,

We, as a country, will NEVER get past the race issue until we stop treating people differently based on their race. As long as race is kept in the forefront by the Republican and Democratic parties as a wedge issue for political gain, we are going to keep causing resentment and teaching our children that certain races ‘need help’. If an individual needs help, ok, but if a ‘group’ need help, you are implying that that group is inferior in some manner.

It has nothing to do, to me, with reverse discrimination, it is simply the idiodic practice of treating someone differently because of their race, either good or bad, that has to end.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 28, 2007 12:18 AM
Comment #227608

Rhinehold,

In principle you’re correct, but in reality without some form of affirmative action I believe we’ll undoubtedly see an increase in disparity and a decrease in diversity.

Regarding bids on government projects shouldn’t there be some accountability? It seems perfectly reasonable to me that minority contractors should get a fair shake. Affirmative action creates a “base-line” to monitor fairness in the bidding process.

It’s been a darn effective way of breaking up the “good ole boy” system of awarding government bids. At least until Shrub and Cheney got into the “no-bid” business.

Posted by: KansasDem at July 28, 2007 12:58 AM
Comment #227611

Kansas,
Are you kidding me? You don’t think reverse discrimination exists as a result of affirmative action? The only way I agree with you is in saying reverse-discrimination is a misnomer. It implies that only white people discriminate, whereby discrimination against whites is the reverse of normal. In THAT case, I agree.

When I was in the Navy at OCS training, a guy walked in and asked (I swear to god these were his actual words) “Any black guys want to be pilots?” Or I could site the fireman example where a white guy aced his placement exam and a black guy barely passed and they gave the job to the black guy because they had to meet a quota.

Putting your conservative-hating emotions aside, thrall me with some logic.

If discrimination means giving special treatment to someone based on some factor (in this case race) and you take the two blatant examples I give here, how can you say that affirmative action is not discrimination against white people?

Spare me the normal spin of why you say it’s necessary, and white people deserve it, and blah blah blah. Just answer the question of how it IS NOT discrimination against whites.

I don’t think you can.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at July 28, 2007 01:13 AM
Comment #227616
In principle you’re correct, but in reality without some form of affirmative action I believe we’ll undoubtedly see an increase in disparity and a decrease in diversity.

Based on?

Why?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 28, 2007 02:08 AM
Comment #227621

The day may come in America when Black persons and women make comparable pay for comparable work, and black owned businesses have fair and equal access to contract bids based on bid alone. But, that day is not today and the stats damn well show it.

Now one can argue black persons and women are inferior and thus don’t deserve the same rates or access.

Or, one can argue that vastly more women and black Americans are achieving pay parity and access than ever before. Since, Affirmative Action has been a huge reason for that success, why kill the goose that laid the golden egg for people of color and women?

Also, lest ye conservatives forget, it was Richard Nixon who signed Affirmative Action into law. Affirmative Action was a Republican idea. What happened? Was it never intended to be this successful? Were women and persons of color never intended to be allowed to get this ‘uppity’ as to defend affirmative action in their own self-interest?

What happened was those bigot Southern Democrats opposed to Nixon’s Affirmative Action have all become Republicans. Simple honest history often answers a lot of questions.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 28, 2007 06:05 AM
Comment #227622

David,
What a joke. Every bigoted southern democrat has now become a republican. SO if you are against Affirmative Action then you are a bigot.
Well call me a racist bigot then, because I think anyone who plays the race card to get things in today’s society is a worthless piece of human garbage, and it offends me that they are breathing my good air. Furthermore, if I had the kind of money it takes to start a foundation, I would start the UCCCF. The United Caucasian Christian College Fund, and I’d use the same slogan as the UNCF - “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Not because I think white people deserve anything because they are white, but to prove a point. You liberals would crap down your leg and lynch whoever tried to pull a stunt like that, as if there are no impoverished white kids in society… please.

And where is it written that the political source of a decades old idea precludes someone from that political party from challenging an idea or policy based on its merit - DECADES later. Or lack of merit in this case.

I think you are staying up too late, because your posts usually have a lot more logic and a lot less nonsense.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at July 28, 2007 06:22 AM
Comment #227627

Yukon, me thinks you doth protest too much. It is a political historical fact that Southern Democrats opposed to integration in the 1960’s moved to the Republican Party in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Read into that whatever you wish. But, those are the political historical facts.

And I think anyone who consciously tries to ignore the statistics regarding disparity between pay and economic opportunity between the races and sexes, has an ulterior motive. But, that’s just what I think.

That phrase compassionate conservative sure didn’t last long, did it? Too difficult to maintain appearances, was it? Or, just too disappointing for Republicans that the 9 out of 10 Black Americans never fell for it?

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 28, 2007 08:01 AM
Comment #227631
Since, Affirmative Action has been a huge reason for that success, why kill the goose that laid the golden egg for people of color and women?

Because our society is different now, the majority of people now do not condone or support racisism, of any kind, and want to end the constant use of it for political gain. We want our children to not have to see it in their face every day so a political party can label their opponents as racist, usually incorrectly. We would like for our children to grow up in a world where they see idividuals, not groups.

I know you don’t think we’re ready as a country, and that’s your opinion. But we will NEVER be ready until we stop Affirmative Action in your mind because there will always be some racist somewhere doing something that they shouldn’t. Oh and there will always be a need to be able to label your opponent as a racist in order to win a political battle, knowing that it resonates so much with the majority.

And the fact that it does resonate with the majority I think is the most telling example of why it is no longer needed…

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 28, 2007 10:05 AM
Comment #227633

Well, as usual, Rhinehold, I disagree. There are two in my face facts that I can’t yet get around when it comes to Affirmative Action. They are our history of slavery of Black and Chinese people and our treatment of American Indians, and the glaring discrepancy between incomes and job/business opportunities for Black and Native Americans.

Having founded this country on racism toward these folks, I find it unconscionable for Caucasion Americans to decide 75% or %50 parity in income and opportunity is all the Affirmative Action they can handle.

No matter how I slice or dice those facts, it still comes up racist to me. If I were Black or Native American, I might be able to learn to ignore the slights and innuendo I will experience in my lifetime, but, to be paid less, educated less, or limited more in business opportunity because of my race hits my children’s quality of life, very hard indeed. And that I would find intolerable.

Born a WASP in America, having not suffered that kind of treatment, I have always found it useful in thinking of these things, to try to imagine how it must be, if I were not born WASP in this country. What I imagine is not to my liking. What it is really like, is no doubt, worse for many.

I had the benefit of two parents, one working, one at home. Black Americans experienced centuries of broken families, and more recently, incentives not to marry, (welfare of the 50’s through 90’s, combined with racist lack of opportunity). Given that legacy, I count myself a most fortunate American to have been born here White.

Thus, I am not willing to say 50 or 75% economic parity is enough. Our government created and maintained the slavery problem and the Indian Reservation system and legacy of broken treaties. It is just, in my view, that our government now make amends through Affirmative Action that brings economic parity to these people of race whose race still carries a heavier burden from birth than for Whites.

When America can provide equal education for all students regardless of color, and pay and business opportunity are equal regardless of color, then Affirmative Action can cease. Until then, this is one fortunate White Person who doesn’t mind a bit a few extra tax dollars each year to make amends for wrongs done entire races in this country by my forefathers.

And my father was as racist and bigoted as they come in his thinking and talk. Fortunately, he never resorted to physical violence acting out his hatred and intolerance, that I am aware of. But, he did vote for intolerance and racism. I was 9 or 10 years old when I called a Black friend a Nigger in a tiff we had. I lost his friendship, and my pride along with it. It is a day I will not ever forget. And on that day, my father lost his son’s admiration and emulation forever.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 28, 2007 10:39 AM
Comment #227635
When America can provide equal education for all students regardless of color

Oh, but we do. And it is the worst education system we’ve seein in this country. Ever.

100 years ago the black family was strong. But today it is broken BADLY. You hit the nail on the head as to the reason, our misguided attempt to correct injustices of the past by ancestors has been the mail culprit. Yet we insist on still treating individuals as groups that does nothing more than pigeonhole them. Young blacks are told that they need Affirmative Action because ‘the man’ is keeping them down or that they are inferior to ‘WASPS’. Your comment leads to this as well.

My point is that we need to start treating people as individuals, not tied to a social or racial group as that mindset is outdated, innacurate and damaging. It is when we see people as individuals that their individual needs can start to be met and they can be treated with the respect that they deserve or don’t deserve based upon their actions. People’s actions are much more responsible for their place in life today than anything else, especially perceived failures of a system that shouldn’t be involved in the issue in the first place.

Most people simply want to be treated with respect and dignity. Not only can you NOT legislate that, you block that from occuring by grouping them into an arbitrary grouping and telling them that because they are in that grouping that they are ‘different’. Not because of what they choose to do and the decisions they make with their lives but because of something that they have no control over and we now know through anthropology is irrellevent. And you are feeding into the very problem that you say you want to help by going along with the notion that these people NEED this assistance to make it successfully into the future.

If we follow the path we are on now there will never, ever, be a resolution to the issue. That is just the reality of the situation. I’m sure that you think that ‘someday we will irradicate racisim through legislation’ but it is just not possible. Only when we as collective human beings STOP ignoring the individual needs of each person, regarless of race or sex, will we be able to move beyond this ill-constructed racism nonsense and start spending our energies on things that truly matter.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 28, 2007 11:17 AM
Comment #227642

David,

The day may come in America when Black persons and women make comparable pay for comparable work, and black owned businesses have fair and equal access to contract bids based on bid alone. But, that day is not today and the stats damn well show it.
Now one can argue black persons and women are inferior and thus don’t deserve the same rates or access.

So your argument for their being inferior is not that they don’t deserve to get paid as much, but that they can’t? Gee, that’s really nice of you…
I have to disagree with you about blacks and women getting paid less. In a lawsuit-centric society, such as the one in which we live, this kind of thing is next to impossible. Institutionalized Racism is all but dead in this country and individual racists don’t last long without getting sued or arrested. Then again, you think you can judge economic status based on someone’s skin color. That’s pretty close to racism in my book.

Until then, this is one fortunate White Person who doesn’t mind a bit a few extra tax dollars each year to make amends for wrongs done entire races in this country by my forefathers.

Well, a lot of people can’t afford it. Affirmative action (for the most part) focuses on middle class black people. so where does that leave the real poor, black or white?

It’s ok for government to help people do better without buying into the stereotypical black=poor white=rich notion. Stop looking down on black people and pretending they can’t get anywhere in life without your help. It’s political pandering at best, racist at worst.

Posted by: Cassie at July 28, 2007 12:59 PM
Comment #227643

Rhinehold, Is this amendment to the appropriations bill for DOT and HUD the place to decide the affirmative action issue? If as you say the law is out of date and doesnt apply anymore then shouldnt it be dealt with in a straight up and down vote on its own merits instead of backdooring it thru this type of legislation?

Posted by: j2t2 at July 28, 2007 01:03 PM
Comment #227645

Cassie, may I recommend some remedial reading classes for you?

Casdsie said: “In a lawsuit-centric society, such as the one in which we live, this kind of thing is next to impossible.”

The weight of the ignorance in that comment would blow out the tires on a Mack Truck.

You said: “Institutionalized Racism is all but dead in this country and individual racists don’t last long without getting sued or arrested.”

Don’t know many folks of color or, just don’t read the news, much? Just curious.

We each have a right to our views and our votes. It’s what makes America a good place to be born, regardless of color these days.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 28, 2007 01:05 PM
Comment #227648

j2t2, good question. And you notice how none of the critics have yet to comment on the ABSOLUTE STUPIDITY of not segregating mens and womens rest rooms on interstate highway rest areas as a result of this amendment. He opened the door to every pervert wanting a gander at the ladies to sue the federal government for violation of this amendment in using federal dollars to discriminate between the sexes.

You can lead folks to water, but, you can’t make them think!

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 28, 2007 01:14 PM
Comment #227650

Rhinehold, it is not equal education. Not by a long shot. If you could turn some urban schools into virtual prisons for security’s sake, some education there might actually improve.

Not equal, not by a long shot. Was never planned to be equal, with each state and district designing their own educational system according to their political and religious and social class needs and wants. Not equal by a long shot. In 15 years, China will have more equal education, by far.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 28, 2007 01:18 PM
Comment #227651

Don’t know many folks of color or, just don’t read the news, much? Just curious.

I am a “folk of color” and I read plenty of news. You really like insulting people don’t you?

Posted by: Cassie at July 28, 2007 01:27 PM
Comment #227659

Ah, Cassie, may I recommend Project 21 to you, you should feel right at home there. America needs diversity, and Project 21 certainly insures at least 10% of Black Americans will have a different view.

Glad you know some folks of color. It is a common experience in America. Healthy too! Wouldn’t you agree?

I can give as well as I get, and remain in the bounds of the rules of civility here. Yes. Good observation.

My color changes depending on sun exposure, from light chalky tan, to brown, to pink if time slips away from me on a sunny day. Guess that makes me multi-colored? :-)

Would Project 21 accept me as a member, I wonder? Oh, yeah, that would mean I would have to become a conservative and vote Republican. Bad idea. Never mind.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 28, 2007 02:02 PM
Comment #227661

Cassie, I recommended remedial reading because of your comment: “So your argument for their being inferior…”

You see, if you had read my entire writing with comprehension, you would have recognized that nothing I said or even intimated suggested that I believe Blacks or women are inferior. Quite the opposite. Perhaps you would like to read it again, this time for comprehension.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 28, 2007 02:10 PM
Comment #227667

David, good article, and replies in this thread. Screwy, indeed.

Kansas Dem quoting Walberg:

Though this policy may be motivated by good intention, I agree with Justice Clarence Thomas about the DOT’s Affirmative Action programs, The paternalism that appears to lie at the heart of this program is at war with the principle of inherent equality that underlies and infuses our Constitution.

Highly Ironic isn’t it? Clarence opposing racial preference and affirmative action programs when his entire professional life was built upon these very things?
Just in case some of you folks don’t know, I’ll give you a few details about Thomas: He first attended the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts due to the fact that the school had instituted a black recruitment program. A few years later at Yale Law School, Thomas then benefited from another minority program. When he was a young lawyer and a great devotee of the writings of Ayn Rand, Thomas wasn’t dedicated to focusing his career on civil rights — yet nonetheless ended up as an Assistant Secretary of Education for the Office of Civil Rights in the US Department of Education, and went on to earn an appointment as the head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — an agency created by the 1964 Civil Rights Act to end employment discrimination in the US. I guess we’re supposed to think that his appointments to those jobs were just some sort of a coincidence.
Ultimately, racial factors also played a significant role in Thomas being appointed to the Supreme Court as well, because at the time, his appointment was clearly viewed as a preservation a racial balance on the Supreme Court (since he replaced Thurgood Marshall, the preceding black justice sitting on the court). And it didn’t even seem to matter how well qualified Thomas was, because unlike the rest of the appointees to the SC who are as a rule rated “WELL qualified” (including Justice Marshall), Thomas’s rating with the American Bar Association was pretty damn shabby, landing somewhere in the middle of “qualified” and “NOT qualified.”
The way I see it, the GOP in Thomas’s case was using their own unique brand of affirmative action: his skin color was the correct shade, but more importantly, his ideologies were a perfect match with the ideologies and (incompetent) cronyism of the Neocons.

Rhinehold:
“Because our society is different now, the majority of people now do not condone or support racisism, of any kind,”

I think you are painting with a very broad brush here. There are plenty of white Americans who are nearly as racist (and sexist) today as Americans ever were in the past. Many of these people have learned how to keep it under wraps much better though. As a white woman who has seen and heard plenty of thinly veiled racism and sexism, I’d be more than willing to admit that learning to effectively hide these sentiments has become quite common indeed.

“100 years ago the black family was strong.”

At the early part of the last century black families were strong? You must not read much history. They certainly weren’t strong in gaining civil rights and secure in their equal status in our society, because there were a lot of white race riots that were directed against black people back then, as well as incidences of lynch mobs, and the wanton destruction of homes located in black neighborhoods — and many of the white leaders of these mobs never went to jail, or were even made to pay a fine for what they did to those people.
They certainly weren’t strong economically, or politically either, or W.E.B. Dubois wouldn’t have made such an enormous impact on his fellow black Americans writing things such as this:

1903:

The American Negro would not Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He would not bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the door of opportunity closed roughly in his face.

1915:

I tell you, people of America; the dark world is on the move! It wants and will have Freedom, Autonomy, and Equality. It will not be diverted in these fundamental rights by dialectical splitting of political hairs…
The meaning of the twentieth century is the freeing of the individual soul, the soul longest in slavery and still in the most indefensible slavery is the soul of womanhood.

1920:

Murder may swagger, theft may rule and prostitution may flourish and the nation give but spasmodic, intermittent and lukewarm attention. But, let the murdered be Black or the thief brown or the violator of womanhood have a drop of Negro blood,and the righteousness of indignation sweeps the world. Nor would this fact make the indignation less justifiable did not we know that it was blackness that was condemned and not crime.

1934:

If the existence of [an all Black school] is made reason and cause for giving it worse housing, poorer facilities, poorer equipment and poorer teachers, then we do object, and objections is not against the color of the pupils’ or teachers’ skin, but against the discrimination.

David:
“He opened the door to every pervert wanting a gander at the ladies to sue the federal government for violation of this amendment in using federal dollars to discriminate between the sexes.”

This is exactly what went through my mind when you mentioned this in your article. That, and the fact that more than once I’ve caught a glimpse (not to mention a whiff) at the state of men’s public restrooms. I may be a feminist, but I’m all for keeping separate public rest rooms, thanks very much! :^)

Posted by: Adrienne at July 28, 2007 03:12 PM
Comment #227676

First this don’t sound like a conservative idea. Might be a Republican one, but definitely not a conservative one.
Second why would this need to be attached to a highway appropriations bill? Sounds to me like more business as usual from the beltway crowd by trying to hide their dirty little trick in amendments to other bills.
However I do agree with Rhinehold. Government assistance to the poor should be a on a case by case basis. And the local government should be the ones handling it.
I doubt that Project 21 is anymore the voice of Blacks anymore than Jessie Jackson or Al Sharpton are. Sounds to me like all three are the same. They’re all trying to keep racism alive so they can justify their existence.

Cassie

Oh, and I never understood the point of seperate bathroom facilities either. Totally redundant. Isn’t that segregation?

So you wouldn’t mind some guy walking in on ya while your on the can. I’ve noticed that most folks that talk that way are the most likely to scream foul if something like that happens.


Adrienne

This is exactly what went through my mind when you mentioned this in your article. That, and the fact that more than once I’ve caught a glimpse (not to mention a whiff) at the state of men’s public restrooms. I may be a feminist, but I’m all for keeping separate public rest rooms, thanks very much! :^)

Been peeking again? :)
You and most women I know don’t want unisex public restrooms either. And believe it or not most men don’t either.
I know I don’t want my daughters or granddaughters having to use the same public restroom as some of the creeps out there.

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 28, 2007 05:14 PM
Comment #227679

Ron Brown said: “However I do agree with Rhinehold. Government assistance to the poor should be on a case by case basis. And the local government should be the ones handling it.”

I don’t agree with this. Every citizen who pays federal taxes is entitled to equal protection under the law. Our history is chock full of horror stories about how the poor have been treated, especially if non-white, at the hands of local government. Never forget the story of Mississippi Burning about local government and the slaying of the 3 young civil rights advocates black and white. Mayors, Sheriff deputies, KKK, developers, all complicit in murder and violation of civil rights.

Discrimination and violation of civil rights is a human foible, which means Detroit has a few stories of its own where discrimination against Whites read like some out of the deep South 50 years earlier. Bigotry favors no race over another - bigotry has its Black, Brown, Yellow, and White adherents wherever their majorities are found.

It is why, ashamed of American slavery as I am, the Civil Rights legislation of the 1960’s and 1970’s gave me pride in my America. No ethnic nor race nor religious order nor sex should have dominion over any other in a land of equal protection under the law. It was the bell of freedom and liberty that rang with shock waves around the world in harmony with Indians rejection of British rule, and Gandhi’s work in S. Africa which sowed the seeds of the means for an end to Apartheid many decades later.

Who would have cared about genocide in the former Yugoslavia, or Darfur today, if America had not passed its Civil Rights and Affirmative Action legislation here as a Shining Light to oppressed peoples around the globe. Let us not tarnish our greatest moments by sliding back into the muck which demanded a climbing out in the first place.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 28, 2007 05:55 PM
Comment #227704

David,

You see, if you had read my entire writing with comprehension, you would have recognized that nothing I said or even intimated suggested that I believe Blacks or women are inferior. Quite the opposite. Perhaps you would like to read it again, this time for comprehension.

It’s obvious from what you’ve written here that you still believe in the archaic idea of “race.” Since you have stated numerous times that you support AA, of course you see black people as inferior, otherwise there would be no need for you to support it. Affirmative Action is not needed because no so-called “race” is inferior.
And of course you still subscribe to the stereotype that black people are poor and white people are rich. Otherwise, why would you want the government to consider “race” when giving assistance?

And another thing (irony alert!)… The way you treated the one black person (as far as we know) who disagreed with you is thoroughly disgusting. You totally violated Watchblog’s policy when you responded to Cassie. Your responses attacked her and addressed none of the points she made, at least not in any meaningful way.

There’s no such thing as race. It’s a shame that people like you continue to use an undeniably false premise to try and score political points.

Posted by: TheTraveler at July 29, 2007 12:14 AM
Comment #227711

TheTraveler, I dont see your leap in logic that suggests supporting affirmative action equals a belief that other races are inferior. Are you suggesting the affirmative action program was started due to a belief that blacks are inferior? To me there is a difference between a race of people being considered inferior and the same race of people being denied equal opportunity due to the bias of long engrained habits and customs of people from another race. Unless Im missing something, IMHO, your arguement appears to be an attempt to confuse the reasoning the affirmative action program was enacted and doesnt have any basis in fact.
Once again, shouldnt the entire affirmative action program be put on the table for debate as a stand alone issue instead of being attached to an appropriations bill? That IMO would be true leadership in contrast to Rep. Walbergs under the table approach to the issue.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 29, 2007 02:02 AM
Comment #227713

(Emcee): It is now time for Final Jeopardy. Contestants I will read the answer and you will be required to write your responses before time is up.

The answer is:

1.) “In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check.”

2.) “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.
I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.”

Qotes that are credited to the following famous African American(s).


(Jeopardy tune plays. . . . . .)


Contestant number one, your question, please!

(Contestant No. 1): Who are Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.?

(Emcee): No, I’m sorry, Contestant No. 1! Rev. Jackson is not credited with either quote!. . .
Contestant No. 2, your question, please!

(Contestant No. 2): Who are Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.?

(Emcee): No, I’m sorry, Contestant No. 2! Rev. Al Sharpton is not credited with either quote!. . .
Contestant No. 3, your question, please!

(Contestant No. 3): Who is Martin Luther King, Jr., being credited for both quotes.


(Emcee): That is absolutely right, Contestant No. 3! Martin Luther King, Jr. is credited with both quotes from his “I have a Dream” speech. You obviously are a 1960’s history buff. The first quote inspired Democrats to adopt their Civil Rights Policies. The second quote inspired Republicans to adopt their Civil Rights Policies. You are the winner for today’s Jeopardy Challenge!!!!!!!

JD

Posted by: JD at July 29, 2007 03:37 AM
Comment #227719

j2t2,

Yes, I agree it should be a seperate issue.

MHO, your arguement appears to be an attempt to confuse the reasoning the affirmative action program was enacted and doesnt have any basis in fact.

In order to understand you need to stop believing in the old fashioned and dangerous idea of race in the first place. There’s no such thing.
Programs like Affirmative Action are supported by people who want to perpetuate the lie in order to give the appearance of fighting it.

Posted by: TheTraveler at July 29, 2007 10:06 AM
Comment #227725

TheTraveler, That it quite an amazing theory. Are you thinking this theory has been put into deeds and actions to the point where it is a truism thereby making the affirmative action program unneccesary?
It brings to mind the old “then poof a miracle happens” theory that is so often used as logic. Im not saying that I am against the old poof a miracle happens theory as I seem to rely upon it fairly regular. Further Im not saying I am against the “there are no races we are all one” philosophy you seem to be touting. I do question the practical application of this philosophy and the extent to which it has entered into our national consciousness. Should we find that this philosophy has indeed permeated the American public’s collective soul to the point that the AA program is no longer needed then perhaps it will be a simple and quick debate in the legislature.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 29, 2007 12:18 PM
Comment #227730

BTW, I just wanted to thank Adrienne for making the point that those ‘helped’ by Affirmative Action are always looked at with the stigma of that help. No matter what a preson does, simply because they are black or female now any success they achieve is always looked at as ‘did they get help through AA? Did they really deserve the success they achieved because of hard work or were they given help?’

You see, she makes a point to point out that Clarence Thomas made it to the supreme court, but only got there because of AA and his color, not because he was qualified.

David thinks that eliminating AA now would be ‘sliding back into the muck’ but that is partisan hyperbole. In fact, it is PROGRESS that the practice of AA is actually more damaging than the benefits it gains, as I pointed out above. Just as you would not keep helping someone the exact same way as they start progressing, it is time to remove the stigma of ‘being black’ in our society. If my kid needed help, I might give him free rent at the house while he gets his life back together, for an example. But do I wait until he becomes a millionaire until he is nudged back out to stand on his own? Or do I wait until he is over the hump and ready to stand on his own while not being fully there, so that he can start building upon PRIDE, something that receiving help prevents him from having.

Unfortunately, race has been politicized and no one wants to look at the issues or specifics, instead would rather call people racists (the fact that this works so well tell us how much of a stigma that being one is now) and employ their tried and true wedge issues in order to help themselves and their party, NOT to actually help those they claim to be assisting.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 29, 2007 01:05 PM
Comment #227731
Should we find that this philosophy has indeed permeated the American public’s collective soul to the point that the AA program is no longer needed then perhaps it will be a simple and quick debate in the legislature.

What a joke. Why would any politican give up their best and easiest weapon?

AS an example, Julia Carson from the heart of Indianapolis has been in the House of Representatives for decades. She gets re-elected because she promises to give back to the black people (not the entire district, just the majority that are black, thanks to redistricting) and fight the power against the man. Nevermind that she has missed more votes than any other congresscritter in the past 30 years and she appears to be suffering from dementia in recent years, she will still be re-elected because she calls her opponents racists (even her last one who was ALSO black, but a republican black, so that’s worse to these people, uncle Tom and all) and continues to be elected on this ONE SINGLE ISSUE.

Will she ever admit that AA might not be needed anymore? OF course not, she wouldn’t keep being reelected anymore, everything else about her ‘service’ is appauling. But just hit on a few buzz words and call your opponents racists, and you’re in.

So don’t give me that ‘if there was no need for AA anymore it would be an easy debate to end it’ because once you institutionalize racism, just as we institutionalize charity, you will have a very very very hard time removing it. It would take principle above power and I don’t see much of that in this country at this time.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 29, 2007 01:11 PM
Comment #227740

Rhinehold:
“I just wanted to thank Adrienne for making the point that those ‘helped’ by Affirmative Action are always looked at with the stigma of that help.”

No Rhiney, you’ve quite stupidly missed my point entirely. There is no stigma attached to people who have risen in life through Affirmative Action. Indeed, that was and still is, it’s whole purpose. My point is that a clearly racist faction of the GOP (Neocons) purposely and cynically and self-servingly decided to make use of an obviously unqualified, equally cynical, and self-serving guy who used Affirmative Action to create every single one of his credentials, and worked at agencies created by the 1964 Civil Rights Act, that he was willing to use but didn’t truly believe in, TO DESTROY Affirmative Action.

“No matter what a preson does, simply because they are black or female now any success they achieve is always looked at as ‘did they get help through AA?”

No, what people should actually ask themselves is whether people who were willing to use AA to get where they are, have then turned around and on behalf of their racist, cynical, self-serving GOP buddies, are helping to pull the ladder up behind them. Shutting out legions of disadvantaged people who need to be given a better opportunity to succeed, but who won’t get one because of their betrayal.

“Did they really deserve the success they achieved because of hard work or were they given help?’”

Those who deserve their success usually want to help deserving others to achieve their own success. Some who haven’t worked as hard are often willing to take advantage of everything and everyone around them, and then thumb their noses in unconscionable, unscrupulous betrayal of everything and everyone who helped them get anywhere at all. This is what Clarence Thomas did.

“You see, she makes a point to point out that Clarence Thomas made it to the supreme court, but only got there because of AA and his color, not because he was qualified.”

You’re not using logic. Thomas was not well qualified enough to be a Supreme Court Justice. That is an entirely separate issue from whether he used AA to build his career. The GOP is the one who used Thomas’s color to replace a justice who was extremely well qualified to sit on the Supreme Court with one who wasn’t. And the transparent reason they did so, was because their intention was to destroy the Affirmative Action that had aided the cynical, self serving pawn they used to put any qualifications beside his name, at all.

As to the question of when Affirmative Action won’t be needed any longer, that will be self evident. When racism truly fades away, and economic conditions and opportunities reflect at least a semblance of balance between the top and the bottom of our society, then it can be done away with. We’re not there yet.
If Affirmative Action is completely destroyed as that racist, cynical, and self-serving faction of the GOP wants it to be, then we may never achieve such a balance in this country.
Which is a crime of injustice, in my opinion.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 29, 2007 02:40 PM
Comment #227741
When racism truly fades away, and economic conditions and opportunities reflect at least a semblance of balance between the top and the bottom of our society, then it can be done away with. We’re not there yet.

Yes, we are. Because if we leave it in place from now going forward, the small gains we might see will be offset by the lessons we are teaching children that if you are black then you need this help. Most middle-class and poor whites are being told that they aren’t as deserving of help than a black person which causes them to become resentful towards the black person and the poor and middle-class black person is being told that they can’t make it with our help which causes them to lose any feeling of pride in themsevles and their accomplishments.

It is sad that a black person who doesn’t get a job or promotion is told by his ‘leaders’ that it is because of racism and the color of his skin and if he DOES get the job or promotion he is told by our society through Affirmative Action that he got it only because of the color of his skin… In effect, we are perpetuating the very act we want to repent for.

And, you again prove my point by calling people who want to end the racist program of helping people simply because of the color of their skin racists themselves. It doesn’t matter what the reasons or motives are, they must be racists because they don’t want to support racist policies…

Mindboggling really. At least to those of us who are individualists and are told that we shouldn’t be.

And BTW, I did not miss any point at all. You just can’t see that you backhandedly can’t see mine.

BUT, let’s play a little longer. What do you think of Condi Rice? Did she get where she is because of AA or not, since she hits the program twice, and if not is she qualified?

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 29, 2007 02:53 PM
Comment #227746

“At least to those of us who are individualists and are told that we shouldn’t be.”

There it is. In a nutshell. The rational for every criminal, anarchist, Libertarian, bigot, authoritarian, cheat, liar, tax dodger, illegal immigrant employer, and anti-anything social or societal. I am an individualist, America should be mine to live in the way I choose and everyone else should accommodate me or, at the very least, leave me out of their laws, rules, regulations, taxes, etc. I am an island and my island is America.

The truth is there is a role for individualists in a society like those enumerated above; they continually remind the rest of society of the need to hang together, act as one, support democratic principles, and respect and foster our interdependence which is the strength that defends our independence and freedom.

The arts too need individualists. There is a vital role for individualists, society would lose its rationale for existence without them.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 29, 2007 03:31 PM
Comment #227747

Wow, way to completely misstate what I mean by being an ‘individualist’. By being an individualist I mean that I judge and treat each person as an individual, based on what they do, how they act, how they treat other people. Not because of what group they belong to.

We are all members of the society and we should not act in a way that hurts that society. Again, you completely miss the point or are purposely misstating what I said for your own political reasons.

Of course we need to stick together as a society, that we should treat each other as ourselves, the golden rule, etc. My problem with the ones who want to group us, who are the real bigots and racists, is that they view people through that group, not through that individual’s choices and actions.

You can keep grasping at any rationale you want to keep treating people a specific way because of an arbitrary grouping (we know from science that race is an invalid construct) you may see fit to put them into, but one day you are going to have to come to terms with that.

And what a horrible attempt to misrepresent what libertarians are about, again. So far I’ve been called a racist, selfish, unfeeling, etc. All because I care more about these people than others do. Typical.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 29, 2007 03:52 PM
Comment #227749

Rhinehold:
“if we leave it in place from now going forward, the small gains we might see will be offset by the lessons we are teaching children that if you are black then you need this help. Most middle-class and poor whites are being told that they aren’t as deserving of help than a black person which causes them to become resentful towards the black person and the poor and middle-class black person is being told that they can’t make it with our help which causes them to lose any feeling of pride in themsevles and their accomplishments.”

No, this is a separate issue regarding Affirmative Action, and one that definitely needs fixing. The problem stems from the fact that AA should automatically acknowledge disadvantaged economic factors, not simply race alone. I can understand why people become resentful when it doesn’t. But that isn’t a reason to do away with an idea that has demonstrably helped to move economic advancement and opportunity forward in a very short amount of time, it is a problem with implementation.

“And, you again prove my point by calling people who want to end the racist program of helping people simply because of the color of their skin racists themselves. It doesn’t matter what the reasons or motives are, they must be racists because they don’t want to support racist policies…”

Affirmative Action is not a racist policy. And those who used the policy to get where they are blatant hypocrites if they label it as such.

“Mindboggling really. At least to those of us who are individualists and are told that we shouldn’t be.”

If Clarence Thomas was such a rugged “individualist” who thought that AA was a “racist policy”, then he damn well shouldn’t have taken advantage of it, should he? No, he could have acted like it didn’t even exist — exactly the way it won’t exist if he and the other Neocons get their way.

“And BTW, I did not miss any point at all.”

Yeah, you did.

“You just can’t see that you backhandedly can’t see mine.”

You’re right, because I can’t see any point in what you’re saying. All I can see is that you’re backasswardly defending the indefensible position that Thomas is taking ON A POLICY HE GREATLY BENEFITED FROM.

“BUT, let’s play a little longer.”

Oh, goody.

“What do you think of Condi Rice?”

Bushco puppet. Horrifically Bad National Security Advisor. Totally Ineffective Sec. of State.

“Did she get where she is because of AA or not, since she hits the program twice, and if not is she qualified?”

Well, unlike Thomas
Condi was at the very least willing to acknowledge that part of the reason she got where she is today was because of AA and a desire for a diversified campus
:

“It is important to take race into consideration if you must, if race-neutral means do not work,” she said.

Rice said she had benefited from affirmative action during her career at Stanford University.

“I think they saw a person that they thought had potential, and yes, I think they were looking to diversify the faculty,” she said.

“I think there’s nothing wrong with that in the United States,” Rice said. “It does not mean that one has to go to people of lower quality. Race is a factor in our society.”

The problem is, with Clarence Thomas the GOP did go to someone of lower quality, which I think is completely f**king insane when we’re talking about a lifetime appointment to the US Supreme Court.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 29, 2007 04:01 PM
Comment #227750

Rhinehold, there is Clarence Thomas Black, and then there is prison Black, or wino Black.

To claim that because Clarence Thomas benefited and has reached respectability, AA no longer is needed is an incredibly flawed argument when young black males are still targets of profiling, and of low to no opportunity neighborhoods for safe quality education and jobs with future stepping stones in them, and where young Black children are failing to benefit from two parent role models pointing the way to success.

AA is not, nor, never was intended to the the sole answer for Black Americans to one day achieve equality of opportunity and experience with the rest of society. Much of that work and answer must come from the Black communities, and families themselves, and a great number of Black organizations have formed for this purpose through out America. But, AA is needed not just because of racial discrimination, but, because of cultural and economic background discrimination as well, which in a myriad of ways work to keep the young who don’t speak midwestern English dialect, or wear suburban clothes, or carry themselves as the midwestern white employer at the department store would prefer in order to hire them.

Many discriminations occur, skin color is but one of many discriminations that attend the subconscious process of evaluating people to be called on in class, hired for a summer job, or found acceptable in a position of trust. America has a long way to go yet, before equal opportunity becomes a realty, and where effort is rewarded according to its merit, and not its similarity in appearance to our own.

I applied for a sales job in LA upon arriving there in 1969. The employer was a black man, his business was 2 blocks from the Black Panther headquarters. My white friend and I went in and applied. He interviewed us. Wasn’t a long interview. He explained that we would not be very good for this job. This was a nearly all black community and the job was door to door sales in that community. Naive and idealistic, I still wanted the job. My friend agreed with the employer we wouldn’t be right for the job, and said, let’s go. We thanked the interviewer, and he respectfully thanked us for our time. We walked back past the Black Panther headquarters with two rifle armed black leather jacketed Panthers standing at the entrance toward our bus stop.

It was an experience I will never forget. My skin was the wrong color for the job. America can and will get beyond experiences like, that by our young people. But, that time has not arrived yet, not by a long shot. In some ways the problem is worsening now that reverse discrimination is being experienced.

The fact remains, far more people of color are far wealthier today and holding far higher positions of employment than before Affirmative Action began. That is not an accidental coincidence. And there are still millions of young Americans being stigmatized and rejected for the color of their skin and cultural background of their heritage, and shortcomings in the economic conditions in which they were raised.

It is getting better, but, America still has further to go. Affirmative Action is still working to produce net positive results in large numbers of people’s lives. When the negative results, and there are some, no question, of Affirmative Action outweigh the the numbers passing through its doors of opportunity, then it will be time to end Affirmative Action as a public policy of government. Not before.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 29, 2007 04:03 PM
Comment #227756
America can and will get beyond experiences like, that by our young people.

Not if we keep telling them that it is ok in any way to enact any policy, good or bad, that affects people soley based upon their race.

The fact remains, far more people of color are far wealthier today and holding far higher positions of employment than before Affirmative Action began. That is not an accidental coincidence.

I ackowledge that, but I do not acknowledge that it was because of or soley because of Affirmative Action. I think that AA has done more to harm race relations than it has to help those who were disenfranchised for decades. The changes in social views of race and hardworking people of any color who have ignored the disadvantages to rise above them have had much more to do with the successes of black people than anything else. Unfortuantely, as we both agree, the disintegration of the black family, which is directly a result of our governmental policies (a combination of prohibition creating the illegal drug culture that did the same to italians in the 20s and welfare that does not address the specific needs of the individuals). We need to stop treating these people who need help as part of a group and treat them with individual care, identifying what they REALLY NEED, not just hand them a freaking paycheck or jobs based on their skin only. Some do not want that help but end up being a part of it without knowing as we institute it.

If we want to really help people, not just black people or women, etc, then we will talk to the people and find out what they need. Some just need a little money for a few months. Instead they get put into an institution that sucks them in more than they every needed. Some just want someone to talk to. Some need education. Some need to be told ‘it’s ok, we have all been there but you’ll get through it’. Some need to be cut loose to stand on their own.

Everyone needs something, but we don’t address it because we don’t want to get our hands dirty. Yet we like to think we help. The result is that we institute policies that are used by politicians as wedge issues for their own advancement and a ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ institution that harms more people than we help.

But the worst part is that if anyone points out these flaws, they are labelled and dismissed.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 29, 2007 04:26 PM
Comment #227757

j2t2,

Further Im not saying I am against the “there are no races we are all one” philosophy you seem to be touting. I do question the practical application of this philosophy and the extent to which it has entered into our national consciousness.

It’s not a theory or philosophy. It’s a fact. Only people who want to use skin color as a political issue and the few remaining actual racists say otherwise. The modern and enlightened among us know better.

Are you thinking this theory has been put into deeds and actions to the point where it is a truism thereby making the affirmative action program unneccesary?

Yes. We’re in the 21st century with modern laws. It’s been unnecessary for years. These days, pretty much everyone at the same starting point has the same opportunities, regardless of skin color.
Don’t get me wrong, there is still some discrimination based on skin color in this country, but very little; certainly not enough to justify AA. We fought it through civil rights legislation, etc. Now here’s an interesting thing about AA: In does not and never did fight such discrimination. It only served as a counter balance to it. If anything, Affirmative Action was a capitulation to discrimination. Fortunately we fought discrimination in other ways and it’s only a shadow of what it once was.

That’s what makes it unnecessary. Here’s what makes it wrong: First, most of the help tends to go to the middle class who will do fine without it anyway. This makes it easy, but it also defeats the purpose. This type of program should help the poorest among us first, regardless of their skin color.
Second, as we’ve already discussed, it discriminates based on skin color. People don’t need special help because they happen to have a certain skin color. To say that people do need help for that reason is to call them inferior, because we all have the same abilities.

Should we find that this philosophy has indeed permeated the American public’s collective soul to the point that the AA program is no longer needed then perhaps it will be a simple and quick debate in the legislature.

That would be nice, however too many politicians need issues such as this. That’s really the only reason these issues exist anymore.

Posted by: TheTraveler at July 29, 2007 04:31 PM
Comment #227771

“The fact remains, far more people of color are far wealthier today and holding far higher positions of employment than before Affirmative Action began. That is not an accidental coincidence. And there are still millions of young Americans being stigmatized and rejected for the color of their skin and cultural background of their heritage, and shortcomings in the economic conditions in which they were raised.”
Posted by: David R. Remer at July 29, 2007 04:03 PM


You’re right David, that is not an accidental coincidence.
It is called the trickle down economic policies of Ronald Reagan in the 1980’s which decreased black unemployment rates from nearly 13% during the Carter Administration to 8% by the time Ronald Reagan left office. The continuance of Reagan policies through the Bush, Sr. Administration dropped black unemployment even further, I believe down to around 7%. That is an unprecedented drop in Black unemployment of nearly 6% in only one decade, the likes of which had never been equaled before, or since. Yet, the Reagan/Bush Republican Administration was labeled by Democrats as racist and bigoted, exactly as Republicans today are also being labeled racist and bigoted. This barrage of racism charges throughout the “history re-writing” of the Clinton Administration lost nearly all of the South for the Democrats, but assured a 95% Black voting block. Most people have never heard that George Bush Sr. had virtually identical unemployment rates between Black and White four-year college graduates. He was the first President to ever achieve such successful figures in cutting Black unemployment.

Someday, once again a Black man will rise with a dream; that one day Republicans will not be judged by the rhetoric of the Democratic Party, but by the success of Republican policies!!

JD

Posted by: JD at July 29, 2007 06:39 PM
Comment #227782

Whe-e-ehW!!! JD. I haven’t read revisionist history like that since my 9 year old daughter wrote a paper on American History. You may have a future in fiction writing. As AA had no role during those trickle down years, nor the advancement of the economy after the oil embargoes. What selective memory you have, said Goldilocks to the conservative history teacher fangs dripping with anticipation.

Thanks for the humor. It’s good to have for relief during intense debates.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 29, 2007 08:10 PM
Comment #227785

the Traveler said: “Only people who want to use skin color as a political issue and the few remaining actual racists say otherwise.”

Bullcrap. And the statistics on financial and job status by race have nothing to say on the matter. What utter nonsense and denial of reality.

What’s the conservative line on those statistics? Oh, yeah, poor black people choose to be poor by not asserting themselves. Along comes the lucrative hip hop and rap industries and conservatives say they are corrupting our culture and must be stopped, let’s censor them.

Doesn’t such transparency embarrass conservatives?

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 29, 2007 08:15 PM
Comment #227792

Rhinehold said: “Not if we keep telling them that it is ok in any way to enact any policy, good or bad, that affects people soley based upon their race.”

But, therein lies the fatal flaw to the conservative argument. Affirmative Action has NEVER been based solely on race. It has also been based on economic opportunity, education, social secondary parenting as in afterschool facilities for the young whose parent/s are still at work, and a demonstration of caring, pride, and investment in individuals, families, and communities, block grants, and renovation of whole communities with many other races represented.

I understand, though. Many conservatives like to see things in black and white, this or that, Christian or evil, simple, easy, discreet. Seems anything that becomes even remotely complex as Affirmative Action fails the digestion test of their analytical and comprehension skills.

Affirmative Action has been a large number of policies and initiatives designed to address the discrepant statistics of how groups in America are fairing economically and in terms of equal access to opportunities afforded more successful groups. Race was just the means by which various groups were measured on the economic and opportunity ladder.

Affirmative Action sought parity amongst those groups, and by all accounts, it has been successful in bringing more parity over these last few decades. The stats reflect this. Substantial improvement has been made, and discrepancies still exist, much greater in some regions than others for a variety of factors.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 29, 2007 08:30 PM
Comment #227794

Bullcrap. And the statistics on financial and job status by race have nothing to say on the matter. What utter nonsense and denial of reality.

Your statistics are based on a nonexistent premise and you accuse me of denying reality?

Posted by: TheTraveler at July 29, 2007 08:34 PM
Comment #227796

I understand, though. Many conservatives like to see things in black and white

That’s a bit rich coming from you, considering some of the stuff you’ve written here!

Posted by: TheTraveler at July 29, 2007 08:37 PM
Comment #227797

David,

What amazing doublespeak. Let’s see, AA wasn’t about race at all but a VARIETY of factors. But race was just the means we measured it.

Sorry, but what you are talking about is closer to what I suggest we enact, not what AA is used for.

Affirmative action refers to policies intended to promote access to education or employment aimed at a historically socio-politically non-dominant group (typically, minorities or women).

Group. In some cases race. In some cases sex. Both factors something that a person has no control over and does not make that person THEM. Not all black peopl are the same and need the same needs, yet they are told that this program is in place because they NEED it. The same with women. The same with Mexicans, Latinos, etc.

What other groups, people identified by a specific thing, are ‘helped’ by Affirmative Action, praytell? And where on the forms do we check that box?

Any time I am asked what race I am, I leave it blank. I only answer the 1 legally required question on the census. The government shouldn’t know or CARE what race or sex I am. In truth, I am very many different races. I am part black, part german, part jewish, etc. Is there a ‘mix’ option we can check?

The point is, we shouldn’t be ASKING people. OUR GOVERNMENT should not know or care what our race or sex is because it is IRRELEVANT. We should be treated as Americans and all Americans should be treated equal. Yet we are not.

If we find that any person is discriminating, we should hang them up by their legs and execute them. But we should not ASSUME that anyone is going to discriminate or that anyone is going to be discriminated against.

I’m sorry if you think I life in a dream world, but until we start acting like this is how it should be it will never be that way. I think that THIS is the dream that was once spoken about, not Affirmative Action…

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 29, 2007 08:43 PM
Comment #227798

Race was just the means by which various groups were measured on the economic and opportunity ladder.

But that’s the problem… it’s a false paradigm and there’s no reason for the government to be using it.

Posted by: TheTraveler at July 29, 2007 08:47 PM
Comment #227836

The Traveler, your logic is circular, and therefore illogical.

Your argument is: Statistics on disparity of education and wages by race, are a false premise for measuring statistics. Reason, race is a false group identifier of discreet groups of people.

Sorry, your premise that race is a false group identifier for this purpose is itself, a false premise, prima facia.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 30, 2007 09:04 AM
Comment #227837

Rhinehold said :”Let’s see, AA wasn’t about race at all but a VARIETY of factors.”

The statistics demonstrating disparity amongst races in education and wages, is basis for AA. AA as I said are comprised of a number of policies designed to address that disparity. AA is about race to the extent that it works to reduce and eliminate the disparities.

It is obvious on its face, and your argument appears desperate when you try to frame other’s arguments in ways not intended, for lack of a better defense of your own.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 30, 2007 09:09 AM
Comment #227890

Whe-e-ehW!!! JD. I haven’t read revisionist history like that since my 9 year old daughter wrote a paper on American History. You may have a future in fiction writing.
Posted by: David R. Remer at July 29, 2007 08:10 PM


There is no revisionism in my history, buddy! I suggest you go back and check the facts on Black unemployment in the Reagan 80’s. He did indeed drop Black unemployment in an unprecedented fashion. He gave more opportunity to Blacks by way of his economic policies, than the Affirmative Action of Johnson and Carter combined. You can’t dispute the unemployment figures that are recorded in the government archives, though I know most of the revisionists of the Reagan era, like yourself, would certainly love to hide those archives, since they prove the liberal claims to be completely bogus on the issues of Republicans and race. Just the facts, David, just the facts!

JD

Posted by: JD at July 30, 2007 07:12 PM
Comment #227896

David,

OOPS! Sorry David, I was giving the drop in combined unemployment figures for the 1980’s!

I said Black unemployment went from 13% to 8% under Reagan for a 5% drop.
The Black unemployment figures actually went from 19% to 11% for a drop of 8% after Reagan initiated his tax cuts. My bad! But hey, so much the better for Reagan!!!!

JD

Posted by: JD at July 30, 2007 07:54 PM
Comment #227899

JD, employment for everyone improved. Not just Blacks. Stagflation ring a bell? It ended, during the Reagan years, partly due to fiscal policy and partly due to monetary policy, and partly due to economic recovery around the globe, partly due to the end of oil embargoes. Reagan has a right to take some credit for the fiscal policy, as did the Democratic Congress. Oh, yes, and then there was Nixon’s Affirmative Action that got fully underway thanks to the Democratic Congressional efforts and Jimmy Carter.

But, it is tunnel vision to say Reagan single handedly reached out and rescued the black unemployed. It just isn’t historically accurate, nor politically very astute regarding the complexity of such trends.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 30, 2007 08:07 PM
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