City Journal Winter 2014

Current Issue:

Winter 2014
Table of Contents
Subscribe
Tablet Editions
Click to visit City Journal California

Readers’ Comments

Harry Stein
The Equality Principle « Back to Story

View Comments (15)

Add New Comment:

To send your message, please enter the words you see in the distorted image below, in order and separated by a space, and click "Submit." If you cannot read the words below, please click here to receive a new challenge.

Comments will appear online. Please do not submit comments containing advertising or obscene language. Comments containing certain content, such as URLs, may not appear online until they have been reviewed by a moderator.


 
Showing 15 Comment(s) Subscribe by RSS
I expect a certain slant from this publication. But I accept that and usually appreciate the reasoned and (generally) data-driven support of the slant. This article is a glaring exception.

If, as Mr. Stein notes, that anti-affirmative action bills have passed in several states, "with support across the political spectrum" then the Michigan ruling is simply an aberration.

However, I don't think little fact that concerns this author. He will instead inflate this small victory for the obviously dwindling support for affirmative action to present an unsupported and equally unsubstantiated painting of all liberals as "race baiters."
Jacqueetta;

You are correct in that demographic changes will prove interesting. The next generation of Americans will be largely Hispanic and they’re going to laugh at accusations of racism for every difficulty in a black person’s life.

B. Samuel Davis;

It is specious to entirely fault the Democratic Party for inner city pathology. The social programs may have been prompted by left-leaning groups but it was the underclass (of all backgrounds) that willingly took to being dysfunctional government dependents.
I so agree with this. It mystifies me why the Republican party has failed to take a stand on this (affirmative action) year after year, election after election. I can only guess it's fear of the liberal-biased mass media. I sincerely believe it would get them support more than hurt them.
Few have noted this, but there was a movement after the 2004 election on the part of Republicans to bring African Americans into the fold - in fact,a prominent Los Angeles black leader announced in or around May of 2005 that he was switching to Republican.

In desperation Democrats searched for and found in the response to Hurricane Katrina a way to falsely accuse the Republicans of racism, and bring the doubters firmly back into the fold. look at the early reporting on the response to Katrina, it is filled with misrepresentations and outright falsehoods about the response and the so-called motivations behind the response. But, it worked -the Democrat press was able to falsely tar Republicans as unfeeling racists. Problem solved.

Thus, Democrats were once again able to fool all of the people all of the time. Despite that any objective examination of the Democrats record on race forces the conclusion that it would be difficult to imagine any racist group doing more harm to African Americans than has been done by the Democratic Party since the civil rights era of the '60's. this was when African American leaders put their full support behind the Democrats - despite the Democrat Party being the party of the KKK and Jim Crow south. It was a decision that they should regret.

In short, Democratic policies have destroyed the black family, especially in the inner cities, leading to 70% of births out of wedlock. Maybe a Hollywood star can raise children in a single parent household, but for the rest, single parent households are a disaster. When an entire community is filled with single parent households, then you have places like Heather MacDonald's Chicago, where gangs have replaced parents (and that's especially true now that the generation where the grandmother could step in is gone). All of this is directly tied to Democratic "anti-poverty" policies, and it was predicted by none other than Senator Moynihan in the '70's. I recall the articles in the Newark New Jersey newspapers describing how this family or that family getting welfare was found to have the father at home i.e. cheating the system.

All of the tragic consequences of inner city life - drugs, lack of education, crime, can be tied to the breakdown of the family, which in turn was caused by Democrat assistance policies. But, anti-poverty policies were not the only means by which Democrats could affect African Americans - in 1968 under the leadership of Ted Kennedy, Democrats enacted immigration "reform." This reform - a "pro-family" bill, was meant to increase the number of immigrants, who Democrat leaders knew would be more likely to vote for Democratic candidates. But, what about immigrants taking away jobs traditionally done by African Americans, and benefits originally meant for African Americans? This did not matter in the least to Democratic leaders - what was and is more important is an increase in the number of people likely to vote Democrat. And yes, some Republicans supported immigration measures, but not as a matter of policy, and wouldn't you expect that the Democratic party would not adopt measures detrimental to a group that gives it close to 100% support? Why wouldn't they be since their community has been more affected than any other by waves of immigrants? And despite the rosy pro-immigration statements by African American leaders more loyal to party than community, most African Americans are staunchly anti-immigration.

How about the record of Democratic leaders in the inner cities - how have those leaders done over the past 60 years? By any standard the Democrat record is awful, but nevertheless, Democratic African American leaders win election after election - even Marion Barry who was caught on camera in a motel room smoking crack with a prostitute (at the same time that crack was devastating the African American community in Washington), was re-elected.

How could the African American community keep re-electing the same leaders from the same party that has caused and is responsible for most of the misery the community has suffered over the past 150 years? Why is there no consideration of giving the other party a chance? One of the reasons is the press, which is firmly pro-Democratic, and which has adopted a policy under which none of the terrible statistics about the community can be highlighted, nor can the truth about what has happened since Democrats took the promise of the civil rights movement and cynically ground it to dust. This policy goes under the misleading name of 'political correctness' but it has been the means by which the dismal record of Democratic leaders in the African American community can be brushed aside.

And let's not forget the poverty industry, which grinds on in the inner cities, and which uses taxpayer and private foundation funds, with absolutely nothing to show for it, other than to enrich those who run the programs. The lack of success is simply because success would mean the end of the gravy train, so the motivation is to ensure that conditions stay the same, or better yet, get worse. And, of course, it was from here we get Obama, the community organizer who somehow got rich off the misery of the black community. And, thanks to the media, got elected President.

Given all of the foregoing, why is it that Republicans don't aggressively seek out African American voters? All Republicans would have to do is to point out the terrible record of Democrats over the last 60 years, or 150 years, and how Democrats are fully responsible for most of the ills suffered by the community.

There are a number of reasons why this will not happen. First, getting the message out will be next to impossible since the pro-Democrat media will fight it tooth and nail, as will African American 'leaders' who have made a fortune in the poverty industry, and who will not go easy. Second, Republicans are naturally skittish on racial issues - they have been conditioned to be so by the Democrat press. And third, with someone like Obama in the White House, someone who is (somehow)popular in the black community, despite the fact that Obama's party has used, abused, taken for granted, robbed from, spit upon, and done wrong in every way possible that a political party could do wrong to a single group.

In short, all African American Democrat leaders would have to do is shout "racist" and Republicans, would run in the other direction.

Notwithstanding the above, there is - finally - a growing perception among African Americans that too many years have passed without results, and that they should at least consider something else. But, this is not going to happen overnight. You can also expect that the Democratic Party, like a wounded dog, will start biting, as it did in 2005.

But, finally, maybe, possibly, perhaps, the African American community will open its eyes and understand just how badly they have been misused by the very people upon which they relied for support all these years.
It's not just liberals that are "hysterical" about the Tea Party is it regular black folk like myself who recognize the racism inherent in these types of reactionary populist movements based on discovering "who moved my cheese"? Generally that blame goes on those who have traditionally had both the least cheese and the least ability to move it. I think the GOP should definitely puts its race cards on the table along with it true stance on immigration and the working class, but it won't because I doubt the truth will gain it enough voting share to win, you know given that pesky change in demographics. In terms of racism as a charge, it is not used and dealt with often enough. One side says something is racist. The accused say that they say everything is racist and then nothing is racist, especially not them. And somehow at the end of the day they can't seem to find any racism anywhere, which make no sense. Some things are racist and some of us do not find that catchphrase funny. Seems like this works well for all except the victims of racism, but who cares about them. They should stop complaining. Perhaps the GOP should work to remove, if they care (and they don't), racism from their ranks or in the most cynical way just have some media training. They'll be able to fool a lot of people (white liberals), maybe enough to get into office and really do what it is they claim they want to do. I support politicians putting their racism out there, it's not illegal and it makes my choices a lot easier as well as those for voting racists. Plus, they aren't fooling anyone.
Also, why have you chosen only to invoke the specter of anti-black racism? Well, I know why but My queer, Latino, Asian, immigrant, Mexican, Jewish, and Muslim friends are as concerned about the Tea Party as my black friends are. We seem to come together on that front. Hmmm.
The GOP: stuck on stupid.

"This obviously presents enormous challenges for Obama’s Republican challengers. Yet it also offers opportunities, if they’re bold enough to seize them. Why? Because vast numbers of Americans have come to recognize the 'racism' charge as precisely what it is: not an expression of genuine moral outrage but a means of shutting down honest debate on vital topics—from crime, education, and the state of the family to welfare and entitlement programs."

All well said, but I would be very, very, very surprised if the Republicans were to wake up on this issue. Most Republican politicians have shown over and over again that they would merrily march across Lassie and her nursing pups or Alvin and the Chipmunks while wearing football cleats rather than risk being called "racist."

As far as the Tea Party people, no doubt there are some sane ones, but I always recall that great Beck revolutionary mass gathering in DC to honor--wait for it--Martin Luther King, Jr.

As some scholars have theorized, people of European heritage have contracted something called "competitive altruism." To achieve all of the social rewards that it promises, and to avoid the terrible sanctions for not going along with the program, we are willing, as a people, to dig our own graves upholding it.

Politically, if anything can save us, it will probably be some sane faction of the GOP joining some new party, such as the American Third Position, especially as whites head ever more rapidly toward becoming a minority, and then to an ever smaller minority. When people of European heritage can no longer continue to robotically repeat the mantra of the PC Pod people while at the same time living in ‘lily-white neighborhoods,’ because it will have become too expensive, they will move in droves to a self-interested party.

All of the noble misty-eyed things now being said by whites in favor of affirmative action for non-whites were once said in South Africa by white liberals there. Flash forward to the present, these same pious ‘compassionate’ people are getting dispossessed off of their farms and killed off by a combination of government action, smirking government inaction and random violent crime.

Yet the GOP, or as so many for decades have termed it, the Stupid Party, remains forever serenely narcoleptic. In short, if someone came to cart off your sobbing grandma to drop her in a big boiling pot of stew, your local GOP congressperson would spring to your defense by putting out a press release calling for lower taxes and less government regulation. To these stupid cowards economics has become the ultimate hidey-hole.

Never mind that Third World USA will be characterized by the typical Third World economic black hole, out of which, it is often said, 'even light cannot escape.'
- - - -
Border Enforcement + Immigration Moratorium = Job, Crime and Eco Sanity.
How many liberal democrats belong to churches, synagogues and mosques that refuse to ordain women, not only in 1978, but today? That's a long list, and it includes the vice president, Nancy Pelosi, former and present-diminutive Kennedys, Keith Ellison, and several of the lions of the civil rights movement.

If exclusion of some from ordination is summoned as an argument against electing a Mormon president, then by all means we should press for that discussion to be intellectually consistent by applying it to all people, not just select groups chosen for select advancement. Anyone who makes this a "social justice" issue should be held to the standard of that belief system.
Norman Hanscombe July 16, 2011 at 8:36 PM
Why has no one acted to bring equal 'justice' in a range of other areas? Where is the affirmative action crusade in (say) basketball where the percentages among players in the top teams clearly shows the existence of racist selection in current policies? Worse still, when will those advocating genuine equality in outcomes act to change the disgraceful gender prejudices found at ALL levels in football teams?

Or is sport (unlike education) far too important to let advantaged talent rise to the top?
Louis Dargin;

The large population of underclass blacks is the result of poor personal choices made by that population. The abysmal high school and college graduation rates, the hordes of fatherless children and the poverty that causes, and the high percentage of ex-cons no one wants to hire - all contribute enormously to a less than prosperous existence.

With all the affirmative action policies, diversity quotas, outreach hiring, and preferred admissions, black folks should be superstars by now.

The Black community needs to face up, to itself, its defects, its idiocies, and its self-destructive habits instead of shunting the blame for its failures to bigotry or slavery. Nothing else is going to work.
«Affirmative actions can be a wonderful tool if used correctly». Oh, really? During my long Soviet years we’ve heard this kind of mantras so frequently, that they became a part of our daily existence. The bad thing about them was that they were NEVER used correctly, so after the crash of the USSR one of the most popular cartoons here was the picture of a ragged old beggar, sadly sighing to his bearded neighbor: “But the idea was good, isn’t it, my dear Marx?” So, when I read “if used correctly” American ideas, I feel myself in my good old Soviet Union again – and it’s not a pleasant feeling at all, believe me! I also can’t but remember the constant howl of the Kremlin propaganda about the “dreadful legacy of Tsarism” – this ancient legacy was as good explanation for the rampant corruption in the Soviet Union’s eighties as even more ancient “dreadful legacy of slavery” is for the present US crime, making happy newer and newer generations of Sharptons, Wrights, Rangels, Obamas – and Dargins, naturally. Rostislav, Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Republicans will continue to bob and weave if not duck on race because they don't know what to do about the continuing poor performance of Latinos and African Americans. The Dems don't know what to do either, but they are much more consumed with White Guilt. The traditional combination of bootstrapping and changing mores are not working. And certainly no one will acknowledge the elephant of "biodiversity" in the middle of room.
It is a sad thing to recall that the LBJ Civil Right Act, designed to specifically outlaw discrimination on the basis of race was eventually turned on it's head by the Supreme Court who ruled that the U of Michigan was in compliance with this law when it determined that a white candidate for the Law school could be displaced by a lesser candidate solely because that candidate was a minority. The Law was not the determining force, some misplaced liberal sense of social justice landed on the constitutional construction of equality before the law. Favorites win.
There will be no avoiding race in 2012. The day after the current budget debate concludes, the storyline in every paper across the country will be the differential affect by race. The next storyline will be how demographic changes among the young working-aged will affect the future of programs into which seniors contributed over THEIR working lifetimes.

The Republicans have been setting up Starve The Beast for three decades, and this month is the implementation of it. The hypocricy of not making choices that has dominated political discourse, facilitated by politicians who could always borrow enough to cover their spending until the next election, ends this year. And we'll be the better for it.
Good article, but don't look for Republicans to do anything but help Obama to his 2nd term.

Republicans are status seeking, establishment types. They only complain as much as necessary, then want to just get along and "reach across the isle" to compromise as much as possible so they won't have to argue with the minorites and risk being called a raciss.

They are dreadful of ever having the NAACP protest at their home, the SPLC put them on a "mainstreaming hate" list, or the ADL accuse them of anti-Semitism.

Never trust a Republican. Never trust a Tea-Partier either. They are afraid of the raciss label, so they will surround themselves with as many minorities as possible, and will never challenge Affirmative Action.

Just get used to it- we are a Socialist country, and if you disagree, Jon Meacham will write an article about you and say how "horrified" he was at what you said.

In fact, this Stein fellow should be worried that they will start saying that he sounds like www.amren.com.
Harry: The reason anti affirmative action initiatives pass is not because the voters just think they are wrong. It is because the majority of the electorate is White, and they do not see how they may benefit from AA. Affirmative actions can be a wonderful tool if used correctly, but it is so easy to simply say that AA is reverse discrimination. Slavery and continued discrimination is what has caused such a large number of Blacks to be at the bottom socially and economically. Why is it that there are very few answers from you conservatives about correcting those problems?