Thanks, Pozhal, for posting this excellent article from Salon: The Massive Liberal Failure on Race. It’s a great article that lays out the history behind Nixon’s affirmative action and how it was originally designed to keep blacks in their place by appeasing their anger while denying them full ownership of their achievements. As we’ve seen throughout the years, it has been a smashing success in this regard. Affirmative action has become the biggest weapon in the Willie Lynch toolbox. Plus, it lets people take a swipe at Asians at the same time!
The writer of the article, Tanner Colby, has some great quotes:
Affirmative action’s real purpose was to neutralize black demands for equality, not fulfill them.
Thanks to affirmative action, the black middle class was now vested in the very system the civil rights revolution had sought to overthrow.
The government claims it can regulate the racial composition of our professional lives, but too much of what we call “work” is actually rooted in the messy, socially segregated realm of our personal lives. How many affirmative action compliance officers were stationed in Steve Jobs’ garage while he and his buddy Steve Wozniak assembled the first Apple? Zero. It’s possible to track what goes on in the human resources department and in the minutes of corporate board meetings, but too much of the economic life of this country transpires in the spaces in between. Racial preferences can provide just enough jobs and material support to keep up the illusion that we’re moving toward equality, but no program can give black Americans real, sustained access to the places where the prerogatives of wealth and power are exercised. Only social and cultural integration can do that—the kind of integration Nixon opposed while he was advancing affirmative action.
Colby talks at length about how the world really works, specifically focusing on the tech industry and how ground floor opportunities usually arise from social networks and friends, not hiring practices. He also makes a good point about how no one will complain about helping out and giving preferences to a disadvantaged five-year-old child, but that the practice becomes demeaning when the same preference is applied to a 30-year-old woman.
This has been one of the better articles I’ve seen on the topic. Check it out. Colby also has a book that sounds interesting: Some of My Best Friends Are Black. Here’s how he describes it:
I knew it wasn’t just me. I started randomly polling friends and associates—most of them enlightened, open-minded, well-traveled, left-leaning white folks like me—asking them how many black friends they had. The answers were pretty pathetic.
“Um, I work with a black guy.”
“I had a biracial friend in high school.”
“I’ve got . . . one—wait . . . no, two! I’ve got two.”
“Real black friends? You mean ones that aren’t on television?”
By the time election season was done, it was pretty clear to anyone who was paying attention that there were black people supporting Obama and there were white people supporting Obama, but we were doing it the same way black people and white people do just about everything: in different zip codes. Even inside the big arenas, how many of those people cheered their candidate on only to return at the end of the night to separate homes, neighborhoods, and lives? Obama’s election was astonishing, unprecedented. But what did it really prove other than that it’s easier to vote for a black man than to sit and have a beer with one?
Interesting stuff, and I believe that these are real questions that dig at the heart of racial segregation and discrimination. It’s a lot more incisive than setting aside resources backed by quotas (which is really what affirmative action is, despite claims to the contrary), but it’s the key the achieving better integration. Anything else is just window-dressing that distracts us from the real issues.