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    Affirmative Action In Logical Trouble

    Affirmative Action In Logical Trouble

    Cythia Tucker once accused Michael Steele, then Chair of the Republican National Committee, of being an “affirmative action hire gone bad,” and almost no one from civil rights organizations, liberal social justice groups, or the “left” objected.  Because Cynthia Tucker was a prominent liberal columnist who is black, and she was attacking a Republican who is black, the column passed without much controversy.

    The key thing was that Tucker used the term “affirmative action” as a derogatory epithet, not a positive.  That’s what it’s come to even from liberal black columists.

    Victor Davis Hanson writes today (h/t Instapundit) that affirmative action is an idea whose time has passed:

    First, what exactly is race today in America in which intermarriage and immigration have increasingly made it — and its ugly twin racial purity — often irrelevant? We are no longer a country largely 85-90% “white” and 10-12% “black,” but something almost hard to categorize in racial terms. Do university admission officers adopt the 1/16, one-drop racial rule of the old Confederacy? Does being one fourth African-American qualify one for consideration; three-fourths Japanese; half Mexican-American? Does a simple surname add — and often by intent — authenticity and credulity? The son of Linda Hernandez and Jason Smith — a Bobby Smith — is not considered, without genealogical investigation, Hispanic, but the son of Linda Smith and Jason Hernandez — a Roberto Hernandez of equal 50/50 ancestry — is almost instantly? If so, is race a state of mind and personal choice more than circumstances of birth? What exactly is white and what a minority — a dark-skinned Armenian-American is the former, a light-skinned Colombian American is the latter? A dark Sicilian-American is white, Barack Obama is black?

    We are reaching the point in a multiracial and intermarried America where admissions officers and employers simply would have to hire British genealogists to trace our bloodlines — and instead, in millions of cases, therefore resort ad hoc to what Americans profess or think they are.

    Although not addressing affirmative action, Ta-Nehisi Coates comes to the following conclusion, after studying the history of black confederates:

    I’ve spent much of my adult life studying various theories of race and racism, and the last few years in a rather intensive mode of study. In all of that time one inescapable conclusion has dogged me: Race is such bullshit.

    In my prior post, Why Don’t We Just Stop Counting?, I noted the difficulty that governmental entities had in classifying people by race given intermarriage, and I suggested

    Our system of racial and ethnic categorization is outdated and now serves a negative purpose. Get rid of it.

    Some ideas outlive their utility as blunt social instruments. Affirmative action as a generic tool to address the history of racial discrimination is one of those blunt instruments.

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    Now that South Africa is gone, it appears that the USA is the nation most obsessed with race.

    In every area where you interface with the government you are asked your race. It's time to go with a color-blind society, IMO.

    It is not the USA that is obsessed with race. It is the left in the USA that is obsessed with race. The "victims group" classification by the far left is the epicenter of their power base. When affirmative action, regardless of its utility in today's America, ends, then the far left's demise is only a matter of time. Thus you will see this protected with such fevor and violence that it will make the battle over union rights in Wisconsin seem like a Sunday picnic.

    Spot on. I have taught students who had one White parent and one Black parent. Wouldn't know who was who unless meeting the parents. Or how about blended families? White mom with white husband produces white children then divorces and marries a black man who had a black wife and black children. Now the black and white children really are brother and sister. Too confusing.

    Vietnamese refugees were afforded protections and privileges under affirmative action. How did that happen? Illegal immigrants manage to corral affirmative action privileges.

    An aside: No Child Left Untested doesn't discriminate against undocumented children. Teachers want the Dream Act to pass. Otherwise able Hispanic children wouldn't work hard, since they probably wouldn't go to college, as they are illegal. The Dream Act gives them an incentive to finish high school, while their dropping out reflects poorly on their school. Do all the White parents realize that seating is limited in state universities, and seats given to minorities, to pump up the universities Affirmative Action reports, are seats taken away from academically more deserving legal students?

    Imagine the load lifted off of our economy if we could do away with Affirmative Action! It's costs are stupendous.

    We have a higher education bubble as a way around Affirmative Action. If the employer requires a college degree or more, the percentage of African-Americans in the pool diminish. Otherwise they are forced into hiring less qualified African-Americans to diversify their work force. Very expensive. Governor Lamb of Colorado has a pretty good quote about the evils of diversity. With enough diversity we don't need to worry about our enemies without.

    I was in an EEO work shop at work and got asked the loaded question “what is Affirmtive Action/”

    I responed with question, the AA that Lyndon Johnson meant describing the text of the 1964 Civil Rigths act, what got written in the Executive order, what is in the HHS regulations, what businesses think it means, what businesses must do to avoid law suits. Even the most activist of the presenters realized there is a definition problem and let the asnswer pass. But I was not so foolish as to point out the last violates the intent if not the letter of the 1964 Civil rights act.

    Once upon a time "affirmative action" was a throw away bureaucratic phrase meaning "do what I told you". Which is all I think Lyndon Johnson meant. "FOLLOW the LAW"


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