Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Color Blind

Back in August, I said the upside of an Obama Presidency would be the impetus to abolish racial preferences.1 As the NY Times' John Tierney says:
If, as some social scientists have been telling us, 88 percent of whites have an "implicit bias" against blacks and in favor of whites, and if, according to exit polls, whites made up 74 percent of the voters on Tuesday, why is Barack Obama going to be the next president?
Last Friday, Roger Clegg--President and GC of the Center for Equal Opportunity--said the same, in the NY Post:
Obama is not stupid, and especially not when it comes to law, policy and politics. He knows that the legal arguments for racial preferences are shrinking, that the policy justifications are problematic and that politically this is a bad issue for him and his party. . .

He clearly knows, too, that the policy justifications are suspect. He has admitted that his own daughters, coming as they do from a distinctly non-disadvantaged background, should not be given preferential treatment, and he has acknowledged that white kids who do come from disadvantaged backgrounds are entitled to the special consideration that would be called affirmative action if they were black.

So, if advantaged blacks don't get affirmative action, and if disadvantaged whites do, then what is left of racial preferences - and why would Obama support them? . . .

The long election season itself should have reassured Obama that the time has come to move beyond race. He ran a campaign remarkably free from racial appeals - as, to his credit, did John McCain. Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod, acknowledged on election night that the big story in the campaign is how little a role race played in it.

And, of course, Obama won. How plausible is it that America is still so racist that the counterdiscrimination of racial preferences can be justified, when the country has just elected an African-American to be its leader?

In a nation that is increasingly multiethnic and multiracial -- where individual Americans, like Obama himself, are increasingly multiethnic and multiracial -- a legal regime that sorts people according to skin color and what country their ancestors came from is simply untenable.

If Obama is serious about being a unifying president -- who reaches across the aisle, who isn't beholden to narrow and special party interests and, more fundamentally, who demands that Americans be treated without regard to race -- he will end racial preferences.
As a reminder, the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution reads in part:
No State shall . . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Equality of opportunity: it's not just good policy, it's the law.
1 On the other hand, I can't resist quoting Diana West on Townhall:
If we really inhabited a "post-racial" world, the news of the week would be that a Democrat has won the White House.

And there's the unintentionally humorous unsourced Reuters article last Thursday:
But some analysts fear Obama's win could actually undermine efforts to tackle inequality between blacks and whites in a country where racial segregation in the south prevented blacks from voting as recently as the 1960s.
Uh, how exactly?


OBloodyHell said...

> why would Obama support them?

Uh.... If higher taxes don't bring in more federal revenue, why would Obama support them?

You assume a rational attitude on the part of the actors involved.

When Dems and Libtards are involved, that's sorta like betting on green.

Carl said...

I've got to assume they're rational--otherwise, there's no point to critique like this blog.