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Roger’s Rules

A Body Blow to Racial Discrimination

April 22nd, 2014 - 5:52 pm

Yes, you read it here: the Supreme Court of the United  States, in a 6-2 decision (Elena Kagan took no part in the case), upheld Michigan’s ban on racial discrimination in college admissions, overturning a lower court’s intervention to reverse a 2006 referendum in which Michigan voters decisively rejected the invidious process.

You’ll be reading a lot about this in the coming weeks, of course, but I suspect that most of the stories you’ll read will use the phrase “affirmative action” in stead of “racial discrimination.”  That is understandable, not least because the SCOTUS decision employs the phrase in the headnote to its decision: “SCHUETTE, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MICHIGAN v. COALITION TO DEFEND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, INTEGRATION AND IMMIGRATION RIGHTS AND FIGHT FOR EQUALITY BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY (BAMN) ET AL.”

“By any means necessary,” forsooth.  Where have you heard that before? If I forbear to employ the mendacious phrase “affirmative action” it is because it is a sterling piece of left-wing Newspeak. “Racial discrimination” doesn’t sound nice to our civilized ears. So we rename it “affirmative action” and it makes us feel better about tearing off the blindfold on the figure of Justice on courts of law and doing the same thing in the admissions offices of our colleges and universities.

G.K. Chesterton once described the “false idea of progress” as “changing the test instead of trying to pass the test.” That is so-called “affirmative  action,” i.e., discrimination on the basis of race, or sex, or whatever this weeks favored “victim” category may be.

Right on cue, Justice Sotomayor wheeled out the “centuries of racial discrimination” meme. Guess what — we know there was chattel slavery in this  country (as there was in nearly every other society known to man) and we know, too, that it ended rather late here. But end it did, almost 150 years ago. If you want to know why slavery persisted in parts of the United States, read Gene Dattel’s brilliant Cotton and Race in the Making of America: The Human Costs of Economic Power.  Are you looking for someone to blame for all that misery?  You might try Eli Whitney and his clever invention for carding cotton. Or maybe you should blame the English, who had a greedy appetite for our cotton.

But I digress. There will, as I say, be a lot of ink spilled about this decision. The New York Times has already weighed in with a piece of sanctimonious handwringing  (“ . . . a fractured decision that revealed deep divisions among the justices over what role the government should play in protecting racial and ethnic minorities.”) Expect more of the same tomorrow.

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Top Rated Comments   
So what are the options? Affirmative action forever? I'll save you the trouble of answering because it has to be something like.... "We need affirmative action until all vestiges of past inequality are removed from society." The next question is "How will we know when this apotheosis has come to pass?" The answer to this is - "We won't." Affirmative action proponents not only want to institutionalize racial/gender preferences in all things but they want to institutionalize guilt. One cannot blame them because these tactics have been very good business, yielding to them much political power and high office. But if we are doing Chesterton then I would quote..."To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable...." Last night, after the decison was announced, one of the attorney's for BAWN was interviewed by Megal Kelly. He was of course adamant that the decision was "based in racism" and was proof of the innate racism of the Court. In my purely private view his eyes just burned with righteous fanatacism. There was nothing remotely loving, kind, forgiving or generous about the man. He wanted a pound of flesh and wanted everyone to know that he was morally superior to those who disagreed with him. He was the cold unrelenting face of the future - The type who will never be satisfied and who relishes his hatreds because they give him purpose.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
You're a tiresome little troll. Did you get that 250 years crap from Howard Zinn? The first Africans brought by the Dutch to British North America were considered indentured servants and served for a term of years. Most agricultural labor and the majority of early immigrants to BNA came from Britain as indentured servants. Slavery or indenture as a term of inheritance didn't really come about until the mid-1700s. Bacon's Rebellion in 1676 influenced colonial thinking on indentured servants who enjoyed the rights of British citizenship as many of Bacon's followers were former indentured servants or absconded indentured servants. In the ensuing years farmers and planters became more attracted to Africans who weren't British subjects nor usually baptized Christians. Chattel slavery as an hereditary condition and as a legal institution only lasted about 100 years in BNA and the US. Importation of slaves ended in 1808 and slavery was considered a dying institution at the Founding of the US. Invention of the cotton gin in 1793 made possible the profitable production of short staple upland cotton and dramatically increased the demand for agricultural slave labor. This increased demand led to the importation of over 125K slaves between 1800 and the end of legal importation in 1808. There were only about half a million slaves in the US at the Founding and the increase to an 1860 population of about 4 Million was almost entirely the result of natural increase. The life expectancy and natural increase of US slaves were much greater than those of slaves in the Caribbean and South America due to better living conditions for US slaves.

I know there's no sense in talking about the post-war South with a lefty because you have the meme your lefty teachers gave you and won't listen to anything else. Generally any death of a black man in The South at the hands of law enforcement was considered by the Northern and pro-civil rights press to be a lynching, and admittedly some were. That said, there were few organized police forces in the largely rural South except in the largest cities until well into the 20th Century. A law enforcement action beyond the capability of a county sheriff usually involved deputizing a posse, which posse was often translated into a mob by the Northern press and civil rights advocates. Some were mobs, some were legitimate law enforcement actions. The distinction is rarely made, see, e.g., Tom Wolfe's "Child By Tiger." See, also, C. Vann Woodward's "The Strange Career of Jim Crow."
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Wise Latina disagrees with you. She believes that opposition to racism, is racist.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (33)
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20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Race is everything anymore and the progressives are winning on this front. If not blatant, in your face acts of racism (intended or no) there is now 'micro-aggression' -being racist via your subconscious, explained by being born white and raised under the banner of white privilege. Even white liberals are getting a good look now from the left for their racist ways. The bottom line, I think, is that white is white and racist behavior is deeply ingrained. That's the way things roll in Obama's America.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good article on pointing out the Orwellian newspeak aspect of relabeling reversed racial discrimination as Affirmation Action. The article should also have highlighted the ever worse Orwellian term of "diversity".
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nixon was the President who introduced the Philadelphia Plan in 1969 in order to increase the number of minority workers in the construction industry.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank God that they have already run out of 'wise latinas'.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Heh, Heh, Heh.......

Can't resist a wee little piece of snark here regarding our own "affirmatively actioned", twice, current President of the United States of America.

So sue me. So, am I a racist?...or a word playing rationalizing rationalist?



20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
EEOC invented "affirmative action" in the back rooms of that bureaucracy in the late 60's. Under the CRA of 1964, EEOC only had power to "conciliate" employment discrimination disputes. The courts would not punish companies with damages, etc., when they were found to be "violating" EEOC dictates. So, "conciliation agreements" were signed between companies and complainers. An "affirmative action" addendum sentence was added to each agreement, almost as an afterthought, stating that companies would make an "affirmative attempt" to hire and promote minorities and women. It then grew into a monstrous anti-male, anti-White federal, state and local government policy, and was adopted by U.S. business “Human Resources” social worker types. Thank God for the Supreme Court's decision to sever this scheme.

20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Are you looking for someone to blame for all that misery? You might try Eli Whitney and his clever invention for carding cotton."

That's like blaming Smith and Wesson for murders committed with firearms. In fact, it doesn't even rise to that level. In the case of murders committed with firearms, the guns in question are functioning as intended, even if their targets are inappropriate.

Whitney invented a machine to process raw cotton. He didn't invent unbreakable chains from which slaves could not escape. He didn't breed supercanine bloodhounds who could sniff out an escaping slave from miles away. His invention neither necessitated nor encouraged the use of slavery in the planting or harvesting of cotton any more than the textile mills in the north that turned that raw cotton into fabric.

"Or maybe you should blame the English, who had a greedy appetite for our cotton."

Agricultural production does not require slavery. Economic demand does not require that it be met through the enslavement of other human beings.

Blaming an inanimate object, or foreign consumers, for wrongdoing on the part of independent adults with moral agency, is simply wrong.

So who is actually to blame for slavery? The same people who are to blame in the case of murder; the actual perpetrators.

Slave traders are to blame. Slave owners are to blame. So too are those members of society which allowed and encouraged slavery. They were accomplices.

Guess what? They're all dead and the issue of slavery in America was settled by a blood civil war and the passage of the 13th amendment.

Who is not to blame? Anyone alive today. Responsibility for slavery died with the people who perpetrated it. But of course that leaves no opportunities for hustling or extortion. So naturally those who wish to enrich themselves from the history of slavery continually look for ways to blame people alive today for the misdeeds of the distant past in which they took no part and have derived no benefit. So I am now blamed for slavery, solely because my complexion is similar to those long dead slave owners.

20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
"So I am now blamed for slavery, solely because my complexion is similar to those long dead slave owners.

Well, don't take it personally, because the people who so (pretend to) blame you are idiots.

Booker T. Washington called out the race baiters & hustlers, individuals today like the despicable Al Sharpton keeping grievances alive for their own enrichment and prominence, well over a century ago in his book Up From Slavery.

20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Affirmative action is also strongly informed by a desire for restitution - not just to turn the tables on the so-called oppressors -- but to make up for past sins. Therefore, advantages in hiring, college acceptance, etc are just one form of restitution. Another major form of restitution is the ability to create well-paying jobs based on administering the race-based programs. Entire degree programs, careers and businesses and industries have been formed employing thousands as a result. These all can be justified as part of the restitution process. And if slavery existed here for hundreds of years, well then, I guess we have a long way to go before the recipients of restitution will be satisfied - if ever...
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Affirmative action is also strongly informed by a desire for restitution - not just to turn the tables on the so-called oppressors -- but to make up for past sins."

Which is, of course, the reason that it also fails in its intended objective; you can only "make up for past sins" or proffer restitution to the people who've actually been harmed -- not their descendants.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, and true restitution can only come from the actual perpetrators, not their grandchildren. We dont visit blood libel on children for the sins of their parents, or at least today nobody but leftists ever contemplate it. Although it is even worse than that, since most whites in the US today do not even have slave owning ancestors, being descended from post civil war immigrants. And how in the world can they justify Asians being punished by affirmative action and diversity, since they themselves were victims of historical discrimination.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Slavery still exists. The Nazis and the Soviet Union had slave labor camps. See Alexander Solzhenizn, Gulag Archipelago. See North Vietnam. See Somalia. It exists even in the United States - see cases of domestic servants.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
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