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Ron Radosh

Rather than address that question in the usual way, the historians go to the past. They write about the violence imposed on the former slaves by Southern Democrats and former Confederates in the post-Civil War Southern states. As they explain: “[T]he history relevant to the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment confirms the correctness of this Court’s precedents.” The core concern was to ensure “that democratic majorities in the states did not hamper freedmen (as former slaves were then called) from exercising influence in governmental processes, including the consideration of legislation, in support of their rights and interests.”

But are they correct?

Do these historians really think that comparing the plight of African-Americans in the former slave states, soon to be hounded by the KKK and other violent groups seeking to deprive the freedmen of the rights granted them, in any way compares to those African-Americans living today who seek entry to college despite not being able to pass the admission standards?

If one argues that they need to catch up and not be prevented from a college education because their material circumstances necessitated affirmative action, shouldn’t it also be extended to poor working-class whites who only made it through high school, and who are equally unprepared for college? Why is the call for affirmative action made only for African-Americans? In other words, they are arguing for the same racial standards they claim to oppose.

It is they who are using a racist argument.

The filers of the brief argue that the Court should look to events leading up to the Civil War, and then to “the legal repression and brutal racial violence that took place” in the South “immediately after the Civil War ended,” quoting one of the signers who initiated the brief, historian Paul Finkelman. The historians then wade through the history of the past, to which I have no objection. It has long been known that, although slavery was ended, the black population had its rights granted after the war slowly taken away as Reconstruction came to an end. All this is true, and one wonders why this group is seeking to acquaint the justices of the Supreme Court with this lesson, which they undoubtedly already are quite familiar with. We already know, for example, that “President [Andrew] Johnson offered amnesty and readmission to the Union [and that it] created significant obstacles to achieving [the] result” of full “civil and political rights” for the freedmen.

So I ask a very simple question: just what does this long history lesson have anything at all to do with giving African-Americans continuing entry to college through “affirmative action”?

Are they implying that, like at the end of Radical Reconstruction, blacks today are as oppressed as they were then?

Do they think that blacks today are subject to the infamous “Black Codes” imposed upon African-Americans after the racist counterrevolution that took place?

The historians note that one result was that former Southern rebels took back control of state and local governments, and thus the black freedmen turned to the national government for support. True enough. Does that mean that because the former slaves then “had no civil rights,” that today’s black population must have affirmative action?

Is the black population’s situation in the United States today the very same one the freedmen faced?

They answer by arguing that the 14th Amendment made “civil rights” something that had to be protected by that amendment to the Constitution. Violence in places like New Orleans and Memphis, they point out, led to the weakening of Reconstruction favored by the president. The result was the short-lived victory of Radical Reconstruction, during which for the first time the freed black population gained actual civil rights as well as full political rights.

According to their history, the Congress that funded these efforts made “race-conscious educational initiatives” through creation of the Freedmen’s Bureau. Get it? If Congress made “race-conscious” policy then, it has the right to do so now!

Congress, they write, “was attempting to address in the Fourteenth Amendment the disparity of power caused by unequal access to economic opportunity and to the public square.”

According to their own testimony, however, the treatment afforded blacks in the 1860s and ’70s prevented them from participating at all in the public sphere, and local mobs supported by the state governments used violence against the black population to see that Reconstruction would end. To give their argument merit, one would have to prove that today the black population of the United States faces the very same repressive policies inflicted on the freedmen, and that the laws of the states and the federal government also prevent African-Americans today from attaining justice.

Of course they do not even attempt to do that, although undoubtedly many of them actually believe that the situation facing African-Americans today is precisely the same as it was then. Hence their conclusion:

Nevertheless, the Congress that proposed the Fourteenth Amendment and the people who ratified it in 1868 were very much aware of the systematic exclusion of black voters. They knew full well about the violence frequently directed at blacks who advocated on behalf of freedmen’s rights. And they were familiar with the other, more subtle means used to prevent the freedmen’s concerns — in particular promotion of race-conscious affirmative assistance of the type enacted at the federal level — from consideration by state legislatures. These special burdens on racial minorities’ advocacy efforts therefore were among the principal evils against which the Fourteenth Amendment was directed.

I remind readers that the schools established were for former slaves, and were not specified as being only for African-Americans. They were giving education previously denied to both whites and blacks in the former slave states, and what they established was not “race-conscious affirmative assistance.” As John Rosenberg points out in his essay, there is a great difference between laws that protect civil rights and laws that are used to create racial preferences that are discriminatory to others, and in effect “promote racial discrimination.”

Perhaps Professors Finkelman, Foner, and the others could have simply handed out a bibliography or stood in the lobby during Court deliberations, where they could set up a table and sell their respective books. Had they done that, they would have spared themselves the task of having to draw up a brief that is a précis of what they wrote in their actual works.

The lesson to learn from their brief is not the one they believe they are teaching. Rather, the brief reveals the left-wing bias of the major figures in our academy, and reveals how they use our history to argue for racial measures today that are quite different from the ones created by Congress after the Civil War, which were meant to aid those whose civil rights had been taken from them.

Once again, our leading historians have joined others — like the Rutgers faculty — in arguing on racial grounds. Like the historians, the Rutgers group has effectively said they can determine who really is African-American by the beliefs they hold, and since Condoleezza Rice disagrees with them, she cannot be allowed to speak to students who might exit thinking that a black Republican just might have something to say.

It is a day for members of the academy to bow their heads in shame.

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Top Rated Comments   
How unfortunate that Black Americans have
Gone from plantation slaves to slaves of the
Democratic Party. And those like Condi Rice
Who've managed to free themselves find the
Whip cracked on them by liberal white masters.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
One half expects to hear "We'll take the blacks and the Chinamen, but Irishmen need not apply."
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Of course this particular brand of liberalism DOES in fact believe Jim Crow still exists and that it has simply gone underground. The fact libs no longer have institutions of systemic exclusion like Jim Crow doesn't stop them from using words like "institution" and "systemic."

There is little doubt there is continuing segregation today which is a direct outgrowth of our nation's past. The problem is how much of this today is willful and self-imposed. That segregation creates a culture and cultures have value systems and one culture in always going to be compared to another because one will always have superior value systems. That's just the way culture operates. It is not a question of access to institutions but access to winning values. By the time these black kids get to college that has already been pre-determined.

Henry Gates is symbolic of this problem. He is chief editor of the "black culture" web site The Root. At The Root, one can commonly read articles about the best places in Europe for blacks to visit and how black athletes did at the Winter Olympics while you have ads for black dating services.

No one is making Gates do that, nor edit articles where the vast majority come to the conclusion whites have inferior morals.

When you have a culture which commonly has black awards, black literary anthologies, black literary symposiums, black this and black that, it's probably time to stop saying someone is making them do that.

When one is dedicated to self-segregation and at the same time wants to succeed in the larger world, failure is inevitable because those are mutually exclusive concepts. Saying the solution is for whites to stop acting like whites won't work any more than saying blacks have to stop acting like blacks.

Success must follow value systems that enable success. If you enable race then race is what you will get and it is what black folks have. It is a kind of a Catch-22 and there are no solutions that one can mandate but that is exactly what people want to do in yet a second Catch-22. Do something - anything, they say.

Affirmative action hurts the intended beneficiary. It's like expecting a woman who spends her formative years on the lesbian music circuit to succeed when thrown into the larger music industry. The competition and talent pool is much stiffer than the 2% which previously allowed being gay to trump the actual music.

Well, science and math will not congratulate one for not being white once one enters college. That is something that should've been dealt with prior to college and is why so many blacks are not entering college on their own merit. Only failure can result. Young black kids have to get off the "black" circuit and enter the mainstream during their formative years. That is a role only parents can play.

I'm trying to imagine myself growing up as a lesbian musician and heading for where the water is shallowest so I can swim better or growing up black and rejecting anything seen as overtly white, which is pretty much everything. It just won't work. You have to go for the deep water right off the bat or you will surely drown when you get to the steep learning curve that for you, is a drop off.

The fact liberals are as willing to assume a failure of "white culture" as they are to dismiss a failure of "black culture" shows there is in fact a type of racism at work. In fact there is no "white culture." Being majority is not the same as ideological supremacy and that is where libs go off the rails because there are no "white culture" web sites that announce how many points a white player scored in the NBA that day.

There are no white anthologies, white literary symposiums and white awards. Time to wake up and see who's segregating who.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
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Free speech at universities is threatened by the intimidation and intolerance of stunted intellectual zealots. Thought police combatting dissent on campus demean the intellectual capacity of students and defy the institutions' function. Respected black leaders (Condoleezza Rice, Justice Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson, MD) deserve recognition and admiration for academic and personal achievement… because they earned it on their own and on their terms in the spirit of the "self-made man", the theme of a speech delivered by Frederick Douglass historians might know. "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." Or, on the subject of EQUALITY of All MEN BEFORE THE LAW, he expressed, "What the Black Man Wants"…
“What shall we do with the Negro? I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are wormeaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature’s plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! If you see him on his way to school, let him alone, don’t disturb him! If you see him going to the dinner table at a hotel, let him go! If you see him going to the ballot- box, let him alone, don’t disturb him!" Boston 1865
http://www.frederick-douglass-heritage.org/speech-what-the-black-man-wants/
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
@ Mayday, I confess to not having read any book by Frederick Douglas, but the quotes you cite and others convince me that he was a brilliant man. His clarity, both moral and linguistic, puts to shame so much written by the liberal professoriate.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
In connection with my comment posted earlier, this was posted on Drudge today.

http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/16603/
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
"It is they who are using a racist argument."

"... the brief reveals the left-wing bias of the major figures in our academy, and reveals how they use our history to argue for racial measures today that are quite different from the ones created by Congress after the Civil War, which were meant to aid those whose civil rights had been taken from them."

Related to this push for special treatment and never-ending retribution is a deliberate campaign to malign and purge historical events and figures, motivated by a combination of neo-communist spite and a one-sided political agenda. Notwithstanding their greatness, their has been an increasing effort in the academic world to denigrate the Founding Fathers and their achievements. Columbus as well. If we're going to actually address the topic of affirmative action, don't forget the bigger picture of what's going on right now in classrooms at all levels. They are being indoctrinated and demoralized non-stop, steeped in socialist, Marxist teachings beginning when they are very young, with fundamental American principles being rejected, having now become subversive. This monolithic, one-party ideology is strongly ingrained in many young Caucasian minds too (and minds of all ethnic or racial origins), and they'll never be properly equipped to mount an effective counter strategy until they see that. It can only get worse until an organized campaign to respond to this emerges. Home schooling and being pushed to the fringes is not a long-term solution.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Teaching White European Christians and Males to hate themselves as well as all minority groups to hate White European Christian Males is the number one objective of our Education system today.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Forget today, it's been the number one objective of our Education system since at least the late 1700s, especially thanks to Rousseau's Emile, his role alongside other Philosophes for the French Revolution, as well as Voltaire and Diderot's six-step plan to basically destroy Christianity, one of which involved, yes, taking over the university system and subjecting it to Atheism.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
And yet, right here on this website, the race card is thrown in our faces with Henry Gomez sneering "nativist" and insinuating that we dislike Rubio because of prejudice.

I urge Mr. Radosh to speak out against this as well.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rubio is the one pandering to Identity Political Groups. Rubio is the racist.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
The historians are being dishonest. The arguments against slavery were always based on the principle that all men are created equal. The criticism of American society was based on its failure to live up to its creed. There was never anyone who would have proposed the idea that the clear meaning of the fourteenth amendment and the civil rights bills of the 1960s were affirmative action for blacks. That idea is crazy. In essence they are saying that in 1868, congress passed the fourteenth amendment because they wanted to favor blacks rather than to prevent discrimination against them. They are actually saying it was based not on the principle that all are created equal, but based on the notion that blacks should be favored. Had it been proposed in those terms it never would have been passed.

What the statement by the professors reveals about their politics is that for them, affirmative action is about relieving their shame at being white and not about making blacks equal partners in America. It is patronizing and self-centered.

The civil rights movement was about creating a color-blind society. It was not about creating a Byzantine system of preferential treatments based on an elaborate schemes of competing victimhoods. To see things that way is a total distortion of the history of civil rights legislation.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ron Radosh is one of those "pompous jackass professors" for his vicious character assault on Diana West, (someone he disagrees with).

As Ron said in his book Commies, the charge of McCarthyism is a slander used to silence people. Thanks for the tip Ron.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
@Escape Velocity, thank you for sending me off to discover Diana West, which then led me to Jason Raimondo and his enlightening article on Ron Radosh in the"Anti-War" blog. I have a lot of reading to do, not that I didn't before. I have to learn how to hyper-link. Raimaondo's article was fascinating regarding Radosh and the neo-cons. By the way, please read M Stanton Evans' books on Soviet Agents in FDR's Admin. and his book on McCarthy.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have read a couple of M Stanton Evans works.

I also highly recommend Harvey Klehr's work in this area.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
And Diana West's book, American Betrayal.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I remind readers that the schools established were for former slaves, and were not specified as being only for African-Americans.

That would be a much more compelling observation if it turned out that a lot of white former slaves attended these schools. Are you saying that is the case? Was there even one white student, even one that had never been a slave, at any of these schools?
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nah. AA is just more Dem patronage.
Simply rewarding loyalists.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Rutgers' posse of progressive professors is simply terrified of Condi Rice and the influence her address could have on all students, not just black ones. She's a remarkable woman, brilliant, accomplished, a talented concert pianist and beautiful, too. She's just getting the same treatment anyone with her attributes would get if they happened to be conservative. It's the conservative argument that has to be silenced because they fear that the inherent logic within that philosophy just might seduce their students away from the mindless intellectual doldrums of the left. A compelling figure like Rice is the last person they want to put forth the conservative argument. A knuckle-dragging, drooling white man with a lascivious leer is the image of conservatism promoted by the left, and they will fight tooth and nail to keep it that way.

As for affirmative action - well - golly - gee - without it there wouldn't have been an Elizabeth "High Cheekbones" Warren.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
FNC has never, ever stopped Juan from expressing a liberal opinion it should be noted. It has never tried to shut him up or curtail his airtime.

We are the ones who believe in liberty and universal human rights.

They, are merely feudalists with dreams of fiefdoms and serfs. They must be called out and treated with the contempt they deserve.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
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