Affirmative action is another hotly debated issue. It slows down the process of ending racism. We must change this world through peaceful persuasion, not government force. The twentieth century has turned away from our Founding Fathers who believed in freedom. When anyone sees a problem in this century they think"There oughta be a law." People should have the freedom to be bigots. If someone wants to discriminate against blacks and place a sign in their window saying"no niggers allowed" they should have that right. Black people have the same right to put in their windows"no honkies allowed." Anti-Unification Church groups have the right to exist and carry signs proclaiming their hatred of Rev. Moon. The UC has the right to carry signs in front of Playboy Magazine's offices in Chicago proclaiming they hate Hugh Hefner (although I think this it is ridiculous when they do). Neither so-called anti-cultists or Unificationists have the right to use force on those they feel are wrong such as the low-lifes that resort to deprogramming. It is sad to hear some anti-abortionists defend those who kill people who work at abortion clinics. Because we believe in government force, we have become a violent nation. We should never use force to make people do what we think is right. The mayor of your city, the governor of your state, the president of the United States and deprogrammers are wrong to think they have the right to force people to live their values.
Charles Murray wrote an article called "Affirmative Racism" in The New Republic (12-31-84). He says, "There is no such thing as good racial discrimination .... A new racism ... is emerging to take its place alongside the old. It grows out of the preferential treatment for blacks..." He says it is insulting to blacks: "The most obvious consequence of preferential treatment is that every black professional, no matter how able, is tainted. Every black who is hired by a white-run organization that hires blacks preferentially has to put up with the knowledge that many of his co-workers believe he was hired because of his race." Murray goes on to explain how many blacks have been hurt by this. He says, "...the new racism links up with the old. The old racism has always openly held that blacks are permanently less competent than whites. The new racism tacitly accepts that, in the course of overcoming the legacy of the old racism, blacks are temporarily less competent than whites. It is an extremely fine distinction. As time goes on, fine distinctions tend to be lost. Preferential treatment is providing persuasive evidence for the old racists."
Murray is a white man. Let's listen to a black man and one of the wisest men I have ever read, Walter Williams. On this topic, he said these words in an article called "Black 'Leaders' Tell Only Part of the Story" (Human Events 1/10/81), "Somebody should tell the emperor that he has no clothes on. For years now, black 'leaders' have been pretending that all the problems of black people can be attributed to white racism. Libraries, bookshelves and newspaper offices are crammed with tomes explaining what black people are, what they think, why they have problems, and what government can do to lead them out of the wilderness. Much of this material is now considered sacred. To question it -- or worse, to criticize it -- leaves one open to harsh attack. If he is lucky, the critic may be called an insensitive clod, or perhaps a political reactionary. If he's less fortunate, he'll be called a racist, or in the case of a black, an Uncle Tom."
"Vernon Jordan, president of the National Urban League, has been quoted as equating blacks with the boat people. After paying their dues to American society for all these years, he said, they are no better off." Williams says someone should ask "Mr. Jordan how such a characterization jibes with income statistics. The average black family outside the South which has both husband and wife working earns about the same as a young white family." He goes on with more statistics that I will skip. One of his arguments goes like this: "What about black leaders who protest that blacks are being victimized and brutalized by police? This statement, put in its proper perspective, borders on the insane. I am not about to pretend that no acts of brutality are ever committed by the police. But most of the violence committed in the black community cannot be blamed on either the police or on white people. If you don't believe me, just go to the Bronx or to Harlem or to North Philadelphia and ask black people, huddled in their homes at night in fear, whom they fear. I doubt whether they will say police authorities or white people."
"Already I can hear some self-appointed expert on crime in the black community saying, 'Perhaps -- but it is racism in the larger society that is responsible for blacks turning on blacks.' Nonsense. When I was a kid growing up in the 1940s, on hot nights black people would often sleep on rooftops, fire escapes and doorsteps to escape the oven-like condition of their apartments. I'm sure if a black person did that today, his marbles would be counted. Surely there was more racial discrimination in the 1940s, yet black people had greater safety in their persons and property." He goes on to give his solutions to crime. Later he writes, "Benjamin Hooks, chairman of the NAACP, recently lamented the fact that whites in America no longer feel guilty about past treatment of blacks."
"I've been wanting for years to give whites 'reparation certificates' for both their own grievances and those of their forebears against my people. Maybe then, white people could stop feeling guilty and acting like fools and start treating black people just like they treat white people. Because if they didn't feel guilty, they wouldn't approve the teaching of 'black English' in some of our schools .... Guilt by many whites has led them to support programs and many forms of behavior that they would not tolerate if displayed by whites. This, I believe, is one of the most insidious forms of racism. I urge: Be brave. If a black does a job that's inferior or makes statements that ignore the facts, hold him accountable. If he does a job that's superb or speaks insightfully, tell him so. All the evidence that I have shows that black people are strong and they can take it -- whatever criticism or commendation that you have to give."
A black man, William Hough, wrote in the Washington Times an article called "On Being Black in America" (August 14, 1984) saying, "there is no other ethnic group in America that seems more prejudiced than us blacks. And it is virtually destroying us as a race .... we wonder why foreign blacks who come to these shores do well. We are quick to criticize them and call them Uncle Toms because they work so cheaply. Yet within five years these foreign blacks often are well on their way to realizing their dreams. We black Americans must understand that there is no short cut to success. We, like everyone else, must take the regular route." I can't believe that Father is for quotas instead of merit. Who isn't a minority and victim? A theme in this book is that libertarian thought on domestic issues is more in line with headwing instead of the left or the right and that the right is usually more correct than the left. The left talks about heart, caring and love a lot but the result is a road paved to hell. Love must be guided by truth. Liberals like Johnson, Kennedy, Carter and Clinton are a disaster. We must see the heart behind what appears to be cold and callous. Father often talks about how love is not always sweet. Sometimes it is stern.
Thomas Szasz says in The Untamed Tongue, "Formerly, men wanted to do a good job; from that desire arose craftsmanship. Today, they want a good job; from that desire arise unions and affirmative action programs."
Paved With Good Intentions
An excellent book on affirmative action is Paved With Good Intentions: the failure of race relations in contemporary America by Jared Taylor. I'm going to pick a few passages to help illustrate how intellectually bankrupt affirmative action is. Taylor writes that Thomas Sowell "has shown that in 1969, while American-born blacks were making only 62 percent of the average income for all Americans, blacks from the West Indies made 94 percent. Second-generation immigrants from the West Indies made 15 percent more than the average American." He paraphrased this from Sowell's book, The Economics and Politics of Race. Thomas Sowell is one of my favorite authors. He also happens to be black.
Taylor goes on: "Although they are only 10 percent of the city's black population, foreign-born blacks -- mostly from the West Indies -- own half of the black-owned businesses in New York City. Their unemployment rate is lower than the national average, and many times lower than that of American-born blacks. West Indian blacks look no different from American blacks; white racists are not likely suddenly to set aside their prejudices when they meet one."
"For nearly twenty years, young blacks who manage to stay married have had family incomes almost identical to those of young white couples. Until recently, the only exception had been the South, but even there the difference has vanished. Now, in families where both parents are college-educated and both work, black families make more money than white families. This is true in all parts of the United States and for families of all ages."
Taylor writes at length how affirmative action has been a failure. He writes, "Some blacks who were marginally employable may have gotten jobs because of affirmative action, but others have been hurt by it. This is because affirmative action has made it very hard to fire minorities. The same guidelines that make bosses explain in detail any failure to hire a minority make them explain in equal detail why they fired one. Furthermore, blacks who are fired might sue their bosses for racism. This means that a company will be afraid to take a chance on hiring a doubtful black in the hope that he might work out. Employers have bid up the wages for smart, hardworking, sure-bet blacks, but they may be more hesitant than ever to risk hiring the marginal cases that affirmative action is presumably supposed to help."
"Some of the most powerful critics of affirmative action are thoughtful blacks. Thomas Sowell says this: 'While doing little or nothing to advance the position of minorities and females, it creates the impression that hard-won achievements of these groups are conferred benefits. Especially in the case of blacks, this means perpetuating racism instead of allowing it to die a natural death ....' Racism can hardly die a natural death when the policies that are supposed to end it are explicitly racial."
Taylor writes, "Another black, Shelby Steele, argues that affirmative action encourages blacks to invest in their status as victims, because it is as victims that they reap the benefits of race-based preferences. Power comes from portraying oneself as 'oppressed,' not from work or achievement. 'When power itself grows out of suffering,' he writes, 'blacks are encouraged to expand the boundaries of what qualifies as racial oppression, a situation that can lead us to paint our victimization in vivid colors even as we receive the benefits of preference.' (from 'A Negative Vote on Affirmative Action,' The New York Times Magazine (May 13,1990). "Of course, this is heresy to mainstream 'civil rights' leaders whose understanding of the word 'equality' is different from that of the rest of us. Benjamin Hooks, former head of the NAACP, calls people like Mr. Sowell and Mr. Steele ' a new breed of Uncle Tom.' He adds that they are 'some of the biggest liars the world ever saw.'"
"Unlike such men as Mr. Hooks, who claim to speak in their names, most blacks understand perfectly well that reverse racism is still racism. According to one national survey, while 77 percent of black leaders favored special treatment in jobs and college admissions, 77 percent of all blacks were against it .... A tiny handful of fair-minded minorities has rejected affirmative action, even to their own hurt. When Shelby Steele was an English professor at San Jose State University, he decided not to apply for any more minority research grants. He wanted to make it on his own. Kirk Dunham, president of the Denver Black Police Officers Association, is incensed that blacks need not score as high as whites on examinations to be promoted. All questions of fairness aside, he fears for his life if he is made to serve with incompetent officers. Freddie Hernandez, a Hispanic fire fighter in Miami, turned down an affirmative action promotion to lieutenant and spent three extra years working to get the job on pure ability. 'I will stick to merit,' he says." There are more examples, but I have to stop somewhere. There is no dignity in affirmative action.
Taylor writes how the words "civil rights" are misused. Liberal socialists do this all the time. He writes, "To call the forcible redistribution of benefits along racial lines 'civil rights' is a cruel mockery of the term for which so many worked hard. The real civil rights struggle led to decisive victory in 1964. As one black puts it, "[its] over -- for the same reason that World War II is over: we won it.' Now what pass for civil rights are what cynics call 'snivel rights.' Martin Luther King once said: 'I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.' For one brief, glorious moment, it seemed that Dr. King's dream would come true."
"Someday the entire edifice of race-based preferences will be torn down. On that day, someone will cite Plessy v. Ferguson, the 1896 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that first established the concept of separate but equal. In a dissent, Justin Harlan wrote:"In respect of civil rights, common to all citizens, the Constitution of the United States does not, I think, permit any public authority to know the race of those entitled to be protected in the enjoyment of such rights .... Our constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens."
Taylor blasts both black and white. He says, "The black leaders of this generation have much to answer for. They have perpetuated the myth that salvation comes only from whites. They have made careers out of shaking down a guilt-ridden society and dispensing the booty as patronage. In Thomas Sowell's words, these men 'whose own employment and visibility depend upon maintaining an adequate flow of injustices ...." (from Sowell's book, Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality?). Their very livelihoods depend on finding enough white wickedness to denounce."
"Many whites are just as blameworthy. Their minds are trapped in the language of the past. They thunder against the faintest trace of white racism while they ignore the blatant racial excesses of blacks. They have convinced themselves that blacks cannot get ahead without handouts and special treatment. By exempting blacks from individual responsibility, they treat them as vassals. Somehow they have tricked themselves into thinking that this is noble and compassionate rather than degrading."
"The greatest horror of this largely well-intentioned folly is the terrible damage it has done to the very people it was meant to serve. Blacks were freed from slavery over 125 years ago. But the chains that fell from their bodies will never fall from their minds as long as they believe that their destiny lies not in their own hands but in the hands of whites. No people that does not believe itself to be free can ever be free. By telling them that they are not free, America has done blacks a monumental, a criminal disservice. A mind in shackles is as tragic as a body in chains."
This is the kind of truth that takes your breath away. It's breathtaking to hear black men who have the guts to preach black self-reliance such as "Joe Clark, the black high-school principal who won notoriety by disciplining his students with bullhorn and baseball bat [who] put it this way: 'The white liberal philosophy cheats them by making allowances for their deviant behavior, as though normal behavior patterns were alien to them. It fosters a concept of indolence that keeps them on welfare, keeps them emotionally, academically, and economically disenfranchised. It's the antithesis of what this country is about: The door to opportunity is open to all. But you have to be willing to work hard." I could give many trenchant quotes like this from such great black men as newspaper columnist William Raspberry, Shelby Steele, Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell. They are not leaders of black organizations or politicians, but "all have been denounced by black leaders and politicians because what they say cuts straight to the heart of the matter." One black man called the monopoly of affirmative-action views of America "intellectual fascism."
Taylor in Paved With Good Intentions says, "If the conventional view among blacks verges on 'intellectual fascism,' its effect is perhaps even stronger among whites. Is there even one prominent white person in the entire country who calls consistently for black self-reliance?...Whites who do not speak out on black/white relations must mouth the old, patronizing, guilt-ridden lines about white wrongdoing."
Government welfare hurts people
Taylor says visitors come to America and can't believe the "rising tide of horror" and "squalor and barbarity of America's cities." They must think that America is vicious to blacks. But it hasn't been. "Since the 1960s, the United States has poured a staggering amount of money into education, housing, welfare, Medicaid, and uplift programs of every kind. Government now spends $240 billion a year to fight poverty, and despite the widespread notion that spending was curtailed during Republican administrations, it has actually gone up steadily, at a rate that would have astonished the architects of the Great Society."
"As the economist Walter Williams has pointed out, with all the money spent on poverty since the 1960s, the government could have bought every company on the Fortune 500 list and nearly all farmland in America. What do we have to show for three decades and $2.5 trillion worth of war on poverty? The truth is that these programs have not worked. The truth that America refuses to see is that these programs have made things worse." He goes on to dissect the favorite of all programs Head Start and shows how that has been a total failure too. The truth hurts. The truth is hard to see.