"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
-Oscar Wilde
Brilliant at Breakfast title banner "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
"...you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?" -- Steve Gilliard, 1964 - 2007

"For straight up monster-stomping goodness, nothing makes smoke shoot out my ears like Brilliant@Breakfast" -- Tata

"...the best bleacher bum since Pete Axthelm" -- Randy K.

"I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum." -- "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (1954-2015), They Live
Monday, July 20, 2009

Another white guy opines on whether affirmative action is necessary
Posted by Jill | 5:58 AM
It's getting so Ross Douthat is outdoing David Brooks in the Reliability of Idiocy department. Today he says all we have to do to eliminate the need for affirmative action is wait for current senators to die off and for Latinos to continue to reproduce:
The nation’s largest states, Texas and California, already have “minority” majorities. By 2023, if current demographic trends continue, nonwhites — black, Hispanic and Asian — will constitute a majority of Americans under 18. By 2042, they’ll constitute a national majority. As Hua Hsu noted earlier this year in The Atlantic, “every child born in the United States from here on out will belong to the first post-white generation.”

As this generation rises, race-based discrimination needs to go. The explicit scale-tipping in college admissions should give way to class-based affirmative action; the de facto racial preferences required of employers by anti-discrimination law should disappear.

A system designed to ensure the advancement of minorities will tend toward corruption if it persists for generations, even after the minorities have become a majority. If affirmative action exists in the America of 2028, it will be as a spoils system for the already-successful, a patronage machine for politicians — and a source of permanent grievance among America’s shrinking white population.

You can see this landscape taking shape in academia, where the quest for diversity is already as likely to benefit the children of high-achieving recent immigrants as the descendants of slaves. You can see it in the backroom dealing revealed by Ricci v. DeStefano, where the original decision to deny promotions to white firefighters was heavily influenced by a local African-American “kingmaker” with a direct line to New Haven’s mayor. You can hear it in the resentments gathering on the rightward reaches of the talk-radio dial.

Well. If it's heard on the rightward reaches of the talk-radio dial, we must make policy based on that then.

The column projects out to 2028, that magic year that former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor posited as an arbitrary turning point at which affirmative action will -- not might, but will -- no longer be necessary.

How about we fall off that bridge when we get there, m'kay?

There are certainly hopeful signs that the kids growing up today don't even see race anymore. I see packs of kids hanging out together that are white and black and Indian and Chinese and everything in between. But most of the black kids come from the other town in the school district, which still has a "black section." In my town, you can count the number of black families on one hand, which can't be purely by accident. My town gadfly, who is in his sixties, has been married for over thirty years to a Chinese woman, and when he receives hate mail for his efforts to keep our local government honest, it calls him "gook lover". Perhaps the kids will overcome this.

But this is a middle-class town in suburban New Jersey. In South Carolina, Mark Sanford was willing to spend taxpayer money of his constituents to fly business class to dip his wick in Argentina, but unwilling to accept Federal stimulus money to fix Ty'sheoma Bethea's crumbling school.

It's entirely possible that America will be so diverse in 2028 that even the best efforts of people like Pat Buchanan won't be enough to keep the white male power structure intact. But to postulate now of a day when, all other things being equal, the white guy won't ALWAYS get the job unless there's a policy reminding employers that Black and Latino and Female candidates are just as capable, is premature.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share
Blogger missy said...
Hey Ross, has the fact that this country has always been slightly more than 50% women given women the upper hand in any state government in this country, much less at that national level?

It will take generations to level the playing field - and longer if the Bush taxcuts stay in place and we keep taxes on estates and investment income at the ridiculously low levels they've been at since Reagan.

When money=speech, those with the money make the rules and hold the cards.

What a douchebag.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Ross Douthat is outdoing David Brooks in proving that education has failed in this country.

It was a heavily armed minority that murdered the owners and seized their land, a historical precedent they might keep in mind while they stir up the right. Wipe out the owners and seize their property, now that might be an interesting way of solving problems. Douthat and Brooks pushing shopping carts around NY city, that I could enjoy seeing.

Plus, the former owners did a hell of a lot better at maintaining the place.

Worst I have found that they did was wipe out the last of the wooly mammoths. They must have been very tasty.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I am Asian and female and one who believe that it is time to stop affirmative action. Admission to higher education should be given to those qualified academically and employments should be given to capabilities. The racist cry is tiresome and without merit to me presently as we now have a black President, black billionaires, millionaires. The racial barrier that Obama claimed last week to be exist still is in his and his people's imagination, or else he would not be elected.