|(30) High noon for Affirmative Action
By Larry Elder 12/07/00
|High Noon for Affirmative Action (12/07/00)
by Larry Elder for WorldNetDaily.com
"The headline announced the latest disaster: "State Justices Deal New Setback to Affirmative Action."
"In California, voters passed Proposition 209, a ballot initiative to end race- and gender-based preferences in the areas of government contracting, hiring and admissions into state colleges and universities. Last week, the California Supreme Court applied 209 and unanimously struck down the so-called "outreach" program of San Jose. The city required contractors to demonstrate an attempt to recruit and use female- and minority-owned subcontractors.
"Justice Janice Rogers Brown, an appointee by a Republican governor, wrote, "A participation goal differs from a quota or set-aside only in degree. By whatever label, it remains 'a line drawn on the basis of race and ethnic status' as well as sex."
"For what it's worth, [California's Supreme Court] Justice Brown is black. Like Clarence Thomas, she, too, received no support from the black bar.
"Don't affirmative action proponents get it? The fat lady is singing. The moral, constitutional and tactical argument for affirmative action remains bankrupt. Discrimination to fight discrimination remains discrimination.
"Slavery ended nearly 150 years ago. This wrong cannot be righted. For all a state can be is just in its own time.
"Affirmative action makes this statement: Because your ancestors experienced slavery, you deserve compensation. But whose ancestors didn't experience discrimination or abusive treatment?
"Doesn't this historical unfairness justify programs like affirmative action? No. As Booker T. Washington said, in 1901, a mere 35 years after emancipation, "When a Negro girl learns to cook, to wash dishes, to sew, to write a book, or a Negro boy learns to groom horses, or to grow sweet potatoes, or to produce butter, or to build a house, or to be able to practise medicine, as well or better than some one else, they will be rewarded regardless of race or colour.
"Just how bad is it for blacks in America? While parents complain about under-performing inner-city schools, Asian kids attending these same schools out-perform whites on standardized tests! Many Asian families send their children to "cram" schools, where they get additional education, after school and on weekends. Midtown Los Angeles Korean newspapers publish not only the colleges Korean high school grads plan to attend, but their SAT scores as well.
"Former California Speaker Willie Brown, a black man who held this powerful position for 15 years, once defended affirmative action by telling white newspaper writers, "You owe me." Yet, this son of a sharecropper, through talent, hard work, and ambition, wielded power for some 15 years as perhaps California's most powerful political leader.
"How bad is it? A Time/CNN poll found that, among black teens, 89 percent found little or no racism in their own lives.
"In 1963, the black monthly magazine Ebony asked prominent blacks to offer advice to young people. Union leader A. Philip Randolph, who founded the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, offered this: "Negro youth must offer the future the same things that white youth offer, and they must have the faith that there is no basic racial difference in potential for achievement -- moral, intellectual, or spiritual. The future holds great opportunity for those who are prepared to meet and face the challenge of this age of science, technology, and industrialism, and social, economic, and political change."
"Let's move on."
(Excerpted from Larry Elder's commentary in WorldNetDaily.com 12/07/00. © 2000 WorldNetDaily.com)
Proposition 209 Resounding Victory! (11/30/00)
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