Irrational race baiters, who grab the spotlight from cooler heads, beg white people to be miserable for having a jobs, education, housing, or food on the table. White males are blamed for being too insensitive to invent a time machine to go back and stop slavery in America. It doesn’t matter that many whites are Jews or other descendants of races that suffered far more oppressive slavery. Demands for reparations were largely precipitated by Charles Silberman, who referred to slavery in America as, “sins for which all Americans are in some measure guilty and for which all Americans owe some act of atonement.” High-profile ministers often act as if American slavery is a sin too large for the infinite and eternal atonement of Our Lord to cover, and that is just wrong.
Way back in 1996, Clint Bolick blew the whistle on a lot of the mischief advancing behind grenades of white guilt and racism. His third book on the topic had the title of The Affirmative Action Fraud: Can We Restore the American Civil Rights Vision?
Bolick has an impressive resume as an attorney fighting for civil rights for minorities. In fact, he was in Los Angeles advocating for school vouchers for at-risk youth when the Rodney King riots broke out. His car was attacked by stones and two-by-fours on the way, and he and his associate were shown a back way back to the safety of their hotel, as the highway had been shut down.
Bolick advocates a return to what he calls the American civil rights vision. “First, civil rights are inherently individual rights, defined essentially as the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Second, these rights are held equally under the law. Third, civil rights are universal, belonging to every individual. Fourth, these rights consist not of material entitlements, but essential liberties; that is, freedom from coercion.” In the early 1960s, this irrefutable good is what Martin Luther King and other leaders were championing. Then, something changed.
In the mid-1960s, the American civil rights movement was co-opted by antii-American elites. Bolick mentions as one Michael Harrington, the author upon whose ideas President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society was based. Harrington made comments like, “There is only one institution capable of acting to abolish poverty. That is the Federal Government.” Another was Christopher Jencks. He wrote, “We need to establish the idea that the federal government is responsible not only for the total amount of the national income, but for its distribution.”
“Today’s self-proclaimed civil rights leaders no longer quote from the Declaration of Independence,” wrote Bolick. “They speak not about individuals but groups, not about liberty but entitlements, not about opportunity, but outcomes, not about colorblindness but preferential treatment. The conceptual metamorphosis is precisely 180 degrees in today’s debate: to be in favor of nondiscrimination is to be castigated as anti-civil rights.”
Back then, Bolick saw diversity was Orwellian code for conformity. It assumes all white people think and do alike, and all black people think and do alike. It is “diverse” to combine clones from each group. Bollick exposes race baiters as the true racists, observing, “The architects of the status quo have introduced a second related poisonous concept: that group identity influences how individuals think (or, more ominously, how they should think). This position leads logically to conclusions its proponents certainly should not wish to entertain: if race determines a person’s thoughts, then why does it not determine a person’s intelligence?”
As everybody knows, it is not skin color that holds people down. It is culture. Back in 1996, statistics were horrible for American blacks. 46.4 percent of households were run by single moms. It was expected the number of black children living in a two-parent household would fall to 24 percent by 2000. Net household income for blacks in 1988 was $4169 compared to $43,279 for whites. Amidst high dropout rates, 88 percent of blacks graduating high school were not proficient, and “nearly one of every three black men between the ages of 20 and 29 was in jail or otherwise under supervision of the judicial system.”
Back in 1955, there were 160 federal programs purported to improve the lot for minorities. Since then, there have been many more, and where has that gotten us? Like most government programs, these are most easily accessible to connected parties, who probably don’t need welfare.
It is government’s job to level the playing field, not to level the score. As it turns out, government is using its power to reinforce racism by calling attention to skin colors and, by its programs, providing incentives for fully competent children of God to play the victim. Assuming that people of color are so inferior they cannot achieve without handicap points adds insult to injury, first to the self-esteem of people who don’t need the help and are perceived to need it, and secondly to the perpetrators, for they are once again telling on their own racism.
If government really wanted people of color to achieve the American dream, it could stop counting colors and start doing its job. For one thing, it could make it safe to walk the streets in areas that have degenerated into urban cesspools. “Another central facet of empowerment,” wrote Bolick, “is emancipation from welfare dependency [which is] draining the spirit from millions of people. The perverse incentive structure – discouragement of work, asset development, and family formation and subsidization of out-of-wedlock births – is catastrophic.” And that was back in 1996.