Jun 04 2009

Seeking identity in the USA

Category: affirmative action,diversity,left,race,racismharmonicminer @ 9:29 am

Lost in the Labyrinth of Race  (much more at the link)

One of the unexpected results of the Sotomayor nomination is a refocusing on the politics of racial identity and the fossilized institutions of affirmative action-or the belief that the U.S. government should use its vast power to ensure an equality of result rather than a fairness of opportunity.

In the last fifty years, United States has evolved into a complex multiracial state. Race no longer is necessarily an indicator of income or material success-as the record of, say, Japanese-Americans or, indeed Asians in general, attests.

And what criterion constitutes race itself nowadays, when almost every family has someone who is half-Hispanic, a quarter-Asian, one-half black, or part Pakistani? What percentage of one’s lineage ensures purity of race, or qualifies for minority status? Are California Hispanics minorities, or so-called whites that are now a smaller percentage of the state population?

And what constitutes racial authenticity? Lack of income? An absence of success in the American rat race? Is the fourth generation upper-class Cuban an “Hispanic” who should qualify for affirmative action because his name is Hillario Gonzalez? Does the one-quarter aristocratic Jamaican qualify for American redress on account of his partial blackness?

And how does affirmative action-or even the fuzzy notion of “diversity”- adjudicate all this without mirror-imaging the statisticians of the Old Confederacy who could precisely calibrate the 1/16 drop of black blood? The university where I taught was full of South Americans and Europeans with Spanish surnames that allowed their various departments to be considered “ethnically diverse,” while others, having Russian émigrés, or the foreign born from New Delhi, Israel, and Egypt, struggled to satisfy the dictates of diversity czars.

In other words, affirmative action, and the racial identity politics that fuel it, are swamped by their inherent racialist contradictions-and made irrelevant by the dynamism of popular culture of the last three decades in which intermarriage, assimilation, and integration have challenged the notion of racial fides itself.

So begins an article from Victor Davis Hanson on the state of race in the USA, including affirmative action, “diversity,” racial preferences, racial identity, the nature of privilege in modern USA, the whole nine yards in the current race discussion and its political and social implications.  It’s all worth reading and difficult to summarize, a sign of pithy, concise writing.  Suffice to say that it highlights all the inner contradictions of the race conscious, and the futility of policies that were designed to redress grievances and correct imbalances, but cannot even identify who should qualify in any rational way.

Here is what’s clear to me: the election of a president of African ancestry has done nothing to satisfy the Left.  It has not convinced the Left that America is no longer significantly racist in its average viewpoint.  Instead, it appears simply to have placed the Left in the driver’s seat for every race-based preference and accommodation that it can construct.

We’re a long, long way from the “content of his character” vision of Martin Luther King, Jr., and getting farther away every day.

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Sep 20 2008

Bigotry towards whites masquerades as reporting on race

Category: diversity,election 2008,multi-cultural,Obama,politics,race,racismharmonicminer @ 9:08 am

It will get worse before election day, as the Main Stream Media does it’s best to guilt everyone into voting for Obama even though they disagree with his policies and/or think his leadership and experience is lacking, just for fear of being called racist.

Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll that found one-third of white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks — many calling them “lazy,” “violent,” responsible for their own troubles.  The poll, conducted with Stanford University, suggests that the percentage of voters who may turn away from Obama because of his race could easily be larger than the final difference between the candidates in 2004 — about two and one-half percentage points.

Of course, “deep seated racisl misgivings” on the part of blacks will cause 90+% of blacks to vote FOR him, with a total margin greater than 2 1/2% of the vote.

More than a third of all white Democrats and independents — voters Obama can’t win the White House without — agreed with at least one negative adjective about blacks, according to the survey, and they are significantly less likely to vote for Obama than those who don’t have such views.

There is no foundation established here to conclude that a voter will not select a particular individual just because the voter makes generalized observations about a demographic group. And the huge piece of missing information here: how would blacks respond to the same survey? We all know the stories of black cab drivers who won’t pick up young, male blacks at night. Are they bigots, too?

Continue reading “Bigotry towards whites masquerades as reporting on race”

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