Friday, April 25, 2014

Anti-affirmative action laws do one thing well: Affirm discrimination by whites

One of the most hypocritical statements ever made into law is the following:

The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.

This is the anti-affirmative action Initiative 200, passed by 58 percent of the voters in the state of Washington in 1998. Maybe a few dim-witted people not paying attention actually thought it “meant” what it said. Some people were even fooled when they saw black people out on the sidewalks with the signature boards, who were not “volunteers” but paid signature gatherers who did not even know that the initiative’s aim was to harm them. And that “aim” was to appease those whites who blamed under-represented minorities for not being admitted to the school of their choice. 

The problem, of course, was that very few whites would have “benefited” from denying a handful of black (or Latino) students college admission. The greater problem was the grotesque over-representation of international students—which schools like the University of Washington was “forced” to invite because of the state’s bottom-dwelling support for education in general. I’m sure it makes this so-called “progressive” state feel “good” about itself by shitting on the most vulnerable demographics, just for a few additional college admission seats for the fry of white “privilege.”

But the real hypocrisy is that this state—and all other states—violate the anti-discrimination mantra every day, and have done so every day for ever since there were states. Initiative 200 didn’t stop discrimination in the state of Washington; it only made it more pernicious and widespread. It basically said that it was OK for whites (both male and female), in the backrooms where all the decisions were made, to give preferential treatment to other whites. Affirmative action programs were a nuisance because they forced these people to consider hiring or admitting under-representative minorities. Now, they can give whatever excuse they want to—or give no reason at all—and no one will call it discrimination.  
And now comes the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court—continuing to erode equal opportunity for minorities in this country—upholding Michigan’s voter-approved ban on anti-affirmative action, Proposition 2, passed in 2006. The “progressive” Seattle Times, of course, didn’t find this particularly troubling or even newsworthy, since it only affected under-represented racial minorities, not white women or the gay community. In many ways, Michigan is even more discriminatory than Washington, which is why the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals had previously ruled the proposition unconstitutional, violating the equal protection clause. The court also noted the hypocrisy of white students being allowed to take advantage of “legacy” rules, whether they were personally qualified or not.

According to the 2010 Census, blacks make up 14.2 percent of Michigan’s population, yet the University of Michigan has only a 5.8 percent black undergraduate enrollment. On the other hand, Asian students—again, many who are foreign students—make up 12 percent of the undergraduate enrollment, despite constituting just 2.3 percent of the state’s population. It is very much the same story at Michigan State University. But once more those cowardly whites who are mired in their sense of “privilege” and personal cupidity are seeking redress by victimizing  the most vulnerable and discriminated against groups.

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