Saturday, April 11, 2009

My Views pt 1, Affirmative Action

I thought I should take a few lines and explain one of my views that I feel sets me apart from many other conservatives:

I believe that (1) racism exists, and (2) I believe that it is government's role to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, and secure the blessings of liberty by doing something about countering racism. IHMO, the words "affirmative" and "action" when put together merely mean doing something about it; i.e. they literally mean to take positive steps against racism. To not do so, would be tacit approval of racism and the injustice that goes with it.

Now,,,,,what actions and steps are the right ones? That's a whole nuther topic. For now, let's just stick to #1 and #2.


  1. I have a bit of trouble with the doing something part of (2) and the 10th Amendment.

  2. Care to explain?

    I think maybe you are getting into what the "somethings" actually are. For example Yes, quotas can be controversial.

    But, if we stay away from what steps are the right ones, hopefully we can agree that (1)racism exists and that (2) tacit approval of it should not be an option. Right?

  3. Can you think of one Federal affirmative action (AA)edict that could pass a strict 10th Amendment interpretation? I can't. We should all be treated equally under the law. Affirmative action legislation always struck me as setting up certain groups as being more equal under the law than others. Just because the Constitution, when applied to Federal legislation, would seem to prohibit Federal AA programs does not mean unstated approval of racism. It just means that the Federal government should not be the body to use to address this issue.

    Looking over my ramblings you could state that I'm discussing (3) and not (2). Sorry to deviate. I don't think you can completely divorce the two in any honest dialogue on AA.

  4. "I don't think you can completely divorce the two in any honest dialogue on AA."

    But you do agree that racism exists and that "something" should be done about it (as long as it's legal/constitutional etc...)???

  5. I agree with number #1 and do believe that it is "government's role to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, and secure the blessings of liberty." But to have a government-sponsored policy judging people by the color of their skin is appalling. Discrimination is defined as the treatment of a group of people based class or category rather than individual merit. Affirmative action sounds pretty discriminatory to me. As a libertarian, I judge people as individuals - the only true unit of personhood.

    But regardless of whether you "believe" in affirmative action or not, one has to look at the effects and outcomes of the policy.

    Let's say we have job candidate A - a black, wiccan woman and job candidate B - a white, Christian male. Assuming that they are equally qualified, if the company chooses candidate A over candidate B, candidate B will feel angry. And to whom will he direct his anger at? The company? Perhaps. The affirmative action policy? Perhaps. The women herself? Perhaps as well.

    In many cases, affirmative action ENGENDERS the very racism it seeks to overcome. That is the problem with politicians always doing "something." Their incentives are short term (just the next election) and always focus on the intended effects never the unintended consequences.

    I have had discussions with my peers over affirmative action. Guess what? Most white kids I've spoken to are against it. Black kids I've spoken to are for it. If just the topic of discussion leads to racial fragmentation, just imagine the effects of the policy!

    I myself have felt jaded at the sheer amount of scholarships for "minorities" only. Like Fredrick Douglas and Martin Luther King, Jr. I dream of an America where "people are not judged by the color of their skin but on the content of their character."

  6. It's my belief that many of those that are "against" AA at best do not understand #1 and #2 as well as they could. Or at worst they do not care about #1 and #2. IMHO if they understood, then their feelings may be different.

    Yes, there has to be fair, just, and legal ways to implement AA polocies, but in my humble opinion we will never make progress towards justice if we fail to understand or fail to care about the fact that Racism exists and that it is the role of government to establish justice.

    If I were a politician, I would chose to focus my AA efforts on education of #1 and #2. And I'd focus AA policies on prosecution and fines for all injustice towards protected classes, including racism.

    Bottom line: I think way too much empahsis is made on the implementaion of AA policies, when we'd all be better off focusing on calling out the haters amoung us (i.e. doing something about it) and admitting that racism exists, and not sitting idly by.

    But that's just me. And my kooky views on justice.