A bit of late blogging. Victor Davis Hanson wrote the other day on the need to bring an end to affirmative action as the justification for establishing it half a century ago no longer exists and, as currently perpetuated, and as VDS documents with numerous examples, affirmative action creates gross distortions in society. His conclusion:
. . . [C]reating, recreating, and emphasizing racial identity, especially among elites, currently involves so many contortions that it has descended from the absurd to the outright pernicious-and is becoming a sort of racism itself. One gets the uncomfortable feeling that the perpetuators of the present system-mostly elite whites-find some sort of psychological absolution in such a system that allows them to alleviate guilt without living among poorer people of color, or sending their own children to the “diverse” public schools-two concrete steps that might quickly indeed ensure better neighborhoods and better education for the “other.” In any case, most white elites count on their own connections, wealth, and education, to find exemptions from the unfairness of racial identification. A Ted Kennedy, after all, had affirmative action well before it was based on race.
Unfortunately, unlike a Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, or Alberto Gonzales, President Obama has embraced identity politics in unprecedented fashion-and we are reaping what he has sown. In these first days of the Sotomayor nomination, we are not discussing Justice Sotomayor’s judicial competence as much as her Latina identification-and the political ramifications of such tribalism.
But then only in these race-conscious times could a Barack Obama have entered the racial labyrinth as a well-educated youth of mixed and foreign ancestry, and middle-class prep school lineage, and exited as a representative totem of the African-American underclass.
By virtue of that metamorphosis it matters not at all that he once subsidized the racial hatred of Rev. Wright’s Church, carelessly tossed out the epithet ‘typical white person’, stereotyped the white working class as ‘clingers,’ had his privileged Attorney General call Americans “cowards” on matters of race, and nominated a candidate for the Supreme Court who, despite all the tortured exegeses of exculpation, declared that white males could not possess the judicial wisdom and temperament of someone of her own race and gender.
You see, in matters of racial politics, we deal now only in fantasies rather than reality.
Do read the whole essay. Indeed, it is no more than Thomas Sowell has been screaming from the rooftops for years. For example, see:
The Grand Fraud: Affirmative Action For Blacks, Capitalism Magazine, April, 2003
Affirmative Action Around The World, Hoover Digest, 2004
The problem, of course, is that the politics of race defines Obama and the far left. As I've written before, it is their raison d'etre. Not until they screw us up so badly that we are nearly beyond recovery (which should take no longer than another year or two) will it be possible to use the backlash against Obama and his base to end this bit of incredibly pernicious grievance politics.