Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Posts Tagged ‘Affirmative action’

Why Rachel Dolezal’s race deception matters

Posted by sanityinjection on June 17, 2015

If you’re an American and you haven’t been living under a rock, you are surely aware of the recent controversy surrounding Rachel Dolezal, who until recently was the president of the Spokane, WA chapter of the NAACP. Dolezal resigned after her parents revealed to the media that while she has frequently claimed to be black, she is in fact white. It also emerged that while a student at predominantly black Howard University, Dolezal sued the university alleging racial discrimination against her because she was white. Dolezal continues to maintain that she considers herself to be black.

Some questioned why the racial identity of a person should matter so much. If Dolezal, or anyone else, wants to identify herself as black, why should that be anything other than a personal matter? The NAACP has pointed out that you don’t have to be black to head one of their chapters.

Indeed, in an ideal world, I would agree that it shouldn’t make any difference.  The reason that it matters is that in the USA, African-Americans have been declared to be a protected class by virtue of the long history of racial discrimination against them, and can therefore be the recipients of various accommodations through “affirmative action” programs, particularly in hiring and academic admissions. When a person chooses to list their racial status on an application, hoping to qualify for affirmative action, it is no longer simply a personal matter. It is a public one.

Dolezal has made her racial identity a public matter on multiple occasions. Ironically, the first time was her lawsuit against Howard, in which she publicly identified as white. More recently, she has reported herself as the target of multiple hate crimes for being black, most of which authorities now believe were fabricated. Why on earth would anyone do this?

As the Daily Mail’s Dominic Lawson writes:

Rachel Dolezal is merely the most spectacular example of the growing phenomenon of people posing as victims — itself the consequence of a culture which portrays victimhood as a form of moral superiority…It is what comes of putting ‘victims’ on a pedestal once accorded to genuine heroes.

People like Dolezal seek to be viewed as victims because it gives them – among certain segments of society, particularly in academia and the media – a measure of respect and attention that would normally have to be earned by actual accomplishments, which is much harder to do. She clearly learned from her failed lawsuit against Howard that she could never be truly viewed as a victim as long as she was white. So she began attempting to be perceived as black – not least by moving to Northern Idaho, where there aren’t that many actual black people around for comparison. Like Walter Mitty, she worked so hard at this goal that she not only persuaded other people, she ended up persuading herself as well.

As a society, we can remove the incentive for frauds like Dolezal by ceasing to provide special advantages to anyone based on their status as a minority – racial, gender, sexual orientation, or whatever. Giving a minority individual preference in any situation does nothing to undo previous discrimination, but in fact constitutes a new act of discrimination. Would we provide the victim of a robbery restitution by committing a robbery against someone else and giving the stolen goods to the first victim? Without affirmative action and the societal celebration of the cult of victimhood, there will be no more Rachel Dolezals.

Posted in Current Events, Domestic News, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dick Cheney is the happiest man in America.

Posted by sanityinjection on May 18, 2009

Another scientific survey of critical importance has just been released by the Pew Research Center – which, thank God, is not a taxpayer-supported organization.

Yes, the good folks at Pew have done a comprehensive survey of happiness – who is happy, how happy are they, and are some people happier than others? Their findings: older people are happier than young people, males are happier than females, and Republicans are happier than Democrats. So an older, male Republican would be the most likely demographic to have a high level of happiness.

Of course, you know what this means. When the liberals find out that there is is a “happiness gap”, they will demand that those with excess happiness must share with those who are happiness-deprived. The government will soon establish “happy action” programs with “happy quotas” to make sure that young Democrat women receive a proportionate amount of happiness, and poor George Bush Senior is going to have to learn to live a less happy lifestyle.

Yes, there is a point to this silliness. The metaphor demonstrates the folly of the liberal conflation of equality of opportunity with equality of result. Look at the Supreme Court, for example. We are hearing that the next Supreme Court justice must be a woman, or a Hispanic, or pick your minority. Isn’t it more important to pick a jurist who will consider female or Hispanic or minority appellants and issues with an open and fair mind, rather than one who simply shares their biological traits? To put it another way, does Clarence Thomas represent a victory for diversity? John Paul Stevens is an old white male, but based on his record, can liberals argue that he is less sympathetic to minorities than a black woman would be?  How can you fight inequality based on race or gender if the primary way in which you classify people is by reducing them to their race or gender?

Martin Luther King Jr. famously said that he dreamed of a world in which his children would be judged not “by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” In other words, he hoped that one day skin color would attract no more notice than whether someone is tall or short, thin or heavy, etc.  – a “color blind” society. Racial and gender preferences and quotas designed to make institutions “look like America” not only fail to move us closer to a color-blind society, they actually drag us backward by forcing us to view these differences as significant. In doing so, they would substitute equality of result for a few in place of the greater goal of equality of opportunity for all. And that’s a shame.

Posted in Domestic News, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Conservativism, civil rights, and racial policy

Posted by sanityinjection on June 30, 2008

Your Sanity Injection returns from hiatus with a true gem of a column.  It can be very hard for those of us born after 1960 to understand how mainstream conservatives could have so strongly opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which nowadays is viewed by all but the most radical fringe as one of the great achievements in the history of American public policy.

The author of this brilliant piece, William Voegeli, uses the writings and thought of the late conservative icon William F. Buckley as a vehicle to examine the attitude of conservativism as a whole to civil rights and racial policy in America.  Voegeli’s criticism of the conservative movement stings  because, unlike political partisans, he takes the time to aim it precisely: Conservatives were on the wrong side of history not because their concerns about Federal power trampling states’ rights were a mask for underlying racism, as liberals then and now have accused, but because they utterly failed to offer an alternative solution that would have secured the civil rights of black Americans, and were, in the final analysis, content to do nothing about a problem that was far more important in the daily lives of millions than constitutional questions of government jurisdiction.

However, Voegeli goes on to show how this failure destroyed the credibility of conservatives on racial policy issues going forward, pointing out that conservative criticisms of forced busing and affirmative action went unheeded for this reason, to the detriment of the country as a whole.

Be forewarned, this is a long essay and clearly written for the intellectual reader. It is, however, extremely well written, strikingly insightful, and eminently worth taking the time to read. I commend it both to liberals who truly believe that conservatives are racists as well as to conservatives who cannot understand why they think so:


Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »