Friday, July 23, 2010

Jim Webb in the WSJ

Jim Webb is one of my favorite Democrats. I still haven't read his book on Nam but I hear it is well worth the time. I need to do that.

OPINION JULY 22, 2010 Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege
America still owes a debt to its black citizens, but government programs to help all 'people of color' are unfair. They should end.

I am not sure how the Federal Government can make amends to black people. I think of the law of unintended consequenses and I know it will all go wrong. Webb points out that people from Africa come to this country today and take advantage of our affirmative action programs. I read once that a large proportion of Ivy League blacks are African and not American.

On a side note, Obama admitted that he benefitted from Afirmative Action. His dad was from Kenya and didn't have an American slave legacy. His mom was white. He was raised by his white grandparents and he went to an exclusive prep school in Hawaii, which isn't a "white dominated" state exactly. He then got into Columbia and was even a legacy at Harvard since his dad attended. In many ways Barack is whiter than I am. Webb is arguing that Barack shouldn't have gotten an edge, though he doesn't mention Obama and I doubt it crossed his mind.

Thomas Sowell has made similar arguments in distiction about white people. White people are not all the same. The Highlanders from rural Scottland and the urban dwellers of London have vastly different historical outcomes in income and education, but we lump them all together when they come to the USA. If the Highlanders were a shade apart maybe they could particpate in government programs to and show studies of disparte impact. You just can't legislate equal outcomes.


Update: From Roger Clegg at The Corner

Consider, in any event, those African Americans who were born in, say, 1992 — the birth year of those now getting college-admissions preferences. Those students are not slaves or former slaves, were not alive under Jim Crow and have never been victims of government discrimination, and were born over a quarter-century after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed to protect them from public and private discrimination. Additionally, the African Americans who get these preferences at the more selective universities come overwhelmingly from middle- and upper-class backgrounds, not from impoverished farms or ghettos.

So two cheers for Senator Webb, reserving the third for when he acknowledges that the time has come to end racial preferences for all groups, rather than for all but one.
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