Saturday, February 20, 2010

Racial Discrimination

The Supreme Court: it speaks my language. It’s rather refreshing to read Supreme Court cases in which a view I have held for quite some time is slightly affirmed(of course, the opinions expressed that I agree with are found in the dissenting and majority concurring opinions, and not the majority opinion itself). The cases in question are Richmond v. Croson Company (1989), Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena (1995), and Grutter v. Bollinger (2003).

Richmond v. Croson Company
Justice Scalia states in his opinion that, “…those who believe that racial preferences can help to ‘even the score’ display, and reinforce, a manner of thinking by race that was the source of the injustice and that will, if it endures within our society, be the source of more injustice still.”

Justice Stevens states in his opinion that, “Imposing a common burden on such a disparate class merely because each member of the class is of the same race stems from reliance on a stereotype rather than fact or reason.” (the burden in question being that the assumption is made that all white men at one point in time practiced unlawful discrimination against minorities)

Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena
Justice Thomas states in his opinion that, “So-called ‘benign’ discrimination teaches many that because of chronic and apparently immutable handicaps, minorities cannot compete with them without their patronizing indulgence. Inevitably, such programs engender attitudes of superiority or, alternatively, provoke resentment among those who believe they have been wronged by the government’s use of race. These programs stamp minorities with a badge of inferiority and may cause them to develop dependencies or to adopt an attitude that they are ‘entitled’ to preferences…”

Grutter v. Bollinger
Justice O’Connor states in her majority opinion that racial balancing "is patently unconstitutional.”

Justice Scalia states in his opinion that, “the nonminority individuals who are deprived of a legal education, a civil service job, or any job at all by reason of their skin color will surely understand.” (sarcasm in the Supreme Court is even more amusing than sarcasm amongst us mere mortals)

Justice Thomas (quoting Frederick Douglas) states in opinion that, “ ‘…And if the negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! … Your interference is doing him positive injury!’ Like Frederick Douglass, I believe blacks can achieve in every avenue of American life without the meddling of university administrators.”
Justice Thomas further states, “When blacks take position in the highest places of government, industry, or academia, it is an open question today whether their skin color played a part in their advancement. The question itself is the stigma- because either racial discrimination did play a role, in which case the person may be deemed ‘otherwise unqualified,’ or it did not, in which case asking the question itself unfairly marks those blacks who would succeed without discrimination.”

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I quote all of that to say this: I do not approve of racial discrimination. Whether the discrimination is used to help a minority (such as in Grutter v. Bollinger, where discrimination is used to guarantee a certain amount of racial minorities a spot in Michigan Law School), or it is used to harm a minority, I don’t approve of it.

“Helpful” racial discrimination at this point in time is more harmful than it is beneficial. We are at a time in history where “helpful” racial discrimination is no longer needed. The longer the government allows companies, schools, etc to say minorities can be given preference over nonminorities, the longer the belief will be perpetrated that minorities need help in order to be successful. It is time for the government to leave us racial minorities alone, and let us strike out into the big, bad, predominately white society all on our lonesome. Let us fail on our own. Let us succeed on our own. We are not children in need of Mummy’s protection anymore. We are adult citizens, and we can do things without the government’s help.

I love you, Uncle Sam, but I don’t want your help.

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