The Wall Street Journal recently published an op-ed piece by Senator James Webb (D-Virginia) calling for a rollback of racial preferences [Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege, July 22, 2010] in America, such as affirmative action, quotas, and minority set-asides in contracting.
Coming from a Democrat, the article was somewhat surprising, and Webb made some excellent points. He discussed the blatant unfairness of widespread racial preferences against white Americans in favor of people who are non-white, even immigrants, and said that there's absolutely no justification for such a policy. Senator Webb called on lawmakers to end this systemic discrimination against whites.
Unfortunately, Senator Webb said that racial preferences for non-immigrant blacks should remain in place, so his remedy is flawed, as there's no basis in the Constitution for treating any group of Americans as privileged because of their race, and doing so is fundamentally unfair. However, his article did serve as a powerful wake-up call for many Americans.
Many people aren't aware of just how rampant and widespread racial preferences are, and tend to think of them as simply a black/white issue. That's not the case at all. Asians, Hispanics, American Indians and Native Hawaiians are all officially entitled to privileged treatment. Incredibly, immigrants who fall into any of these categories are entitled to preferential treatment the minute they step off the plane, over white Americans whose families have been here for centuries. This is an outrage.
We have millions of illegal aliens in this country, and any of their children born in the US are not only entitled to automatic citizenship, they're also automatically entitled to affirmative action, quotas and every other form of racial preferences. On top of that, America receives approximately one million legal immigrants every year, and the vast majority of them are non-whites who automatically qualify for racial preferences, relegating white Americans to the back of the bus when it comes to scholarships, hiring, promotions, government contracting, etc.
Theoretically, a descendant of one of the Japanese fighters who attacked Pearl Harbor could come to America, and he would be have a much better chance of landing a government contract than an American descended from a US soldier who died defending Pearl Harbor.
Turning the majority of Americans into second class citizens because of the color of their skin is profoundly immoral, but it's the law of the land, and it's being written into more and more laws. Under Obamacare, medical schools, which are already riddled with quotas and preferences, will be required to do even more to enroll "disadvantaged minorities" if they don't want to lose access to government funds. Under the bailout for the automakers, the government ordered GM and Chrysler to close two thousand dealerships, mostly in small towns, and many white male dealership owners were given the shaft simply because of their skin color or gender, according to the government's own Inspector General: "[D]ealerships were retained because they were recently appointed, were key wholesale parts dealers, or were minority- or woman-owned dealerships." [SIG TARP Report, PDF]
Even when it's not required by law, anti-white discrimination is increasingly becoming standard operating procedure. A few weeks ago Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart, one of the largest corporations in America, announced that they are going to start making business loans available to their members, and that they will focus on non-whites. Bill Gates, the richest man in America, set aside one billion dollars several years ago to fund full four year scholarships for college students, but white kids aren't eligible to apply for them. [PDF]
This has the biggest impact on the most vulnerable - poor and lower middle class white kids whose families lack the money and connections to help them get ahead. Pat Buchanan wrote recently about the massive discrimination against white kids in elite colleges. He quotes a Princeton professor, Russell Nieli, who reported the findings of a recent study of "diversity" at elite colleges and universities. Nieli said students who belonged to groups like 4-H, Future Farmers of America and Junior ROTC shouldn't mention these memberships on their college applications, because it would heavily damage their chances of being accepted.
Nieli lists several groups who are severely discriminated against in upper tier colleges and universities. Among them are:
"Born-again Christians from the Bible belt, students from Appalachia and other rural and small-town areas, people who have served in the U.S. military, those who have grown up on farms or ranches, Mormons, Pentecostals, Jehovah's Witnesses, lower- and middle-class Catholics, working class 'white ethnics,' social and political conservatives..."
All these preferences are defended in the name of diversity and righting past wrongs. But in reality they seem to be motivated more by a desire to punish white people.
Asians, Pacific Islanders and Hispanics were never slaves in America, and they come here of their own free will. Why should they be privileged over the sons and daughters of white people?
The other common defense of racial preferences is that these groups are minorities and need special protection. Well, in many states, such as California and here in Texas, white people are now a minority, but no one is adding white people to the list of privileged groups.
When non-whites are a literal majority, when do they stop getting called a minority? In fact, the latest thing is to replace "minority" with "historically under-utilized" to get around this inconvenient fact.
We're also being told that because most kids in Texas public schools are non-white, Texas must hire more non-white teachers, which means stacking the deck even further against whites. In other words, when white people are the majority, they must be discriminated against in the name of helping minorities, but when whites are a minority, it's somehow still necessary to discriminate against them.
This ongoing and systematic discrimination against white people because of the color of their skin must stop. Not only is it obviously unconstitutional and blatantly unfair, it also leads to widespread anger, resentment, suspicion, enmity and a breakdown of social cohesion.
In a few decades, by 2042, white people are projected to become a minority of the nation's population. As we've seen, there's no reason to expect that the situation with racial preferences will change to reflect this fact, as non-whites make up a bigger percentage of the population and use their political power to demand that racial preference in their favor continue.
If we don't put an end to all racial preferences, and do it soon, we are going to wind up with a balkanized and divided nation.
As Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in one of his court opinions, "the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."
Peter Morrison (email him) is a businessman living in Lumberton, Texas with his wife and four children. He currently serves on the Lumberton ISD School Board and as treasurer of the Hardin County Republican Party. He says "I believe deeply in the principles of limited constitutional government, the sanctity of life and that our state and nation should be run under Thomas Jefferson's principle of 'Equal Rights for All, Special Privileges for None.'" This article is from his free newsletter, which features commentary about current events of interest to Texans—sign up here.