Linda Chavez, an anti-affirmative
You might know of Chavez, againstSupreme Court Judge Sotomayor during Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings last year. Chavez has a particular and for Puerto Ricans in partiucular, but I will not explore that today. I will address her sub-standard scholarship and self-loathing when I address Black and Brown conservatives at a later date. Chavez had to step down as a nominee for Labor of Secretary under the catastrophe known as the Bush II administration because, yes,
Therefore, if I call Chavez a hypocrite (she admonished
Chavez and other racial conservatives believe the
Ironically, the current debate over race-based solutions assumes that the only beneficiaries of these policies are blacks, other racial minorities, and women. However, if we define affirmative action as “race and gender preferences codified into law and enforced through public policy and social customs,” then it is indeed strange and peculiar to suggest that affirmative action began when in 1963 President John F. Kennedy issued . Taking the above definition, often cited by opponents of affirmative action such as Chavez, it would be more accurate to mark the beginning date for this legal policy as 1641. That is when laws specifying rights to property, ownership of goods and services, and the right to vote, restricted by race and gender, were first enacted. In 1790, Congress formally restricted citizenship by naturalization to “white persons,” a restriction that would stay in place until 1952.
Understood in this way, affirmative action has been in effect for 367 years, not 46. For the first 330 years, the deck was legally stacked on behalf of whites and males (Fredrickson, 1988). Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, in Dred Scott, didn’t mince his words when he said: “Can a negro, whose ancestors were imported to this country, and sold as slaves, become a member of the political community, formed and brought into existence by the Constitution of the United States, and as such become entitled to all rights, and privileges, and immunities guaranteed by that instrument?” Justice Taney’s answer to his own question leaves no doubt. We the people, he stated, was never intended to include blacks, slave or free. The authority cited by Taney in his ruling? The Constitution, the courts at every level, the federal government, and the states -- all having routinely denied blacks equal access to rights of citizenship (Harding, 1983).
It follows, then, that from the inception of the
However, we don’t have to go back three hundred years to find the roots of current white privilege. We can look at more recent policies that have been instrumental to racial inequality. But that’s for another post...
READ MORE AT [un]Common Sense
NOTE: I had a piece published in the online magazine, Subversify, yesterday. I have never had anything published before, so I would appreciate it if you took a couple of minutes to read my piece (here) and also take the time to explore the magazine. The magazine offers a wide range of writing from “outside the box.” I believe most of the freethinkers here would enjoy it.
Fredrickson, G. (1988). The arrogance of race.
Harding, V. (1983). There is a river: The black struggle for freedom in America.
Steinberg, S. (1995). Turning back: The retreat from racial justice in American thought and policy.