Skip to comments.Obama, Race and Affirmative Action: Why the Second Term Will Be Worse (Part I)
Posted on 01/05/2013 6:10:19 AM PST by Kaslin
The accelerated transformation of the American economy and polity into a mandatory racially-based spoils system was a defining trait of President Barack Obamas first term in office. Though perhaps understated, it is set to become an even more defining trait of his second.
Obama, by various accounts, wants to be more aggressive about suing banks, employers, schools and other institutions whose practices, however unintentionally, adversely affect disadvantaged (read: nonwhite) populations. This is the doctrine of disparate impact. Attorney General Eric Holder already has used it to extract hundreds of millions of dollars in coerced settlements from Wells Fargo and other major banks. Its widespread application is further evidence, as if any more were needed, that civil rights has become a well-organized shakedown racket.
For too long, whites, including many self-described conservatives, have been muted in their criticism of mandated racial preferences. For them, a struggle somehow isnt worth the trouble. Thus, they go along with campaigns to rebrand such coercion as affirmative action and, even better, diversity. The language may be benign, but the desired end is enforceable goals, quotas and timetables, accompanied by close monitoring to ensure progress. Equality of outcome, not equality of opportunity, is the overriding goal. If an employers work force, for example, is only two percent black and the surrounding labor market area is 10 percent black, that employer may have to explain to a government agency why it has only one-fifth the number of black employees it should have. Employee traits such as perseverance, punctuality, intelligence and an ability to work with others dont matter much, if at all, in such a context.
Ground zero for this egalitarian enthusiasm is the ostensibly race-neutral Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Affirmative action took root during the Johnson administration and then took off during the Nixon administration. In 1969, President Nixons Labor Secretary, George Shultz, with approval from Attorney General John Mitchell, oversaw the creation of a mandate known as the Philadelphia Plan, which required contractors working on large federally-funded construction projects to adopt numerical goals and timetables for black hires. Even more far-reaching, however, was the U.S. Supreme Courts 1971 ruling in Griggs v. Duke Power Company. This 8-0 decision surely must rank as one of the worst decisions in the history of the High Court. It invalidated employee aptitude tests which, though race-neutral, had the effect of reducing the likelihood of blacks getting hired or promoted. The court rationalized that the tests were unrelated to job requirements, though common sense would dictate that if this were the case, the employer wouldnt have administered the tests in the first place.
Bad law or not, however, Griggs would provide racial egalitarians with an Ur-text. For the first time in U.S. history, it now was possible to file a discrimination suit against organized activity unwittingly producing statistical disparities by race.
Disparate impact is at once bad law and a near-guarantee of full employment within the legal profession. Its noteworthy that not a single presidential administration has ventured to challenge it. Only once, briefly, in the mid-Nineties, has Congress more accurately, a few Republican members such as Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., and Rep. Charles Canady, R-Fla. made a go of it. Facing at best token opposition, affirmative action supporters within and outside government have had almost free reign. As a report released in April 2011 by the Congressional Research Service indicated, affirmative-action federal regulatory mandates are more numerous than ever.
President Obama remains unsatisfied. He has little reason to fear further progress, since his administration is home to many diversity zealots, most of all, Attorney General Eric Holder and his chief civil rights enforcer, Thomas Perez. In December 2011 the Justice Department extracted a commitment from Bank of America for $335 million to settle allegations that its Countrywide Financial Unit had discriminated against black and Hispanic borrowers during 2004-08 the period immediately before BoA took over the insolvent Countrywide. Perez and his team of prosecutors this past July also announced a $175 million settlement with Wells Fargo Bank for racial disparities in home mortgage lending. The government didnt demonstrate any intent to discriminate, and for that matter, never looked for such intent. It didnt matter; Wells Fargo succumbed. This sum, moreover, was in addition to a sizable out-of-court settlement the bank reached with the City of Baltimore and a prodigious one it reached with the City of Memphis and surrounding Shelby County, Tenn. Its hard to conclude which was more appalling the enthusiasm of government or the timidity of bank management.
President Obama says he wants to close persistent gaps in economic and social outcomes across race. At the same time, he knows enforced affirmative action isnt popular among the nations white majority (with good reason!). While white members of Congress are fearful of acquiring the tag of racist if they openly oppose it, at the same time they are fearful of losing re-election if they openly promote it. Thus, the administration has made heavy use of the lawsuit, knowing even the threat of one can strike fear across a wide swath of organizations and not just one organization under a federal microscope. This has been a prevalent pattern at cabinet-level federal agencies that have a civil rights division, such as the Department of Justice, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). A new player in Washington, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), may emerge as the most powerful agency of all.
Authorized by the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010, the CFPB is vested with broad powers to sic affirmative action attack dogs on potentially offending organizations to ensure their practices produce the right racial breakdowns. Bureau Director Richard Cordray already has flexed his muscles, remarking that his agency will protect consumers from unfair lending practices as well as those that have a disparate impact on communities of color. Just to make sure lenders get the message, he added: That doctrine is applicable for all of the credit markets we touch, including mortgages, student loans, credit cards and auto loans. In his haste to achieve racial balance in loans, regardless of borrower creditworthiness, Cordray intends to subject all credit reporting agencies, including the three major ones Equifax, Experian and TransUnion to effects tests. Thus, if applications by blacks and Hispanics for mortgage or credit cards produce significantly higher rejection rates than applications by whites, these reporting agencies could be sued even if their risk analyses in no way took race into consideration.
Institutional lending isnt the only realm where the Obama administration plans to turn up the temperature. Also likely to be closely monitored are: college admissions guidelines; voter ID requirements (all the better to fight minority disenfranchisement); school disciplinary codes; professional licensing examinations; employee background checks; and prison sentencing guidelines. The intent is to minimize or eliminate disparities. Because equality of outcome is the goal, equality of process i.e., rule of law necessarily becomes an obstruction.
The Obama administration over the last several months has given us a taste of what to expect. Last July, for example, HUD intervened on behalf of the National Fair Housing Alliance and the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center to drop their lawsuit against the State of Louisiana over its administration of federal Road Home Program grants to homeowners whose properties were damaged by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita in 2005. The catch was this: In exchange, the state would agree to make available an extra $62 million to about 1,300 black homeowners (nearly $50,000 per homeowner) in Cameron, Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard Parishes.
Under the Road Home Program, a qualifying homeowner could receive as much as $150,000 toward rebuilding and temporary resettlement. The black grant program allocated $16.7 billion for resettlement and reconstruction costs, of which $13.4 billion went to Louisiana. This aid package would seem generous to a fault. Certain nonprofit civil rights groups didnt think so. And so they sued.
The bone of the plaintiffs contention was the method of calculating award sizes. The State of Louisiana had used a standard insurance industry practice to derive grant amounts. Homeowners would receive the lower of either the pre-storm fair market value or the cost of repairing the damages. Because most, if not all, homes in black low-income New Orleans neighborhoods had low property values to begin with, Louisiana officials wound up setting aid levels on the basis of the market-value rather than cost-replacement method. The plaintiffs claimed this method had a discriminatory impact on African-American homeowners.
The suit, in other words, was preposterous. It was no different in principle than demanding that an insurance company pay $20,000 for parts and labor to fix a $10,000 car totaled in a wreck. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, predictably, sided with the plaintiffs. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan rationalized: This agreement is a huge help to families who clearly want to get back into their homes but continue to struggle to make the needed repairs to their properties.
Affirmative action zealots within the U.S. Department of Education under President Obama also have been on the march lately. This past October, department bureaucrats coaxed an agreement from the Oakland, California school district to impose targeted reductions in the number of suspensions of black, Hispanic and special education students for violent or otherwise disruptive behavior. The districts suspension policy allegedly had a disparate impact.
Russlyn J. Ali, assistant secretary for civil rights at the Department of Education, thinks such legal actions are overdue. Disparate impact is woven through all civil rights enforcement of this administration, she glowed back in 2010. The possibility that blacks, far more than whites, engage in behavior that should result in a suspension apparently is immaterial. Heres a statistic that might be of interest to Ms. Ali: Nationally, the homicide rate among males ages 14-17 is nearly 10 times higher for blacks than it is for the average of whites and Hispanics in that age range. Heres another statistic: In Chicago public schools, the very system headed not long ago by Obama Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, black students were arrested 25 times more often than white students during September 2011-February 2012. The Oakland case is one of about 20 similar cases underway across the nation.
Editors note: Part II of this article will appear tomorrow.
Yeah, because some local race-pimp politician orders his henches to start making some phone calls and applying shakedown pressure, and presto! -- you're out of a job,and the perp is unreachable in equity court (and anyway the jury will be 75% black if you live in a big city).
In a country founded on the premise that ‘all men are created equal’, how was “affirmative action”- & indeed, all racially (& gender) biased legislation, ever accepted as constitutional?
The reason our country is sooo far down the road to ruin is that too many good people acquiesced & succumbed to the exploitation of good faith by the left.
We’ve let it go too far & still, not enough people are fighting to get America back.
People are only “powerless” if they make it so.
Affirmative action = Larceny
MEET POPULIST OBAMA'S NEW ADVISORS----Arif Alikhan, assistant secretary of Homeland Security for policy development; Mohammed Elibiary, a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council; Rashad Hussain, the US special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference; Salam al-Marayati, co-founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council-MPAC; Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA; and Eboo Patel, a member of Obamas Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships.
Let's not forget US Army Col. Hassan the Texas gunman who yelled Allah Akbar before shooting down American servicemen in cold blood-----Col Hassan was a member of Obama's 2008 transition team.
Then there's billions of tax dollars Obama gave to the Muslim Bortherhood----a group responsible for the systematic rape and murder of Christians in Muslim controlled countries.
Oh, and Al Gore just sold his Democrat cable channel to Al Jazeera to give all the Muslim terrorist cells in the U.S. dependable coverage
Of course, all of "populist" Obama's voters KNEW about Obama's sucking-up to these groups when they elected him?
Hunh. And I was assured that a president’s second term just doesn’t have as much punch as the first. No, he’s all in now, and going for broke. There’s no stopping him now, which is apparent by our lackluster Republicans.
PARA-MILITARY VOTE-CRAZED DEMOCRATS ARE ON THE MARCH Power-hungry para-military Obama/Democrats w/ patented voter fraud know-how have been empowered by 2012.
PERVERSE CORRUPT DEM THINKING IS REMINSCENT OF THE POST-CIVIL WAR ERA----Carpetbaggers---Northern invaders ----were prominent in Southern politics until 1875, but nearly all left under pressure from paramilitary organizations, then-described in history books as "the military arm of the Democratic Party."
The para-military Democrats worked openly to violently overthrow established rule......using intimidation and assassination to turn out of office those they could not subjugate.
THE OBAMA THEME SONG---a litany of remarks about the invisible and permanent powers-that-be trying to harm a long list of "govt-dependent losers."
Tsk, tsk, tsk....time to stop the hate, Valerie. All of us
Christians are praying for your conversion...and the
conversion of all the haters in the Ohaha admin.
Remember Valerie....."man proposes, God disposes."
The federal gov’t is a racket, a con game, a stacked deck...and we keep saying “hit me”!
Gets even worse here. Read this article.
If you didnt see this one coming, you just werent looking. In our countrys recent history weve celebrated diversity in our population as if it were a good thing. However, one look at world history will show you that no country with a diverse population of different races, languages, and religion has long survived.
Countries dont naturally form with a diverse population, and when in the past theyve occurred its usually been as the result of armed conquest. These unnaturally formed countries have either melded together into a single population made up of one mixed race with one language and one religion or theyve come apart, and theyve usually come apart with extreme violence. The longer these diverse populations are forced to coexist with one another without mixing and becoming one, the more the hatred grows among them and the more violently they break apart, but break apart they will, or genocide will settle the issue once and for all.
Why is this and why cant we all just get along? The truth of the matter is that we (the human race) just aren’t as civilized as we would like to think we are. Genus Homo sapiens isnt that long out of the trees and the veneer of civilization is very thin, to non-existent, upon us all. We are all carrying the genes that got us here and some of those genes carry a very basic survival instinct that has allowed us to survive thus far.
This most basic of all survival instincts is the one that warns us to be very wary of those who are different than us, our family, and our tribe. Those who possessed this survival instinct survived and reproduced, and those who had no fear/distrust of strangers didnt survive. Over the years, this survival instinct has been referred to as tribalism, nationalism, ethnocentrism, racism, and various other isms, but it is an inborn instinct carried in our genes whether we like it or not.
This celebration of diversity in the American population was introduced in the 1960s and 70s as a deliberate divisive revolutionary tool wielded by Marxists like Bill Ayers and other radicals. It became dogma taught by Marxists in our universities, then spread by our leftist controlled news media and leftist controlled Hollywood. The intent was, and is, to split American culture along race and class lines and set off a “proletarian” revolution to destroy capitalism. The Left has now managed to elect a half-Black radical as President and their revolution is proceeding along very predictable lines, with him using every opportunity to stir up more division and discontent. A reading of the Constitution of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA at this link should make clear their goals and methods: http://revcom.us/Constitution/constitution.html
At the beginning of the 21st Century, the American people are about to learn the savage lesson of Communist Revolution that the Russian people learned at the beginning of the last century. Millions died in Russias Communist experiment before they learned that Communism doesnt work, as the concept of Communism (You didnt make that) is completely alien to basic human nature. Now its our turn to learn what Russia after a century of misery now knows.
However, the coming American Communist Revolution that Karl Marx and his acolyte Barack Hussein Obama is bringing upon us wont progress in the comparatively orderly fashion as it did with the Bolsheviks in Russia. The cursed diversity within the U.S. population will quickly turn this Communist Revolution into a no-holds-barred, and to-the-death, Race War. How our country, with its Constitution intact, could possibly survive such a blood-bath is a near impossibility. I once believed our country would one day become a mixed race people of olive skinned, brown eyed, black haired, Spanish speaking Muslims, but Barack Hussein Obama has started a Communist Revolution that will undoubtedly destroy any possibility of that ever occurring.
There is no expiration date on any of our survival instincts, and white Liberal Democrats in their Gun Free zones will be the first among us to be reminded of this. As we Americans continue to live out the old Chinese curse, May you live in interesting times.
I think the “law of diminishing returns” applies to any further affirmative programs. These days any minority that achieves success is considered a “token” which by the very nature of affirmative action, they are.
Some school districts found that not enough minority students were in advanced classes. The solution? Get rid of the advanced classes. Then they wonder why we are not turning out capable workers.
I didn’t own any slaves.