Skip to comments.Diversity, Drugs, and a Racist Bake Sale: Misadventures in Modern Capitalism
Posted on 09/30/2003 8:07:20 AM PDT by twittle
Last week, the Thought Police thought to send a couple of rent-a-cops over to Southern Methodist University to shut down a -- get this -- bake sale. That's right, a bake sale. Not just any bake sale, of course, but a bake sale hosted by the Young Conservatives of Texas. Here's why: They were selling cookies at race-based prices.
"A sign said white males had to pay $1," according to the Associated Press, while other rates included "75 cents for white women, 50 cents for Hispanics, and 25 cents for blacks."
The event was meant to make a statement on affirmative action, which, as you may know, was deemed Constitutional -- somehow -- by the Supreme Court this summer.
Now, the bake sale's untimely end is troubling for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that no cookie I know of ever used a racial slur (for what it's worth, black-and-white cookies have been living in perfect harmony for years). But more important here is the curious line of thinking -- the obvious double standard -- behind the shut down.
For example, the AP quotes SMU sophomore Matt Houston saying the Young Conservatives "were arguing that affirmative action was solely based on race. It's not based on race. It's based on bringing a diverse community to a certain organization."
Well, that's an interesting theory and all, but what exactly is "diversity" if it's not based on race, class, or gender? I can tell you one thing: It's certainly not based on a diversity of opinions. If that were the case, the bake sale would've continued uninterrupted.
Yet student center director Tim Moore insisted it "was not an issue about free speech." As Mr. Moore would have it, "It was really an issue where we had a hostile environment being created."
Hostile, you say? Hostile how? The fact is, this was a free speech issue. It's become not only unpopular but also "hostile," apparently, to so much as suggest there might be alternatives to affirmative action. If you dare believe there's a better way to equality, you're instantly branded a hatemonger. Hell, I'm almost tempted to erase this entire paragraph and start fresh, for fear that what I'm saying will net me a bunch of nasty "JDM is a racist jerk" emails -- but this urge to self-censor just shows how bad it's gotten.
I know I'm not alone in thinking there's a better way to equality than institutional discrimination. If we're really so interested in advancing the cause of African-Americans (amongst others), we should stop pushing people forward "because they're black" and instead start removing their roadblocks to freedom and personal achievement.
One way to do this is to end the War on Drugs.
If you're surprised to hear me say that, you're not alone -- I was surprised when I came to that conclusion recently, too. For the longest time, I'd always thought, "Well, doing drugs is wrong, and dealing drugs is wrong," and I'm still not keen on either of them, but then I realized the same things can be said about eating or selling a Big Mac. That doesn't mean we should cheer the people who've taken McDonald's to court, does it? I would certainly hope not.
Now, think about this for a second here: What's the knock on inner city neighborhoods? That they're filthy and crime-infested, right? We've all heard the stories. Impoverished black kids can't even go out to play because they'll get caught in the line of fire in a war they've got nothing to do with. Worst of all, their fathers aren't around to protect them half the time because they're either missing in action, dead, or serving jail time -- all because there's millions of dollars to be made off illegal substances that people are going to use regardless of whether or not they're allowed to.
This doesn't need to continue. If America's got any interest in upholding the traditional family -- and if we believe it's the answer to the question of poverty -- we'll remove the market restrictions that make drug dealing attractive to the most aspiring amongst the poor. The risks of getting caught are obviously worth it to them; that's basic economics, and we ought not look surprised.
I pity the man who turns to cocaine, heroin, or some other such substance to get him through. It's not the sort of decision I'd make, personally, but there's an obvious market of people who would. So it only stands to reason that many poor folks -- who, due to past injustices, quite often are black -- see this market and decide to capitalize on it. That's why it's called capitalism. With no CVS on the corner to compete with them, these people stand to make a fortune selling drugs -- and making a fortune, after all, is what Americans like to do.
Drug abuse can adversely affect a family, don't get me wrong, but it's going to affect a family regardless of whether drugs are illegal. Same goes for fast food and alcohol, and gambling, and all-around bad attitudes. People who make poor decisions aren't criminals. They're people. In a free society, people ought to be free to screw things up and live with the consequences. It's the only way they're ever going to learn. But when we try to solve addictions by eliminating narcotics, we only create a new set of problems that affect a larger number of people on the whole.
Or look at it this way: Used car salesmen don't go around shooting each other. Drug dealers do.
Prohibition created organized crime nearly a century ago, and it continues to do so today. Between drive-by shootings and putting people in prison for the crime of irresponsibility, we're depriving impoverished children of the one thing they need more than anything else: A stable home.
This, above all else, is the key to getting more minorities into college classrooms. Not affirmative action. Not quotas or goals. Just a strong and supportive environment in which to grow and learn.
Ending the drug war will save countless billions in taxpayer money -- money that could just as easily go to rehabilitation clinics or preventative drug abuse education (though that's another issue for another time). Oh, and you know all those commercials the government ran last year linking drugs to terrorism? Yeah, well, ending the drug war will put those middlemen out of business, too.
Those Young Conservatives down in Texas weren't radical rightwing peddlers of hate, you know. They were entrepreneurs. They sold a whopping three cookies and brought in all of a buck fifty, but they made the best of the First Amendment by making a statement true to their hearts -- or at least that's what they would've done if only they weren't shut down. On various levels -- from free speech to free trade -- we're slouching away from the individualistic spirit that made our country strong.
Things won't get better till our actions -- and transactions -- speak louder than our words.
This student does not know the difference between an objective ("bringing a diverse community to a certain organization") and the criterion for selecting the action leading to that objective (affirmative action).
It's scary that he'll get a college degree.
Damned good point, and a damned good article.
More proof that Holy Drug Warriors, especially those claiming the mantle of "conservative" or "Republican", are nothing more than "useful idiots" for the Left. Hear that, Messrs. Bennett, Califano, McCaffery, Walters, etc.?