Skip to comments.New Rules On Race
Posted on 10/12/2003 1:22:05 PM PDT by quidnunc
Add the Rush Limbaugh controversy to the following list of surreal racial episodes.
The National Football League fines Detroit Lions General Manager Matt Millen $200,000 for failing to interview a black candidate in his coaching search. Since everyone knew that Millen had already found the coach he intended to hire (Steve Mariucci), it was left unexplained how interviewing a black candidate would have amounted to anything more than racial tokenism.
In Oakley, Calif., a furor erupts when a 15-year-old girl attempts to create a Caucasian Student Club in a high school that already features, minus the associated controversy, black, Latino and Asian clubs. At Southern Methodist University, a student bake sale offers cookies at different prices for different racial groups in a symbolic protest of racial preferences. University administrators, in an impressive display of respect for free speech, shut the sale down after 45 minutes. What the proverbial Martian visiting America in his flying saucer would infer from all of this is difficult to tell, but it might include some mixture of the following:
That the freedom of expression so valued in other areas of American life does not apply on questions of race. More precisely, it can be downright harmful to ones health to comment on racial issues. Lots of people might believe, for instance, that the poetry of Maya Angelou or the novels of Toni Morrison are overrated because Angelou and Morrison are black women, but they are not allowed to express those thoughts publicly. That although racial preferences are considered desirable by liberals, it is undesirable for anyone, especially conservative white males, to claim that someone is a beneficiary of such preferences. Thus the system of racial preferences can be maintained only to the extent that we all agree beforehand not to acknowledge its existence or notice any of its possible negative consequences. Blacks are assumed by liberals to need preferences to succeed, but it is impermissible thereafter to attribute, correctly or incorrectly, any case of black success to preferences (unless the black person in question is a conservative opposed to racial preferences, such as Clarence Thomas).
That the concept of "identity politics" applies only to those who have something other than a white identity. Exclusive clubs for Latinos and blacks are expressions of multiculturalism and diversity at their finest, exclusive clubs for whites are merely racist and exclusionary. That although just about everyone can claim minority status of some kind, some minorities are real and others (such as white males) arent. Going further, public discourse should be regulated in such a manner as to protect the former from the deeply ingrained racism, sexism and homophobia of the latter
That the end of maintaining racial preferences justifies the means of silencing those critical of them, with the most effective means of such suppression being accusations of racism. To close ones eyes and overlook the double standards and contradictions inherent in racial preferences is to be enlightened, to point out those double-standards and contradictions is to be racist.
That a society cannot adopt policies that encourage heightened racial consciousness without inflaming racial animosity and division. Such tendencies are further exacerbated when discussion of racial matters is driven underground, in samizdat fashion, by vigilant and hypocritical commissars of political correctness. The great tragedy of contemporary American race relations is that the means chosen by liberals racial preferences based on heightened racial consciousness conflicts with the end of diminished racism. Put differently, a fundamental mismatch has been created between the presumed goal of judging people on the content of their character, apart from race, and policies which classify and reward on the basis of the color of ones skin. Again, race is either everything or it is nothing; either it is the basis for ones identity and the allocation of societal rewards or simply an ephemeral biological artifact irrelevant to our assessment of individual human beings. The contemporary civil rights agenda is built on an increasingly transparent and unstable foundation of lies and intellectual self-deception. That so many otherwise well-meaning people cant (or are unwilling to) see this is nothing less than the moral scandal of our age.
That so many otherwise well-meaning people cant (or are unwilling to) see this is nothing less than the moral scandal of our age.
The question is, are they really?
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