The U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down Affirmative Action in college admissions.
AA was as unfair and un-American as the recent atheist (woke) meltdown over country singer Jason Aldean’s #1 hit song “Try That In A Small Town.” Due to our biblical heritage, we Americans believe in freedom and equal opportunity for people.
In this article, I want to share Victor Davis Hanson’s wisdom on Affirmative Action while engaging in a little critical thinking.
May Affirmative Action rest in peace.
Affirmative Action RIP
Victor Davis Hanson (VDH) taught at Stanford University. I consider him one of the brightest commentators in America, though he can be a bit “intellectual.”
This week a college student approached me and asked how he could develop his critical thinking skills (the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment).
We live in an era where many folks don’t want to think for themselves and some want to force their views on others (totalitarianism). The first group is lazy. The second is demonic.
I gave my student a few tips. I told him to read the best books, underline and color code the things that stand out, then meditate on their insights. Finally, put the main truths of the book into his own words.
That’s how you develop critical thinking.
Here’s practicing what I preach. I will share Victor Davis Hanson’s ten points about Affirmative Action. Then I will summarize each point in bold in my own words.
Ten Reasons Why Affirmative Action Died
By Victor Davis Hanson
The end of affirmative action was inevitable. The only surprise in the Supreme Court’s recent decision was that such intentions gone terribly wrong lasted so long.
First, supporters of racial preferences always pushed back the goal posts for the program’s success. Was institutionalized reverse bias to last 20 years, 60 years, or ad infinitum?
Parity became defined as an absolute equality of result. If “equity” was not obtained, then only institutionalized “racism” explained disparities. And only reverse racism was deemed the cure.
There will never be equality of results between people. We’re motivated and gifted differently.
Second, affirmative action was imposed on the back end in adult hiring and college admissions. However, to achieve parity, remediation early at the K-12 school level would have been the only solution.
Yet such intervention was made impossible by teachers unions, the rise of identity politics, and government entitlements. All were opposed to school choice, self-help programs, critiques of cultural impediments, or restrictions on those blanket entitlements.
Progressives don’t want blacks to succeed. They must be victims to keep voting as a block.
Third, class, the true barometer of privilege, was rendered meaningless. Surrealism followed. The truly privileged Barack and Michelle Obama as well as Meghan Markle lectured the country on its unfairness—as if they had it far rougher than the impoverished “deplorables” of East Palestine, Ohio.
People are poor primarily due to class status (birth), tragedies, and poor life choices.
Fourth, affirmative action supporters could never square the circle of proving that racial prejudices didn’t violate the spirit of the Declaration of Independence and the text of the Constitution.
What they were left with was the lame argument that because long ago the 90% white majority had violated their own foundational documents, then such past bad unconstitutional bias could be rectified legitimately by present-day “good” unconstitutional bias.
Affirmative action was always anti-American–against our founding documents.
Fifth, supporters never adequately explained why the sins of prior generations fell on their descendants who grew up in the post-civil rights era.
Nor could they account for why those who had never experienced institutionalized racism, much less Jim Crow apartheid or slavery, were to be compensated collectively for the suffering of long-dead individuals. No wonder 70% of Americans in many polls favored ending affirmative action, including half of African Americans.
We are not responsible for the sins of past generations.
Sixth, there never was a “rainbow” coalition of shared non-white victimhood—a concept necessary to perpetuate the premise of white privilege, supremacy, and rage, so integral to race-based reverse discrimination. More than a dozen ethnicities earn more per capita than do whites.
Asians have been subject to coerced internment, immigration restrictions, and zoning exclusions. Yet on average, they do better than whites economically and enjoy lower suicide rates and longer life expectancies.
The arguments for affirmative action never explained why Asians and other minorities who faced discrimination outperformed the majority white population. As a result, affirmative action ended up discriminating against Asians on the premise they were too successful.
Affirmative action discriminated against other groups, especially hard-working Asians.
Seventh, no one ever explained when affirmative action was to apply. Blacks, for example, were vastly “overrepresented” in merit-based professional football and basketball. Yet no one demanded “proportional representation” to address such “disparate impact,” despite underrepresentation of all other demographics.
Yet if blacks were “underrepresented” in baseball, then reparatory measures were supposed to address that fact—even if Latino players were “overrepresented” and whites “underrepresented” as well. No one in our race-obsessed culture, of course, objected that white males died at twice their demographics in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Races have different God-given talents and abilities as evidenced by the NFL and NBA domination by blacks.
Eighth, in our increasingly intermarried mass-immigration society, few could adjudicate who was what, or much less what standard gave one racial preference. In lunatic fashion, pink, blond Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., became Harvard’s first “Native American” law professor due to her “high cheekbones.” Light-skinned Latinos were considered marginalized, while some darker Italians or Greeks were not.
It’s absurd to apply AA to people who are mixed race.
Ninth, an odious wokeism absorbed affirmative action and changed it into something even more abhorrent—as the original spirit of the civil rights movement was trashed. So Americans were asked to stomach a return to distasteful segregated dorms, “separate but equal” graduation ceremonies, and racially exclusive workshops.
You don’t conquer discrimination with reverse discrimination.
Tenth, and finally, affirmative action was insidiously destroying meritocracy. That hallmark American value of tribally blind inclusivity once had explained why the nation outshone the world by discarding the old class prejudices of Europe. But increasingly, this value seemed to have been abandoned.
Getting a higher education should be based on merit and effort, not skin color.
When Stockton Rush, the late captain and inventor of the ill-fated Titan deep-sea explorer, was quoted postmortem bragging that his company had no need of “old white guys” with long military expertise in submarining, Americans realized that woke racial discrimination was not just repulsive, but could get you killed.
A nation where pilot training, medical school admissions, and promotions within the military high command increasingly were adopting racial, gender, or sexual-orientation essentialism was a country headed for the sort of Third World tribalism characteristic of failed states abroad.
In the end, the Supreme Court finally stepped in to end this unconstitutional aberration, which was more like the old Soviet commissariat than our ideals of equality under the law.
The American people concurred. And the only regret seemed to be: Why not sooner?
Only three answers come to mind: Ignorance, apathy, and cowardice to speak up.
The USA’s most famous African American, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had it right sixty years ago:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”