Forced diversity is no diversity at all Posted by: McQ
on Monday, December 11, 2006
As far as I'm concerned one of the more hideous examples of judicial activism is affirmative action. Why do I believe it to be judicial activism? Read Joe Klein's paragraph first:
Affirmative action was never a very elegant solution to the problem of racial injustice. In fact, Gewirtz—who clerked for the civil rights legend Justice Thurgood Marshall—remembers that Marshall was opposed to making distinctions by race, and had his doubts about racial preferences. But Marshall overcame his doubts, and affirmative action became part of the fabric of American society.
"Marshall was opposed to making distinctions by race", except, as it turns out, when making such distinctions paid off for a race he favored. Suddenly principle gave into power. He could make it happen. And so "civil rights legend Justice Thurgood Marshall" sold out his principles and those of the civil rights movement. In a single vote, he irretrievably damaged the civil rights movement in America.
Instead of actually standing for a color-blind society and resisting the siren's call of government sanctioned discrimination, Marshall chose to give preference based, arbitrarily, on his belief rather than the precedent of the law.
He didn't overcome his "doubts" as Klein attempts to argue. He overcame his principles and made law something which should have been as odious to the civil rights movement as anything Jim Crow could have cobbled together.
But it wasn't. Even those who have favored it know that:
Even the most passionate advocates of affirmative action agree that it's a temporary fix, that writing racial distinctions into law is corrosive and illogical in a society that presumes racial equality. Even the most passionate conservative advocates of "color blindness" know that race prejudice still exists and needs to be rectified.
Yes, but not by government sanctioned prejudice. How many times does mom have to say 'two wrongs certainly don't make a right'. Trite but true, now more than ever.
Affirmative action, instead of being condemned by the civil rights establishment, was embraced. It became an entitlement. Something which was owed for past wrongs. However, unsurprisingly, it caused resentment among those against whom it discriminated. Go figure.
And the group that campaigned so hard for fair and equal treatment under the law took one look at the unfair advantage offered them through affirmative action and they abandoned "fair and equal treatment" like a red-headed step-child.
"You're characterizing each student by reason of the color of his or her skin," chided Justice Anthony Kennedy, during the Supreme Court arguments last week over the legality of school-integration plans in Louisville, Ky., and Seattle. "And it seems to me that that should only be, if ever allowed, allowed as a last resort." Kennedy is the court's probable swing vote on this issue, and he has a clear track record on racial preferences: he doesn't like them. "It appears Kennedy is going to stick with his long-held position that affirmative action is unconstitutional," says Paul Gewirtz of Yale Law School. If so, the Roberts court is embarked upon a gradual, but ineluctable, rollback of all racial preferences.
Klein acts as if this is a disaster of epic proportions and offers, later in the article, three ways to keep preferences alive. The entire article is an unconvincing attempt to persuade the reader that our "fabulous polychromatic smorgasbord" of "diversity" is directly attributable to government sanctioned discrimination programs. That and the courageous Justice who sold out his prinicples (and the movement which stood for them) to enact his personal preference because he had the power to do so.
Judges don’t create affirmative action programs. Other parts of government do. So how is it that a judge who does not overrule the decisions of other parts of government engages in judicial "activism"?
Stated another way, why is your two minute hate directed against those who don’t stand in the way of the program, instead of those who actually create the program in the first place?