April 18, 1996
Affirmative Action: End It.
The left is brilliant at using words. Because of their willing accomplices in the mainstream media, the liberal view of almost every issue is crystallized using their terms of the debate. Essential American ideals, freedom, equal justice under law, individual rights, have been trampled upon (using the cover of nice-sounding terms). All poisonous schemes liberals have foisted upon American for decades have been hidden under sweet names: social justice, fairness, compassion, the common good, progressivism, diversity, tolerance, affirmative action. Who could oppose any thing so positive, so wonderful, so loving, so kind?
Anyone who dares oppose the left's programs are deemed mean spirited, racist, sexist, homophobic, oppressive, McCarthyite, fascist, extremist, yada, yada, yada. Liberals have not counted on two things. First, ordinary people do not participate in liberalism's required denial of reality: they see for themselves in their own cities, communities, schools, businesses, the terrible real life consequences of liberal ideas. Second, just because liberals have for years been able to stifle any substantive debate on these issues with name-calling and intimidation, they have not stamped out the vast opposition. Although they've tried.
And they are still trying, as we will continue to see as the debate over affirmative action heats up. Listen to Willie Brown, former California Assembly Speaker: "Those who operate on the theory, in this environment, that there is something tragically wrong with the remedy called affirmative action, and that it needs to be corrected, they're wrong and they come from the perspective of a racist."
Thirty years ago, before the media bestowed upon liberals alone the moral authority to discuss civil rights issues, conditions were radically different than they are today. If you were a member of a racial minority, you did not have access to certain jobs, you were not permitted to shop or go to the movies in certain places, and in many ways you could not lead a normal life. All because you were a different color. It was vile, and it flew in the face of the American ideal.
Now thirty years later there is an initiative called the called the California Civil Rights Initiative. This was proposed by two San Francisco professors, it reads as follows: "Neither the State of California nor any of its political subdivisions or agents shall use race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin as a criterion for either discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the operation of the State's system of public employment, public education or public contracting." I wonder ... who will oppose that? Could we say it would be the bigots? By any definition of the word, I think we can.
The media and the democratic party are appalled at the instant popularity of this initiative, of which over 60 percent of California voters approve, according to a recent field poll. A significant number of those who supposedly benefit from the preferential policies back the measure. Nearly 60 percent of women and about 40 percent of blacks, Hispanics, and Asians. When asked about affirmative action in general, California voters oppose the concept by a 2-1 ratio.
"The elimination of affirmative action ... would be a catastrophe for American women," says Katherine Spillar, national coordinator of the Feminist Majority Foundation. Though Ms. Spillar does not speak for most women, nor does she justify her belief that affirmative action is "right," she declares: "Women will not quickly accept a rollback in our rights." The Congressional Black Caucus has formed a task force to fight efforts to overhaul affirmative action laws. Says Rep. Donald M. Payne (D, NJ), Chairman of the caucus: "We are going to be a truth squad to interpret correctly what affirmative action is and what the goals have been."
Let us look at what affirmative action is. Sen. Bill Bradley (D, NJ) claims: "The issue has been distorted that affirmative action to many means reverse discrimination and preferences, which is clearly not what affirmative action is. That's what Quotas are." You have got it exactly wrong senator. Like most liberals, you believe that an innocent sounding name for a policy equals an innocent policy. But in real life, in the real world, senator, affirmative action means reverse discrimination and preferences. Affirmative action means quotas. Affirmative action is institutional racism, and it's time to end it.