Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Bring back racial and sexual discrimination, says The Seattle Times

In today’s editorial, The Seattle Times advocated a return to arbitrary discrimination against people based on race and sex.

Will the Democrats, now that they will soon control the state’s legislative and executive branches, answer the call of The Seattle Times and repeal the civil rights guarantees approved by the voters through Initiative 200?

According to the editorial, the Democrats would be on the side of the angels:

Virtually every court has now spoken. Affirmative action can be used to craft thoughtful policies of inclusion and equal opportunity. Everywhere, that is, except this state. I-200 remains the mean-spirited law in Washington. [Emphasis added.]
With neither facts, logic nor morality on its side, The Seattle Times stoops to doublespeak. Racial and sexual discrimination are called “affirmative action,” and described as “thoughtful policies of inclusion.” While some people would be given preferential treatment on the basis of race or sex and others would be discriminated against on the same arbitrary bases, the result is called “equal opportunity.”

Intellectual honesty was apparently in short supply while this editorial was being written, since the actual policy of equal opportunity – put into state law by I-200 – was called “mean spirited.”

Washington’s state law now requires that the government shall neither grant a preference to nor discriminate against any person based on that person’s race or sex, but The Seattle Times sees this policy as a “barrier” standing in the way of women and minorities:

With significant court rulings on their side, it is time for the state Legislature to dismantle the law.

I-200 is a barrier blocking women and minorities from the aspirations most of us take for granted. Two years after the initiative became law, minority attendance at schools across the state was down. Most significant was the reduced presence of people of color at certain professional schools, including the UW's School of Law.

The same trend holds in state construction contracts.
According to the editorial, women and minorities are incapable of competing with “most of us.” Of course, it didn’t say that exactly – people who use doublespeak rarely say exactly what they mean.

Sounding a clarion call, the editorial concludes:

The courts have spoken. What says the Legislature?
Yes, the federal courts have – to their everlasting shame – perverted the meaning of our federal constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law so as to allow the denial of equal protection.

The citizens of Washington have also spoken – through I-200 – to restore that guarantee.

Is this editorial an indication of what we can expect from the Democrats once they take hold of all the reins of power in January?

If we are fortunate, this nightmarish prospect of a return to arbitrary discrimination in favor of some and against others will turn out to be an editor’s pipe dream.

Update: Some people obviously believe that racial discrimination is a necessary means of helping some “ethnic groups,” but perhaps the result is to harm the ones they seek to help. Today’s Power Line notes the debate surrounding an upcoming law review article by Professor Richard Sander. How sadly ironic it would be if advocates of racial discrimination under the guise of “affirmative action” have brushed aside civil rights guarantees and accomplished the opposite of what they intended. The end surely wouldn’t justify the means, if the chosen means accomplishes the opposite end.


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