Racial Quotas, Speech Codes, and the Thought Police

Michael Barone, National Review Online, July 7, 2011

It’s racially discriminatory to prohibit racial discrimination. That’s the bottom line of a decision issued last Friday, just before the Fourth of July weekend, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

The case was brought by an organization called By Any Means Necessary to overturn a state constitutional amendment passed by a 58 percent majority of Michigan voters in November 2006.

{snip}

Its chief goal was to ban the racial quotas and preferences long used in admissions by Michigan’s state universities. {snip}

The Sixth Circuit ruling seems unlikely to stand. Its citation of Supreme Court precedents is unpersuasive. The proposition that a state’s voters cannot ban racial discrimination seems palpably absurd.

{snip}

The argument for racial quotas and preferences is that every sort of talent and ability is equally distributed among every conceivable category of persons, but that quotas and preferences are needed to identify qualified members of groups that were objects of discrimination in the past.

But the idea of equal distribution of talents and abilities, as Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray showed definitively in their 1994 book The Bell Curve, is simply factually wrong.

The ordinary American knows this–and knows also that that is not a rational basis for discriminating against members of any group. It’s not very hard to understand that beneath any group average there is a wide range of individual abilities.

Why are university and legal elites so determined to preserve racial quotas and preferences? One reason, I suspect, is that they can’t bear to see lower percentages of blacks in the institutions they run than you find in the U.S. Army or many local police departments.

{snip}

Topics:

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Anonymous

    “In my view, the strongest argument against racial quotas and preferences is that they tend to cast a pall of illegitimacy over the achievements of the intended beneficiaries.”

    WRONG! The *strongest* arguments are that it is fundamentally unfair AND that affirmative action harms white people.

    Other than that, Barone’s arguments are essentially sound.

  • Anonymous

    Wow. Open borders fanatic Michael Barone is now saying he doesn’t believe in an equal distribution of “talents” and “abilities.” Is he aware that these traits aren’t merely a case of black and white (lierally and figuratively.) You see, other racial/ethnic groups also average lower on tests of cognitive ability compared with whites. They include Arabs, South Asians, Aboriginies, American Indians and most Latin American nationalities. If he is in fact aware that Hispanics average lower that non-Hispanic whites on IQ tests why is he such a huge fan of their ongoing demographic onslaught? Does he have some sort of a death wish for this country? Is his mind not fully functioning?

  • E Pluribus Pluribus

    “Why are university and legal elites so determined to preserve racial quotas and preferences? One reason, I suspect, is that they can’t bear to see lower percentages of blacks in the institutions they run . . .”

    ===

    The harsh constraints confronting any American institution seeking to diversify its ranks are here encapsulated:

    “Because blacks lag significantly behind whites on measures of cognitive ability, most valid job selection criteria will have a substantial adverse impact on this group. The combination of well-documented racial differences in cognitive ability and the consistent link between ability and job performance generates a pattern that experts term ‘the validity-diversity tradeoff’: job selection devices that best predict future job performance generate the smallest number of minority hires in a broad range of positions. ” (Amy L. Wax, U. of Pennsylvania Law School in “Disparate Impact Realism”)

    SOURCE: “Disparate Impact Realism,” Amy L. Wax, University of Pennsylvania Law School, William & Mary Law Review, Forthcoming:

    http://tinyurl.com/3spoj65

  • Anonymous

    Raising the race reality will be fatal to his career. When he current contracts run out, they will not be renewed. We wish he had gone out with a bigger and lasting bang. Whimpers are all we get these days.

  • Anonymous

    Colorado day-care center proposal: Dolls must represent at least three different races

    http://goo.gl/skTP1

    The new game is to get at us before we are old enough that they are telling us what to do. Then, we’ll never know what we are annoyed at. We’ll just be submerged and think it’s normal. Drugs and alcohol will become ever worse problems in the White community, because we will all be so miserable, which is the purpose of Diversity.

    It’s called the Diversity Curse. Just make sure the Whitey Elites suffer from it as much as you do.

  • Question Diversity

    I’m glad Michael Barone is on board. Barone is probably the king of us political statgeeks, and he more than anyone should realize that on election day in November 2006, the only Michigan statewide Republican candidate to endorse MCRI and do so publicly was the only one that won, on a day and in a state favorable to Democrats. Unfortunately, Barone is of the mindset that anti-racism (i.e. anti-white) in the Republican Party is the way to win elections, and he is otherwise a Republican neo-liberal on race issues.

  • Steve

    What? (Gasp!) Is Barone saying that all racial and ethnic groups are not precisely equal in all respects?

    “Everyone knows” that’s simply ridiculous and that anybody suggesting otherwise should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    And this nonsense about East Asians being, on average, shorter than certain other races is equally ridiculous. Everyone knows that this is due to nutritional deficiencies and that with a proper diet all these people would grow to exactly our height.

  • sbuffalonative

    I’ve never known Mr. Barone to speak in this fashion. I believe it was Mr. Barone who said that Hispanics immigrating to the US today were no different from Italians immigrating in the past.

    Does he now believe there are recognizable group differences?

    Is the tide shifting?

  • Anonymous

    But the idea of equal distribution of talents and abilities, as Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray showed definitively in their 1994 book The Bell Curve, is simply factually wrong.

    The ordinary American knows this—and knows also that that is not a rational basis for discriminating against members of any group. It’s not very hard to understand that beneath any group average there is a wide range of individual abilities.

    Why are university and legal elites so determined to preserve racial quotas and preferences? One reason, I suspect, is that they can’t bear to see lower percentages of blacks in the institutions they run than you find in the U.S. Army or many local police departments.

    ——————

    I’m not sure what Barone is trying to say here, but that’s par when someone tries to tap dance around obvious, unpopular truths.

    He’s full of contradictions.

  • Berin Rassouid

    What a miserable life it must be to be a liberal. They must always contend with reality which contradicts all their cherished beliefs. And then, to be wrong all the time. It takes an unshakeable faith to endure these experiences and never change one’s mind.

  • John Engelman

    Universities like to practice affirmative action because it does not harm them. When a university admits an unqualified black student it takes his tuition money, and flunks him out. The black student’s parents lose the money. A white student is denied a position where he could have performed adequately. The University pockets the tuition money.

    Employers in the private sector may pay lip service to affirmative action. Nevertheless, they know that Charles Murray is right.

  • noneknown

    @11: In my experience, most black college students were getting a free ride thanks to the taxpayer not their parents. Otherwise you are spot on!!

  • Jake

    Two judges on the Sixth Circuit came to his “brilliant decision”. Both appointed by Clinton, Martha Daughtrey and R. Guy Cole. Apparently neither one read the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause or the Civil Rights Act which banned discrimination. This is a blatant example of legislating from the bench. (This Michigan initiative to prohibit racial discrimination was passed by 58% of the vote.) And these two judges declared that concept unconstitutional. Duh! We see this outrage over and over again. California initiative to ban gay marriages passed overwhelmingly and was “overruled” by one gay federal judge. Yeah, these brilliant judges are great, that’s how we got a Constitutional right for abortion.(I couldn’t find it in the Constitution?) The current death count is around 55 million dead babies. Also, in a 5-4 decision the Supremes decided that any mention of Jesus or God be banned in public places. And, kids are learning that you better NOT mention Jesus or God in school or there will be HELL to pay.

  • El Cerotito Blanco

    I just have one question: Would you go to a physician whom you KNEW had been admitted to college AND medical school with lower grades than his/her associates, purely because s/he was black? If you said “Yes,” then I will personally send you a one-way ticket to Haiti. Good bye and good luck.

  • olewhitelady

    #5 Anonymous:

    As to the proposal for CO daycares to have dolls of 3 races:

    Decades of data would indicate that most of the girls will fight over the white dolls, especially the blonde ones. And most of the boys will refuse to play with them at all, which should upset the liberals even more.

  • White, Jewish, and Proud

    8 — sbuffalonative wrote at 8:34 PM on July 8:

    “Is the tide shifting?”

    Flash mobs, racial quotas, illegal aliens — indeed, it has. All of these things have entered into the common consciousness.

  • True Blue

    “What a miserable life it must be to be a liberal. They must always contend with reality which contradicts all their cherished beliefs. And then, to be wrong all the time. It takes an unshakeable faith to endure these experiences and never change one’s mind.”

    Well said, and it brings to mind something I have often thought; that the reason so many liberals are taking prescription psychotropic drugs. My best example is my sister; she was bright (second in her class at a much better high school than I went to) but she went head over heels for this diversity twaddle, and after attending a liberal university -Northwestern- she was even worse. By the time she graduated (majoring in English history and women’s studies -what a joke) her head was so stuffed with nonsensical fluff that I had to quit speaking with her. She is now heavily medicated most of the time. Quite frankly it is my belief that this is because the leftist piffle her head is stuffed with conflicts so badly with reality that she cannot handle the obvious disconnect between the liberal fantasy and the observable harshness of truth all around us.

    I doubt she will ever be awakened, simply because she has so much invested in the leftist ideology.

  • Robert Marchenoir

    1. “But the idea of equal distribution of talents and abilities, as Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray showed definitively in their 1994 book The Bell Curve, is simply factually wrong. The ordinary American knows this…”

    2. “…And knows also that that is not a rational basis for discriminating against members of any group.”

    Wait a minute… If different groups of people have different mean levels of talent, surely it’s highly rational to discriminate in favor of the most talented groups, and therefore to discriminate against the less talented groups ?

    If you needed a plumber and you positively knew that group of plumbers A were, on average, way better than group of plumbers B, which group would you discriminate against ?

    That should be blindingly obvious.

  • elitist

    “What a miserable life it must be to be a liberal. They must always contend with reality which contradicts all their cherished beliefs. And then, to be wrong all the time. It takes an unshakeable faith to endure these experiences and never change one’s mind.”

    The left has no monopoly on ideological fanaticism. Some people on the right like to deny climate change and assert – hilariously – that globally based, megacorporations run by the super rich are actually humanitarian institutions whose representatives lie awake at night worrying about working Americans, or deny that bird populations worldwide are plummeting due to pesticide use and habitat destruction, or that overpopulation dooms our planet and our species (or that smoking causes cancer, that modern biology and genetics are real sciences, that seatbelts prevent deaths, etc. etc.).

    If you are a fanatic (it really makes no difference whether you are right or left), it is positively EXHILARATING to deny obvious reality, because it means you are more ideologically pure.

    For fanatics of the left and the right, denying obvious factual reality earns you brownie points, and makes you morally superior.

    That is why the real division is not between left and right, but between sober, rational, realists and people who get a perverse thrill from denying reality.

  • American Cuban

    @ 2 — Anonymous

    IQ average lower for Hispanics vs. non-hispanic Whites. True. But is it true for hispanic Whites and non-hipanic Whites? No. Americans of Cuban ancestry, almost all white, have the same average education and income as non-hipanic Whites.

  • steve

    Elitist 19 – Since you are one of the elite, perhaps you could explain to me how carbon dioxide, comprising four one-hundredths of one percent of the earth’s atmosphere, could be causing global warming? Sounds to me like trying to warm a 40,000 gallon swimming pool by tossing a cup of hot water into it. Oh, by the way, CO is totally inert: It can’t catalyze other reactions.

  • Blaak Obongo

    “If you are a fanatic (it really makes no difference whether you are right or left), it is positively EXHILARATING to deny obvious reality, because it means you are more ideologically pure.”

    Let me guess: you’re a leftist who has had an epiphany on racial matters, but otherwise clings to a liberal agenda.

  • Anonymous

    John Engelman,

    The black student’s parents lose the money.

    Hardly. First, most black students only have one involved parent. Second, the black student is likely there on Pell grants and other tuition loans and support. When the student defaults, guess who absorbs the loss?

  • Anonymous

    “Why are university and legal elites so determined to preserve racial quotas and preferences?”

    Because they are committed heart and soul to non-discrimination. To admit there are differences is to admit to having observed a difference, discrimination in other words, which is an act of bigotry. This is why liberals reject truth when it conflicts with their ideology, and is why the mission of higher ed is to advocate, not to pursue truth.

  • Bobby

    I would agree with #20 Cuban American. The second world chess champion was Cuban. There have been many Cuban jazz greats. Cuban doctors are well trained and competent. Cubans, pre Castro,were almost all from Spain.