Race In America And Heads "Bowed In Shame"

Richard Cohen writes:

It was Ricci's misfortune to take -- and pass -- the New Haven, Conn., fire department's exam for promotion to lieutenant and captain, and then have the job denied him because he is white. Others will argue -- fatuously and, when they are before St. Peter, with heads bowed in shame -- that race had nothing to do with what happened to Ricci, but the fact remains that had he been black, his uniform would already sport a lieutenant's bar.

(Emphasis supplied.) Richard Cohen calls himself a "conditional liberal." I have no idea what he means but I do know he is a fool. In fact, no one argues that Ricci's condition in life has nothing to do with the fact that he is a white man. Quite the opposite. The argument is that we are a nation that has been advantaged for white men throughout its history. Cohen the fool believes that the ascendancy of Barack Obama to the Presidency washes this all away. It is of course Richard Cohen who does not understand the history and realitiies of this country. How could he? Could anyone imagine Richard Cohen holding the exalted station he currently holds were he not a white man? Gawd help us if it were true. He is the very picture of the problem. More . .

It so happens that I find Judge Cabranes' dissent on the issue of whether an en banc review of Ricci was in order quite compelling:

This appeal raises important questions of first impression in our Circuit--and indeed, in the nation--regarding the application of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause and Title VII's prohibition on discriminatory employment practices. At its core, this case presents a straight-forward question: May a municipal employer disregard the results of a qualifying examination, which was carefully constructed to ensure race-neutrality, on the ground that the results of that examination yielded too many qualified applicants of one race and not enough of another? In a path-breaking opinion, which is nevertheless unpublished, the District Court answered this question in the affirmative, dismissing the case on summary judgment. A panel of this Court affirmed in a summary order containing a single substantive paragraph. Three days prior to the filing of this opinion, the panel withdrew its summary order and filed a per curiam opinion adopting in toto the reasoning of the District Court, thereby making the District Court's opinion the law of the Circuit.

The use of per curiam opinions of this sort, adopting in full the reasoning of a district without further elaboration, is normally reserved for cases that present straight-forward questions that do not require explanation or elaboration by the Court of Appeals. The questions raised in this appeal cannot be classified as such, as they are indisputably complex and far from well-settled. These questions include: Does the Equal Protection Clause prohibit a municipal employer from discarding examination results on the ground that "too many" applicants of one race received high scores and in the hope that a future test would yield more high-scoring applicants of other races? Does such a practice constitute an unconstitutional racial quota or set aside? Should the burden-shifting framework applicable to claims of pretextual discrimination ever apply to a claim of explicit race-based discrimination in violation of Title VII? If a municipal employer claims that a race-based action was undertaken in order to comply with Title VII, what showing must the employer make to substantiate that claim? Presented with an opportunity to address en banc questions of such "exceptional important," a majority of this Court voted to avoid doing so.

The issues in Ricci are indeed complex and require a searching and wise consideration. You will not find such from the likes of a Richard Cohen (nor of course will you find them from Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Roberts. Cohen is incapable of it as a question of intellect. The other 4 as a question of good faith.)

In Richmond v. Croson, the Court addressed these difficult issues in an unsatisfactory way to my way of thinking. I recommend to you especially Justice Marshall's dissent, joined by Justices Brennan and Blackmun. But the starkness of Justice Blackmun's separate dissent has a way of getting to the nub of the issue about the Richard Cohens of the world:

I never thought that I would live to see the day when the city of Richmond, Virginia, the cradle of the Old Confederacy, sought on its own, within a narrow confine, to lessen the stark impact of persistent discrimination. But Richmond, to its great credit, acted. Yet this Court, the supposed bastion of equality, strikes down Richmond's efforts as though discrimination had never existed or was not demonstrated in this particular litigation. JUSTICE MARSHALL convincingly discloses the fallacy and the shallowness of that approach. History is irrefutable, even though one might sympathize with those who - though possibly innocent in themselves - benefit from the wrongs of past decades.

The Richard Cohens of the world can not understand this. Others who deign to call themselves "conditional liberals" will choose not to understand it. You will find them among the "liberal and moderate" supporters of the confirmations of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito. The ones who speak of Justice Scalia's "towering intellect." They will be heard from now in multitudes as the great Justice David Souter rises for the last time from the bench.

This is a great test for President Obama. The politics for him look clear. The principles are also clear. His actions now will tell us much about the man. For this is a moment for principles. For history. For posterity.

Speaking for me only

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    I just read the article and (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue May 05, 2009 at 08:47:32 AM EST

    You hit the nail on the head with this:

    In fact, no one argues that Ricci's condition in life has nothing to do with the fact that he is a white man. Quite the opposite. The argument is that we are a nation that has been advantaged for white men throughout its history. Cohen the fool believes that the ascendancy of Barack Obama to the Presidency washes this all away. It is of course Richard Cohen who does not understand the history and realitiies of this country. How could he? Could anyone imagine Richard Cohen holding the exalted station he currently holds were he not a white man? Gawd helps us if it were true.

    All during the primaries, I got hammered for trying to explain this concept....that yes, race and gender mattered (not the only thing that mattered, FINALLY).  Those things have always mattered and for most of our history being white and male mattered in the most positive way and being a minority and/or female mattered in the most negative way.  FINALLY, in my view, there were some positives in being a minority and/or female, albeit still some massive negatives.  

    I know people like Cohen who still whine and moan that their poor white sons did not get this or that because of some minority or some woman.  I don't think these people will ever get it.

    Alternate title (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 05, 2009 at 08:55:00 AM EST
    Richard Cohen: A White Man Burdens

    Um... (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by lilburro on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:00:43 AM EST

    Maybe once it was possible to argue that some innocent people had to suffer in the name of progress, but a glance at the White House strongly suggests that things have changed. For most Americans, race has become supremely irrelevant. Everyone knows this. Every poll shows this. Maybe the Supreme Court will recognize this.

    I spent the entire year of 2008 hearing quite the opposite.  And I would love to see Cohen's polls and statistics.

    There is, though, every need to retain and strengthen anti-discrimination laws, especially in areas such as fire departments, where racial discrimination was once endemic. Sufficient progress has been made to revert to treating individuals as individuals.

    I had no idea Cohen had such long experience with fire departments.

    Here is an insight (5.00 / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:08:34 AM EST
    Richard Cohen is an idiot.

    Sorry, J., but sometimes the truth must come out.

    If Richard Cohen were not a white man, no one would have ever heard of him. The only reason he is who he is is because he is a white man. He has no redeeming talent at all.


    There's the Beltway for you (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by lilburro on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:17:46 AM EST
    in general.  No wonder Cohen is so offended by our unconditional liberalism.

    White men... (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by kdog on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:05:41 AM EST
    need to count their blessings and quit b*tchin', to be sure. I'm well aware of the white boy breaks I've gotten in job interviews and treatment from law enforcement and know it ain't fair or just.  

    However, we should all hope and work towards  one day being a true meritocracy...and that must include an end to affirmitive action at some point.  I won't argue that we are there, but the election of Obama is a positive sign.

    I think... (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by DancingOpossum on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:28:29 AM EST
    ...we need to talk less about race and more about class. White men who are not "coastal elites" have been losing PLENTY in the past few decades. Plenty of jobs, plenty of money, plenty of opportunity. Yeah, it's even worse for poor minorities  but that doesn't mean it's a bed of easy roses for working-class or poor whites. There is a lot more in common between, say, Richard Cohen and Juan Williams, who live in the same neighborhood and attend the same cocktail circuit--for that matter, Barack Obama is in that circle--than there is between Richard Cohen and the blue-collar guys on my street whose hours, jobs, and benefits are being slashed on a daily basis and who are thinking seriously about getting food stamps for the first time in their lives.

    you beat me to this point (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:32:52 AM EST
    I think prejudice in this country is definitely evolving to be more about class and less about race which is often but not always related.
    but the invisibility and condescension experienced by many people is more and more based on income and education than race.

    Evolving (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:37:13 AM EST
    accepts that race remains an important issue (not to mention gender.)

    Cohen the Idiot has declared victory over racism.


    and is most likely completely unaware (none / 0) (#31)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:53:52 AM EST
    of the class consciousness that he embodies.



    So true (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by ruffian on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:39:51 AM EST
    It is not about who is suffering more, for the myriad reasons people are suffering today. It is about people like Cohen denying a very real problem.

    There is a way to argue (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by Cream City on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:29:15 AM EST
    and good reason to argue that reverse discrimination is still discrimination.

    But Cohen does not know the way. . . .

    That's because (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:31:59 AM EST
    wait for it, he is an idiot who only has the status he now has because he is a white man.

    I have never heard anyone do that (5.00 / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:39:27 AM EST
    and at the same time propose a workable solution for the problem if inequality.

    *of (none / 0) (#21)
    by andgarden on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:41:26 AM EST
    Like I always say... (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Dr Molly on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:31:43 AM EST
    We can talk honestly about a level playing field and a race-blind and gender-blind society once non-white-males have had a chance to be in equal power for a few centuries or so, and have reaped the societal benefits of that like white men have.

    Then we'll talk.

    Exactly (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by ruffian on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:37:20 AM EST
    when the ruling class (ie white males) stop giving themselves affirmative action, we can end government supported affirmative action for the rest of us.

    That's a depressing thought... (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by kdog on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:06:08 AM EST
    for white males who haven't been invited to the rich white male party.

    I mean we should at least admit that affirmitive action is unfair to white males who come from nothing...it may be necessary to offset greater injustice in the past, but it ain't righteous, only a true meriticracy is righteous...and there is the rub, as long as human beings do the hiring there will be discrimination, it is human nature I'm afraid....all we could do is make it illegal to disciminate based on race/sex/sexuality and give the wronged an avenue to seek justice via the courts.


    Obama is correct that affirmative action (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Cream City on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:21:49 AM EST
    as structured is problematic.  In schools, poor white kids don't get to apply for aid that goes to well-off suburban students of color, for example.  And it's so simplistically determined; I know a student of European descent whose mother remarried a guy who adopted the student, who thus got a new Hispanic surname -- and then qualified for far more financial aid.  (And the family is fairly well-off, so he "needed" it less than many other students.)

    The problem with merit-based aid, though, and probably with merit-based employment, also is the difficulty of determining "merit."  Based on grades, test scores, etc.?  That ignores that grades and test scores of disadvantaged students can reflect that they're working many hours and could have done and could do better with the aid that would allow them to work less -- and, of course, it ignores that they may have gone to schools that were underfunded and provided a poorer education.  Etc.


    It's complicated.... (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by kdog on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:28:22 AM EST
    to be sure, especially when many capable candidates for a job or enrollment exist, and with ability so often being difficult if not impossible to measure.

    Not to mention grade inflation (none / 0) (#74)
    by oldpro on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:37:56 AM EST
    ...especially for the favored.  I would never judge by grades that I had not myself given to a student.

    Not to mention grade inflation (none / 0) (#76)
    by oldpro on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:39:17 AM EST
    ...especially for the favored.  I would never judge by grades that I had not myself given to a student.

    The problem (none / 0) (#79)
    by cal1942 on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:45:19 AM EST
    may have gone to schools that were underfunded and provided a poorer education.

    in PART is neglected K-12 schools in poor areas.  Massive efforts should have been made in this area and other areas long ago.  Today nothing has really happened to level the playing field, in fact it seems all too often that leveling the playing field has come to mean diluting quality everywhere.  Of course this would all require higher taxes and God forbid we should actually pay something to strengthen the nation.

    The solution should never be to deny qualified white men.  Too often it sounds like retribution and retribution only diminishes the nation.  Talent should never be squandered.


    Thus, I used the verb (none / 0) (#103)
    by Cream City on Tue May 05, 2009 at 03:04:00 PM EST

    I know what you are saying (5.00 / 0) (#46)
    by ruffian on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:25:06 AM EST
    but you don't have to be rich to benefit. People hire the people that they know - and who do they know? The people the most like themselves that they went to school with or worked with in the past.

    I don't call affirmative action 'righteous', I call it necessary.


    I can't help but think... (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by kdog on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:31:19 AM EST
    of the saying "two wrongs don't make a right" ruffian.

    Point taken though...even though my parents were working class and I have no wealth, I'm well aware of the white boy breaks I've gotten.  

    I say again, affirmitive action is morally wrong, but white boys shouldn't be complaining based on the breaks they do get but may not even realize.


    It is sometimes difficult to accept (5.00 / 0) (#56)
    by ruffian on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:04:51 AM EST
    the disadvantage being given to an individual as being right for society as a whole, and that is the basis of affirmative action. Each individual case of affirmative action means the government is giving someone an advantage over someone else. If you don't believe that society as a whole benefits from that, then I can see why you see it as morally wrong.

    I am by no means arguing that affrimative action as implemented by the various government entities is done as well as it could be. But I do not see it as a morally wrong idea for society.


    Through METCO inner city kids can be bussed to majority white school systems in nearby towns and the state will pay for their education through METCO.

    Presumably, the education received in the majority white schools is better.

    Except that, due to the economy, yadda-yadda, etc., METCO can only pay around $3700/student/year, but in MA education/student costs around $9000/student/year.

    So the extra $5300/student/year comes from the pockets of the tax payers in the towns the kids are bussed to.

    Oh, and only non-white kids can take part in the METCO program.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#70)
    by Dr Molly on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:28:05 AM EST
    My son is a good example. My own little white boy will go to state school and get no merit-based aid or financial aid, despite having perfect scores and being a little nerdy genius. What can I say?

    I agree - there is a very unfair class issue as well that poor white males suffer from. But that doesn't solve the other problems.


    The way of the world.... (none / 0) (#73)
    by kdog on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:36:07 AM EST
    I guess, life isn't fair and never will be...ya can b*tch about it like Cohen or achieve inspite of the obstacles while taking into account the breaks you do get being a white male, a woman, a minority, etc.

    Dont forget about... (none / 0) (#19)
    by Thanin on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:40:37 AM EST
    the hetero/homosexual equality divide... perhaps the most discriminatory among the three.

    indeed (none / 0) (#42)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:16:23 AM EST
    that last place where blatant bigotry is still accepted even among many "progressives".

    That's the last place (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue May 05, 2009 at 01:37:17 PM EST
    where blatant bigotry is accepted by progressives??

    I know for a fact that you didn't sit through the 2008 primaries.....so....I'll bet you can think of another place....


    Dont forget the other (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by jondee on Tue May 05, 2009 at 04:45:26 PM EST
    codified and almost across-the-board accepted descrimination against who have (theoretically) "paid their debt to society."

    Bigotry has never been accepted by progressives... (none / 0) (#104)
    by Thanin on Tue May 05, 2009 at 04:40:38 PM EST
    just idiots that call themselves progressive.

    The fact that the likes of Cohen (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by ruffian on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:35:38 AM EST
    were already starting to say they would declare the end of racism with his election was perhaps my very first misgiving about Obama's candidacy. Obama's election is no more the sign of racism's 'end times' than was Jackie Robinson playing in the major leagues.

    The exceptional examples do not prove the rule. The everyday lives of ordinary people do. Cohen and others (for as BTD says Cohen is not alone, not by a long shot) do just as much harm to the overall cause of ending racism (and sexism, by the way) as do the avowed racists.

    this is soooo infuriating to me.

    When a descendant of slaves (none / 0) (#27)
    by Cream City on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:48:36 AM EST
    is elected president, then we may talk about no longer hanging heads in shame.



    Michelle could probably do it now (none / 0) (#29)
    by andgarden on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:50:19 AM EST
    And if she did it would still (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by ruffian on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:56:06 AM EST
    only continue the evolution, not be the end of racism.

    or sexism! ;-) (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by ruffian on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:56:36 AM EST
    A FLOTUS is irrelevant (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Cream City on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:04:03 AM EST
    dontcha know?  Michelle herself said that First Ladies don't do work that could be considered significant as experience for the presidency.

    A distraction from the discussion. . . .


    reminds me of when... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Dadler on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:37:23 AM EST
    ...i was getting a teaching credential.  This one woman in the class, who was already a teacher but earning some credits toward her masters, started talking about how she was just so sick of the attitude she gets from her black students.  "Why me?" she complained.  "I never owned slaves."

    To which I replied, quite sarcastically, offending her, "Gee, really?  You never owned even a single slave?  Well then, by all means, your name needs to come off the white list.  No one should EVER bother you about race again."

    can of worms (2.00 / 0) (#58)
    by Iamme on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:13:44 AM EST
    My problem is this.  Yes I am white.  I will always be white.  When does the current generation have to quit paying for what happened before?

    Lets ask some qusetions.  If you heard these what would you think

    I voted for Barrack because he is black.  I voted for him because I am black.  NO issue there is it.

    I didnt vote for him because I am white.  Holly crap.  The NAACP, ACLU, and every other organization known to man would be on my A**.  Black entertainment television, ebony magazine, the list could go on forever.  

    The whole tone of we can be racist towards you because of the history of blacks in America but you have to toe the line you white crackers is what drives me nuts.  

    Issue in Texas recently.  A neighbor saw two people breaking into his neighbors house to rob him.  He shot them both.  He was white they were black.  There were protesters in his front lawn for a week.  He only shot them because they are black.....No he shot them because they were breaking into someones house.  How many times you hear about a black guy shooting this or robbing that.  Do you hear of any white society protester?  

    Stop throwing your blackness in my face.  You want racism to stop but you continue to perpetuate it yourself along with the others you are trying to stop.


    "Paying" (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:20:19 AM EST
    When being a white man is not a distinct advantage.

    You remuind of the Ann Richards line about George Bush the Good One - he was born on 3rd base and thought he hit a triple.



    And was it Ann's line (none / 0) (#80)
    by oldpro on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:48:51 AM EST
    about George Bush the Bad One - "he was born with a silver foot in his mouth."

    Or was it Molly?


    Exihibit A (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by Addison on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:24:42 AM EST
    Stop throwing your blackness in my face.

    Poor whites, always with the blackness thrown in their faces.


    exhibit B (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:53:25 AM EST
    why do you have to throw your gayness in our face?

    answer:  I am gay and I dont hide it.  for you that seems to mean "in your face".


    Just as I suspected (none / 0) (#95)
    by Iamme on Tue May 05, 2009 at 01:17:44 PM EST
    This is where you lose the argument.  Its the white guys, poor white guy.  YOU are perpetuating racism.  You dont really want it to stop, you just want to keep complaining and making America feel guilty.  Where is the outrage against what happened to the Indians?  OH thats there problem I am black. (Color distinction again, racism)

    You can be gay or black or purple but the way in which you attempt to win your argument perpetuates racism.

    You poor white people. (Racist) you are making a distinction based on the color of my skin.  Isnt this what your are trying to end.  Yet here you are perpetuating it.  So your gay so what.  You want special treatment because you are? yeah you really do.  What do you not have today that any other person on the planet cant have?  I mean you specifically. If you are black big tent what is it that YOU dont have that some white guy does.  Dont give me the CEO crap either because there are many more white guys that arent CEOS either.  So what is it that YOU specifically are after?  How are you disadvantaged?  Your not and yet you perpetuate the racism argument.  Your running this blog.  Sounds like you have more advantages than a bunch of white people who dont even have internet.  OH but you feel your owed something more.  Why should you, specifically you, have more than the next guy.  You shouldnt and you know it.  

    This will never end because its always followed with "because I am black, gay, purple I deserve preferential treatment"  Use of color or ones preferences is the very definition of racism.

    So by your own argument I get the feeling you want to end racism as long as the benefits for the blacks, gays, or whatever far outweigh the whites.

    The truest way to stop racism is to stop making the distinction.  I am what I am and it should be fair for all.

    Continue to push the generation that never knew racism in the way you describe it and there will be a backlash against it.  

    Where I live there are folks of all colors driving the same cars and living in the same houses as everyone else.  isnt this equality?

    Yet you still push the racism agenda.  Sounds like you want it to continue.  


    "What do you not have today . . . (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 05, 2009 at 01:35:05 PM EST
    . . . that any other person on the planet cant have?  I mean you specifically."

    lets make it easy and say any other person in the US.  this list may be a little out of date but not much.  this is 10.  if you like I can list 90 or so others.

    1. Right to Love - In 24 states, including Florida, sodomy makes consensual sex between adults of the same sex illegal.

    2. Right to Adopt - Two states, including Florida, prohibit gays and lesbians from adopting specifically on the grounds of their sexual orientation.

    3. Right to Work - There is no federal law prohibiting companies from firing employees or refusing to hire applicants because of their sexual orientation. There are 39 states, including Florida, that do not offer protection against sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace. Most municipalities also do not have such nondiscrimination laws, including parts of Dade County.

    4. Right to Housing - Throughout most of the country, including parts of Dade County, gays and lesbians can be kicked out of their apartments on the basis of their sexual orientation.

    5. Right to Public Accommodations - In most cities and states, gays and lesbians can be denied public accommodations on the basis of their sexual orientation.

    6. Right to Marry - No state currently allows gays and lesbians to marry legally and gain marriage benefits.

    7. Right to Equal Taxation - The IRS does not recognize gay couples and organizations like they do heterosexual couples or straight organizations.

    8. Right to Peace - Violent crimes against gays and lesbians aren't prosecutable under Federal law.

    9. Right to Worship - Churches and church organizations are allowed to discriminate against gays and lesbians.

    10. Right to Serve in the Military - Openly-gay and -lesbian people are prohibited from serving in the armed forces.

    Thansk for taking the bait (2.00 / 0) (#101)
    by Iamme on Tue May 05, 2009 at 01:49:40 PM EST
    1.) has anyone ever really been busted for this?  Lame argument.  I promise no one is setting up cameras in your bedroom.  My cousin is gay and gets it all he wants.  So what is it that your missing here?
    2.) Move.  Who said you get to live where you want and have what you want.  So you can get what you want you just dont want to be incovenienced. You can still have it.
    3.) There is no law that says they cant hire them either.  I have worked with several openly gay people and no one thought the differnt.  I said you specifically.
    4.) Have you actually seen this happen?  I dont think you have.
    5.) Again have you seen this happen?  I dont think you have.
    6.) You can get married and act like any married couple.  Joint accounts etc.  Same name on the house etc.  So what are you really missing here.  The ceremony?  Go somehere and have your ceremony.  I get the feeling you dont want to be incovenienced.  I want to be gay and have it all.
    7.) This is the only one you get.
    8.) Its a violent crime it will be prosecuted but you want the gay part spelled out.  Sounds like that racism distinction you want made.
    9.) Churches have the right to discriminate against anyone they want.  However have you actually been kicked out of a church?  Remember I said specifically you.
    10.)  Cant make everyone happy now can we.

    So the way I see it you personally can do every thing you want to do except serve in the military which you probably didnt do and cant file jointly.  OH MY how persecuted are you really?  Seems like you are living the life of a single person who doesnt want to serve in the military and cant file jointly.  Just how persecuted do you want everyone to think you are?  I know victim mentality.


    wow (none / 0) (#102)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 05, 2009 at 01:58:55 PM EST
    you really are proud of the fact that you are an idiot arent you.
    I was just surfing a bit on my lunch hour and googleing this "what rights do gays not have?"
    I recommend it.  it is an eye opening experience.  aparrently many of the post went up during the Prop 8 battle in CA.  I think this comment really sets the tone of the, um, opposition:

    What rights do gays not have that other people do? Nobody is allowed to marry people of the same sex, not just gays.

    Capt Howdy... (none / 0) (#106)
    by Thanin on Tue May 05, 2009 at 04:48:42 PM EST
    you know not to feed the trolls.  Now look at him, all happy someone threw him something, thinking there'll be more scraps from the grownup table.



    yeah (none / 0) (#107)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 05, 2009 at 04:56:35 PM EST

    Census estimates (none / 0) (#99)
    by Iamme on Tue May 05, 2009 at 01:35:38 PM EST
    The last census was 310 billion people of which 39 billion were black.  

    So if you blacks are driving 12.5% of the beamer, lexus, or whatever car there is and live in 12.5% of the houses in all subdivisions is this equality?  Because there are 88 non blacks and 12 blacks working in a particular field is this racism?  The "its racism" argument is to touchy feely.  

    Affirmative action.  You must hire so many by skin color even if there are more qualified people.  Making that color distinction again arent we?

    And the ever popular "its profiling".  That is human nature will never change.  I wonder if the caveman knew he was racist.  The thing with large teeth and fur will eat us.  They were profiling the large cats.  Damn racist cave man.  There are more blacks in prison.  Thats because they are caught committing a crime.  Its not a black or white thing its because they are caught.  Dont want to go to prison stop commiting crime.  But no the cry goes out.  Its racism.  

    Yeah I know I shot that guy but you picked on me because I am black.  So tired of hearing the excuses and the victim speak.


    Personally (5.00 / 0) (#109)
    by Dadler on Tue May 05, 2009 at 07:18:05 PM EST
    My first stepfather was black.  I remember well being pulled over by the cops for what became clear was no reason that he was a black man driving a car with a little white boy as the passenger.

    And I couldn't stand my phucking stepfather, but I can separate that from what actually happened based on the fact I was a kid in an interracial marriage.

    I KNOW he and my mom had a harder time finding a place to live (hell, local tv stations send someone out all the time to once again see how much harder it is to get a place to live if you are black, gay, whatever).

    My last roommate in college was a black guy and I remember him getting followed around stores by security the minute he came in.  Then again, he WAS in a predominantly white university town, he should expect a little extray, um, "scrutiny", right?  Nothing racist about that, right?


    As for gay people, please, show me that last straight-bashing that's happened.  I mean, a guy walking down the street, someone says "hey, he's hetero, let's kick his ace."  

    It all boils down to an argument like the one David Duke used to make about his NAAWP.  If there can be an NAACP, he asked, why is it racist for white people to have a similar organization?  Because there is no history in this country of white folks being oppressed en massed by minorities.

    History exists, it is connected to the present in all sorts of insidious ways.  You can find plenty of exceptions, but exponentially more rules.


    You have a valid point (none / 0) (#122)
    by Iamme on Thu May 07, 2009 at 09:47:59 AM EST
    You have a valid point of "he's hetero".  Lets add more to it then.  Hey lets steal his car because he has more money.  Lets rob his house because he has more than me.  lets steal his stereo because he has one better than mine.  Still I get this point.  As far as the NAAWP and NAACP.  I understand the history as well.  

    I would add this though.  Dont protest every damn thing on the planet it ruins your credibility.  As I said earlier.  White guy shoots two black guys robbing his neighbors house.  Protesters for a week in his front yard screaming he is a racist.

    I dont care if your purple, black, yellow, green with polka dots or white.  If you are robbing my neighbor I am gonna shoot your butt and I dont want someone in my front yard screaming I am a racist.  If they only took on the cases where it was clear they would have more credibility.


    Wow (none / 0) (#20)
    by andgarden on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:41:09 AM EST
    I feel sorry for this person's students.

    Cohen (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:43:05 AM EST
    may be a fool but don't underestimate the power of his argument. It's a very persuasive argument to make that we no longer need these laws if a black man can be president.

    The effects of race... (5.00 / 4) (#39)
    by Addison on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:06:53 AM EST
    ...may be experienced differently in Hawaii or California or Massachusetts than in Alabama or Texas.

    To use Barack Obama's victory as a blunt force tool to end non-discrimination efforts seems perverse, especially considering some of the voting patterns present in certain regions.


    Well said n/t (none / 0) (#43)
    by lilburro on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:20:11 AM EST
    Well (none / 0) (#45)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:24:49 AM EST
    then are certain states only going to be subject to such rules then? That seems to be the argument that you're making.

    That's actually the law (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:27:51 AM EST
    at least today. the SCOTUS will overturn Section 5 of the VRA I predict in this term.

    asdf (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Addison on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:39:40 AM EST
    Many federal laws have more of a chance to be applied in certain states than in others. That does not mean "only certain states" are subject to the laws.

    It's not as if race relations are polarized into two extremes, with some states living in perfect harmony and others embroiled in bloody racial warfare. It's a continuum and federal laws will be applied when they are applicable. Some states will have more applicable cases than others.

    I can say (easily) that race relations might be different in Hawaii than Alabama as an argument for not viewing Obama's election as a reason to end the policy debate on racism. And I can say this WITHOUT implying that Hawaii has no race problems or that Alabamians haven't risen above race at all. Obviously Hawaii does have racial problems and Alabama has many successful African-Americans.

    My comment was a reply to the poster and Cohen. Toward those ends I was noting that the United States of America are all of the states of America. To claim that racism is over in America, when it is likely not over in some states, is logically incorrect.


    I mostly hear those arguments (none / 0) (#24)
    by ruffian on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:46:07 AM EST
    from staunch Republicans though. Maybe they are 'conditional liberals' too.

    I don't (none / 0) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:48:30 AM EST
    know. I even hear it from liberals. It seems even many "liberals" think that electing Obama has absolved us of many race problems.

    I got it yesterday (none / 0) (#28)
    by andgarden on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:49:24 AM EST
    from a commenter here. But yes, it is usually from Republicans who will never vote for Democrats.

    It's useful as a wedge with poor whites, which is sad.


    Wow, that is the sign of a good wedge (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by ruffian on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:53:30 AM EST
    issue I guess - if it can even peel off liberals.

    As we said yeaterday on the sexism topic, the behavior of liberals has been the most surprising theng about the last 2 years.


    I acknowledge the politics of the situation (none / 0) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:46:14 AM EST
    Please reread my last paragraph.

    For years I got Cohen and Broder mixed up (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by ruffian on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:44:32 AM EST
    Now I know Broder is the smart one. God help us all.

    Is a smart hypocrite a good thing? (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Fabian on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:14:56 AM EST
    Broder is one of the most blatantly biased pundits out there.  I think people read his column just to see how he'll explain that white is black.  [figuratively speaking]

    I know - I was bing facetious (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by ruffian on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:29:21 AM EST
    It is a toss-up really. they are both idiots, if I may paraphrase BTD.

    ruffian (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by cal1942 on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:50:27 AM EST
    are you sure you want to use Broder and smart in te same sentence.

    To me Broder has always been the dangerous one, the voice of the Village, whereas Richard Cohen is simply without merit.


    yes (none / 0) (#83)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:54:16 AM EST
    I have never heard Cohen called the "dean of DC journalists"

    My question is, why couldn't (5.00 / 4) (#34)
    by Anne on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:58:16 AM EST
    Cohen just be honest enough to write directly against the possible nomination of Sonia Sotomayor (who was on the three-judge panel that ruled against the firefighters) - I really think he's dog-whistling here, but isn't smart enough to make his way through the minefield of racism, sexism and ethnicity, so he picked racism - him being a white guy and all, I'm sure he considers himself an expert.

    [And, yes, I do realize that the answer to my question is what everyone else has said about Cohen: he's an id!0^.]

    You read my mind (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by Dr Molly on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:23:09 AM EST
    I love how 1-2 females are enough on SC and we shouldn't worry about gender representation there.

    I'd love to see the reaction if the SC were 1-2 males for about 10 decades.


    I'll take 9.... (none / 0) (#77)
    by kdog on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:39:58 AM EST
    flying purple people eaters on the court as long as they preserve the Bill of Rights and limit government power:)

    The ideas and principles matter, not the vessel.

    In a perfect world, the only representation we should worry about is the ideas the applicant represents...but as we know, this joint ain't perfect.  How do we get there?  Is it even possible?  Wish I knew.


    Unfortunately, (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by Dr Molly on Tue May 05, 2009 at 12:18:30 PM EST
    the vessels demonstrate to us over and over again that their vesselhood matters - at least as much, if not more than, ideas and principles - in their decision-making. Issues important to women are pushed by women, not men, in congress. Issues important to gays are pushed by gays, not straights, in congress. Etc. As long as this is the case, equal representation matters.

    Yep. (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by lilburro on Tue May 05, 2009 at 12:34:31 PM EST
    We saw this just the other day in the thread about Boehlert's new book.  Very few white male bloggers took up the cause of sexism during the primaries.  It just wasn't important enough to them.  Certainly life experience and identity is very important to bring to the Supreme Court table.

    I certainly wish it weren't the case. (5.00 / 0) (#96)
    by Dr Molly on Tue May 05, 2009 at 01:29:14 PM EST
    But it is reality.

    In Obama's own words, empathy for certain life conditions matters in the SC choice. We just don't see that empathy crossing gender and race sufficiently.


    Sounds like a slight to all the men... (none / 0) (#90)
    by kdog on Tue May 05, 2009 at 12:33:59 PM EST
    who have worked hard for gender equality, all the whites who have worked hard for racial equality, all the straights who have worked hard for equality for homosexuals...these people do exist.

    I couldn't disagree more about the vessel mattering more than the ideas...I've met too many self-loathing minorities, women, and homosexuals.  You'd prefer a self-loathing Ann Coulter in a postion of power to an enlightened man?  I doubt it.


    Where did she say (none / 0) (#92)
    by lilburro on Tue May 05, 2009 at 12:38:07 PM EST
    that the vessel was the only thing that was important to the exclusion of all others??  

    You're right... (none / 0) (#93)
    by kdog on Tue May 05, 2009 at 12:43:41 PM EST
    Molly said it was just as, if not more so.  

    I still disagree...the ideas trump the plumbing and pigment everytime in my book by far...either you believe in equality under the law or you don't, you work for it and defend it or you don't.


    I didn't slight anyone. (none / 0) (#97)
    by Dr Molly on Tue May 05, 2009 at 01:29:26 PM EST
    What frustrates me (5.00 / 0) (#37)
    by dk on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:05:11 AM EST
    is that it isn't necessary that so many of these lose/lose situations come to pass (lose/lose in the sense that either the minority who faces insitutional discrimination, or the straight white guy who passes the test, doesn't get the position).

    Just as an example, if the federal government, instead of throwing away trillions of dollars to the banksters, had passed a meaningful stimulus bill instead of the Obama/Collins/Nelson plan, then state and local governments, instead of having to cut essential staff, could hire more essential staff.  Then less state and local governments would have to pick one or the other qualified person, and the community as a whole could benefit from the labor of both.

    I'm not saying that this would completely solve the issue, but it does seem like a liberal approach, unlike whatever it is that Cohen is selling.  

    We have many "conditional liberals" (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Joelarama on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:09:57 AM EST
    here in DC.  

    In my experience, they are white, former liberals or leftists from the baby boom generation who now own a house worth about $1 million dollars and send their kids to school for around $20,000 in annual tuition, and whose sole contact with racial minorities is one or two financially successful colleagues at work, their secretary, and their household help.

    Some of them are syndicated columnists.  Others are lobbyists, lawyers, doctors, or are in upper management at an association.

    Someone has to lose (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by vicndabx on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:37:25 AM EST
    regardless of what method is used to determine the "winner."  Affirmative action, meritocracy, someone has to lose.  The larger problem here is we in this country always feel we should win and look for excuses when we don't - rather than accept that there are valid reasons why we lost in the first place.  Affirmative action is no different than so-called "networking."  The gov't is the one who is providing the advantage as opposed to some individual.  

    That's the way I see it too (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by ruffian on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:54:22 AM EST
    At least how it operates in the workplace. Job openings are given a cursory placement on the public marketplace, then filled if possible with a crony. Usually a quailified crony, but a crony nonetheless. I admit that I have benefitted from that most of my career. 25 years ago I was lucky enough to become friends with the sister-in-law of the VP's accountant, and the rest is history. It wouldn't have happened if I weren't darn good at my job, but that is how I got my start. I'm not that great  - plenty of other people could have started in the same place and done just as well in an open market.

    I know life is not fair, and that's just the way it goes - some win and some lose. But I have no problem with the government levelling the playing field to some extent for groups that have been systematically shut out.


    There is only one (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by CST on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:11:38 AM EST
    good argument against affirmative action (in my mind at this point in history).  That is, often times, after a position is granted, or a spot in school is granted to a minority, that person gets looked down upon because it is assumed they only got there due to race, regardless if it is true or not.

    You even heard it in this election season with Obama and people wondering how he got into Columbia and Harvard.

    I saw it happen between teachers who looked down on students, and treated them like idiots who didn't deserve to be in their class.

    I don't think that means it should be gotten rid of, but I have become more and more wary of the backlash.  I guess it's better to be in school and looked down upon than not be in at all though.

    Completely agree. (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Dr Molly on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:25:21 AM EST
    I'm always torn about this.

    In my field, whenever a woman gets a job, the men cry 'affirmative action' whether there is any evidence for it or not. This is the only downside to a necessary correction.


    Excellent point (none / 0) (#59)
    by ruffian on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:16:00 AM EST
    the company where I am a subcontractor now is the only one I have ever seen that really aggressively strives for a diverse workplace, and I have seen that backlash many times.

    God I hated having to deal with the military (none / 0) (#68)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:25:41 AM EST
    for awhile.  I couldn't believe I was so stupid that I fell in love with this uniform wearing person.  Why couldn't my head govern my heart better?  But I have come to appreciate the military for a few things and diversity is one of them.  It is also a place where you had better not attempt to deliver racist backlash either unless you want to risk having it shoved up your arse.  Of course soldiers talk evil to each other at times.....they say seemingly very racist things to each other but the white guy does not get a pass as to how racially descriptive cuts aimed at him get to be.

    Thery get looked down upon (none / 0) (#60)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:18:17 AM EST
    no matter what.

    That is actually one of the emptier arguments imo.


    True (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by ruffian on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:25:23 AM EST
    I shouldn't agree with it as an argument against affirmative action, but rather a side-effect to be aware of.

    Yes (none / 0) (#71)
    by CST on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:28:55 AM EST
    I just want to clarify that this is my position as well.

    And I am in Dr. Molly's boat.  I get that response personally in my profession.


    I don't know (none / 0) (#64)
    by CST on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:23:52 AM EST
    It's hard to tell because we have affirmative action.

    I just know it's the excuse one often hears.


    That dismissive attitude... (5.00 / 3) (#69)
    by Addison on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:27:14 AM EST
    ...you mention is precisely the reason some of these policies are necessary, not an argument against them.

    I take the view (5.00 / 0) (#75)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:38:28 AM EST
    and anecdotally I find it to be true, that whenever I find a non-"white male" in a position like that, they are almost always twice as good as the "white males."

    In essence, I go in with the prejudice against the white male.



    Interesting. Is that true (5.00 / 0) (#86)
    by oldpro on Tue May 05, 2009 at 12:01:36 PM EST
    genderwise, as well?

    So much of the discussion of Affirmative Action takes place with race as the definitive issue, while - in fact - it is women who have benefited most of all.


    I think it is (none / 0) (#87)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 05, 2009 at 12:09:26 PM EST
    My academic department strove (none / 0) (#85)
    by hairspray on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:57:48 AM EST
    to hire minority candidates back in the '80' and '90's with some disastrous results.  There was a real lack of scholarship and it showed. I thought of that as the first wave and believed that sucessive candidates would improve. I too, believed that years of institutional racism brought us to that point and it would improve over time. It was a small price to pay for all of the years of neglect. I think there has been some improvement in the preparation of the employee.  Years of neglect of the inner city schools and poor colleges are the real culprits.

    From James C. Collier, the blogger (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by ding7777 on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:54:34 AM EST
    for Acting White*

    Long after white firefighters stopped routinely cheating to keep their ranks white, affirmative action is still being used to fix a problem of proportionality that has nothing to do with equal opportunity. As long as blacks drop out of school in disproportion, or gain diplomas on lesser skill sets, these last-ditch AA fixes are going to challenge merit based promotion and reward systems, and keep us at odds. It is ludicrous to expect race proportional results from disproportionate inputs. Recognizing this is the biggest challenge of race/ethnicity in America. I take that back, accepting it and moving forward is the biggest challenge.

    * Acting White explores the difficult and taboo subjects influencing racism and Black underperformance.

    If you don't want your head to explode (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue May 05, 2009 at 05:03:51 PM EST
    on this issue, DO NOT watch Hardball.  Joan Walsh did her best but between Matthews and Buchanan it was pretty disgusting.  Both of them were appalled that that some poor white guy was cheated.....
    Matthews was even quoting Clarence Thomas.

    Too many males (not all, so please don't take offense), mostly the white ones, really cannot get it.  They somehow think that institutionalized discrimination against people of color and women has not really affected how things are done.  Matthews was particularly offended when Joan Walsh implied that there is a caste system within the fire departments that favors (white males, in particular Irish males).....by making the way easier for the sons, the nephews, the friend's sons....
    "It's tradition" Matthews nastily retorted.  No one complains about "Italians and barber shops...Mexicans and restaurants"   ( I am serious, you can't make this stuff up)
    Joan had to point out that fire departments are not private sector........

    Buchanan is livid at how white men are so discriminated against...seriously (rolling eyes icon here)

    And yes... (none / 0) (#9)
    by DancingOpossum on Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:29:50 AM EST
    ...Richard Cohen is an idiot. He always has been. When I was a freshman at college he came and gave a talk with q&a; I'd never heard of him and I couldn't believe that this lightweight non-thinker was a big newspaper superstar. Little did I know...

    Cohen: You'll see how right I am when you're dead. (none / 0) (#35)
    by Addison on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:03:41 AM EST
    So, in Richard Cohen's mind his political opponents are forced to apologize to God and God's representatives in order to get into heaven?

    Lest they, with "heads bowed in shame," lie to St Peter and get tossed into the lake of fire?

    Who does he think he is? I realize it's rhetorical, but it's a rhetorical choice and an unusual image. This is the sign of some sickness here.

    Also, from what I've read on the issue, I think Griggs v. Duke Power is more applicable/persuasive than the case you cite.

    I cited Croson (none / 0) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:26:33 AM EST
    more as a response to Cohen than to the Ricci case itself.

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#51)
    by Addison on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:30:40 AM EST
    ...my note of Griggs/Duke was worded wrongly. I realized what you were doing, but I wanted others to see that other case and chose my phrasing poorly. My bad.

    I wonder if racism will ever be dead (none / 0) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:20:23 AM EST
    in this country? My slightly reformed hippy grade school teachers told us all we were going to be the first generation to live in the no longer racist America.  I believed them too with my whole trusting child heart. I'm still alive though.  I'm not dead yet.  I hope it turns out they told me the truth.  I know racism will always on/in the fringe......but racism isn't a lunatic fringe value in my country yet.

    nor any other. Nor sexism, classism, ageism, heightism, attractiveism, familyism, educationism, political leaningism, relgionism, hobbyism, favorite sports teamism, fun to be aroundism, well spokenism, smoker/non-smokerism, toker/non-tokerism, etc., etc.

    Humans make many choices based on affinities and we live in a society that gives us the freedom to be human.


    Have any of these other "isms" you throw (5.00 / 0) (#110)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 05, 2009 at 10:12:29 PM EST
    up here lynched other human beings on a regular basis as part of the ism?

    Sure. (2.00 / 0) (#111)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed May 06, 2009 at 01:28:09 AM EST
    familyism, political leaningism, relgionism, & favorite sports teamism.

    Ok, "favorite sports teamism" was for effect. Mostly.

    But more to the point, what is your point? You asked if racism will ever be dead in this country, not if lynchings due to racism will ever end.

    No. Racism and, probably, every other ism you can dream up will never end in this country nor any other.

    Lynchings? That's a totally, bizarrely even, different question and, if I may be so bold, a ridiculous non-response, response.

    We humans are hard-wired to seek out affinities with other humans. While lynchings are unacceptable (and, of course, have nothing to do with your question) our human desire for affinities will end when the human race ends.

    Your "slightly reformed hippy grade school teachers" misled you in a big way.

    Or, if I was a cynic, I might think you just used them for effect...


    I find your flippant (5.00 / 0) (#112)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 06, 2009 at 08:48:31 AM EST
    attitude about the dehumanization and murder that racism has brought us repulsive.  Of course it is only my response and I'm free to have it in this free country and I do.  I can't find much that racism has in common with YOUR other isms up here outside of a set of believes.  None of YOUR other isms has the history and cultural indoctrination in my country either that racism does.  I watch the children of the South self segregate everyday after school while they wait for their parents and buses.  I'm from the West.  I had never seen such a thing before in my life.  Of course we don't talk about it down here because down here that behavior in our young children is normal and not somehow pointing to how subliminally frightened, ignorant, full of despair and heinous their parents are.

    I mean "set of beliefs" (none / 0) (#113)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 06, 2009 at 08:49:34 AM EST
    and you're repulsed with the South. Can't say I blame you there.

    You don't speak for me (none / 0) (#115)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 06, 2009 at 10:49:44 AM EST
    so do not think for one minute I'm going to allow you to tell me what I find repulsive.  I'm not repulsed by the South though when I first moved here I think I probably was at times, many people who live here have come to understand how racism destroys community and also squanders a lot of sharing our human talents and gifts with our communities....and many people have not and most of those don't want to ever.  That's their personal emotional gimmick, to have no desire to change something as precious as racist Southern traditions (smirk....like new traditions aren't created every moment something is done for the second or third time).....they like being the party of NO on this social issue and many others.  It gives them a shallow identity to cling blindly to in my opinion, and also in my opinion that's an extremely sad way to seek identity, but it's their life.  You choose though to engage in an in depth discussion of racism in detail and be flippant about what a scourge it is culturally and socially and politically.  At this moment you are repulsive to me because I know you are smarter than that.  I have hope for the South though, she seems to be making progress in spite of the stubborn and the shallow.

    What's really sad about this, (none / 0) (#116)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed May 06, 2009 at 12:02:34 PM EST
    to me, is that we're both almost entirely on the same side on this. We both think racism is wrong - hopefully you won't be upset that I speak for you there.

    Additionally, as a practical matter, I don't think racism, or any ism, will ever go away. Not here, not anywhere, not anytime.

    That's not flippant, it's pragmatic. I'm generally a pragmatist.

    And that is not to say racism or any ism should be accepted and/or should not fought against.


    I don't think that racism will ever go away (none / 0) (#123)
    by Militarytracy on Sat May 09, 2009 at 09:24:34 AM EST
    either and I'm pretty sure that I said as much above.  I do expect it to become a loony fringe ism in my country just like many other isms.  I expect the social structure of my country to nurture and  find its health and wellness.  It is sick right now.

    Well said, BTD (none / 0) (#72)
    by Spamlet on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:35:23 AM EST
    This goes to the heart of an issue that arose yesterday when I described the attitude at another site as quasi-racist (apologies for the kerfuffle, BTD). I was talking precisely about the complaints of so-called reverse discrimination frequently seen there. (Why "reverse"? Is there a "forward"--that is, "correct"--direction of discrimination?)

    I've known a few white people who spent some portion of childhood as the only white child in a nonwhite context, sometimes in a foreign country and sometimes in the U.S. I believe that white people who have had this experience do know what it feels like to be the target of racial prejudice.

    At the same time, my observation is that their experience can blind them to the reality of the institutional racism from which they benefit in the larger national and world context.

    In other words, they understand discrimination at the personal level, and on that basis they can empathize with the experience of so-called racial minorities. But some also assume that their personal experience of discrimination automatically gives them insight into systemic racism.

    And that's what I call a quasi-racist attitude: clueless (if with good intentions), unconsciously arrogant, and inadvertently reproducing the same structural racism that the person in question claims to know in depth.

    You are entitled to your opinions (none / 0) (#78)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:43:27 AM EST
    My mistake was my own.

    In that thread they were 2-fold.

    One, letting the thread go off topic.

    Two, joining an opinion that I had not formed on my own.

    If you believe what you wrote, then you have the right to write it and suffer the slings and arrows for doing so.

    I like to take slings and arrows on behalf of my own opinions. I chose to involve myself before I had actually formed my own opinion.


    Our affirmative action strategy is problematic. (none / 0) (#117)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed May 06, 2009 at 02:07:41 PM EST
    If you set up job selection criteria that are fair (such as a race-neutral test), then refuse to abide by the results when one race performs better than another, you bolster a wedge issue.  A better approach would be to identify specific individuals in various racial minority groups that you want to promote, and target those people with training that will enhance their chances of success on the tests.  This provides a more proactive approach to reducing the ongoing effects of historical racism, while mitigating the reverse discrimination claim.  

    The Univ. of Hawaii has a variety of programs that help people of color succeed in college.  For instance, native Hawaiians who want to go to med school are offered full scholarships, plus an additional year of classes (free) before the regular medical program to ensure they are successful in med school.  UH used to give free tuition to anyone with any percentage of native Hawaiian ancestry (Kanaka maoli), but were criticized because very rich students were getting a free ride, while other poor people of color (like Filipinos) had to pay tuition.  Now there are elaborate mechanisms in place to fund Kanaka maoli students that aren't as simplistic as just not charging them tuition, and the public criticism has waned, partly because of the complexity.  It's harder to track where the money is coming from and going, and some of the programs are need-based, not just racially specific.

    The same holds true in this Virginia case and others around the country.  It's a lot easier to criticize a simplistic decision if a test is supposed to provide race-neutral criteria, but the test results show racial disparities.  It's easy to claim that the people who performed better actually knew the material better.  By realizing in advance what the results are likely to show and providing specific training opportunities that will help members of non-white groups perform better, we avoid this so easily criticized situation.  While it's true that educational programs that give non-whites an advantage can be criticized as well, they could be offered to anyone preparing for the tests.  If members of all races are offered the same opportunities (free training) and the tests still show racial disparities, then we promote the whites who tested better and continue to look for more non-whites to educate.  I realize that disparities in wealth create more imbalances in groups of trainees, but in the end, we want people hired and promoted who can master the material.  If someone simply can't master the material because they're working two jobs, we should offer more time, not lower standards.  

    I think throwing the test results out after the fact does even more damage to race relations because the test is already designed to be race neutral, so there must be other reasons for disparate performance.  Finding the underlying reasons and solving those problems is the solution.  Poor whites are also limited by childhood experiences (not saying poverty=racism, just that there are complex challenges outside of racism).  If you take steps to mitigate disparities in life experiences, and ensure that you include Caucasians who also need help, you mitigate the impact of racism on promotion, and you minimize the "reverse discrimination" wedge issue.  In the end, we want the best employees, and we want to minimize imbalances.  This does both.  

    Prior (none / 0) (#119)
    by 18anapple2 on Thu May 07, 2009 at 01:57:34 AM EST
    "May a municipal employer disregard the results of a qualifying examination, which was carefully constructed to ensure race-neutrality, on the ground that the results of that examination yielded too many qualified applicants of one race and not enough of another?"

    Does any one know if this test had been administerd to other groups prior to this and if so what kind of results did those yeild?

    I've heard of this case (none / 0) (#120)
    by catmandu on Thu May 07, 2009 at 07:37:14 AM EST
    Some police have a similar test, you pass it you get promoted--same job but a raise.  If he passed it, its only fair to give him his raise.  Nobody should be discriminated against when it comes to work---everyone has to live.  
    No matter their race.

    On the other hand (none / 0) (#121)
    by glennmcgahee on Thu May 07, 2009 at 07:59:44 AM EST
    President Obama keeps saying that he should be excused from our government excesses and policies of the past.His reasoning? Why, he was only 3 years old at the time. How can he be held responsible. The same goes for those punished because of sins of the past. Are we all going to live forever begging forgiveness for slavery and past discrimination? Most of us have never participated in anything close to discriminating against someone because of their race. Actually, I live in South Florida, predominately Hispanic. As a white man, I am a minority. You must be bilingual to get a decent job here. Is there a law or legal precedent? No.