** in the AA trenches, Houston, Chicago, Brown U.

Topics: AA
29 Mar 1995

From: "DG Ervan Darnell"

[ Last minute note, this seems to have spiraled out of control, but I feel
there are some case analyses buried throughout, maybe a chapter per day
before bedtime...]

As a partial response to the recent posts on the CO amendment, I want to
offer some examples for the following thesis: AA is quotas. That's nearly
all it ever was or ever could be.

When Thomas says:
>The 14th says all persons have the equal protection of the law. It does not
>single out any group for protection.

and Vince says:
>These laws do apply to white males, as far as I know.

These are nice theories about what the law intends but do not reflect what
it does (As Dan & Carl have already pointed out). Minimum wage is
*intended* to raise wages for the poor. Its effect is to force the poor to
be unemployed istead. It cannot be defended on the grounds of the nobility
of its intent. Neither can AA. Merely saying that discrimination is a
problem and the AA tries to solve it is not a defense of the program. There
is somehow this assumption that the courts have a magic mind probe that can
find that evil racist nerve cell in people's brains *and* that it was used
intentionally *and* that it had real economic consequences. Those tools
simply do not exist. (As an aside from my main point, even if they did, the
liberals would banish them because they would produce a semblance of
fairness instead of a political spoils program which is the whole point anyway).

The first instance came from a federal court decision today (3/29/95
MacNeil/Lehrer) which held that Brown University was discriminating because
its varsity athletics had twice as many men as women (how ironic that 40
years later 'Brown' is back in the courts on the other side of the issue).
Brown did offer the same scholarships in both cases and the same
opportunity. No evidence was offered that Brown discriminated against
anyone. No woman was found who was denied a chance because of her gender.
Nonetheless, merely because of numerical disparity, Brown was found guilty
and they were told they had to fix it in six months. This is a quota. Now,
of course, the original law did not say "you must have equal numbers of both
sexes." So, defenders of AA say "look, no quotas!". Nor did the court even
impose a quota specifically, it merely said that 33% female failed to meet
the standard. This is even worse than an explicit quota because Brown does
not even know when they are in compliance with the law because the injustice
department keeps moving the target depending on how much they like you.

There is something else interesting about this case that is relevant to
Thomas's objection:
>That the bigots define a group (where none
>should exist--who gives a shit about someone's skin color

Racism is not about skin color. It is about behavior & attitude and
arguably about (genetic) race. Saying "skin color" skews the argument to
imply there is nothing rational at play here. There is. In the Brown case,
the simple fact is that men are better than woman at the kind of sports that
people like to watch (scream all you want, but the lack on women on football
teams is mother nature and not sexism (1)). This is compounded by the fact
that men like to play sports more than women do. Whether that's good, bad,
right, or wrong, I neither know nor care, but it is not Brown's fault for
recognizing that's the way the world is as it comes to us. How about
forcing them to enroll more men in their Women's Studies programs, i.e. not
letting women graduate with that degree until an equal number of men do?

The next instance is a recent labor department report (3/16/95) which said
the glass ceiling still exists because "97% of senior manages in top U.S.
companies are white men." Secretary of unemployment Robert Reich added that
"Companies who discriminate against women and minorities are acting
illegally and have to change." Like the above, there is a good reason for
this: top managers tend to be people who have spent their whole careers
climbing the ladder and are now at the end of their careers. Fair or not,
mother nature forces women to take time off to have children and interrupt
that climb (2). So, reaching the last rung is much harder than reaching the
penultimate. There is another reason. They are measuring what happened 40
years ago in terms of hiring and not what is happening now (i.e. the pool of
women just is not there). That hardly justifies saying recent actions are
sexist. Regardless, this is a quota. It says 97% proves discrimination
regardless of cause or motive. Now, it is only a matter of deciding who to
punish even if no guilty person can be found.

The third instance (3/29/95 Post) is the Houston minority contractor
set-aside program (which guarantees that minority firms get a certain
percent of city contracts no matter the price or quality of the
workmanship). The first result is the same as any such program: minorities
who could have done good work now do shoddy work because they get the
contract just for being black. AA, in the process of trying to stop racism,
makes racism's founding assumption true: blacks are thieves and
incompetents. In this particular case, Bob Lanier, the mayor, boosted the
quota from 12% to 17% for construction. That's a quota pure and simple. It
says nothing about racism. It says nothing about any blacks having been
treated unfairly. It says nothing about the whites who are displaced ever
having discriminated. This is mostly prompted by political concerns and not
by threats of being sued, the dynamic is the same: quotas, not race-blind

The fourth case is from Chicago (3/29/95 Post). They had a program in place
that tested police sergeants for promotion with a specific testing regimen
(mostly a written test) that was as fair as possible. The test was created
to try and avoid racism. 51 whites passed (including 7 women) and 3 blacks.
I'm not sure what the incoming pool looked but the article remarked that
blacks did proportionally worse (that in itself is a symptom of quota hiring
at a lower level). Regardless, this was deemed an insufficient number of
blacks. So, ex post fact, mayor Daley decided to implement some "merit"
promotions. He promoted 5 whites and 8 "minorities" based on "merit".
Those 15 slots were taken from 15 people who did well on the test. The
mayor's office insisted (3/27/95 MacNeil/Lehrer) that this was based on
"merit" and was not affirmative action and absolutely not a quota. All of
those statements are equally true.

Another dodge is that one that says AA is not a quota, but only a
preference. Rice U. loves to use this lie. In other words, replace "must
be 15% black" with "must have 15% more blacks". Well, that fixes it,
obviously no quota there!

I return to my initial claim: AA is quotas. Title VII of the '67 Civil
Rights act specifically said that neither race nor gender could be taken
into account. Its implementation demands that exactly that happens. That
some whites find grounds to sue or that the implementation appears to
contradict the plain language of the law has nothing to do with the reality
of it. The dodge behind all of this is the nonsensical notion that groups
have rights outside of individuals. Thus since numerical disparity shows
racism must exist somewhere (or so we are told), it is okay to give a
preference to a black person, who has not been discriminated against, and it
is okay to take a job from a white person, who has done nothing racist, and
to force an employer to hire a less qualified person, even though the
employer never acted in a racist fashion. Presumably by rewarding the
lucky, punishing the inncocent, and drawing lots of correlations with
genetic material this all fights racism.

Kevin Cathcart of the Lambda fund (a gay legal advocacy group) said about
the Colorado amendment "The rights of any minority should not be swept away
by popular vote." It's a damn shame he doesn't believe that. Where are the
rights of heterosexuals to work for who they want? A majority liberal vote
was used to deny certain people jobs, just because they were heterosexual.
For that matter, where are the rights of business owners? As a minority,
they are screwed every way coming and forced to bear all sorts of burdens
that are not theirs. They cannot do with their money as they please, long
dead. They cannot offer the sort of retirement package they and their
employees want. Ditto for medical care. They have to act like cop and
police their employee's behavior in all sorts of ways, drug use, sexual
innuendo, blah, blah, blah. Where the hell are their rights?

This brings me back to the original question that Vince asked months ago:
how can the Colorado amendment not be seen as a violation of the 14th
amendment? The answer is because AA is not a right a like free speech. It
is not something that protects everyone against an abuse. It is a quota.
And as such, it is a transfer from one group to another. Expanding the
entitlement for minorty status gives money to more "minorities" and takes it
from the smaller "majority" and employers. Giving one group "equal rights"
curtails another "group's rights" in its place. It is impossible to grant
the "equal protection" of AA to everyone; someone must lose. It is
impossible to reconcile AA with the 14th Amendment.

(1) And don't tell me that people would be just as happy watching women's
football. They would not be. There is big money in getting the very best
players on the field. Witness that furor over replacement baseball players.
It's better to enslave the current set that accept people who are only 99%
as good.

(2) Another irony here is that some feminists complain about men being too
competitive and violent, "if woman ran the world, there would be no war",
blah, blah, blah. Without commenting on the truth of the claim, those who
believe it should not be upset at seeing senior executives be men since such
positions require a lot of backstabing and fighting on the way up.