Today James Meeks back-tracked on his statement that only blacks should be eligible for city contracts set aside for "minorities".
Like FIFA president Sepp Blatter recently back-tracking on his statement that gays shouldn't be acting out in Qatar, this is stupid and wrong.
TMR says both Meeks and Blatter are (mostly) correct, though we're only going to deal with Meeks' comments here. (Sorry, Robin - next time.)
Of course, Glenn Reynolds ironically (and wrongly) labeled Meeks' comments "WELCOME TO “POST-RACIAL” AMERICA" like he (Reynolds) knows anything about being post-racial.
Almost every statement Reynolds makes on race seems designed to keep the bullshit going - he can't conceive of either dropping it as a subject or redefining his views - which is why we lashed out (ironically) at he and Ann Althouse the way we did recently.
Both Reynolds and Althouse are fakers in this regard, and race has been been one of the main areas where both have bothered us for some time.
You can't read them, if you're black, and not have race (and many times class) rubbed in your face continuously.
They not only won't shut up about it but, as this latest comment shows, they always end up on the wrong side of "post-racial" progress.
They make it so we can't truly trust them on much in this regard.
Theirs is a racial outlook still based in 1960s "politically correct" ideology that should have no place in 2010-11 American thought.
The truth is Meeks was/is right. The fact the armies of political correctness have the power to make him feel pressured enough to back down (or that he's too pussy to stand by what he knows is right) is one of the shames of our time.
People forget that before Meeks spoke up, Senator Jim Webb (D-Virginia) had correctly said much the same thing in a Wall Street Journal essay entitled "Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege":
In an odd historical twist that all Americans see but few can understand, many programs allow recently arrived immigrants to move ahead of similarly situated whites whose families have been in the country for generations. These programs have damaged racial harmony. And the more they have grown, the less they have actually helped African-Americans, the intended beneficiaries of affirmative action as it was originally conceived."The more [these programs] have grown, the less they have actually helped African-Americans, the intended beneficiaries of affirmative action as it was originally conceived." To deny that truth is to deny blacks what is rightfully theirs, and to lie to society as a whole. When even popular law professors don't understand the dynamics at work in a overly-racialized (and, thus, occasionally silly) country such as ours, we doubt that many others will see where the proper role of racial programs should be, either.
The injustices endured by black Americans at the hands of their own government have no parallel in our history, not only during the period of slavery but also in the Jim Crow era that followed. But the extrapolation of this logic to all "people of color"—especially since 1965, when new immigration laws dramatically altered the demographic makeup of the U.S.—moved affirmative action away from remediation and toward discrimination, this time against whites. It has also lessened the focus on assisting African-Americans, who despite a veneer of successful people at the very top still experience high rates of poverty, drug abuse, incarceration and family breakup.
Those who came to this country in recent decades from Asia, Latin America and Africa did not suffer discrimination from our government, and in fact have frequently been the beneficiaries of special government programs. The same cannot be said of many hard-working white Americans, including those whose roots in America go back more than 200 years.
Where should we go from here? Beyond our continuing obligation to assist those African-Americans still in need, government-directed diversity programs should end.
Nondiscrimination laws should be applied equally among all citizens, including those who happen to be white. The need for inclusiveness in our society is undeniable and irreversible, both in our markets and in our communities. Our government should be in the business of enabling opportunity for all, not in picking winners. It can do so by ensuring that artificial distinctions such as race do not determine outcomes.
Memo to my fellow politicians: Drop the Procrustean policies and allow harmony to invade the public mindset. Fairness will happen, and bitterness will fade away.
We can "do the right thing" by blacks, accounting for historical injustices, while also eliminating race as a concept in our society - as a matter of fact, we should've been there already - but trying to batter down those trying to get it right, using the evil of political correctness, is definitely no way to go forward.