I saw this shortly after posting today’s potpourri, which ended with…
This is part of what appears to be the proposed answer to my Question 13, “What is the “systemic reform regarding race in America” that the George Floyd protests purport to be seeking?” That answer: special accommodations and benefits for African Americans in all things. Affirmative action in employment, promotions, salaries and school admissions; preference in grading, contracting and hiring; elimination of any standards that African Americans continue to lag in meeting. Reparations, of course; race-based leniency in law-enforcement and sentencing; plus culture wide discrimination in favor of blacks and against whites in all things, all instituted by the intimidation, punishment and “cancelling” of anyone who dissents.
This happened to me, too, and it altered the course of my life.
As I think I’ve related here before, I had made the final stage of the selection process for an Assistant U.S. Attorney position in the District of Columbia. That was what I had trained for, and to the extent that I had a passion in the law, criminal prosecution was it. There were six openings, and six finalists, and then I was informed that the number of positions had been cut back to five. The representative of the office was admirably direct, saying, “We can hire only one white male among the five, and the other white guy is the son of the chief judge. I’m sorry.”
When I heard it, I wasn’t angry, and I said to myself, “this is the business we’ve chosen”…wait, I’m sorry, I just switched into “Godfather 2” there for a moment.
But I wasn’t angry, and I wasn’t bitter, though my mother was furious. My dad’s life philosophy kicked in, and I decided, “OK, I’ll go in a different direction then…that’s life. You play the cards you’re dealt.” I also understood and sympathized with the objectives of affirmative action—I was working in a law school’s administration at the time, and affirmative action was part of the school’s culture—so I accepted my fate as a corrective measure that was necessary…for a limited time.
That was 40 years ago.
At the time, and I have always been this way, I felt that I had advantages that many people, including many African Americans, did not. I believed that I was the perfect sacrifice to affirmative action, because I had diverse skills, enjoyed risk-taking, I had a strong support network, including my family, and I’m a cocky son of a bitch, and almost always optimistic. Some would call that privilege. However, every white citizen doesn’t have the options and advantages I did (and do). Moreover, the fact that I accepted being rejected for my gender and color of my skin doesn’t change the fact that it is wrong, and a divisive, toxic policy over the long term.
Expanding it is not only unethical, it is societal suicide.
Footnote: a few years ago, I met a lawyer who got one of the AUSA jobs I wanted. He was a college classmate, in fact. He’s a D.C. judge, now, and from what I hear, a good one.