Addendum To Item #5 Of “Wednesday Ethics Jolts, 6/17/2020: I Think We Have Our Answer To Question 13….”

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.

4 thoughts on “Addendum To Item #5 Of “Wednesday Ethics Jolts, 6/17/2020: I Think We Have Our Answer To Question 13….”

  1. Hmm, I’ve always believed that affirmative action although necessary perhaps in the 60s and 70s devolved to created resentment and distrust between the races. The fact that lower scores are required for Black and Hispanic applicants to enter prestigious universities as well as corporate positions results in a distrust that the minority applicant has really earned the position.
    My state is now rushing to reinstitute affirmative action thanks to a majority of legislators being liberal Democrats.

  2. All this accommodation has a down side: Whenever one encounters someone of a “preferred demographic” who possesses some credential of one kind or another, the question always forms as to whether they actually earned it. Did they do the course work and was the grading of it honest? How many points for their race, sex, national origin did they get assigned so that they came out with a qualifying score? Degrees and certificates begin to lose their credibility as well.

    • You’re not supposed to ask. You’re just simply supposed to hire them. If this nation continues on this path, we will be like South Africa soon, or Zimbabwe, where everyone but the blacks have lost their voice, and are subject to being disenfranchised, shut out, or even murdered.

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