Sorry for the delay, I had to do a radio interview. I hope people don’t think I actually agree with the post below “Affirmative Action isn’t Racism.” I just didn’t have time to compose a response. This guy, one of my most reliable liberal gadflies, plays a fun trick here. He defines racism in just such a way that proves affirmative action can’t be racist. He makes a fine point in the process — that affirmative action isn’t necessarily the worst form of racism. But he obscures the larger point.
We are constantly told by black and liberal spokespeople that any suggestion of racial difference is racist. The reader says “Racism entails acting upon the belief that one group is entitled to power and privilege because it is inherently superior to other groups.” Well, who says (other than a few Marxists and critical race theorists)? That’s not what my dictionary says. Here’s the Dictionary.com definition:
1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.
I was pretty sure that racially motivated condescension, paternalism and the like counted as racist too. If said to a black accountant, “Oh let me do that math for you, you’re black and need the help.” I’m pretty sure that’d be racist. Maybe it’s not as bad as saying “you’re black and shouldn’t be allowed to be an accountant.” But that’s hardly a ringing defense. The intent of quota-driven affirmative action may not be virulently racist but the effect most certainly is.