The Corner

The Biggest Social and Racial Problem of Our Time

If you have a set of standards that are not being met by some racial and ethnic groups, there are logically three things that can be done to address that problem. First, you can relax the standards for those groups. That’s what racial preferences (a.k.a. affirmative action) do, and that’s wrong. Second, you can attack the standards themselves. That’s what the “disparate impact” approach to civil-rights enforcement does, and it’s wrong, too. Or, third, you can figure out why some groups aren’t meeting the standards and address that problem. The principal and underlying reason for most racial disparities is the disparity in out-of-wedlock birthrates. So, for a number of obvious reasons, this would be a good issue for President Obama to talk about, as Jonah Goldberg and, today, Kathleen Parker point out. (I should add that this is an increasing problem for all racial and ethnic groups, though it is much worse so far for African Americans, Native Americans, and Latinos versus whites and Asians.)


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