The Corner

Proof of Color, Please?

Jennifer Gratz sent me this interesting news story from Detroit about one Jerome Morgan, who is being asked by the city to prove he is black (and therefore eligible for a contracting preference). Well, if some people are given special treatment because of race, it is inevitable that some people will try to game the system (see all the discussion of the Elizabeth Warren matter this week). And so it is inevitable that some governments will decide that the honor system isn’t enough, and will be tempted to require documentation in some circumstances.  (Indeed, that’s what the Bush administration did in 2001, as I noted on NRO at the time.) Sure, this is creepy — but what do you expect once you start down this road?  And perhaps Mr. Morgan is being politically targeted by the mayor’s office in Detroit, but of course he shouldn’t be given a preference on the basis of his skin color in the first place.  I’m glad to see this nonsense getting plenty of publicity:  Maybe it will help convince the political branches and the courts to put a stop to it.

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