Saturday, July 21, 2007

Wingnuts get it wrong once again, film at 11

When the Supreme Court struck down admissions systems for schools that took race into account, many conservatives were crowing in glee, and pronouncing themselves the true heirs of Dr. King's vision of a colorblind society. See, for example, the obnoxious screeds here and here.

However, as usual, these people have gotten it wrong. Dr. King wrote in Why We Can't Wait,
Among the many vital jobs to be done, the nation must not only radically readjust its attitude toward the Negro in the compelling present, but must incorporate into its planning some compensatory consideration for the handicaps he has inherited from the past. It is impossible to create a formula for the future which does not take into account that our society has been doing something special against the Negro for hundreds of years. How then can he be absorbed into the mainstream of American life if we do not do something special for him now, in order to balance the equation and equip him to compete on a just and equal basis?

Whenever this issue of compensatory or preferential treatment for the Negro is raised, some of our friends recoil in horror. The Negro should be granted equality, they agree; but he should ask nothing more. On the surface, this appears reasonable, but it is not realistic. For it is obvious that if a man is entered at the staffing line in a race three hundred years after another man, the first would have to perform some impossible feat in order to catch up with his fellow runner.

It's sad that some people simply can't understand that.

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