Today the Supreme Court upheld a Michigan law stating that colleges cannot have affirmative action policies. Despite this ruling, I am not actually going to write about affirmative action, but rather I want to make a few comments on race in general.
First off, I think that the topic of race in our current political discourse is largely a sham in that very few people are actually concerned about justice. Of course they say they want justice, but what they really mean is that they want justice so long as it coincides with their preconceived ideology, whatever that may be. Lets examine an example of this. Some believe that charter schools are bad because they supposedly increase racial segregation in schools. They believe this despite the fact that often times “segregated” charter schools provide a better education to their students than “unsegregated” inner city public schools. The logic here is that having racial balance in the classroom is actually more important for education than, well, education itself. But is it just to deny any poor student, black or white, a good education just because some upper-middle-class academics want to engineer a society with perfect racial ratios in all things except the NBA? Call me a racist but I would rather provide poor students with a good education than try to explain to a minority student that they have to stay in their failing public school because if they were to leave the ratio of black to white students will be off (if you think I am making this up you do not keep an eye on what our “justice” department does).
Secondly, many of the arguments that people have over race are abstract. Perhaps I am just not enlightened enough, but I must admit that often times when I hear people on the left talk about race I can’t even understand what they are talking about. I want to understand, I really do, but I can’t. But when people with more degrees than myself start talking about the inherent racial injustice of America and how even claiming that you aren’t racist is racist, I get very confused. I understand that in the past America has done some terribly racist and unjust things such as slavery and Japanese internment, but I don’t understand how pointing out that inner cities have a poverty and crime issue is racist. I know that it is only racist when a republican says it, but I admit that I am too simple to understand why it isn’t racist when a democrat says the same thing. But the point is that many of these arguments are abstract in my mind because they mean nothing to everyday life. This isn’t to say that racism is not a problem, because like all the other problems of human existence it will always be a devil on our shoulder that we must fight every day. But what it does mean is that constantly harping on the fact that on the whole white people are richer than black people due to past injustices and calling everyone a racist who disagrees with you about Coke vs. Pepsi will get us nowhere as a society. Yes, there were past injustices that effect today, but that doesn’t mean that white people today need to live lives of constant guilt for being beneficiaries of some kind of “structural bias inherent in the system”. Instead people of all races must come together as Americans who yearn for liberty and justice for all and address the problems that afflict our nation. We need to reform our schools so that everyone “gets a fair shot” as the President says. We must reform our welfare programs so that they help the needy without breaking up families and destroying communities, as the late liberal Senator Patrick Moynihan warned us they too often do. We must fix the engines of economic growth so that we have the wealth as a society to tackle our problems. And most importantly, and perhaps most challengingly, we must work to restore a culture of morality and virtue to our noble nation, and prove to the world that America is exceptional because its people are above all others.