Monday, July 20, 2009

Is The Majority "Minority" The Finish Line?

Is a demographic majority enough to end racial affirmative action? Ross Douthat thinks so. I am not sure that he is correct.

Douthat argues in his NY Times column that a “minority” majority populous can’t rightfully sustain an affirmative action policy because it will become a “spoils system for the already successful.”

I agree with the broad idea of Douthat’s column that a system of racial affimative action is unsustainable. But as a society we need to discuss when race based affirmative action should end. But I don’t think a simple racial headcount is enough. When there is one more “minority” person than there is white people is that enough? That seems entirely too shallow and without any real assessment of the issue.

We need to determine how to measure equal opportunity for all people. Along with when the power used to distribute that opportunity is broadly dispersed to all types of people. It seems indefensible to claim that the white New Haven firefighters were denied a promotion because of the power of an “African American ‘kingmaker’” while the history of insularity of the profession assigned points for a lineage “including nepotism or political patronage.”

Will that de facto affirmative be completely erased from our society before the "minority" majority?

These are tough questions to answer and I hope we can answer them and reach a goal before 2028.

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