More Liberal Hypocrisy: Race “As One Of Many Factors…”

I know, I know. Liberal hypocrisy on matters of race is about as newsworthy as another dog-bites-man story, but this one is too good to pass up.

As we’ve seen too many times to cite, one of the most ubiquitous excuses liberals give for why racial profiling by college admissions officers and company employment offices is not racial profiling is that race is “only one of many factors” considered. As I wrote here,

If there is one refrain that is repeated, mantra-like, over and over again by defenders of racial preferences, it is that race is only “one of many factors” in admissions decisions. The quotes are ubiquitous, as in the president of the University of Michigan, Mary Sue Coleman’s, repeated assertions that “there is no effective substitute for the consideration of race as one of many factors in our admissions decisions.”

The IRS, to pick one of many examples, will not revoke the tax-exempt status of an organization so longs as it “limits its use of race to being one of many factors in making affirmative action decisions.”

Thus the face of liberalism shines upon race-conscious preferential treatment so long as race is “only one of many factors” considered in awarding the preference.

Or rather, one face of liberalism shines upon “taking race into account” (so long, as the fig-leaf excuse goes, if it is not taken too much into account). A far different, second face of liberalism, however (I wouldn’t say liberalism is two-faced, for it presents far too many faces to the world to say that), scowls mightily upon “taking race into account,” even as “only one of many factors,” when those doing the taking into account are trying to accomplish a purpose — such as enforce immigration laws — of which the liberals disapprove. Liberals, that is, avidly endorse and practice racial profiling … except in those circumstances where for their own reasons they regard it as racial profiling.

So, what do you think the reaction was to the recent Arizona immigration law signed by Governor Brewer on Friday? Among other things that law, according to the Associated Press,

Requires police officers to “make a reasonable attempt” to determine the immigration status of a person if there is a “reasonable suspicion” that he or she is an illegal immigrant. Race, color or national origin may not be the only things considered in implementation.

In signing the law Gov. Brewer issued a long statement that included the following assurances:

Let me be clear, though: My signature today represents my steadfast support for enforcing the law — both AGAINST illegal immigration AND against racial profiling.

This legislation mirrors federal laws regarding immigration enforcement.

Despite erroneous and misleading statements suggesting otherwise, the new state misdemeanor crime of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document is adopted, verbatim, from the same offense found in federal statute.

I will NOT tolerate racial discrimination or racial profiling in Arizona.

Because I feel so strongly on this subject, I worked for weeks with legislators to amend SB 1070, to strengthen its civil rights protections.

That effort led to new language in the bill, language prohibiting law enforcement officers from “solely considering race, color, or national origin in implementing the requirements of this section…”

The bill already required that it “shall be implemented in a manner consistent with federal laws regulating immigration, protecting the civil rights of all persons and respecting the privileges and immunities of United States citizens.”

Do any readers entertain the belief that liberals, who do not believe academic racial profiling is racial profiling because race is “only one of many factors,” are satisfied that the Arizona law is not racial profiling because ethnicity is “only one of many factors” police may consider in stopping someone?

If so, I encourage them (if there are more than one) to Google “Arizona and immigration and law and racist” or something similar and get back to me in a few days, which is about how long it would take to look at the most promising hits such as Arizona’s Xenophobic, Civil Liberties-Depriving New Immigration Law Causes Blowback or Arizona’s Immigration Solution: Keep the Brown People in Mexico to Be Killed in Drug Wars or Arizona’s Immigration Law is Racist (I Hope) Hope? Why hope? Because, wrote this HuffPo writer,

I’ve read the bill, and there are really only two ways to interpret what it intends to accomplish. Either:

(a) The design is to target brown skinned people who either don’t speak English or speak English with an accent, i.e., pure racial profiling,


(b) by the ruse of combating illegal immigration, it gives Arizona police the ability to warrant-lessly arrest any resident of Arizona.

The only hope for the people of Arizona is that their police are the world’s most vicious racists. Otherwise, I cannot see any way to enforce this law short of stopping every person in Arizona several times a day and inspecting their papers.

The moral of this story is clear: When is racial profiling not racial profiling? When liberals say it’s not. (For a longer discussion of the racial profiling conundrum, see my post from several years ago on The Inscrutable Randall Kennedy.)

Say What? (3)

  1. CaptDMO April 25, 2010 at 10:37 am | | Reply


    “The only way I interpret this….” from ANYONE catering to the interests of Huffington Post “style book” led you to believe quotable consideration was merited?

    “…and your enemies even closer.” Or “give em’ just enough rope…” I suppose.

  2. The Colossus of Rhodey April 27, 2010 at 5:23 pm | | Reply

    Why don’t supporters of Arizona’s new law just use liberals’ own words?

    And those would be “race as one of many factors.” After all, critics of the law are mischaracterizing what it means in the most ridiculous terms imaginable; however, why couldn’t the law’s supporters used the same “logic” that “progressives” use…

  3. Rhymes With Right May 1, 2010 at 9:54 am | | Reply

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