An Associated Press article today by Hope Yen wonderfully if unwittingly reflects some of the zaniness of today’s liberals and the mainstream press (but I repeat myself) on the meaning of civil rights.
It begins with a question that is either hopelessly confusing or a non sequitur, or both: “WASHINGTON (AP) — Has the nation lived down its history of racism and should the law become colorblind?”
This is not rather like asking, it is asking: “Has the nation lived down its history of awarding benefits and burdens based on race and should it continue awarding benefits and burdens based on race?”
And then another question: “In one case, the issue is whether race preferences in university admissions undermine equal opportunity more than they promote the benefits of racial diversity.”
First, this questions assumes — all the rapidly accumulating “mismatch” evidence to the contrary — that the “benefits of racial diversity” outweigh the damage done not to “equal opportunity” but to the preferred themselves. Second, assuming that the “benefits of racial diversity” to those who do receive it (whites and Asians, since blacks and Hispanics would receive those benefits at less selective institutions in the absence of preferential admissions) can justify the discrimination against those who are denied admission because of their race. In practice, many Asians and whites are denied admission because of their race/ethnicity so that other, more privileged whites and Asians can receive the storied benefits of “diversity.”
Moving on, another question: “… in a second case, the court must decide whether race relations — in the South, particularly — have improved to the point that federal laws protecting minority voting rights are no longer warranted..”
Thus according to the AP’s Ms. Yen, a ruling that the pre-clearance provision of the Voting Rights Act is no longer required — because, to pick one of several possible reasons, minority voting is at least as prevalent in the “covered” jurisdictions as in most uncovered ones — that would mean there would no longer be any laws on the books prohibiting racial discrimination against voters.
That notion is so absurd that one suspects Ms. Yen has actually written an April Fool’s spoof rather than a news story, a suspicion that is strengthened by her quoting — and as far as can be told, taking seriously — an observation by “Roderick Harrison, a demographer who is black” and “a former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau,” that “[t]he term ‘minority’ often refers to an unequal or disadvantaged status and isn’t always about numbers or counts…. Minority status is a matter of exclusion from full participation in society, remaining long after a nation becomes ‘majority minority.'”
On the other hand, many major media stories on race and civil rights read like April Fool’s jokes, and so unfortunately there is no really good reason (aside from its content) to suspect that this one is a spoof.