Saturday, December 14, 2002

Why Yes, Trent Lott Is a Racist Dickweed

Trent Lott isn't alone in his thoughts. And that is why we still need affirmative action in some form.

Oh, I will admit that affirmative action does result in normally qualified whites missing out on opportunities. On the other hand, affirmative action exists as an expiation of guilt.

I compare affirmative action to Israel. The truth is, if all things were done right, there would have been no European colonialism of the Middle East under the the mandates of the League of Nations and the Arabs would have had sovereignty sooner than they did. Sad but true.

At the same time, Israel exists as a remedy for the Holocaust and through that centuries of anti-Semetism, a sentiment which is not totally extinguished. I don't begrudge the existence of Israel and I will defend its right to exist, yet I know in the back of my mind that its creation involved injustice, an injustice which is easier to overlook because the slighted parties tend to act like militant, violent jackasses.

Likewise, affirmative action exists to remedy the effects of slavery and years of Jim Crow, of official and unofficial segregation in the years since the Emancipation Proclamation. In a just world, blacks would have never been imported as slave labor to the United States. But we can't wipe that away with a time machine, now can we?

People like Trent Lott lead me to believe that a need for affirmative action in some form is still out there. What that form is, I'm not quite sure.

Well, actually, I do have an inkling. Break up residential segregation. Well, you can't just point and tell people to move, but you can make it easier. Just how to go about that is a mystery.

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