Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The affirmative action president

Hazel S said...

“This brings me to whether we should vote for Obama or Mcain. As a black person (but more than anything, a very God-fearing born again Christian) I unreservedly and unashamedly support Obama – because he is black. I think that Obama’s election will help to change the appalling view that most white people have (including white Christians): that black people are idiots who can never be anything.”


There are three basic problems with this appeal:

i) Ironically, in the very process of trying to break down racial stereotypes, Hazel is stereotyping the racial views of “most white people,” including “white Christians.”

How is she in any position to pronounce such a sweeping verdict on the racial views of most whites or white Christians?

ii) Another problem is that, by his own admission, Obama’s academic advancement was the result of racial tokenism (see below). Therefore, the election of a black candidate like Obama would reinforce the very stereotype she’s projecting onto “most whites” and “white Christians.”

iii) Which brings us to the final irony. The idea that blacks need to prove themselves to whites is, itself, a reflection of a racial inferiority complex.

“I'd also like to add one personal note, in response to the letter from Mr. Jim Chen which was published in the October 26 issue of the RECORD, and which articulated broad objections to the Review's general affirmative action policy. I respect Mr. Chen's personal concern over the possible stigmatizing effects of affirmative action, and do not question the depth or sincerity of his feelings. I must say, however, that as someone who has undoubtedly benefited from affirmative action programs during my academic career, and as someone who may have benefited from the Law Review's affirmative action policy when I was selected to join the Review last year, I have not personally felt stigmatized either within the broader law school community or as a staff member of the Review.”


1 comment:

  1. I can't tell you how annoyed I was as I kept hearing the news anchors refer to Obama being a man of destiny because of his role as the first African American president, and I heard one guy in particular on Fox News say that he felt that John McCain probably had this sense all along that Obama would win this election for just that reason.

    I guess it was inevitable that race would be such an issue in this election, but it's just a shame. A person's race has nothing to do with their ability to govern a nation. I wonder how Obama would have fared had he been white?