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Monday, April 20, 2009

Supreme Court Takes on Racial Discrimination Case

The Supreme Court is poised to take on a new racial discrimination case. An article about it can be viewed here.
After reading the article, see my thoughts below.

It has been said by the court that the best way to end racial discrimination is to stop discriminating. I agree. Frederick Douglas spoke at length about meritocracy. He believed, as I do, that black people are fully capable of achievement without anymore help than anyone else, and it is insulting to suggest otherwise. He believed that government efforts to correct discrimination create cultural dependency and become crutches that prevent individual people from learning to experience real achievement. Plus, such attempts are usually half-hearted or well disguised attempts to maintain the status quo. You would think that someone who is discriminated against would have far less faith in the discriminators ability or willingness to correct the discrimination.

Douglas famously said, “Everybody has asked the question, and they learned to ask it early of the abolitionists, ‘What shall we do with the Negro?’ I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us...If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature's plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs... If you will only untie his hands, and give him a chance, I think he will live. He will work as readily for himself as the white man.”

In this case, there may be real discrimination present. But you don’t attack that discrimination by leaving it be, and simply lowering the bar for those discriminated against. Doing this will leave that discrimination in place forever, create a sense of entitlement to the victims and hurt the performance of the fire department.

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