by Frank Marion 10/30/13
In his “I have a Dream” speech, Doctor King outlined his dream of one day being able to watch his children play with children of other races, colors, and creeds and that the color of one’s skin doesn’t matter. The speech was delivered to nearly 250,000 Civil Rights supporters in 1963 next to the Lincoln Memorial. King broke from his speech towards the end to outline a dream of racial equality and freedom for a country with a history of hatred and slavery. One famous line from the speech was spoken by King and runs opposite of the notions of many racial justice programs today, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
The civil rights act was passed in 1964 just before King’s assassination in Memphis in 1968. The Civil Rights Act, which was a landmark piece of legislation, eliminated segregation and racial discrimination in schools, the workplace, and in public facilities. Although the Civil Rights Act passed, many were upset and angered by this to the point of extreme anger and terroristic threats on black leaders. An example of this is a southern Democrat, Senator Strom Thurmond, holds the longest filibuster in U.S. Senate history of 24 hours and 18 minutes where he argued against the Civil Rights Act in the late 1950’s. Over the years, there have been still many racial struggles, but they seem to be disappearing a little more every year. Comedians like Richard Pryor and Activist Movements like the Black Panthers and black leaders like Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali led the way for many blacks into this new world. Even though the United States has taken great strides in eradicating racism, some say that it still exists today. In fact, you would be hard pressed to not find it in today’s society.[pullquote]This act of rewarding one race over another is in fact racism. Racism is just an ugly form of collectivism in which we promote a group of people over the individual, except for that the government and many corporations, and academic institutions are making it a policy to practice the very racism they claim to want to get rid of.[/pullquote]
Racism has taken a different form in recent years, and remains a big political issue even today. The government has tried too hard to get rid of racism, and has incentivized its elimination through programs like affirmative action and equality of opportunity. This is where certain minority groups get a preferential treatment over others because of the color of their skin and their socio-economic backgrounds. This act of rewarding one race over another is in fact racism. Racism is just an ugly form of collectivism in which we promote a group of people over the individual, except for that the government and many corporations, and academic institutions are making it a policy to practice the very racism they claim to want to get rid of.
In 2011, a group of students at University of California Berkeley tried an experiment. They set up a cupcake stand were all the cupcakes were exactly the same, but charged $1.50 for Asians, $2.00 for whites, and $0.75 for blacks. This brought outrage from the public and many people were vehemently opposed to this racist cupcake stand. The idea was that since Asians had on average much better SAT scores that they needed to be punished more than the others, and that since whites made more money on average than blacks that the black prices should be the cheapest, all in the name of fairness. This price structure works almost exactly the same as affirmative action or equal opportunity does, but people don’t seem to mind it when it comes to their jobs or their education, just don’t touch their cupcakes.
Affirmative action does not ask for quotas any more but organizations can slant the information with point systems. These point systems, designed to give a certain amount of points to a person based on color or socio-economic background is indeed also a racist notion. The notion that you must take opportunity away from one colored person to give it to someone you believe to be under privileged is not true equality at all. People have equal rights under the law, not the right to have an equal amount of pay, opportunity, or anything else people want and feel the need to blame their own race for not being able to attain it.
In fact, it is the federal government more than anything else that divides us along race, class, religion, and gender lines. Government—through its taxes, restrictive regulations, corporate subsidies, racial set-asides, and welfare programs—plays far too large a role in determining who succeeds and who fails in our society. This government benevolence crowds out genuine good will between people by institutionalizing group think and making each group suspicious and leery that others are receiving more of the government loot. This leads to resentment and hostility between all Americans. The left argues that stringent federal laws are needed to combat racism, even as they advocate and champion incredibly divisive collectivist policies and attitudes.
Racism in America is not only still prevalent; it is growing, just in a different direction and under the auspices of equality. Diversity in government and in the workplace is a warm and inviting topic for a collectivist. They seek to teach people that you are racist unless you have this diversity in your organization. President Obama made it a point to have a very diverse cabinet and white house staff by bringing in whites, blacks, women, men, and having a good mix of many minority groups. This diversity is actually not diversity at all but just a clever guise built to promote more affirmative action. Even though the president surrounds himself with people of different color, ethnicity, and gender, the actions and thoughts of these people are exactly like him.[pullquote]This government benevolence crowds out genuine good will between people by institutionalizing group think and making each group suspicious and leery that others are receiving more of the government loot. This leads to resentment and hostility between all Americans. [/pullquote]
This is not real diversity; diversity is not judging by skin color, diversity is having people of many different thoughts and skills to help lead the country. In this way the president and many on the left treat diversity as a clever tool or buzz word to attack so-called racists on the right. The 2012 census shows us that the majority of Americans are white. The American system of democracy calls for representation of all its citizens in the congress, yet the left parades around the fact that most of congress is made up of rich, educated, white males. Bringing this fact to light is indeed racist due to the fact that it should not matter what a congressman’s skin color is, they represent the people equally and many in fact are diverse and have skills and expertise in different fields which got them elected, by the people.
The hypocrisy of the left in this is astounding especially when taken into the consideration that they believe in a more democratic function of politics in which the will of the people decides the outcome of policy. In Congress, if a white man were to start a congressional white caucus the left would lambast them for being racist. But yet the congressional black caucus stands today and has no backlash for its obvious racism. In fact, the very existence of a Congressional Black Caucus serves nothing but to further marginalize and discriminate against blacks. Diversity should be encouraged but not forced, and all governments can do is use force to enact policy. Forcing a business or an organization to accept people of color by government decree sounds nice and moral but does this actually solve racism itself? Can you cure a human behavior, thought or feeling with a law? Can the law dictate to you your thoughts that originate and occur in your own mind? This idea of using the law to enforce morality can seem good, both conservatives, liberals, and everywhere in between seek to enact their form of morality onto the citizenry, as if they were made of a finer clay than the rest of man.
When governments do this it hides the root of a problem underneath more obscure problems and does not allow for discussion of the plain truth of things. The argument in the United States has shifted to the point that today to question policies concerning race or color, or fairness of affirmative action or equal opportunity, you are deemed a racist, bigot, or sexist. The very nature of governments enforcing their morality is technically repugnant to a free and open society. These arguments work the same for economics as well. Does a business owner have the freedom to choose, based on anything whatsoever, who and what kind of person he or she employs? Does income equality for minorities have to do with the color of one’s skin or is it due to the racist nature of our government’s judicial and financial institutions?[pullquote]Ayn Rand, author and famous Objectivist philosopher, states that the smallest minority is the individual, and that you cannot truly protect the minority until you can protect the individual. [/pullquote]
Ayn Rand, author and famous Objectivist philosopher, states that the smallest minority is the individual, and that you cannot truly protect the minority until you can protect the individual. This philosophy is in accordance with our very founding principles of individual liberty and equality of each individual under the law. F.A. Hayek, renowned Austrian economist writes, “The curious task of economics is to teach to men how little they know about what they imagine they can design.” Simply put, the meaning of this is that you cannot centrally plan an economy and this can spread into the whole idea of collectivism. Racism, being another dirty form of collectivism, runs on the same concept that governments can centralize morality or thought about a subject. This notion of centralization is at the core with what is inherently wrong with the United States and with some of its people. Governments cannot cure morality. If that was true, then we would have no racism left in this country.
The invisible hand of the free market is not only for economic decisions but also moral ones as well. Through emulation of what we believe to be moral behavior as people and continually striving to be a positive example along with the protection of our individual liberties and negative rights is our only true hope of curing racism. People participating in a free market atmosphere vote every day with their actions, labor, and money on what is acceptable or what works. The true advances in racial acceptance were brought on by this invisible hand of the free market and individual actions and education. The government serves no other purpose than to hold back this innovation and I believe can be attributed to the inherent racism hiding under the cloak of equality.
The United States Judicial System is one of the three branches of government in the United States. Many argue that the judicial system itself is racist and here we find some disturbing evidence that shows how government is complicit in racist activities. In a Huffington Post article written by Bill Quigley, the legal director for the Center of Constitutional Rights and Professor at Loyola New Orleans wrote in a 2010 an article titled, “Fourteen Examples of Racism in the Criminal Justice System.” In the article he highlights 14 different points and facts with statistics that portrays the Judicial System as begetting racism. He claims that the criminal justice system is a race-based system that disproportionately targets African Americans and other people of color in comparison to white people.
Mr. Quigley asks a few questions at the start of his article that seem to ask the important underlying question of government involvement in racist activities, “…are these facts the mistakes of an otherwise good system, or are they evidence that the racist criminal justice system is working exactly as intended? Is the US criminal justice system operated to marginalize and control millions of African Americans?” Many black leaders and race activists also make claims of marginalization and possible control of the black race through socio-economic controls and through the judicial system. Could it be that this idea is in fact correct? Here are some facts and numbers about the U.S. Criminal Justice System.
Data is readily available for a plethora of different steps in the criminal justice system, from police stops, to arrests, frisks or pat downs, arrests, bail, legal representation, trial, sentencing, prison, parole, and drug crime. It is important to note that the United States has almost a quarter of the world’s prison population and that of the U.S. population, 307 Million, are white or Caucasian and that 39 Million are Black or African American. In prison populations however, the white prison population is 0.7% and the black and Hispanic prison population is 6.7% per 100,000 male prison population according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. The War on Drugs is one of the biggest highlights for a biased criminal justice system. The War on Drugs does not only run opposite of freedom and individual liberty, it also is locking up Americans for non violent crimes at an unprecedented rates. The rates of incarceration for blacks and whites compared to known drug uses for each race are also highly disproportionate. Whites and blacks engage in drug offenses, possession and sales, at roughly comparable rates – according to a report on race and drug enforcement published by Human Rights Watch in May 2008.
While African Americans comprise of 13% of the US population and 14% of monthly drug users, they are 37% of the people arrested for drug offenses – according to 2009 Congressional testimony by Marc Mauer of The Sentencing Project. Yet again, this is another example of government choosing morality and not being effective. Instead, it creates more problems than ever intended and we are involved in throwing people in cages for long sentences for consuming a plant into their own body. Most of these people are minorities, sadly. Since 1970, drug arrests have skyrocketed, rising from 320,000 to close to 1.6 million according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. African Americans are arrested for drug offenses at rates 2 to 11 times higher than the rate for whites – according to a May 2009 report on disparity in drug arrests by Human Rights Watch.
Multiple news stories over the years have chronicled the discrimination in the criminal justice system. Many minorities claim to be stopped by police officers near Border States and border towns near the U.S. – Mexican Border because of racial stereotypes of being possible illegal aliens. These traffic stops in the United States are almost zero percent for whites; this discrimination is based wholly on the color of one’s skin and can be detrimental for police in keeping with their mission to uphold the public trust.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said that the U.S. needs a radical and abrupt change in its value system, not its laws, and that the current corrupt institutions of racism need to be ripped up by the roots and not trimmed around the edges. This does not necessarily mean that we must get rid of our judicial branch of government or that we need more laws and programs to protect racial justice, but that we need fewer laws that protect government and that the United States Government should start legislating in protection of individual liberty instead of protection of their narrow perceived morality. Instead, we have seen an unfair shift in racism and to many whites, this makes it seem like their race is now the true minority and unfairly punished for actions they have not committed from the past. Are white men and women somehow responsible for their ancestor’s abhorrent actions of slavery and segregation? If so, when are people going to hold the Black Africans accountable for their crimes of selling their own race, their own people into slavery to the whites over 200 years ago?[pullquote]However, today government asks whites to move to the back of the line in some cases for education or work opportunities, the merits of their successes ignored in the name of racial justice.[/pullquote]
Rosa Parks was jailed for refusing to move to the back of the bus in Montgomery during the Civil Rights Era. This defiance and impassioned display of civil disobedience has become legendary in the United States. However, today government asks whites to move to the back of the line in some cases for education or work opportunities, the merits of their successes ignored in the name of racial justice. While poor blacks and poor Hispanics reap the benefits of social engineering programs like affirmative action and equal opportunity, poor whites have no outlet or avenue to pursue based upon the color of their skin.
In summation, I believe that racism is not only allowed to run amok in the United States, but that our judicial and legislative branches produce unintended consequences to good-intentioned laws based on the reflection of morality produced at the time. It is only through the true practice of free market economics, and the promotion of individualism and personal liberty, that we can obtain a higher morality based on our own thoughts and journeys through life. The system will never be perfect or racism free. Some philosophers ponder the true nature of humans either good or evil. I would propose that they are neither. Instead, they are imperfect beings. This is in fact why we require a government to protect, not grant, our rights. As Hayek said in his Nobel Prize lecture on “The Pretense of Knowledge,” “I confess that I prefer true but imperfect knowledge, even if it leaves much in determined and unpredictable, to a pretence of exact knowledge that is likely to be false.” • (1402 views)