Despite having a journalist home among Communists, Ross Douthat tries to express an alternative (sometimes called “conservative”) view such as this suggestion that the imminent fall of Affirmative Action is a good thing:
After all, what are white Americans supposed to make of a system that offers Hispanic or Asian business owners an advantage never enjoyed by their own Irish or Polish or Scots-Irish forefathers, or boosts upper-class African and Caribbean college applicants whose ancestors never lived in slavery? What are they supposed to think of a system that was established 50 years ago as a temporary experiment, but keeps gaining new half-lives and further beneficiaries â€” moving â€œswiftly and imperceptibly,â€ as Chris Caldwell once put it, â€œfrom a world in which affirmative action canâ€™t be ended because its beneficiaries are too weak to a world in which it canâ€™t be ended because its beneficiaries are too strongâ€?
His attack takes the form of a it-does-not-work analysis which is probably correct, and hints at what white people have noticed, which is that all legal actions styled after the Civil Rights act are based on impact, or “inequality of outcome” as last week’s internet trope has it, which means that white people are penalized for succeeding because the disparate results are considered de facto proof of racism.
This hint expands into other areas. Wealth transfer, as is usual for the Left, is at the top. Another is the thought that, as Plato mentioned, tyrants always buy loyalty from foreigners as a means of supplanting the power of the indigenous majority. Still more is that Affirmative Action and Civil Rights law are a basic form of tribalism where one tribe is presumed to be guilty and therefore, condemned until eternity to support the others.
Douthat offers a suggestion which, like 99.99% of everything in media, offers a band-aid for a gaping wound. “The good enough is the enemy of the good,” as the old saying goes, and most people — being inclined toward chumpiness, or greater fear of conflict than zeal for realistic answers — just want to patch up the leaky boat. He wants reparations without repatriation:
Instead of reparations as an addition to our current affirmative-action regime, then, maybe they should be considered as an alternative â€” one that directly addresses a unique government-sanctioned crime against part of the American people, without requiring a preference regime that makes lower-class white Americans feel like victims of a multicultural version of The Man.
So, this weekâ€™s immodest proposal: Abolish racial preferences in college admissions, phase out preferences in government hiring and contracting, eliminate the disparate-impact standard in the private sector, and allow state-sanctioned discrimination only on the basis of socioeconomic status, if at all. Then at the same time, create a reparations program â€” the Frederick Douglass Fund, letâ€™s call it â€” that pays out exclusively, directly and one time only to the proven descendants of American slaves.
On the surface, like all things partially true and all things Modern, this seems to make sense. Instead of those expensive benefits, welfare payouts and the disaster that Affirmative Action has wrought in making our industry non-competitive, we should just do a one-time cash award and be done with it. Douthat suggests $10,000 and that it would cost $370bn in total.
What he forgets is that $10,000 is chump change (heh) in our modern world. That will not buy anyone out of poverty, which is itself an illusion because poverty is a relative measurement and thus exists in all societies, and expands as wealth is dumped into it. It will not make anyone retired. It will just give them a small boost, and leave racial resentment where it is.
Douthat cannot say any of this of course because in Leftist-dominated Amerika, he would lose his job, never get another one and never have another friend. He would become an ideological enemy of the state, and people would scatter from him as if he were a leper because to be seen as an ally of an ideological dissident is to become an enemy of The People, and then your life is basically over as surely as if you committed multiple felonies ending in murder.
But, a more practical plan is this: reparations-with-repatriation, or giving those who are not of the founding group a one-time stipend contingent upon loss of citizenship and relocation. No piddly $10,000 either. Yes, it would cost trillions, but also save trillions over the next ten years in terms of entitlement programs, Affirmative Action damage to our economy, but even more, in terms of the sheer amount of social, political and cultural destruction and chaos caused by diversity.
Those trillions would be well spent. We could end this disaster as friends. True, the cost is shocking… and Leftists will never admit that their stupidity caused it. But there is only one way to end a problem, and that is to get to its root cause, and the root cause of ethnic inequality in this country is diversity, and the only solution to that is ending diversity as gently as we know how.