This article was originally published by Salon on June 23, 1997.
President Clinton’s much-awaited statement on race has come and gone, and — as usual with this president — no one on either side of the argument is convinced that anything was said at all. Perhaps this says something about the general consciousness of the nation, and our inability to speak clearly, unambiguously and directly about the issue of race. The president’s words perfectly crystallize the problem.
The president chose a University of California campus in San Diego as the site for his pronouncement to focus attention on California’s ban on racial preferences and on the drop in enrollment rates as a result of that ban. According to university officials, African-American admissions to UC’s Boalt Hall law school — one of the most prestigious in the nation — dropped by 85 percent as a result of the new policy.
Originally published by Salon on August 4, 1997.
Koreans, Chinese and Vietnamese come to America and are forced to learn English. And do very well. They score higher than any ethnic group on those “Eurocentrically” biased standard performance tests, get into the most elite colleges in impressive numbers and go on to become businessmen, engineers and computer scientists. They do it all without affirmative action quotas or special language programs. In fact, the affirmative action quotas are largely there to keep Asian numbers down, so that lower-scoring, government-privileged minorities can get in.
This column was originally published by Salon on July 18, 1997.
A Clinton task force has unanimously recommended against adding a multiracial category to census forms, which now only list four official races: white, black, American Indian and Alaskan Native, and Asian and Pacific Islander. According to the Los Angeles Times, the recommendation marks a victory for “traditional civil rights and ethnic advocacy groups — such as the NAACP and the National Council of La Raza” — because a multiracial category would dilute their numbers and decrease their benefits. The wrangling over whether to add the category pitted these older civil rights groups against newer multiracial advocacy groups. Welcome to the Alice-in-Wonderland world of the new American apartheid.
The character assassination of Marty Peretz by his allies on the left is a familiar punishment for political incorrectness and an all too familiar sight. But the abandoning of Marty Peretz by people whose careers he fostered and whose reputations he made – among them Peter Beinart and this pipsqueak at the Times is particularly disgusting. It shows once again that leftists have no friends and no principles but only their hatreds, which drive them forward and keep them in line.
This column originally appeared at Salon on February 24, 1997.
Fifty years ago this spring, Jackie Robinson broke the color bar in baseball. The events that followed provide a lesson for Black History Month — which ends this week — that many civil rights leaders seem to have forgotten. Following Robinson’s historic breakthrough, as everybody knows, other black athletes followed his example and professional basketball and football also became multiracial sports. Over the years, however, there were many doubters that these gains were possible or that the revolution would continue. The doubters said whites would never accept more than a few black players. There would always be quotas to limit the number of blacks. Whites, they said, would never allow blacks to become managers or quarterbacks or the owners of clubs. They said that if blacks became the majority of the players in professional basketball, for example, whites wouldn’t go to see the games.