AFFIRMATIVE ACTION & ORIGINAL SIN: WHY KING BARACK WAS THE INEVITABLE RESULT

My first post on RNL dealt with the poisonous policies that grew out of the pre-Reagan, neo-Progressive era of the 1960’s and 1970’s, placing them in the historical perspective of America’s history and of our predecessors’ attempts to come to terms with the curse of chattel slavery that ate away at the exceptional vision of our Founders.   The willingness of European Americans to fight and die in the anti-slavery, pro-Union cause during our terrible Civil War, the war that took more American lives than any other, was not enough to transform the Democrat Party of the post-Civil War South, nor its terrorist allies in the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens’ Councils, into a party worthy of being called “American.” Despite the efforts of Republican heroes like President Grant and Generals Sherman and Sheridan, the racist traditions of the southern Democrat Party reasserted itself and relegated the newly freed African American citizens to less than second class citizenship.  This continued until Presidents Truman and Eisenhower and the US Supreme Court began to reassert American law during the 1950’s.

The racist policies and beliefs that held sway in varying degrees from Maryland to Texas under the rule of the Democrats, broke down completely in the 1960’s, and with the usual pattern of big government, a world emerged in the 1970’s where the Federal government designed a remedy that punished people who had nothing to do with the original problems.  It has long been my contention that few things are so bad that the Federal government cannot make them worse.  The Affirmative Action monstrosity created by the Progressive Democrats and Republicans of the 1960’s and 1970’s established a system of government sanctioned discrimination against White Americans who had committed no crime, and whose ancestors mostly fought for the Union or immigrated long after the Civil War period had ended.  It is my contention that Barack Hussein Obama is the inevitable result of the Progressive Big Government policies of both Democrats and Republicans, and that only a return to the basic American values of individual freedom, private property, free markets and limited government can excise the malignancy that Our Dear Leader represents.  Americans who recognize the direction that Obama’s “change” of America represents must put aside our relatively small differences and unite to defeat the forces that would remove our freedoms and coerce our children and grandchildren into a denial of America’s exceptional history and place in the world.  What follows below is a discussion of how America got to the unfortunate state we find ourselves in today.

While I was a graduate student at Princeton Theological Seminary in the late 1970′s, the developing pattern of Federally-mandated “Affirmative Action” programs became obvious to me. While African Americans had historically suffered under slavery and the post-Civil War activities of Democrat Party-related groups like the Ku Klux Klan and government sponsored legal codes like the Jim Crow Laws and the Black Codes, by 1980 no African American young person had ever experienced the pre-60′s south or even the blatant racial hatred of Blacks in cities like Boston and Philadelphia. Having grown-up in a White (mostly Irish) working class ghetto in Philly and volunteered in civil rights efforts in Georgia and Tennessee in the late 60′s and early 70′s, I had felt the fear that arose when a local sheriff’s patrol car pulled over a van with Black and White volunteers inside. The racism that was endemic in 1960′s America was an evil that was poisoning our nation.

What was obvious to me in 1978 was that Affirmative Action programs enforced by the power of the US government bureaucracy were not the answer to the historic evil of racism. At their core, Affirmative Action programs are “New-Speak” for using the force of government sanctioned economic violence to discriminate against today’s Whites in favor of today’s Blacks. Today’s White Americans, presumably now including “Light-skinned Hispanics”, had nothing to do with slavery or even the government sanctioned anti-Black discrimination of the first 70-years of the 20th century. In many cases America’s White citizens or their ancestors immigrated (legally) from their home countries long after Black slavery had been outlawed in America. My mother’s parents escaped religious persecution and limited economic opportunities in Ireland, and found most doors closed to the “Shanty Irish” in my hometown of Philly, in much the same manner in which African Americans options in the same town were limited. There was no “White Privilege” for the Irish in the eastern US for several generations, but we looked to our families, our friends and our Church, and built better lives over the course of several generations. My father’s family had arrived at Plymouth in 1620 and Philadelphia in 1690, and fought against slavery over the course of multiple generations, as many Quakers did. That fight continued after the Civil War, as my Great Grandfather Alfred Rhoads was the first business owner in Philadelphia to employ African Americans in his construction business, in what is now Northeast Philly. Later my parents allowed my brother and I to bring our Black teammates home for dinner and then my father drove them home so the local Welcome Wagon didn’t attack them on their way to catch the trolley home to North Philly. That was America through the 1960′s, but it is not America today.

The article I have contemplated for over 40-years is called, “Affirmative Action & Original Sin: Why Two Wrongs Can Never Make a Right.” For those who are a bit rusty on their St. Paul and St. Augustine, among others, “original sin” is a Christian doctrine particularly held by Roman Catholics and Reformed and Evangelical Protestants. Liberal/Progressives have long denied the efficacy of Original Sin, preferring to believe in the perfectibility of human beings and human society in the material world we currently reside in. Collectivism in all its forms, Marxism, Socialism, Fascism, Nazism, Maoism, and its primary American form, Liberal Progressivism, share the vision of human perfectibility as one of their core values. The means to achieve human perfection is also shared by the various flavors of Collectivism…all-encompassing, centralized government is the tool the Collectivists universally look to employ to master the “False Consciousness” of the masses and shift control of the lives of the governed from individual freedom and liberty to government bureaucrats and their enforcers (Police, FBI, CIA, IRS, DOJ, EPA, etc.). So “Obama-ism” is not a new idea, nor are the tools it is employing to achieve its goals in America anything that has not been seen before. Obama-ism is most like Nazism in Hitler’s Third Reich, in that it targets the raising up of a racial group (African Americans in Obama’s case, “pure Germans” in Hitler’s) to a position of power over other ethnic and racial groups (American Whites for BHO; Jews, Slavs, and basically every non-German race for Hitler), and works to achieve its goals by the use of the coercive power of the state. Since our Classic Anglo American Liberal Founders understood the universality of Original Sin quite well, they blessed us with founding documents (our Constitution, Declaration and Bill of Rights) that reflected a fear of ever allowing power to concentrate in a single human being or group. As Mr. Obama has frequently voiced, the Constitution frustrates him because it has slowed his ability to bring the complete “Change” to America that he views as his personal mission. For those who harbor personal religious beliefs, can I get a “Thank you, God” and an “Amen”?

So why was Affirmative Action such a bad solution to a difficult issue back in the 1970′s, up to the present, and how does it relate to the racial chickens that are rapidly coming home to roost in Obama’s America? As Jonathan Edwards and Cotton Mather (and Rabbi Hillel, who had the most complete understanding of human nature that I have ever studied) would understand, no race, including the White race, can ever be trusted to give up its government sanctioned privilege once it has come to experience the fruit of that poisoned tree. Even in the pre-Civil War American South, the Federal government sanction of Black slavery was couched as “property law,” not as racially predestined policy. Yes, there were plenty of efforts to defend slavery theologically and on anthropological grounds, but those defenses were transparently flimsy and required the employing of “eisegesis” (reading meaning into a document, rather than exegesis, which involves reflecting the original understanding) in selecting Biblical texts to defend the South’s “Peculiar Institution”. Most of the defense of chattel slavery happened at the cultural level, rather than the Federal government level, until the slave-based economy of the South was in its early stage of decline, when the “Fugitive Slave Law” and the “Dred Scott Case” strengthened the anti-slavery forces’ commitment to eliminating slavery. The Democrats of the post- Civil War South passed and enforced the Jim Crow Laws and the Black Codes, in order to strengthen the position of Southern Whites, since slavery was illegal and the cultural taboos had begun to fray.

Federal Affirmative Action laws therefore, represented the first US Federal laws to explicitly require favoritism of one race (Blacks) over another (Whites), with the coercive power of the Federal government employed to enforce racial discrimination. Predictably, the unintended consequences have further inflamed racial tensions that would have otherwise long since receded. Lower income and Middle Class Whites have been hardest hit, since the very wealthy have never competed for university seats or jobs or union cards in America or anywhere else. Coveted seats in Ivy League and other top national universities, graduate and professional schools have often been reserved for less qualified Blacks over more qualified Whites from the Working and Middle classes. Dr. Thomas Sowell has documented the negative impacts of these programs (in AFFIRMATIVE ACTION WORLDWIDE, and multiple other publications) as reasonably qualified Blacks have often predictably proven unable to compete with highly qualified White and Asian American students, while the Black Affirmative Action students would likely have excelled in slightly less competitive environments. In a sadly ironic twist, African American students who actually meet the admission requirements for highly competitive universities often suffer from silent doubts on the part of their White and Asian classmates, as their admission is viewed to have been on an Affirmative Action basis.

What I am arguing for in this post is for recognition that Affirmative Action, originally conceived as a bad, but temporary attempt to address past inequities, cannot be allowed to continue into even the immediate future. Human nature (Original Sin) has caused ideologues like Barack Obama and Eric Holder (along with many other Lib/Progs of all races) to attempt to institutionalize discrimination against American Whites as a permanent feature of our society and Federal government. Our American ancestors, even with their many foibles, knew that racial (or religious, or economic class-based) discrimination was not just wrong, but evil. Today’s, and tomorrow’s White children had no more to do with the long destroyed system of chattel slavery than their Black classmates. African Americans like Barack Obama’s family never suffered from either slavery or the discrimination that followed and families like my own actually played a much larger role in the abolition of slavery and the fight against racial discrimination than Mr. Obama’s ancestors. The majority of Americans today descend from post-slavery era immigrants or families who fought against slavery and shed their blood for the Union cause in our Civil War. In fact, there was never a justification for anti-White Affirmative Action after the 1970’s that withstood ethical scrutiny or passed muster under our Constitution’s 9th, 10th, 14th and 15th Amendments. The Supreme Court is in the process of correcting bad decisions of past courts in this area, and the Executive Branch under BHO and his henchmen cannot be permitted to fail to enforce the laws of our land that have been designed to treat and protect all American equally since they were first put to paper. CDE

CDE-CAG birthday lunch-2013

18 thoughts on “AFFIRMATIVE ACTION & ORIGINAL SIN: WHY KING BARACK WAS THE INEVITABLE RESULT

  1. Affirmative Action (i.e. Institutionalized discrimination) = STATE SPONSORED RACISM [a rose by any other name…]

    Solid post, CDE. You even hint at the underlying issue. Now, explain WHY individualism and personal responsibility are the hallmark of a TRUE American — tell people how that came to be — and you’ll have started them down the only path that can possibly stop the slide we’re on and, if we mean it, return us to what we once were. As I said, you hint at it, but you don’t name it out right. It’s time we do 😉

    • Joe: I’ve actually provided a fairly detailed explanation of how the concept of individual freedom and responsibility evolved from the early beliefs in the divine rights of hereditary monarchs before, but I can’t remember where or when I did it!!! It is an interesting topic, so maybe I’ll try to handle it in a future post. CDE

      • CDE,

        Ah, but that is NOT where our founding fathers got the notion of the individual and personal responsibility. In fact, the founders believed that the notion of ‘divine rights’ was a perversion of God’s law. They rejected it, and that was a big part of what made our Revolution ‘exceptional.’ 😉

        • Joe: You are quite correct in the Founders’ view of authority and of the relationship of the citizen and the government. But that view evolved over the course of at least 2000-years (probably closer to 4000), and our Founders’ exceptional ideas would have been impossible as recently as 1500 CE. The evolution of ideas about what it means to be a human being and a citizen is fascinating and it is traceable over the history of ideas. It is also clear that the forces that resist the idea of individual freedom and responsibility, from the Pharaohs to Obama, are very powerful and very protective of their elite privileges and power over other people’s lives. Realizing that pattern is what caused me within the last year to revise my model for understanding the relationships between traditional monarchical societies and modern Collectivists, from Fascists to Communists to Progressives. I now see them as branches of the same authoritarian root. For me, that explains a lot, and makes American Exceptionalism even more unique!!! CDE

          • I guess I was wrong. You have a different idea of the origin of these ideas. They were established long before 1500 ‘CE.’ They go back to Moses and were first ordained by God. In fact, Moses gave the world the first democratically elected, representative based republic, and though it was rudimentary by our standards, he also gave them the first written constitution and established the rule of law in civil government. Naturally, all of this came from God but was handed down through Moses, and this is where the founders told us they found the principles of liberty. Everyone else who ‘discovered’ it was doing nothing more than remarking on that which already was and is in Natural Law for all to find (just as Job and Paul tell us in the books of Job and Romans).

            • Joe: I think you are correct that many of the ideas that are reflected in the Founders’ conception of individual freedoms are grounded in concepts present in the Books of Moses and other parts of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, but I do not find a civilization where individual freedom, private property, free markets and limited government were given tangible form until the founding on the US in the late 18th century. Some would cite a brief period in Athens where a type of individual freedom existed for some Athenian citizens as an exception to my statement, but the period was brief and the freedom was limited to certain strata within Athenian society, so I stand by my statement about American exceptionalism.

              One could also make a case that the early Hebrews, who were led by prophets like Samuel rather than Kings enjoyed a form of freedom in which they communicated with Yahweh or Adonai through the prophets rather than being ruled by a King, but that age really constituted a theocracy rather than a time of individual freedom. And the Hebrews demanded that Adonai (through Samuel) provide them with a King like their neighboring tribes already had. The closest humanity had to societies that provided some level of individual freedom may have been the Vikings of Northern Europe, whose long-ships were organized around individual entrepreneurs who shared the risks and rewards of their barbaric activities. Only as the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation raised new ideas about human beings and freedom did those ideas find their way into human discourse.

              The Reformation removed the hierarchical requirement that God could only be accessed through a Priest or the Roman Church, and the Renaissance questioned the legitimacy of absolute or Divine Right monarchs, beginning in the 1500’s and reaching final maturity in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. That’s why I say that the evolution of the idea of freedom evolved from the notion of the sovereign as totally free to every American citizen being free for his or her self over millennia. Matt Ridley attributes much of that ideational evolution to the development of international trade in his incredible book, THE RATIONAL OPTIMIST, and his case is compelling. To conclude, ideas of individual freedom exist within the Jewish and Christian scriptures, but their manifestation took 2 – 3,000-years to develop, and the Founders’ ideas, as verbalized in the Declaration of Independence, US Constitution, and Bill of Rights, are the most perfect approach and understanding ever expressed in Human language. CDE

              • CDE,

                You have read the Scriptures, but I am wondering how closely your studied them. First, the Israelites were something similar to our founders: they were given a perfect ideal, but they did not live up to them perfectly. However, they need to be granted some grace here as they were following God’s commands as given through the prophets . That said, I think you have missed quite a bit.

                Private property is ordained by God and is recognized in the Law. If this were not the case, then the commands not to steal or covet would be unnecessary.

                The free market is directly references in the Torah, and many commands concerning its governance were handed down by God. This included fair measures and weights, as well as commands on how to cycle crops and even to leave some of the crops for the poor.

                Moses also established a civil government which was administered by the judges, and a religious head which was administered by the Priests. But they were not the same and their authority were separated. Thus, Moses did NOT create a theocracy. The Israelites had a King, but He was not on earth — He was God in heaven.

                Now, the Israelites DID demand a king, but they did so because they had turned away from God and wanted to be like the other nations (i.e. America wanting to be like Europe). God granted their wish, but He was angry with them and it says so in Scripture. In short, when they demanded a king, they went backward. Still, even after they were given a king, the king was placed under the command of God’s law and was required to read it at least once every year.

                The way things were supposed to be was re-established by the early Church — after Christ.

                As for the Vikings: study them and you will discover the same thing Jefferson did: that they were following the basic principles of government established by Moses!!! This is why Jefferson referred to them as “the ancient principles.” It is also why Jefferson and Franklin BOTH wanted to use the Exodus as out national symbol.

                The Protestant reform was not a new discovery, it was a REFORM! It is called that because the Protestants were trying to correct the perversions that had set into the Church. In short, the Church had repeated the crimes of the Pharisees. Therefore, the Protestant reform did nothing new; it only re-established what Moses began. Again, exactly what Franklin said. This is also why the British called the American Revolution the PROTESTANT REVOLT.

                I am beginning to suspect that your term ‘rational optimist’ is a euphemism for wanting the blessings of God’s law without acknowledging a need to submit to and acknowledge Him for it. If this is the case, you can chase after all the things you believe will correct the wrongs in our society, but you will be chasing after the wind — just as those who think a Party can correct those same ills. Unless this nation remembers and turns back and repents and seeks God’s face again, nothing will change — NOTHING! For it was God who granted us our rights, and only God can restore what we have taken from our neighbor, sold for crumbs and entertainment or given away out of sloth and rebellion.

                • Joe: My friend, if I had $1 for every theory you’ve had about my hidden motivations and desires, I’d have at least enough for a large pizza in what’s left of Little Italy. If you look closely at my comment and your critique, I think you’ll see we’re mostly saying the same things. Our difference may be that I tend to look at behavior more than what people or documents say they care about. My grasp of Hebrew and Christian scripture and theology is actually pretty good, as I completed an undergraduate double major in Biblical Studies and Social Sciences and an MDiv at Princeton Theological Seminary under Bruce Metzger. I’ve also studied the Christian and Hebrew Scriptures since I was a kid…and that is now a long, long time. We may differ in our interpretations of some things, which is fine by me, but I don’t presume to tell you you’re wrong because we do.

                  I’ll reiterate that principles of individual freedom and private property are present in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, but neither the Jews nor the Christians actually implemented anything like an American society before our Founders created our American society and culture. And as you know, the early Christian community in Jerusalem under James, the brother of Jesus, attempted to implement a primitive form of Marxism and would have starved had the Apostle Paul not brought relief from the other churches around the Mediterranean. The nations of Europe were uniformly hierarchical and authoritarian until the time of the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation, and the totalitarian nature of those societies extended to the rejection of new or different ideas in most cases, which slowed the advance of economic, scientific and even agricultural innovations. The English, thanks largely to their monstrous King Henry VIII, built a minimally more open society and developed into the greatest empire in the world as a result. The new notions of freedom and liberty originally advanced by Burke and others reached their most advanced form in the new American nation, and as I think you know, I attribute much of the credit for the underlying ideas to Franklin, but also to the synergy created by the interactions of an incredibly brilliant and talented group of individual Americans.

                  So, as is often the case, I see us in essential agreement, but differing on details, and it appears you again see important distinctions in how we view these issues. That’s fine!!! I’ll enjoy your comments, and hopefully mine will not make you too nuts. Cheers, CDE

      • Charles,

        I don’t get it…??………… What does this have to do with Jazz…??

        ( Just kidding…a Good, solid post indeed ).

        • Don: I actually see a connection between individual freedom and the creativity that tends to result from it, and the development of Jazz in America!!! While my ability to over-think things is always impressive, I don’t know if the free improvisational qualities of American Jazz would necessarily developed in a rigidly structured society. Although I recognize that early New Orleans Jazz originated in the merger of West African chants and Caribbean influences, Jazz has evolved out of the freedom of very talented musicians to explore new forms and modalities that reflect the freedom that held sway in America for centuries. Does that make any sense to you??? CDE

          • Yes,

            But I was just makin’ a bit of Fun in reference to our discussion on your prior Post.

            I Prolly have a little different take on the genesis of New Orleans Jazz ( although your Chants are in there in my view)….. but I don’t want to hi-jack your Post……. So later on that.

            BUT …. Yes…. Jazz and to an extent 12-bar Blues DO represent the Spirit of Freedom and its expression in America.

  2. It was inevitable. Obama grew up in an era of black privilage where jobs and scholarships were handed to them like candy. The race baiters and pimps protected them from facing their faults and mistakes. To this day Obama truely believe he is intelligent and capable enough to run the country AND that if you don’t recognize that it is because you are a racist. He grew up as a prince of the city with accolades and helping hands and never a word of criticism.

    • Windy: Based on his performance as President and the hubris which inspired him to seek an office he was not remotely qualified to hold, it is not unreasonable to wonder whether Our Dear Leader did coast ride the crest of the Affirmative Action wave to gain entry to colleges and law schools he was not academically qualified to attend. Mr. Obama’s incredibly tight, and expensive sealing of every academic, admissions and financial aid record, beginning with his exclusive prep school in Hawaii also raises unanswered questions about what he is concealing and why. Further issues include how “Barry Soetoro,” as he then called himself, was granted the only transfer from Occidental College to Columbia University in the history of either school, and who paid for both Obamas’ very expensive tuition and fees, remain unaddressed. We’ve seen university transcripts from every american president going back to LBJ, and most candidates during that time frame. It strikes me as strange that we have generally nothing from either Obama, including copies of their Senior projects, which are usually available in the libraries at Columbia and Princeton. CDE

  3. In this day and age, I feel more sorry for the minorities who are actually worthy of an Ivy League education as there must always be that 800 lb.gorilla in the room when they speak on their education and admittance. While Walter Williams openly bemoans this, Obama hides this.

    • kells: Thomas Sowell has written about this unintended consequence of Affirmative Action in several books, including AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AROUND THE WORLD. Sowell himself was born in the very poor American South, raised in Harlem, left high school without graduating and served as a US Marine before attending and graduating from both undergraduate and doctoral studies at Harvard. I suspect Dr. Sowell earned his own way, as many African Americans do, and have done for decades. But for a period during the 1970s – 1990s, many African Americans were pushed through an unacknowledged quota system, and those who were often did not meet the standards of the universities they attended. I can confirm this personally because I served as Dean of Admissions at two Tier-2 universities during that period and often was shocked when African American applicants who barely met our requirements gained admission to Ivy League and other national universities. Affirmative Action was not only un-Constitutional, it was very discouraging for many of the kids it was supposed to help. CDE

  4. Joe/CDE,

    I get more out of your debates and discussions than I have ever gotten out of a classroom.

    As a mixed (Mexican/black/white) student, the last couple years I have noticed an unusual effort from the financial advisors at the various schools I have attended, to push affirmative action. I’ve mainly been paying for my education out of pocket, but at the start of every quarter they always come around with their AA proposals. All too interesting.

    • fascisti: Sorry for not having responded earlier, but sometimes business responsibilities do call. Glad you enjoy my jousts with my good friend Joe. But you could not possibly enjoy them as much as I do. I always learn things, and although Joe and I share 97% of the same beliefs and values (please don’t tell Joe) I always enjoy having my ideas challenged in a rational, logical manner. BTW, that exercise is rarely available on Liberal/Progressive sites, where conformity is generally valued over creative or rational thought. Cheers, CDE

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