Wow --I really liked the responses we've had so far on "the new racism" column. It's definately an issue that people feel strongly about and needs to be addressed by our politicians --in a new method! That was part of the point I was trying to make about affirmative action --it was necessary 30 years ago, but times are quite different now, and our laws should be updated to reflect the reality of today, which thankfully for everyone, is a lot better in this regard than it's ever been before. Of course the other point of my last post was that the new hate is now coming from people like Harry Belafonte... And hate has never gotten us anywhere.
So I am going to reply to Dell Gines' comments...
I am new here so I will be gentle. You are correct most blacks were Republican until Roosevelt came along with the 'New Deal' in the 40's. At that point a wholesale shift towards the Democratic party occurred amongst blacks. The Republicans did nothing to win this constituency back. Similar to today, the Republicans demonstrate at best passive desire to acquire the black vote, and at worst no desire at all. So let me ask you this, should anyone vote for any party Democrat or Republican that doesn't actively solicit their vote?
(Before I comment any further --YES, it is always important to vote! Even if you aren't entirely happy with how they are going about (or not going about) trying to win your vote. The country moves on --we fight wars, make laws, etc., and you should want to have a say in that. Be outspoken in your criticism, yes, but by God, anyone's better than a liberal!)
OK, here goes: yes, it's clear this wholesale shift has occured, but what's still not clear is why.
If anyone has lots of time and wants to read this very interesting history of how the '64 Civil Rights Act came to be passed, click here
A little statistic mentioned in the article that refutes what you say about Republicans doing nothing for African Americans after the New Deal (which, incidentally, was in the mid-late 1930s):
The Republican Party was not so badly split as the Democrats by the civil rights issue. Only one Republican senator participated in the filibuster against the bill. In fact, since 1933, Republicans had a more positive record on civil rights than the Democrats. In the twenty-six major civil rights votes since 1933, a majority of Democrats opposed civil rights legislation in over 80 % of the votes. By contrast, the Republican majority favored civil rights in over 96 % of the votes.
Yes, this is history. But as far as I know, everything led up the this '64 civil rights act. Once passed and enforced, the course for change was set in motion. I'd be interested in hearing one thing the Dems have done since '64 to help African Americans? (not talk, action)
what have democrats really done? I hear a lot of rhetoric about how they are "for" the African Americans and help them, etc. but they are very short on specifics. Meanwhile, they are constantly attacking Republicans for being racist or wanting to actually take away rights.. And for some reason, these baseless claims and accusations are believed!
You make some good points about history, however they are just that, history. Until the Republican party is serious about acquiring the black vote and begins doing the grass roots things necessary to acquire it, you will always have democratic elitist like Harry Belafonte, and others whose voice is louder than yours. Whose fault is that? I was told once if you want something bad enough you will work to get it, and the Republicans obviously don't want the black vote bad enough because they do virtually nothing to acquire it.
(Side note: You are wrong on why blacks considered Clinton the first black president)
I'd like to point out here that I never said that quote was why blacks considered Clinton the first black president. I was drawing attention to that one particular statement, which was the first instance that anyone put it into words that Clinton was "the first black president." And I'll apologize that I didn't' have the quote exactly right --I think I've heard it discussed and distorted too many times on talk radio. It was African American novelist Toni Morrison who first wrote:
She said Bill Clinton was "the first Black president" because "Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald's-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas."
Not exactly what I said, but I still don't think this is a very positive image... nor do I think it qualifies Clinton as "black." (I would be very interested to hear the real reason why African Americans consider him the first black president)
Secondly, Condi isn't a demonstration of why 'welfare, socialist, liberal policies don't work'. Also, Affirmative action had very little composite positive effect on the national black demographic, so how was it a 'good thing' then but not a 'good thing' now, when it did nothing materially (at least in the corporate world) blacks positions?
I still hold to what I said about Condi, and you could find many, many more successful African Americans to use in place of her. She didn't get into college or get a job because of the color of her skin. I simply think people should be hired on merit, that's it. And I said it was a good thing then b/c companies were blatantly discrimminating in hiring practices; I don't think that's the case now. I think companies, universities, etc. are proud of having a diverse mix of employees, students, etc. Attitudes have changed in the last 30 years. People should be hired on merit, not because of anything else.
What I meant about "welfare, socialist liberal policies" not working is this: people will not reach success if things are handed to them. They have to work for them. Socialists believe everyone should be entitled to a job. The government should gaurantee people jobs. Can you imagine how our economy would crumble? I don't think I'd put quite so much into my job if I had no fear of losing it... People wouldn't work as hard, productivity would go down, etc. Then there's welfare --welfare is good if you just lost your job and need some assistance until you find a new job. But if you abuse it and are enabled to live your whole life on welfare, you won't be very motivated to get out and work hard to improve, rather than maintain, your lot. (consequently, I don't think welfare or socialism have anything to do with Affirmative Action, other than that the same liberals who like welfare and socialism claim Affirmative Action is always necessary because those it helps could never have succeeded without it.)
You make the common logical fallacy in regard to so-called 'handouts'. (by the way, what are these handouts you speak of).
Here is your argument -
Condi is black
Condi is became a successful black without handouts
Therefore all blacks can be successful without handouts
Lets change it a little bit
Michael Jordan is black
Michael Jordan became a successful basketball player without 'handouts'
Therefore all blacks can be successful basketball players without handouts
No! That was not the base of my argument. You're talking like a socialist! That's not the point of our great, capitalistic country. "All" African Americans will never become super successful. Just like "All" whites or "All" Asians or "All" of any group will never reach an equal level of success! As I've stated (including in the original post) --it was a combination of Condi's talent and hard work. Every person is not equal. Talents very. Motivation varies. Yes, backgrounds vary, too. But in America the poorest orphan can become a millionaire through talent/hard work.
If you want ALL people to be equal, then move to China. It is not possible for all people to be equally successful in a capitalistic democracy. Socialism might sound good to say everyone's "equal," but they're typically equally poor. I'd rather be given the CHANCE to make it, then be forced into equal modest/poor conditions with everyone else.
So I oppose affirmative action because you are giving one group an advantage over another. (should we start an employment quota for short white people in the NBA? How about fat people as fitness trainers --it's not fair to only hire people who are in shape. What about retarded people as accountants? The answer is no --people should be hired for their merits and talents, not for any other reason!) Smart, talented, hard-working African Americans will make it with or without affirmative action. (like Condi; like anyone!).
The second argument is the same in principle and it has the same flaw as yours why? Because it uses handouts or lack thereof as the primary principle by which someone may or may not success. That is your argumentation fulcrum if you will, that which it turns on.
But your argument doesn't do a few things. I doesn't look at 'group' disparity which is the key stat. Even during the period of slavery you had so-called 'successful' blacks. By you argument, slavery & Jim Crow shouldn't have been abolished because there were some successful blacks during that time. Secondly, you argument doesn't take into account macro and micro environmental factors that influence the black/white disparity that we see in this nation. If there is a gap in all meaningful social and economic statistics between blacks and whites, logic dictates there must be a reason why.
So in other words, the 'because Condi did it, it is proof' is not a rational or logical argument.
This is so out of line! Not the point of my argument at all. I think my responses here should clear that up. And yes, there are factors between the disparity. And we need to examine them realistically. It used to be discrimmination and prejudice. But there are other reasons now that need to be seriously examined and discussed.
I would be interested in your thoughts about this disperity and to hear how you think Republicans should speak to African Americans. Because you're definately right about that --the GOP have great , American values that can help everyone in this country, but they are not getting their message out to African American voters.