Day By Day

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The End[s] of Affirmative Action?

Stanley Crouch has a terrific article on the problems immigration poses for the practitioners of identity politics. He cites Richard Goodwin to the effect that the original purpose of affirmative action was as a form of compensation for the descendants of slaves. Buy then identity politics entered the scene and as a consequence American blacks began to deny their American roots, looking instead to Africa and their blackness for a basis upon which to construct their ethnic identity. Now, Crouch notes, a large influx of immigrants from Africa -- authentic African Americans -- threatens that comfortable equation of skin color with historical experience. More and more of the recipients of racial set-asides are immigrants who have little in common with the American black underclass for whom those programs were intended.

Crouch writes:

It will be revealing to see just how soon black Americans begin to realize that their American experience is unique and has little to do with the limited subject of color alone. When black Americans actually throw away sentimentality about Africa and begin to assert their historical identity as Americans and elevate their aspirations along the lines of drive we find common among immigrants, we will see our country improve remarkably.
Wise words:

Read the whole thing here.

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