MLK Jr. would reject diversity set-asides
January 20, 2013 4 Comments
Guilford County Schools’ “set-aside” program for women and minorities is a blatant violation of King’s vision. Affirmative action and all such diversity-enhancing programs are so insidious, one hardly knows where to begin. For the moment, let us examine the folly here in Guilford County.
GCS strives to reward 12 percent of school construction work to women- or minority-owned businesses, and, according to the News & Record, in the last four years, “28.5 percent of the bond money” has gone to those businesses (http://www.news-record.com/home/588205-63/schools-pressed-on-minority-contracts?printerfriendly=true.).
But these numbers are insufficient, according to Commissioners Coleman and Davis, who represent the extreme left wing of the board. Women-owned businesses have been rewarded 18.27 percent of the work, while black-owned enterprises have received 6.95 percent (Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asians received smaller percentages).
Commissioner Davis is unhappy about the percentage of work being rewarded to women, presumably at the expense of blacks. “Once you extrapolate the numbers,” he told the N&R, “if you take out the women’s owned businesses [sic], you see it’s not an African American business or a Hispanic business, it’s not those targeted groups that really need to be helped that we’re helping.”
Isn’t the insinuation of incompetence insulting to successful black entrepreneurs? It may surprise Mr. Davis to learn that many minority-owned businesses thrive without the benevolence of government programs.
When we judge people based on the color of their skin (in defiance of King’s dream), or by gender, we establish rival factions of “victims” who will be at each other’s throats over the spoils of an inherently flawed diversity program. Blacks—those of Davis’ mindset, at least—will strive to out-victim women; Hispanics will strive to out-victim blacks…there is no end to the squabble over diversity handouts: “No, we’re more incompetent than you are! No, we can’t possibly compete with white males because we’re undocumented! Standards are racist! We need to be hired based upon the color of our skin! The left-handed lesbian community has been under-represented for decades by a patriarchal, sexist society!”
In the same speech, Dr. King said, “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.” Commissioners Davis and Coleman thrive on bitterness, and there is nothing dignified about accepting a job that was offered as a result of one’s gender or skin color. In fact, accepting a job under such conditions is a disgrace to one’s gender and race. And worse, government entities that offer employment based upon the applicant’s gender or skin color are violating the nation’s founding principles.
Many of us are relying upon the board’s conservative wing—Phillips, Branson, and Henning—to denounce in no uncertain terms, and move to abolish, race- and gender-based quotas.