Invisible Victims: White Males and the Crisis of Affirmative Action Revisited

[Peter Brimelow writes:

We just found my November 1992 American Spectator review of Invisible Victims,
Frederick R. Lynch`s seminal study of the impact of
affirmative action (a.k.a.) quotas on white males.
Quotas are a zero-sum game, so somebody has to suffer.
But at that point, as Lynch noted, the double-think
about affirmative action was so extreme that its very
existence was denied. Similarly, the systematic
repression of news and analysis about mass immigration
meant that the subject was effectively excised from the
public consciousness until
well into the 1990s.

At one time, I regarded affirmative action as the key wedge issue
in American politics. When I worked for
Senator Orrin Hatch
in 1979-1980, I put enough stuff into the Congressional Record under his name to ensure
(probably) that he could never be confirmed as a Supreme
Court Justice.  (Hatch subsequently abandoned the
issue.) I think my intuition was confirmed by Stanley
Greenberg`s finding (see below) that quotas were a major
factor costing the Democrats blue-collar support in the
1984 election—particularly remarkable because the
subject had remained completely below the Mainstream
Media radar. But, of course, the great
Blight of Bush (I and II) meant that the wedge issue was never used to build a patriotic majority—in fact, in
disastrous 2003 University of Michigan cases, Bush II came down on the
wrong side. Plus now we have
the much bigger wedge issue

of immigration.

Fred Lynch, who subsequently wrote The Diversity Machine: The Drive to Change the “White Male Workplace”, is now a tenured professor of
government at California`s Claremont McKenna College. He
is surprisingly cheerful. He writes:

“I’ve watched the `diversity machine` roll through one
institution after another largely because
business-oriented conservatives and moderates: (1) didn`t
understand sociology`s basic insight that systems,
structures, and social movements obtain a life of their
own, (2) thought they could eventually curb quotas and
quota-thought through court challenges and changes in
administrative law, (3) became obsessed with the
`anti-victim` mentality that suppressed complaints of
working-class white males [Lynch says
this macho attitude particularly inhibited talk radio,
the white male`s natural champion] ; (4) failed to
connect demographic change with sociological and
cultural change.  Ultimately,
perhaps too late, they came to their senses on the
political changes of immigration and globalization. You,
your writers and readers have known all this for some

Lynch tells me he is particularly heartened by anti-diversity
humor on satirical shows like
South Park.]

The collapse of socialism, in both its


social-democratic variants
, appears to be the
central event of our times. Conservatives are hurt and
puzzled that they haven`t received

more credit
for being so right about it. One reason
can be found in Frederick Lynch`s pathbreaking Invisible Victims: Socialism has actually just mutated. The lust to
politics in command
in Chairman Mao`s
phrase, has

adroitly redefined
itself in terms of equity rather
than economic efficiency. While conservatives have been
congratulating themselves about events overseas, the
U.S. has been silently and steadily transformed by a

– and

-based socialism.

Quotas were

explicitly banned
in the

1964 Civil Rights Act
, but have nonetheless
been spreading ever since. They have received
extraordinarily little attention in the media and even
less in academe. Of some 1,300 papers given at a recent

American Sociological Association
conference on
“Race & Ethnic Relations,”
only one addressed the
topic. Lynch, a


Claremont McKenna College
, has written the first
major study of what affirmative action actually does to

main victims
, white men.

The scale of the quota
revolution has been far greater than conservatives—with

notable exception of Norman Podhoretz`s Commentary
yet realized, and merit-based hiring has been widely
subverted. Take, for example, “race-norming”—fiddling
test scores to produce racially proportionate results.
Many state and local governments race-norm their General
Aptitude Test Battery, taken by job-seekers and supplied
to potential employers. Private testing agencies
race-norm results to “EEOC-proof” their clients.
(The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
regularly sues to force private business into quotas.)


“Affirmative action has been an administrative
revolution imposed by



Lynch writes. Thus it was not easily opposed,
particularly because much of it is implemented

informally and orally
. The secretiveness has only
increased with the Reagan-Bush

judicial appointments
, whose growing influence has

threatened the stability
of the liberal judicial
establishment. But affirmative action personnel

openly say
they intend to

get around any law

A few of Lynch`s male
victims were political liberals who felt obliged to
rationalize their fate. But most acquiesced with varying
degrees of anger. Some changed jobs. Usually totally
isolated, these men felt that no one would help them.

They were right. The
older generation of white male managers has in effect
compromised with quotas, Lynch argues, because they
think the impact will fall only on the younger,
baby-boom generation. And the EEOC flatly refuses to

white male discrimination complaints
corporations with approved—i.e.,

anti-white male
—affirmative action plans.
Litigation, for those who have tried it, proved

expensive, exhausting, chancy, and immensely
—one case remains unsettled after more
than six years. A further factor in the paralysis: the
peculiar male personality itself. These

seem really to have believed that

grown men don`t cry.
A considerable number did not
even mention their disappointment to friends, relatives,
or fellow-workers.

Their wives

almost never felt such inhibitions
. “My wife is
mad as hell; she`s angrier than I am,”
said one man.
Some wives absolutely insisted on being interviewed for
Lynch`s study. One woman pointed out that discrimination

white males
injures not only the men themselves, but

their wives and families.
“This `hidden` or
latent conflict generated by affirmative action between

career women
and homemaker wives has gone virtually
unnoticed in the affirmative action literature,”

Lynch notes.

He adds, Karl
insisted that for any sort of

class consciousness
to arise, there must be
communication of a common sense of oppression. With the
mass media and the social sciences

rarely recognizing the phenomenon,
much less
portraying it sympathetically, white males have been
easily and silently victimized one by one.”

The media have been able
to ignore anti-white discrimination partly because
neither conservatives nor liberals raised the issue. For
example, the likelihood that

Robert Bork

find quotas unconstitutional
spurred the civil
rights establishment`s

fanatical resistance
to his

Supreme Court nomination.
But White House lobbyists
said nothing. The media elite`s motives are also partly
ideological. From

J. Anthony Lukas
`s best-seller Common Ground

dealt with
an earlier symptom of race-based
socialism, busing—Lynch quotes a Boston Globe
reporter: “If they [the Boston Irish] don`t
like integration,

we`ll shove it down their throats
And Lynch
was unable to find one television show portraying a
white male being damaged by affirmative action.

Lynch cites a typical
result of this systematic denial of reality: California
Democratic Congressman Don Edwards, a

of the

civil rights establishment
, was able to get away
with claiming on the New York Times op-ed page
that quotas did not exist—within weeks of three Supreme
Court decisions about them. [More
Racism From the G.O.P.
 June 4, 1991] And
supporters insisted that the (Bush-backed) 1991 Civil
Rights Act did not impose quotas, although its key point
was to override Supreme Court decisions that rejected
the notion of racial imbalance as prima facie evidence
of employer discrimination.

The result is a

“spiral of silence,”
whereby people assume their doubts are
not shared and suppress them, thus mutually intimidating
each other. But opinion polls show quotas are
overwhelmingly unpopular, even with the “protected
themselves. And when the Democratic party
asked pollster
Stanley Greenberg
to investigate

blue-collar defection
from the party in 1984, quotas
emerged as the crucial factor.[See DEMOCRATIC
DEFECTION REVISITED, Stanley B. Greenberg April 1, 1987,

] The party promptly tried to suppress
Greenberg`s report.

Meanwhile, the quota
revolution rolls on. Its latest ramification is
“diversity management”
—permanent quotas, with no
pretense that they are remedial or temporary, both for
minorities and women, and increasingly for the ongoing
wave of non-white immigrants to the U.S.

Quotas are inherently
unstable. They inexorably create

turf disputes
between the various “protected
And they

inevitably exacerbate racial polarization
particularly as the articulate white middle classes
begin to be hit. Which is why Lynch thinks affirmative
action is headed for


This vulnerability accounts for quota supporters`
mounting fervor—above all their

increasingly wild accusations
of racism.”
There can be no doubt that, until conservatives break

extraordinary power of this taboo
in American
debate, they will never get control of the culture.

Getting control of the
quota debate itself will be comparatively easy. Recently
I wrote

an article on Lynch`s work in Forbes magazine

—one of the very rare occasions when I`ve been allowed
to address this topic. The first reactions, from
victims, were pathetically grateful.

The later
reactions—probably the result of Xeroxed copies reaching
affirmative action enforcers who don`t normally bother
to read the business press [PB
in 2007: This was before the internet!

—expressed outrage that the article had appeared at all.
And there was none of this elaborate flimflam about the
equal opportunity meaning equal outcomes or remediality
or transitional periods with which liberal judges have
cloaked their corruption of the law. These letters
rashly echoed the response of the California prisons
official quoted by Lynch. Asked about reverse
discrimination against white officers, “He simply
smirked and stated, `It`s

your turn
now.` “

This is an argument that
even George Bush [Senior]
could have won.

Peter Brimelow is editor of

and author of the much-denounced
 Alien Nation: Common Sense About America`s Immigration Disaster,

(Random House –
1995) and

The Worm in the Apple
(HarperCollins – 2003)