Obama’s Racial Redistributionism Opens Up Affirmative Action Issue—But GOP Too Cowardly (Again) To Benefit

Saturday’s New York Times front-page article detailing the Obama Administration’s plans to boost minority preferences in schooling, U.S. Urges Creativity by Colleges to Gain Diversity [webposted December 2], reflects a big shift in how the Main Stream Media talks about the 2012 election—towards the frank racial analysis I’ve been using for the last eleven years.


Reporter Sam Dillon’s article starts:



“The Obama administration on Friday urged colleges and universities to get creative in improving racial diversity at their campuses, throwing out a Bush-era interpretation of recent Supreme Court rulings that limited affirmative action in admissions.”


In other words, the Affirmative Action President wants, unsurprisingly, more Affirmative Action. As I argued in America’s Half Blood Prince, Obama is essentially a racial redistributionist.


But what’s interesting is that Dillon’s article twice mentions how this payoff is part of the Obama Administration’s grand strategy for 2012:



“ ‘The administration is making strong policy statements on low-income children and students of color, outlining remedies,’ said Bob Wise, a former Democratic governor of West Virginia who heads an education nonprofit organization aimed at improving high school graduation rates. ‘They seem to be putting some markers down as the election begins,’ he said, adding that the new set of guidelines ‘tries to keep within the letter of the Supreme Court opinions, while probably pushing the spirit.’ ”


This confirms the insight of veteran Democratic pundit Tom Edsall in his The Future of the Obama Coalition (New York Times, November 27, 2011):



“[P]reparations by Democratic operatives for the 2012 election make it clear for the first time that the party will explicitly abandon the white working class. All pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned in favor of cementing a center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment—professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists—and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic.”


As Noah Millman commented at The American Scene:



“… Thomas Edsall’s reporting that the Obama campaign is basically resigned to the fact that they will be running against a party following some version of the Sailer Strategy, and is accordingly planning a campaign based on the demographic groups left out of a Sailer Strategy coalition.”


The “Sailer Strategy” is the term VDARE.com has given to my pointing out that simple arithmetic suggests the GOP could more easily win by modestly but plausibly increasing its share of the (very large) white vote rather than by massively but very implausibly increasing its share of the (much smaller) minority vote. See here for more detail.


Of course, I think Noah is getting cause and effect mixed up here. After decades of U.S. governments celebrating their election of a New People, it’s not all that astonishing that the Old People won’t be celebrating the government at the next election.


As I may have mentioned before, if you don`t want whites to act like a minority voting bloc, then don`t make them into a minority.


One might wonder how more college quotas are supposed to appeal to what Edsall calls “voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment.” If you’ve attained your career goals by going to a desirable college, why would you vote to hurt your own children’s and grandchildren’s chances? And there’s some evidence that recent college students are conservative on—and only on—this sort of issue.


But Edsall’s mordant list of white college graduates targeted by the White House—not engineers or accountants, but “professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists”—makes clear that Obama has his sights set on the more clueless sort of Stuff White People Like whites.


All this election strategizing raises the question of how much is at stake in the 2012 Presidential election.


This is a do or die election … for a few tens of thousands of young go-getters whose resumes desperately need some Executive Branch experience for them to subsequently cash in big in the crony capitalist sector.


This election will also be highly meaningful to real estate brokers in the booming suburban D.C. markets. Because Republicans tend to prefer D.C.`s Virginia suburbs while Democrats opt for Maryland`s suburbs, who wins in 2012 may well determine whether Virginia or Maryland realtors earn bigger commissions in 2013.


But for average voters, without a change in what narratives are allowed in the respectable media, the impact of the Presidential election might well turn out no more personally tangible than who wins the Super Bowl.


Anyone more familiar with the history of education and race in America than the New York Times’ hopelessly naïve education correspondent might start to wonder: Is the Obama Administration all that much more liberal on quotas than the previous Bush White House?


Poor Sam Dillon works hard to make it appear that these new Obama Administration policies regarding Affirmative Action in education represent a huge change from what the Bush Justice Department was doing in 2008 under Affirmative Action baby Alberto Gonzales:



“The two [Obama Justice Dept.] documents, issued as the presidential campaign heats up and as the Supreme Court considers whether to hear a new affirmative action case, were designed to give educators a clear administration interpretation of three high court cases that, since 2003, have limited the use of race in admissions, zoning and other school policies…


“The contrast with the Bush guidelines interpreting the same three cases is stark. Where the Bush administration’s letter in 2008 states, ‘Quotas are impermissible,’ the 2011 version says ‘an institution may permissibly aim to achieve a critical mass of underrepresented students.’”[Link in original]


Yet everybody who follows quota law knows that, ever since Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell’s decision in the Bakke case a third of a century ago, the phrase “Quotas are impermissible” means, in practice,The word ‘quotas’ is impermissible. You must call quotas ‘goals’!”


There is an old saying within the Beltway that “Personnel is  policy.” In his Howard University campaign speech in 2007, which slipped completely beneath the non-black media’s radar, Obama promised to hire lots of fanatical black civil rights lawyers. [Howard Speech Transcript | Factsheet (PDF)]


In contrast, Republican Administrations just have a harder time finding frothing fundamentalists to fill Civil Rights department jobs. Their staffers in these areas tend to be idealists who actually take seriously all that guff in the 14th Amendment about “equal protection of the laws.” They sometimes even think the Constitution applies to white people, too.


But the Bush legal lackeys’ instincts were hamstrung by their bosses’ strategy of bribing Hispanics into voting Republican. (How well did that work out?)


In the Grutter and Gratz cases of 2003, Solicitor General Theodore Olson prepared two staunch briefs attacking the use of racial “goals” at the University of Michigan. But the Administration’s briefs were sabotaged by Gonzales, with Bush’s permission, presumably as part of Karl Rove’s pursuit of the Latino electorate. Gonzales’s rewrites sent the message to swing vote Sandra Day O’Connor that Bush wanted her to uphold Affirmative Action in admissions, as long as it was kept surreptitious by requiring it to be “holistic” (i.e., opaque to its victims).


The New York Times’ Dillon blunders onward:



“Even in addressing the same principles, the framework is practically reversed.


“Bush guidelines: ‘Before using race, there must be a serious good faith consideration of workable race-neutral alternatives.’


“Obama guidelines: ‘Institutions are not required to implement race-neutral approaches if, in their judgment, the approaches would be unworkable.’”


Uh, I’m no logician, but I think those two statements mean basically the same thing in practice: Public educational institutions can use blatant racial quotas (excuse me, blatant racial goals) if more devious ways of hurting whites aren’t workable (or are unworkable).


Six of one, half dozen of the other.


Dillon then delivers a funny rationalization from Obama’s version of Gonzales:



“‘Diverse learning environments promote development of analytical skills, dismantle stereotypes and prepare students to succeed in an increasingly interconnected world,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement. ‘The guidance announced today will aid educational institutions in their efforts to provide true equality of opportunity.’” [Link in original]


Oh, so that`s why PISA test scores are so low in South Korea and Finland—lack of diversity!


Ironically, of course, Affirmative Action makes white and Asian students’ stereotypes about blacks and Hispanics being less intelligent more plausible by letting in less intelligent Hispanics and blacks.


As for the standard talking point about diversity preparing students to succeed in an increasingly interconnected world, you’ll notice how nobody at the University of Michigan ever says, “Because Germany has become so economically dominant in our increasingly interconnected world, we’d better admit more students with Teutonic surnames so that our other students can benefit from exposure to their ancestral ethnic connections to Frankfurt.”


Heck, black kids from Detroit are likely just about the least globally interconnected people in America. But that doesn’t mean they should be kept out of the college they deserve to attend.


Holder’s is the kind of gibberish that ought to make college graduates ashamed to be Democrats.


But that won’t happen—unless Republicans call Democrats on it.


The Obama Administration has now opened the door to making racial preferences an issue in 2012. Obama thinks this will help him win next November because his base will be pleased—while the Republican candidate won’t dare touch the issue.


Of course, this is exactly what happened in 2008. Obama handed John McCain the quota issue by opposing Ward Connerly’s Arizona Civil Rights Initiative. McCain didn’t dare touch it—and lost.


Especially given Newt Gingrich’s history, Obama will probably proved right again.


[Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative. His website www.iSteve.blogspot.com features his daily blog. His book, AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S "STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE", is available here.]