What Jesse Jackson & 19th Century Slave Owners Have In Common

One of the most bizarre and short sighted arguments that has risen in modern times features black Americans, who were once enslaved in this country and only make up 14% of the population, arguing that it’s okay to discriminate against people based on race.

Jesse Jackson makes this argument in an attack on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Ricci v. Destafano, where the SCOTUS struck down a ruling that allowed New Haven, Conn to discriminate against white and Hispanic firefighters who passed a leadership test, because no black firefighters passed the same test.

Here’s part of Jackson’s argument,

This reasoning depends on a hyperindividualistic interpretation of American rights. Blacks were enslaved as a group. They were segregated as a group. They were held in economic and political subjugation in the South for decades following Reconstruction as a group. But now that we have reached the enlightened 21st century, remedies for these crimes cannot take the group stigma against blacks into account. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution protects individuals and not groups. We disagree.

Perhaps it is time to scrap the entire legal analysis of voluntary efforts to address discrimination. Perhaps we should permit employers and schools to devise plans to foster inclusion that straightforwardly account for past discrimination.

For much of this country’s history, simply saying “He’s black” was an acceptable reason to enslave, discriminate against, or in some cases, even murder another person. The “hyperindividualistic interpretation of American rights” that Jesse Jackson complains is at the root of why those practices are no longer considered to be acceptable in this country.

The American people believe it’s wrong to mistreat or enslave people, no matter what race they happen to be. In fact, that’s exactly what parasites like Jesse Jackson count on when they complain about people being treated like individuals, instead of groups. Put another way, Jesse Jackson believes in “discrimination to benefit me, but not to benefit thee.’ That’s what Affirmative Action is about. It’s what racial set asides are about.

But, the problem with this philosophy is that it’s a dangerous one that counts on the fact that the largest racial group in the country, white Americans, won’t adopt it — again. However, as the percentage of white Americans in this country shrinks and the racial discrimination against white Americans grows more and more open and unapologetic, you could see white Americans adopt much more of a tribal mentality than they’ve had in decades.

That is dangerous — not because we’re going to ever see a return to slavery or Jim Crow in this country, but because we could see white Americans adopt the same attitude that the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world have.

Again, despite all the incredibly overhyped charges of racism in this country, the KKK, Nazis, etc. are fringe groups and racial discrimination against minorities is simply not considered acceptable in this country. I grew up in the heart of the Deep South, in a small town in North Carolina, and although I did occasionally hear racist comments, the people who uttered them were generally thought to be backwards and ignorant.

What people like Jesse Jackson are doing, whether they realize it or not, is slowly but surely legitimizing discrimination in this country. Over the long haul, racial discrimination against white people isn’t going to be given a pass while racial discrimination against black Americans is considered insupportable. Eventually, probably sooner than most people expect, both practices will be just as acceptable.

Personally, I think all discrimination based on race should be equally impermissible. Denying a white man a promotion based on his race is just as wrong as denying a black man a promotion based on his race. Affirmative Action is just as wrong as Jim Crow laws were. If Jesse Jackson were thinking ahead and looking out for the good of the country instead of his own pocketbook, he would likely agree.

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