(FinalCall.com) – President Bush weighed in on the affirmative action controversy Jan. 16, filing a friend of the court brief to the U.S. Supreme Court opposing a University of Michigan program that considers the race of a student as one factor for admission.
His position continues the subtle methods of White preference and privilege that have existed in the United States since the Civil Rights Movement closed the door on overt segregation, but offers no real new solutions to the age-old race problem. In a just society, race should have no barrier on opportunities accessible by an individual. American society is far from just.
The Michigan case gives extra points to so-called minority students. Opponents of the program argue that it gives the “minority” a racial advantage simply because of race and establishes quotas.
Thankfully, some of Mr. Bush’s Black cabinet members have spoken up on the issue. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, who admittedly benefited from affirmative action, said there are problems with the Michigan program, but “it is appropriate to use race as one factor among others in achieving a diverse student body.” Secretary of State Colin Powell adamantly stated that he supports the University of Michigan program and is “a strong proponent of affirmative action.”
The problem with questions like affirmative action and other matters that arise because of race is that America refuses to deal forthrightly with the past holocaust of the African Slave Trade. She blew the opportunity to enter the discussion on race when she withdrew from the 2001 UN Conference on Racism in South Africa, demonstrating her disdain for giving the children of her former slaves an international forum to voice their concerns on the issue of race in America.
Those who oppose giving some kind of preferential treatment to Blacks and Native Americans use the excuse that slavery and the annihilation of the Native American are issues of the past and now we live in a democracy where everybody has equal access.
Even Blacks in the middle class–the few who have been privileged to operate in White society without racism smashing them directly in the face and limiting their mobility–argue that we are all free and we can make it if we work hard enough.
They all ignore the mental impact of slavery that Dr. Carter G. Woodson exemplified when he said, in words, you don’t have to tell a Negro to go to the back door. He’ll automatically go to the back looking for it, and if none exits, he’ll make one.
The self-destruction and self-hatred that exists in the Black community is not an effect without a cause. Hatred of self and fear of Whites were bred into the slave in order to make the slave manageable. The same was bred into the Native American. Today’s aboriginal in Australia is a product of the same process. Black people the world over have been impacted by the mind of White supremacy.
Did African warriors willingly submit to the brutality that was heaped upon them when they were brought to North America? No! Then how did millions of Black slaves become so domesticated and submissive to the slave master? There was a process involved that today’s debaters of racial preference refuse to revisit.
What happened to the Black man’s knowledge of his original name, religion, culture and language? Does that have anything to do with the ignorance and disinterest of the Black American masses in the affairs of Africa and other lands populated by Original people?
If you retrace European names you will find an origin and a meaning. There’s a history connected to them, and a culture. Where is the African origin and culture of the Black man named Culpepper or Smith or O’Reilly?
Failure to address and correct the sins of slavery is sentencing America to a future of unrest because the Black man and woman will continue to be her “problem” until there is redress and healing of wounds. Such healing would involve America’s acknowledgement of her sin and a sincere expression of regret. Those acts would be followed up by efforts to restore Black people mentally, spiritually, culturally and economically.
If the efforts of America’s Black slaves propelled her into becoming the most powerful nation on earth, just think of what a self-respecting, repaired and forward thinking Black man and woman could do for this country.
Affirmative action is a band-aid on the wounds of Black people. What is needed is reparation to the fullest extent of the meaning of the word.