Lots of good reading over at InstaPundit. Glenn uncovered a Michael Kinsley article noting that racial profiling and affirmative action are two sides of the same coin.
You can believe (as I do) that affirmative action is often a justifiable form of discrimination, but you cannot sensibly believe that it isn't discrimination at all. Racial profiling and affirmative action are analytically the same thing. When the cops stop black drivers or companies make extra efforts to hire black employees, they are both giving certain individuals special treatment based on racial generalizations. The only difference is that in one case the special treatment is something bad and in the other it's something good. Yet defenders of affirmative action tend to deplore racial profiling and vice versa.
While Kinsley thinks that discrimination is sometimes "justifiable," I don't. Both racial profiling and affirmative action are deplorable.
Racial profiling is based on a logical fallacy: since criminals are X times more likely to be of a particular ethnic background, police are therefore justified in treating all members of that ethnic category as if they were criminals. But, just because (for exmaple) all the hijackers on Sept. 11 were Middle Eastern does not make all persons of Middle Eastern descent hijackers. But racial profiling is an official sanction for our society to think and act that way. It's no different than if Congress passed a resoluion stating that X group are lazy, and X group are dishonest, and X group are drunkards, and X group are organized criminals.
What liberals and racial apologists often choose not to see is that affirmative action works the same way. Just because some group members have more or fewer advantages than members of other groups, does not mean that the every member of the group is. Like racial profiling, affirmative action functions rest on group assumptions without regard for individual circumstances. That fact flies in the face of our Declaration that "all men are created equal," and more importantly, our Fourteenth Amendment guarantee that American's laws will protect each American equally without regard to race. Anything less is the moral equivalent of treating a person as a criminal based on his ancestry.Posted by wasylik at September 30, 2001 08:21 PM