Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition is pressuring General Motors to increase its number of minority-owned dealerships. GM is eager to comply, but the arguments being used to defend this move reveal the hypocrisy of “diversity” advocates.

 

GM’s VP of Diversity Dealer Relations, Eric Peterson, stated this week, “As you look at the growth and growing diversity in the United States, we’re finding more and more people want to do business with people like themselves.” Mr. Peterson’s belief that people prefer buying cars from dealership owners with similar skin colors is a position that seems to contradict a recent Center for American Progress study which concluded that kids benefit from having teachers of different races.

 

On the one hand, we are told that “diversity” policies are needed because they promote intercultural interaction. On the other hand, the same “diversity” policies are being used, in cases like this, to make sure every individual can do business with someone of the same skin color.

 

It seems the only consistency in these arguments is that racial central planners want to be in charge of economic opportunities and dictate outcomes based on skin color.

 

There are many benefits to having a society comprised of people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities and we are right to strive for a culture that provides fair opportunities for any individual who works to excel. But demands for racial gerrymandering in business, politics, or any segment of society only stall our progress as a nation toward colorblind equality.

 

- Leon Drolet

 

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Leon Drolet is a former Michigan state representative who chaired the 2006 Michigan Civil Rights Initiative which constitutionally banned race preference policies at public institutions. He is now the Director of Programs at the XIV Foundation.

“I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African-American. I’m an American.”

 

Former child star Raven-Symoné, who first appeared on The Crosby Show in 1989, expressed this in an interview with Oprah earlier this week. She is not the only one who feels this way.

 

Whether it’s skin color, gender or ethnicity, people across the country are frustrated with the kind of thinking that seeks to reduce a person’s identity to a checked box on an application. These independent-minded thinkers have unique opinions, talents, backgrounds, and character and are fed up with being treated as tokens, instead of as individuals.

 

Raven has taken a lot of flack for not embracing her African-American identity. In the world of pseudo-diversity and identity politics, you don’t get to pick who you are, society picks it for you. You can be your own unique person as long as you think and act like someone with your identity is supposed to think and act.

 

No wonder she’s tired of labels. Aren’t you?

 

- Jennifer Gratz

An op-ed in the Los Angeles Times this week highlighted a new poll which allegedly shows that California’s Asian Americans support affirmative action. Note that the question used in the poll was: “Do you favor or oppose affirmative action programs designed to help blacks, women and other minorities get better jobs and education?”

 

The wording states that affirmative action will “help…other minorities get better jobs and education.” Are Asians “other minorities.” Do the Asian American respondents support affirmative action that will “help them get better jobs and education”? The truth is that race-based affirmative action hurts Asian Americans’ efforts to get better jobs and education through policies that impose quotas and higher standards.

 

The people who conducted this misleading poll concluded that the majority of Asian Americans support affirmative action — and thus racial preferences. They insist that it was merely an intensely motivated minority of Asian Americans who derailed SCA-5, an attempt to reinstitute racial policies in California that failed earlier this year.

 

The truth is far more likely that Asian Americans are fine with programs that are described as helping people get better jobs and education but are intensely opposed to programs that discriminate against them or others. Suppose the question was asked, “Do you favor or oppose affirmative action programs designed to help some minorities get better jobs and education by discriminating against whites, Asians, and other ethnicities?”

 

The poll is designed to extol the alleged benefits of race preference programs while deliberately concealing the costs. It is like asking, “Do you favor programs that lower the cost of college education” without telling poll participants that such a program would raise their taxes or cost them in some other way.

 

The pollsters came to wrong conclusions because they failed to consider the most important questions on the minds of Asian Americans. Are these programs fair? Who are the designated losers? And what are the consequences?

 

- Jennifer Gratz

On Thursday Eric Holder announced he will be stepping down as Attorney General. Sadly, Mr. Holder used his time leading the Department of Justice to champion identity politics, racial preferences, quotas, and discrimination. Here are a few highlights from his tenure:

 

- Pressured K-12 school administrators to use race quotas in student disciplinary action to ensure punishments are distributed proportionately to each racial and ethnic group.

 

- Filed a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania State Police, alleging that having the same job standards for all applicants equates to discrimination if those standards don’t produce politically correct racial and gender statistics.

 

- Contributed to the politicization of the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown shooting controversies by stirring up resentment and using civil rights investigations to pressure public officials to undermine due process.

 

- Urged colleges and universities to ignore the Supreme Court’s clear direction on race-based affirmative action in the wake of the Fisher v. University of Texas decision.

 

- Tried to block a school voucher program in Louisiana designed to help families escape from underperforming schools, arguing that allowing families to choose better schools would create a racial imbalance in public education.

 

In 2009 Attorney General Eric Holder accused Americans of being a “nation of cowards” when it comes to issues involving race and equality. Sadly, it is because of people like him, who peddle identity politics and racial resentment, that so many people are afraid to stand up for true equality.

 

I hope the next attorney general has a higher regard for equal treatment under the law for every individual.

 

- Jennifer Gratz

I’m having trouble deciding which news story from this week is more absurd. Maybe you can help me decide:

 

1) Stonehill College in Massachusetts launched a campus group for white students to discuss what they can do about the perceived injustice caused by their skin color. Essentially, this is a twelve-step program for overcoming “white privilege.” Only white students will be allowed to participate.

 

2) A writer for the University of Georgia’s The Red & Black wrote a piece in which she struggled to reconcile how the vast majority of Millennials in a recent MTV poll about race could believe in a colorblind society and also oppose affirmative action. She described it as “seemingly paradoxical” that young people who believe everyone should be treated the same regardless of race could oppose policies that treat people differently based on race.

 

Supporters of race-based policies have a strange way of altering the meaning of basic words. “Diversity” means uniformity. “Equal treatment” is decidedly unequal.

 

The fight for a truly colorblind society is about more than ending harmful race-based policies. It is about exposing the code words and doublespeak that cloud our conversations about race and equality.

 

- Jennifer Gratz

This week, the XIV Foundation highlighted a number of amusing, surprising, and/or disturbing stories from the identity politics industry. I thought you might be interested in seeing a few of them:

 

-  A federal complaint by environmental groups insisted that hog farms are form of racial discrimination when located near minority communities.

 

-  U.S. Army sociologists are worried that there are too many white men leading combat units. Apparently even in battle, “diversity” trumps merit and leadership.

 

-  A group is fighting racial stereotyping with a video titled, “Hey White People.” They seem unaware of the irony.

 

- According to a recent editorial from the University of Oklahoma’s Daily publication, bras and Band-Aids showcase white privilege and racism by not having enough “nude” colors for darker skin tones.

 

When your ideology is identity politics, all you see is color. It’s time to move beyond this stale, surface-level paradigm.

 

- Jennifer Gratz

This week the Daily Beast published a fantastic op-ed by author and political strategist Ron Christie, titled “There’s No Such Thing as a ‘Black America.’” It addresses how we as a country can move beyond racial division.Allow me to highlight the final paragraph here:

 

“We will continue to make strides forward in the United States on matters of race by focusing on what brings us together rather than what divides us. So it’s time to reject the notion of the existence of a Black America or White America. There’s one America, and it functions best as a melting pot. Likewise, it’s time to extinguish the flames of racial animosity by turning away figures like Sharpton and Jackson, who claim to speak for every black American and profit from the idea that we are two countries divided by race. Instead, let’s start listening to people who want to bring us together, and try to speak for all of us.”

 

Focus on what unites us. Reject divisive racial paradigms. Stop listening to those who profit from fomenting racial animosity. These are crucial components of moving toward a truly colorblind society.

 

Do you agree?

 

- Jennifer Gratz

When does achieving a perfect ACT score and scoring in the top 1% in the nation not get you admitted to a top university? When you are an American of Asian descent.

 

Last month a young Chinese-American student, Michael Wang, wrote an op-ed giving his personal account of how race-based college admissions policies harmed his educational outlook. Read the whole column here. He provides a sobering look at the real impact of these policies:

 

“Applying to college is an anxiety-filled rite-of-passage for students and parents alike. For Asian-American families, however, the anxiety is mixed with dread. They know that their race will be used against them in admissions, and there is nothing they can do but over prepare…

 

“A 2009 study found that Asian-Americans were admitted at the lowest rate of any racial group. For Asian-American applicants to have an equal chance of getting into an elite private college, we had to score 140 points higher than whites on the SATs, 270 points higher than Latinos and 310 points higher than blacks.”

 

Though Michael scored a perfect 36 on the ACT and a 2230 (out of 2400) on the SAT, he was denied admission by Yale, Princeton, and Stanford — all private universities that continue to use racial preferences in order to boost “diversity” on campus.

 

Though these policies are supposedly designed to help minorities, Michael is keenly aware that checking “Asian-American” on an application means he will be held to a much higher standard than other applicants. Racial preferences may mean extra points for black, Hispanic, and Native American applicants, but Asian applicants face the other side of the diversity coin.

 

This is discrimination, plain and simple. It undermines the value of hard work and achievement, it reduces diversity to a skin color, and it teaches young people that it is okay to treat people differently because of their race.

 

- Jennifer Gratz

 

 

Additional articles on discrimination against Asians:

 

Do Elite Colleges Discriminate Against Asians?, Priceonomics

 

Statistics Indicate an Ivy League Asian Quota, New York Times

 

Affirmative Action = Discrimination Against Asians, NYC Schools Edition, Reason

 

Several Republican senators have introduced a resolution to encouragecorporate America to adopt racial quotas (aka discrimination) when interviewing candidates for upper management positions. Center for Equal Opportunity President Roger Clegg and attorney Hans von Spakovsky called attention to this disturbing move earlier this month in National Review.

 

The resolution calls for businesses to institute a version of the NFL’s “Rooney Rule,” where hiring managers must meet a quota of interviewing at least one minority individual for every position. Sadly, this appears to be a way to appease Jesse Jackson’s new calls for “diversity” in the tech industry.

 

Backers of the resolution insist it is not a racial quota, but rather merely a good-natured attempt to expand opportunity and increase diversity in the workforce. These are the same reason used to justify racial preferences in college admissions.

 

Using feel-good terms doesn’t mitigate the fact that such policies are grounded in identity politics and fundamentally discriminatory. Consider this: Republicans in the Senate want businesses to make interviewing decisions based on a person’s skin color. I expect this from the left, but it is distressing to see this coming from politicians who champion liberty and personal responsibility.

 

It is in the best interest of companies, and the country as a whole, to hire and promote the best qualified individuals. Pushing companies to use discriminatory policies to promote the noble cause of diversity is a step in the wrong direction.

 

Every applicant deserves the respect of being treated as a unique individual, not as a means of fulfilling a quota.

 

- Jennifer Gratz

Jesse Jackson is attempting to impose his idea of “diversity” on the tech industry, insisting the government has a role to play in ensuring that women and minorities are fairly represented. However, Asians are the only overrepresented group when comparing tech industry ethnicity statistics with national ones. Asians make up roughly 5 percent of the national population and 30 to 40 percent of employees at top tech companies.

 

In order to achieve greater “diversity,” Jackson has long supported treating people differently based on skin color, using racial preferences and quotas to help some applicants and hurt others. Sadly, Asians Americans far too often receive the short end of the diversity stick and are required to compete at much higher standards just to make up for the special consideration received by other groups. Moreover, they are used as a diversity football.

 

In a recent USA Today article about Jackson’s new endeavors, the author subtly manipulated the stats. First she writes that “whites and Asians comprise 88% to 91%” of employees at Twitter, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and LinkedIn. Yet in the next paragraph, she lumps Asian with black and Hispanic statistics to demonstrate the diversity of Twitter’s users. Asians are used to show a low level of diversity in employment, but a high level of diversity in customers.

 

So which is it, do Asians add to diversity or not?

 

Rather than striving to socially engineer specific racial outcomes, we should instead ensure that every person is treated equally as a unique individual based on the unique skills, achievements, character, opinions, and background they bring to the table.

 

- Jennifer Gratz