Wednesday, December 31, 2024
By Steven Taylor

The discussion yesterday concerning what I consider race-baiting by General Clark has inspried a number of comments and some e-mails. I have a rather lengthy post on the subject that I am working on, but have a simple point that I don’t want swallowed up by an essay:

As long as a substantial number of persons, especially leaders (such as Clark), wish to ascribe racism to everything bad the happens to a group of African-Americans, we are going to have a hard time moving towards a society in which people are not “judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Just because an injustice happens to balck people, doesn’t mean it is the result of racism. I am not saying that there is no racism in American. However, mis-diagnosis of a policy problem leads to the wrong policy prescriptions.

I agree that probems exist that have caused some black americans (and white ones, too, for that matter) to have their votes not counted, or to have been stopped from voting due to registration problems. However, if an American American gentleman living in a poor county mis-votes, is it because he is black, or is it because the county couldn’t afford more accurate equipment, or maybe it was because as a poor citizen in a poor county he received a sub-standard education?

The real reasons that something happens matters if one really wants to apply appropriate pubic policy solutions.

Let me ask the question this way: if a white person is denied the right to vote because of being incorrectly placed on a list of ex-felons who have been legally disenfranchised, is that racism? If a white person lives in a poor county and has to vote with less than the latest tehnology, is that racism? I would argue, no–would you? If a black person is similarly situated, what makes it racism?

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One Response to “Race Relations”

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    1. James Joyner Says:

      Ah yes, but one can’t be racist against dirt poor white people who live in poor counties, because they’re in a position of priviledge.

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