by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
We live in a world in which race discrimination is ubiquitous. Universities, government agencies and all major employers systematically discriminate in favor of some races, and against others, under the banner of “affirmative action.” This has been going on for 50 years. And yet, the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection has been applied to ban race discrimination by public entities in a number of contexts. Similarly, the Civil Rights Act purports to bar race discrimination in employment and public accommodations. Such discrimination in employment is nevertheless pretty much universal; see, e.g., United Airlines’ recent declaration of its intent to discriminate for just one of many thousands of instances. I have no idea what the operative legal principles are.
Here is an example from contemporary America: race discrimination in the dissemination of covid vaccines. …
… So the University of Minnesota is engaging in naked racial discrimination. Not in some trivial matter, but in the dissemination of a vaccine that is assumed to be lifesaving. If you are white–or Indian- or Iranian- or Pakistani- or Japanese-American, all of which groups have higher incomes than whites, and I think longer life expectancies–you have to have cancer, hemophilia or the like to be eligible. But if you are a member of a favored race–black, Hispanic (which of course is not a race, many Hispanics are white), American Indian, Southeast Asian–you go to the front of the line.
Am I the only one who thinks this is unAmerican? Or is that sentiment a relic of a long-gone, better time? Race discrimination seems to be so deeply embedded in our society, so widely accepted, that it is hard to see how we can get rid of it.