Repeal of race preference programs: Effects
VOLOKH at law.ucla.edu
Tue Nov 28 00:03:10 PST 2006
Yvette Barksdale writes:
> Eugene - isn't your analysis here is really superficial. Do
> you really believe that disadvantage to blacks ended with
> slavery? What about the 100 years of de facto and de jure Jim Crow?
I neither believe it, nor did I say that.
> Also, even assuming that whites suffered some disadvantage
> from discrimination and slavery, and blacks may have gained
> some advantage from discrimination (certainly not slavery) -
> obviously blacks suffered far more disadvantage from slavery
> and discrimination than whites could have, and whites
> obtained substantially higher benefits from the slavery and
> discrimination than blacks could have. So, net - blacks
> lose, whites gain? Right.
How does that make "whites gain"? If the arguments that race
discrimination was on aggregate bad for nearly everyone (except a
fortunate few) are right -- as I suspect they are -- then the answer is
whites lost, blacks lost more. Rick therefore doesn't have any
ill-gotten benefits to disgorge, and is not a member of a "debtor race."
At most you should argue that he should bear further costs to equalize
his costs and those of blacks; perhaps that's the argument you're
making, but that's not the argument that I first saw.
> Let me ask you this - would you trade your background and
> family history as a white person, with all the benefits that
> accrue from that, with that of a black person (let's say one
> whose socioeconomic rank within the black community would
> have been comparable to your families socioeconomic rank
> within the white community) just in order to qualify for
> affirmative action? If not, why not? Perhaps, being white is
> a net positive in this society, and always has been.
I wouldn't trade my face for Brad Pitt's, even though I know
Brad Pitt is more attractive than I am. Would you trade your background
and family history as a black person with that of a white person? I
suspect that few blacks, Hispanics, Asians, or whites would; what's
doing the work in these "I wouldn't trade" arguments is that people
don't like the idea of trading their background and family history -- or
their race or face -- with anyone else.
More information about the Conlawprof