to campaign Home Page to Issues and Ideas

Affirmative Action's Slippery Slope toward Denigrating People

by Bill McGaughey

  Most reasonably honest Americans would acknowledge that affirmative action is an officially sanctioned set of double standards involving unequal treatment based on race, gender, and other politically significant categories, though, supporters would say, for compelling reasons. It violates the bedrock principle of jurisprudence that individuals are entitled to "equal treatment under the law." Even Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who wrote the majority opinion allowing race-based preferences at the University of Michigan law school, admitted that such preferences "offend" the Constitution.

Supporters of the unequal treatment simply don't care. They don't think that the victims of affirmative action are worthy of concern. The politics of this policy override the general sense of fairness in our community. We become divided as a people.

To my way of thinking, the worst thing about affirmative action is not the result itself but the attitude that is created. As someone's basic legal rights are violated, the person can be further violated in various ways. The term "celebrating diversity" becomes a code word for dislodging the hated white male from places of privilege in our society. If he tries to fight back to regain his full citizenship and humanity, he is branded a "racist", "sexist", or historic oppressor of other people now experiencing justifiable payback for the sins of his white-male forbearers.

This leads to a politics of hate in which unprotected individuals are relegated to a status outside the community of human concern. Are not "white males" as a class universally despised? The politics of affirmative action are a slippery slope leading to the denigration of those individuals. The white males who occupy positions of leadership in our society give lip service to policies of affirmative action, in effect throwing other white males to the wolves so that their own tenure will be tolerated.

Do you want hard evidence that attitudes have advanced to the point of disparaging white males? Last year, I was a candidate for U.S. Senate in the Independence Party primary in Minnesota, gaining 31% of the votes. One of my two issues was support for "the full citizenship, dignity, and equality of white males (and of everyone else, too)". The state's largest newspaper, the Star Tribune, refused to cover my campaign. This newspaper also refused to accept a paid ad from my campaign so long as it contained the phrase "dignity for white males". Evidently, to be in favor of dignity for my own group of human beings signified that I harbored hateful attitudes toward others whose expression should not be allowed to see the light of day. Such are the fruits of affirmative action.

To me, it is no surprise that the nation's big corporations (led mainly by white males) should all be in favor of affirmative action and, therefore, of the politics of marginalizing white males. While these corporations send production jobs abroad and allow their CEOs to siphon off huge amounts of wealth in executive compensation, they have also managed to keep a tight lid on dissent. Affirmative action has black and white people, men and women, fighting each other for the crumbs which are left, not realizing that they need to join together to challenge those persons at the top who have caused the bad situation for everyone.

We as a society cannot afford to create second-class citizenship for any of our citizens, as affirmative action envisions, but need to empower each citizen politically to challenge the quality of leadership being offered to us. We must all refuse to be marginalized.

I feel strongly enough about this that, on Friday, June 20th, I announced at a meeting of the Association of State Democratic Chairs in St. Paul, Minnesota, that I would be a candidate for President of the United States seeking the Democratic Party's nomination. My platform of "two ends" calls for:

(1) an end to class warfare by the rich and

(2) an end to the politics of gender and race.

I believe that I am the only such candidate with the courage to say in racially mixed company that I believe affirmative action is legally and morally wrong.

COPYRIGHT 2003 McGaughey for President Campaign - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED