Re: Affirmative Action & King (multiple responses)
Fri, 20 Nov 1998 18:36:10 -0500


From: benjamin berry <>
Subject: Re: Affirmative Action & King

First, we need to recall that the term "affirmative action" dates back
to a call by Lyndon Johnson, sometime in the mid-1960s, for the
federal government to take affirmative action to end discrimination in
hiring and the letting of contracts. Second, I cannot recall King
speaking specifically on the phrase but he did make statement about
the need to move aggressively to end the results of discrimination,
especially in speeches leading up to the Poor Peoples' Campaign.

Most important is the misrepresentation of the results of Affirmative
Action in the history of this nation. To lay the blame for the rich
getting richer, the shrinking of the middle class and the decline in
real wages at the feet of Affirmative Action is simply wrong. These
events occurred in spite of efforts to improve the position of
Africian American, women and other minority groups. Yes, Martin King
would have celebrated the positive changes that took place prior to
the destruction of Affirmative Action.


"We were not brought here as slaves; we were sent by the Creator to save

Kofi Taha
Benjamin Berry, Jr.
Professor of American Studies and History
Virginia Wesleyan College
1584 Wesleyan Drive
Norfolk/Virginia Beach, VA 23502
voice:(757)455-3233 fax: (757) 466-8283.


From: Michael Loret de Mola <ml7z@server2.mail.Virginia.EDU>
Subject: Re: Affirmative Action & King

If I might reply, I'd like to make the assertion that
Affirmative Action is a race-based program, not a class
based program. Yes, it overlooks alot of "poor white
people", but it's not really meant for poor white people.
I think arguing that this is a flaw of Affrimative Action
is actually missing the point ofthe legislation, which you
actually hit upon in your statement. Your statements about
the dwindling middle class also ring true, but this has
hardly anything to do with Affirmative Action. As a matter
of fact, I would submit (and I don't have the ststs to
prove this) that as a result of AA, more African-MAericans
have entered the American middle class than ever before in
our history.

In any event, my point is that AA is a race-based attept to
legislate social engineering, in my opinion. means of
addressing poverty in white America I think
should constitute diffrent goals, expectations, and needs.
And a different program.

Michael Loret de Mola
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

"Of a silence that speaks
so much louder than words.
Of promises broken."
-David Gilmour



From: david horowitz <>
Subject: Re: Civil Rights (multiple responses)

Ron Jacobs writes: Although one would wish that racial "preferences"
did not have to exist in order to ensure that folks from every part of
our society were provided with equal employment and educational
opportunities, it seems that they do.

I'd like to see you defend this statement. In particular explain 1) if
the white majority is so racist how these affirmative action
preferences got instituted in the first place and 2) how government
bureaucrats are somehow not racists and can be entrusted to force
fairness on the rest of the population and 3) if racial preferences
are necessary to provide equal employment and education opportunities,
how come black upward mobility was greater in the years 1940-1960 than
in the years following the adoption of racial preferences (1970-1990)
as the Thernstroms have shown?