Equal rights or color and gender quotas?
By Thomas Mitchell
It was interesting to read columnist Larry Elder’s take on equal rights vs. equal outcomes on January 27 in the local newspaper — the same day President Joe Biden promised to nominate the first Black woman to replace the retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Elder lambasts Skip Bayless, a White sports commentator, for being critical of the National Football League after the firing of two Black head coaches, leaving only one Black head coach. Bayless was quoted as saying: “It is shameful, it is disgusting, it is embarrassing and it’s inexplicably wrong.”
Elder wonders what the “correct” percentage of Black head coaches should be. “The NFL consists of 57.5 percent Black players. Should 57.5 percent of the coaches be Black?” he asks.
At one point in the opinion piece Elder quotes then-Sen. Joe Biden from 1975: “I do not buy the concept, popular in the ’60s, which said, ‘We have suppressed the Black man for 300 years and the White man is now far ahead in the race for everything our society offers. In order to even the score, we must now give the Black man a head start, or even hold the White man back, to even the race. I don’t buy that.” Elder concluded that, for once, Biden was right. He then concludes: “MLK spoke of a colorblind society. What is truly shameful, disgusting, embarrassing and inexplicably wrong are people such as Bayless, who demand a society that is color-coordinated.”
That same Biden was quoted as saying of his coming Supreme Court nomination: “The person I will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity. And that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court. It’s long overdue in my view. I made that commitment during the campaign for president, and I will keep that commitment.” Also in the local paper Washington reporter Gary Martin relates that of Biden’s confirmed nominations 78 percent are women and 53 percent people of color. This was contrasted with Trump’s 76 percent of nominees being men and 85 percent White. Rights vs. quotas? That debate appears to be ongoing.
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Thomas Mitchell is a former newspaper editor who now writes conservative/libertarian columns for weekly papers in Nevada. You may email Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at http://4thst8.wordpress.com/.