On this day when we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., we recall his speech, “I Have a Dream” calling for a color-blind society.
What progress did America make in the past year toward this goal?
- A college professor appeared untouchable because of his unverifiable claim to be Native American.
- President Bush was labeled a racist because of FEMA’s response time to the tragedy in New Orleans.
- Qalified judges’ nominatiuons were filibustered in the Senate because the nominees were conservative — and minorities.
- The voluntary military was accused of racism even though enlistees come in higher rates from areas having higher income.
- A popular book alleges that abortion reduced crime. A former Secretary of Education extrapolated, “You could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.”
And the dream for a color blind society is now seen as racist because it would mean the end of affirmative action.
As a person who has been blessed with much, I have no experience with discrimination. In fact, as an engineering undergrad accepted to law school with (I imagine) a lower college GPA than many of my classmates, I might have benefited from diversity, one based on my “diverse” educational background instead of the color of my skin.
Some may say that it’s not yet time to end affirmative action. One could even argue that the welfare state has done much to suppress black success. Yet, like the Iraq War, affirmative action must have an exit strategy.
We must once again believe that a color-blind society is a worthy goal.