Affirmative action critic Andy Martin says President Obama is the “end of the line” for affirmative action
Contrarian columnist and New Hampshire U. S. Senate candidate Andy Martin juxtaposes the chaos in the White House today with the turbulence at the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Andy says that “affirmative action,” supposedly prohibited by the 1964 Act, is undermining the safety and security of the
and promoting incompetent public officials such as Attorney General Eric Holder
and President Barack Obama. Andy predicts that our “great national experiment”
with affirmative action in electing Obama to the presidency will end badly and
scar the United States
for a generation. Andy remains committed to civil rights and racial quality but
notes that President Obama’s incompetence will leave a legacy that will linger long
after Obama is gone.
Andy charges that affirmative action ultimately creates a sense of arrogance and entitlement for its beneficiaries. The negative consequences of affirmative action explain the current disorder in the Obama White House. Eric Holder had it backwards in a recent ABC News interview; he is not the target of racism. Rather, he has been the beneficiary of affirmative action and that has made all the difference in his attitude towards public service. Holder was promoted to a position for which he was manifestly unqualified; Holder is now angry that the public views his performance unfavorably.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
“The Last Days of Affirmative Action; President Obama’s incompetence will undermine racial preferences forever”
( MANCHESTER, NH July 17, 2014)
Dear Fellow American:
This commentary is my reaction to the recent remarks by Attorney General Eric Holder that he and President Barack Obama are the victims of racism. Holder’s remarks force us to confront the unfortunate reality that our civil rights laws have created. We must also confront the results of the “affirmative action” remedies that have bedeviled our society for almost fifty years.
As a candidate for the United States Senate I am committed to equality of opportunity, not equality of outcomes. We should not and cannot tolerate diminished standards and lowered expectations of competence in our public officials and employees.
Affirmative action has been a controversial subject since it surfaced in the late 1960’s. Let’s review the history before we see how affirmative action gave us a president who is totally unqualified and completely incapable of discharging the duties of the office. In addition, affirmative action has created a sense of entitlement and ultimately arrogance in both President Obama and some of his appointees that is destroying both his administration and our society.
1. My own personal civil rights background
I grew up on a college campus in a home that was very hospitable to civil rights. My home town in
Connecticut had a generally color-blind environment. In first or
second grade, one of my closest friends was Norman Hunter, who lived in the
projects. Children, of course, are often color-blind; those of us who grow up
in such environments are fortunate indeed.
As a college football player, my roommate Art McCaskill was an African-American. Together we followed the civil rights battles taking place in the south. Art came from
where race and class were sharply defined and where
resistance to civil rights occasionally became violent. We remained close
friends after college. Centralia, Illinois
My own church has been very heavily involved in aid to
Africa and helping to encourage the struggle for liberation in South Africa. I remain as committed to civil rights today as I was as a
college student. There is no place for bigotry or hatred in our society.
2. The Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was one of the greatest pieces of legislation in American history. The law remains so today. Earlier this month we celebrated the signing of the 1964 Act on
July 2, 1964.
But the 1964 Act was sold to Congress and sold to the American people as a law
that prevented and precluded “affirmative action.” Affirmative action is
loosely defined as mandatory steps by government and private industry to ignore
the qualifications of individuals and to hire and promote on the basis of
racial quotas or “goals” for racial and ethnic enhancement.
How did a law that barred affirmative action become a law that mandated affirmative action? The federal courts were importuned to ignore the statutory language and to invent “remedies” that “redressed” genuine problems; unfortunately the courts did so in a way that countermanded the specific intent of Congress.
Adding to the problems created by the growth in demand for “affirmative action” was the fact that our federal courts have historically created a doctrine of “standing” that effectively bars individual from challenging general government actions except in the narrowest of circumstances.
This week legal scholars debated whether Speaker John Boehner can sue President Obama for violating the “faithfully executed” clause of the Constitution. The reason? Boehner may lack “standing” to sue on behalf of Congress and the amorphous “public interest” even though the merits of Boehner’s claims are painfully obvious.
Obama is not “faithfully executing” the law. He is contemptuously and intentionally violating our nation’s statutes. Under the judge-created doctrine of standing, however, no one may have a legal right to challenge Obama’s illegal behavior. (Memo to file if I get to the U. S. Senate: we need to amend the U. S. Constitution to give Congress “standing” to challenge the president in court.)
3. My own efforts at “affirmative assistance”
After law school I remained in
for several years. I had the occasional need of an
electrician. One of my closest law school friends knew a porter at his
fraternity that did electrical repairs; I became friendly with John Mitchell.
Like many African-Americans, John M. had been treated harshly by life. He had
the survived the hard knocks but was still struggling to succeed. He did not
have an electrician’s license. With my encouragement and financial assistance
he obtained the license. Eventually I helped him get an electrical contractor’s
permit as well. But at each stage John was insistent that he must have the
“qualifications” before we approached the next step. He did not want to be
promoted without being qualified for his new assignment. He did not want to be
the beneficiary of affirmative action. Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
4. Affirmative action begins to poison the workplace
My own belief is that many African-Americans and other minorities have never wanted individuals to be promoted on the basis of quotas when those persons lack the experience or qualifications to do the job. The reason: failure of an unqualified individual could taint the perception of an entire ethnic group.
The hydraulic pressure created by government-based liberals to undo the damage of centuries of racial deprivation and to do so in the course of a few years unfortunately created during the 1960’s and 70’s an environment where individuals were promoted without being qualified for their new positions. The consequences and public reaction to the problem of unqualified people working in government has been acute resentment by citizens who have had to deal with these unqualified public employees.
Most minorities have succeeded on the basis of their own merit. In business it is very difficult to manage a plant or a product line if you are unqualified, whatever your racial or ethnic background. Likewise, in the military, affirmative action cannot be a factor when lives are at stake. Overall, the 1964 Civil Rights Act has succeeded in opening the world of opportunity to minorities, and that is precisely as it should be.
But affirmative action, which in many instances hardened into “quotas,” has left lingering distaste in the mouths of many Americans. In one of his reelection campaigns Senator Jesse Helms ran a powerful anti-affirmative action commercial that may have turned the tide in his reelection.
The net effect of promoting some unqualified individuals based on quotas has been that the gains of those individuals who succeeded and prospered because they were qualified have been diluted by the promotion of the individuals who were unqualified and only advanced because of affirmative action quotas.
The disastrous consequence of affirmative action in the White house is that beneficiaries such as Obama and Holder have developed an elevated sense of entitlement to special treatment. Entitlement often hardens into arrogance and contempt for ordinary Americans. Both Obama and Holder appear to suffer from this syndrome.
When Holder was interviewed by ABC News earlier this week he claimed that he and Obama were being attacked politically because of the innate racism of American society. Nothing could be further from reality. Americans are opposing Obama because of his policies and politics, not because of his racial background.
5. Obama steps onto the national stage
One of the challengers of analyzing affirmative action is that the results of that policy take decades to manifest themselves. Although affirmative action began decades ago a presidential candidate who had been the intended beneficiary of affirmative action did not appear until 2008.
When Senator Barack Obama began to be seriously considered as a presidential candidate I enhanced my research into his family background and personal history. That research is still continuing, a decade later.
Many Americans and especially the mainstream media wanted to promote the election of an African-American president. They overlooked Obama’s deficiencies and lack of experience and presented him to an unsuspecting and vulnerable voting public. People were afraid to oppose Obama because they were afraid of being called racists.
6. The “Incredible Shrinking Obama”
When Obama entered the White House he claimed that he would be a transformative president. Instead, he has become the “incredible shrinking president.” Obama is the only recent occupant of the White House who has not grown after entering the Oval Office. Usually the challenges of the presidency cause occupants to “grow” to meet those challenges. Obama has done the opposite. He is visibly shrinking before our eyes. Almost every day some Obama policy or promise, such as “lead from behind” or “you can keep your doctor,” is discredited.
7. The Obama presidency is unraveling, both him and his policies
Today there is a growing public frustration with President Obama and many of his appointees such as Eric Holder. Foreign policy is in a shambles. Our southern border is being invaded by illegal aliens. The economic “recovery” is insipid at best. Tens of millions of Americans are either unemployed or underemployed. Valiant soldiers are being “fired” and dumped on the street at a time when national security risks are increasing and we need a strong military. Even minorities are protesting. Why is Obama neglecting urgent needs in our cities and instead requesting billions in aid for illegal aliens?
Economic hardship is rampant among young people. In a situation similar to that which existed during the Great Depression (1929-1941), when family formation was postponed for over a decade, today young people cannot afford to marry, cannot afford to start a household, cannot afford to purchase and furnish a home. We should not be surprised that there is policy-based hostility to President Obama. What is surprising is that he and Holder respond by crying “racism.” Their sense of arrogance and entitlement is overwhelming and overweening.
8. Obama will leave a legacy of bitterness and hostility
The incompetence of both Obama and Holder will leave a legacy of bitterness and resentment when they finally exit government. Affirmative action also undermines our confidence in the professional accomplishments of other persons operating under the umbrella of preferential treatment. Is Jeh Johnson competent to serve as a cabinet officer? I have no idea. But many voters will question the qualifications of all of Obama’s minority appointments precisely because he is making those appointments not based solely on merit but rather on the basis of affirmative action.
Obama’s arrogance, and his delusional belief that he and Holder are victims of “racism,” is an insult to the American people who voted for Obama twice. Voters are against Obama not because of his race but because of his socialist agenda and total incompetence (unless you subscribe to the far-fetched theory that Obama wanted to send the whole world into a tailspin and that creating worldwide disaster was indeed his “policy”).
will be “open for business” after Obama leaves America
When Hillary and Bill Clinton left the White House in 2001 they stripped the White House of every article they could carry off, almost down to the floor boards. And, as part of their congenital greed, they sold off pardons to Marc Rich and other Democratic Party contributors. Money, money, money. Since then the Clinton Spin Machine has constantly injected vapors into the American psyche in order to make people “forget” just how bad the
But today the years in which
Clinton served in the White House look pretty good by comparison with
Obama’s. That is because an out-of-control President Clinton was handcuffed by
the American electorate in 1994. Clinton was prevented from implementing his harebrained schemes
and Hillary Clinton’s “Hillarycare.”
Clintons have now become wealthy entertainers. Like stand-up comics
or “experts” they traverse the nation collecting hundreds of thousands of
dollars for “speeches” which offer very little substance and a huge dollop of
nostalgia for the “the years before Obama.”
When Obama leaves the White House he too will probably earn hundreds of millions of dollars and the public will conveniently forget what an incompetent “leader” Obama was while in office. The
will open for business the day after Obama is finished. We will start undoing
and repairing the damage that eight years of Obama inflicted on the American
people. Obama’s successor will inherit the mess Obama leaves behind.
Every American citizen will have been diminished by the first and very likely last affirmative action president. Affirmative action will “die” with Obama. The great national experience in “enhanced incompetence” will have ended with him. Affirmative action? R.I.P.
The bottom line: we need to think deeply about why Obama is destroying
America, and why he seeks refuge in delusional claims of racism. Obama’s
and Holder’s senses of entitlement and arrogance, and their contempt for our
history and our Constitution, pose a danger to every American.
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He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a former adjunct professor of law at the City University of New York (LaGuardia CC, Bronx CC).
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