Friday, July 17, 2009
The Whining of Pat Buchanan
Pat Buchanan was on Rachel Maddow's show last night whining about Sonia Sotomayor, saying she is incompetent, not qualified, an "affirmative action" person. It's so funny that Pat Buchanan refuses to admit the obvious fact that if it wasn't for the basic affirmative action policies of our nation, those which set aside all the good jobs for white men, Pat would more likely be slinging beers in some dumpy saloon rather than serving as the tired, old, reactionary, racist, sexist, moron on national TV for what is undoubtedly a grossly excessive paycheck.
Affirmative Action Is A Remedy For Past Discrimination.
The term "affirmative action" has been co-opted by the right-wing, who act as if it was a dirty word. But it is, in fact, a remedy for a long history of discrimination against certain groups in our society -- discrimination which is so complete and devastating, that it is impossible to ever truly remedy it. But affirmative action is a small effort to to do so.
Sotomayor reportedly did not receive as high a test score as did the privileged white children who were competing for spots in her college or law school, but because of affirmative action, she was given some extra points and allowed to attend. The assumption is that as a minority, traditionally excluded, and female, it is important for society to encourage members of the excluded to enter the professions, so our professions will more nearly represent the public. In addition, there is an assumption that schools in some neighborhoods may not be as good, or offer advanced classes, which might unfairly prejudice a student.
In this case, Sotomayor graduated magna cum laude, top 5%, so apparently the premise of affirmative action was validated. Take members from groups which have been traditionally excluded, those who may have been denied the benefits of the upper-middle-class education, and let them come anyway, give them a chance. They did, and she kicked butt.
Of course the real affirmative action in our country has always been the policy that says only white men can get the job. I believe white men are 30% of the population, and probably only half of them have even a college degree, maybe half of that has a professional degree beyond college. That means that 7% of the population (white males with both college and professional school degrees) have historically gotten to take all the good jobs: business, law, medicine, politics, media, corporate, every job that pays over $100,000/year has been exclusively reserved to these few white men, 7% of the total population.
Pat Buchanan, for one example, likely never had to compete against a woman in his youth for any position or promotion, never had to compete against a black person or Hispanic. It's like only he and a few of his white fraternity brothers were even allowed to apply for the job. And now he's whining because once the barriers were removed, it's become apparent that the better and smarter people in our society were never part of his fraternity. And didn't even want to be.