My latest for NBC Latino.
Affirmative Action won this year — big. Preferential treatment was the “in thing” this whole year. Quotas were all the rage. This was the year the country fully embraced the value of qualitative measurements.
And of course this is the problem with affirmative action. Just ask the GOP. An inferior product made its way onto the national stage and was given equal time out of the simple belief that all sides require the same deference to legitimacy. Like multiculturalism, only perverse.
How else do you explain the rise of such a horrible candidate for the GOP? Romney didn’t have a chance. He was outgunned and outshined.
This is what affirmative action looks like. Yet we are to believe that affirmative action is when some brown kid who is otherwise qualified is given consideration because of his or her disadvantaged background. We are to believe that his is a travesty of justice, a resounding rejection of all that is honorable; all that is American.
And the folks in the South? Hook line and sinker. Math is biased. In Texas, critical thinking is like witches milk. They voted for Romney by wide margins all because they were convinced that the white guy who in every conceivable metric doesn’t have their interests in mind, has their back. That’s the problem with the GOP. They’ve gone tribal, and not only is their tribe shrinking, but the media believes that even crazy people deserve equal time. And so we have to give credibility to Senate candidates who talk about rape being God’s will, as if that wasn’t patently stupid. We have to give Sarah Palin and her family-values, teen-pregnancy-happy kids jobs. Good jobs at that.
And the sad part is, well, the stupid guy got about 40 percent of the people in his state to vote for him and the white welfare family from Alaska gets to pretend that their success is bootstrapping terrific.
Because we love affirmative action in this country. Last night was proof of that.
Going forward the GOP needs to end its love affair with affirmative action and embrace the fact that diversity is a strength, and Barack Obama has to finally address the systematic assaults on minority families that results in affirmative action for the privileged class.
Why is it that the incidence of drug use is no different across racial and ethnic demographics, but those languishing in jails are disproportionately minority?
Why is it that tens of thousands of Latinos are sitting in detention centers without any access to representation?
Why is it that minority women, who are no more likely to be sexually active than white women, are saddled with higher incidences of teen pregnancy and less access to resources that help them manage reproduction?
Why is it that banks which practiced irresponsible financial policies that were dishonest are given a bailout, but the minority families who were victims of these practices are left to fend for themselves?
Why do older and whiter folks, who overwhelmingly voted for Mitt Romney on the belief that half the country is filled with parasites, get better government-funded health care than young folks?
Why do we justify cuts to programs based on the notion that we don’t want to saddle future generations with debt, but accept that the very programs that would help these children manage that debt must be destroyed? Is it because our younger population is increasingly minority, while those calling for these cuts are disproportionately white?
President Obama won on the backs of minorities who put him over the top in last nights election, despite his lack of attention to these issues. They put him over the top because the GOP embraced a vision of America that sought to continue the assault on the poor and on minorities. In a democracy, numbers matter. The GOP needs to embrace that, and President Obama owes us one.