Booker Rising: Thomas Sowell: on Affirmative Action & Gay Marriage

Booker Rising

Thomas Sowell: on Affirmative Action & Gay Marriage

The conservative commentator sure is a busy man, with two op-ed pieces today. He argues that affirmative action and gay marriage are special privileges, not rights: “Equality of rights does not mean equality of results. I can have all the equal treatment in the world on a golf course and I will not finish within shouting distance of Tiger Woods. When arbitrary numerical ‘goals’ or ‘quotas’ under affirmative action are not met, the burden of proof is put on the employer to prove that he did not discriminate against minorities or women. No burden of proof whatever is put on the advocates of ‘goals’ or ‘quotas’ to show that people would be equally represented in jobs, colleges, or anywhere else in the absence of discrimination.”

He adds: “The question is not whether gays should be permitted to marry. Many gays have already married people of the opposite sex. Conversely, heterosexuals who might want to marry someone of the same sex in order to make some point will be forbidden to do so, just as gays are. The real issue is whether marriage should be redefined — and, if for gays, why not for polygamists? Why not for pedophiles? Despite heavy television advertising in California for ‘gay marriage,’ showing blacks being set upon by police dogs during civil-rights marches, and implying that homosexuals face the same discrimination today, the analogy is completely false. Blacks had to sit in the back of the bus because they were black. They were doing exactly what white people were doing — riding a bus. That is what made it racial discrimination. Marriage is not a right but a set of legal obligations imposed because the government has a vested interest in unions that, among other things, have the potential to produce children, which is to say, the future population of the nation.”

My response: I concur with Mr. Sowell on affirmative action. However, I tackle the issue from the standpoint of black competence and self-esteem – my black nationalist side raises an eyebrow when it is explicitly or implicitly argued that standards have to be lowered for blacks – while Mr. Sowell is concerned about color-blind merit. I disagree with him on gay marriage though. And yes, the law should also allow polygamy. If a man wants to marry a woman, a man, two women, two men, or a man and a woman, how is that the business of government or other people if everyone consents to the arrangement? Pedophilia involves children, so consenting adults are not the issue there.

Advertisements

One Response

  1. I appreciate your libertarian leanings on the marriage issue. However, I think a clarification is due on your description on Dr. Sowell’s position on affirmative action. In the piece you described it as “concerned about color-blind merit.” I think it is appropriate for this case, but a careful reading of the full body of his work forces me to conclude that your postion–“my black nationalist side raises an eyebrow when it is explicitly or implicitly argued that standards have to be lowered for blacks”– is not as far from his as you might think (though he would never use the term “black nationalist”).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: