In defence of racial discrimination?

By Roy Swan, the head of mission investments at the Ford Foundation. He defends "affirmative action" and criticizes opponents of it. He defends his wishes by cataloguing a long list of ways in which blacks are disadvantaged, principally economicaly.

His arguments are a triumph of seeing only what you want to see. He thinks black disadvantage is solely the product of white discrimination against blacks. He ignores the fact that all other minorities in America -- Jews, Chinese, Japanese, Indians -- in fact do better on average than mainstream whites economically. And they suffer from REAL disadvantages -- poor English language skills, religious differences etc.

So why do blacks not follow that pattern? Why are they a different minority? It has to be something in blacks (e.g. high impulsiveness, low IQ, psychopathy) that makes the difference, not what they experience at the hands of white society. Swan is a pathetic appartchik to be so defiant of reality. Only the deliberately blind would agree with him

There is actually something wrong with his head. He criticizes "Race-based discrimination" at the same time as arguing in favour of it

Recently, the activist whose efforts overturned affirmative action [racial preferences at Harvard] eliminating yet another vehicle for marginalized populations’ educational and economic success, filed a lawsuit against a small, Black-owned American venture capital firm over its efforts to support Black women entrepreneurs. Never mind that they receive just 0.06% of all venture capital–less than 1/1000th of their percentage of the American population—or that white men under 35 have 224 times the wealth of Black women under 35.

To this litigant and his ilk, any attempt to acknowledge the roots of this gross inequity, much less adopt a targeted approach to remedy it, is a threat. They so aggressively defend the unequal status quo because they cannot bear the alternative: facing the abominable discrimination and oppression under de facto affirmative action for white people that has created the conditions for Black women’s inability to attract venture capital. Instead, they attack, deflect, deny, and hide historical truth and consequences.

This willful ignorance is geopolitically self-destructive and irresponsible, as today’s world order is determined by the productive and innovative power of a nation’s human capital, which drives national wealth. Keeping players off the field for ideological and racist reasons will only hold America back, while other countries steamroll ahead by tapping the full potential of all the talent at their disposal.

Our allies across the Atlantic have taken an approach worthy of emulation. In acknowledgment of its historical investment in the transatlantic chattel slave trade, the Church of England recently announced a £100 million program of impact investing, grant-making, and research with the target of alleviating the ongoing consequences of its past actions. As a member of the fund’s Oversight Group, I am heartened by the symbolic financial investment but even more moved by the Church Commissioners’ commitment to truth and reconciliation. England has taken a step in the right direction, but America’s inaction and retrenchment is a catapult backward–and a costly one.

Race-based discrimination is estimated to have set America back over $50 trillion since 1990 alone. Other estimates forecast that eliminating race-based discrimination would generate 6 million jobs and $5 trillion in American economic power in just five years.

If Americans care about global economic power, moral authority, and reputation, we must explore the nation’s ugly history of targeted Black oppression, calculate the wealth transferred through exploitation and extraction, and invest in a plan for a better future in the spirit of patriotic capitalism.

It’s time to stop using bad faith claims of reverse discrimination as a polarizing wedge and give everyone opportunities and resources to unleash their potential for the sake of the nation. And everyone has a role to play. In addition to more equitable laws and policies, we need investors to become patriotic capitalists and put market rate-seeking impact investments to work to erase the compounding economic and social damage inflicted on Black people and others oppressed because of their race.

Contrary to the zero-sum claims of history-denying capital hoarders, a more just country is a more prosperous country, too. And we all win when we all win.


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