Friday, April 25, 2014

Why I Support Affirmative Action for the Wealthy & Maybe You Should Too

Because the Civil Rights Movement broke down educational and other barriers to opportunity, we now see that women and minorities can move from being housewives and janitors to become topnotch  doctors, and lawyers, CEOs, and even aspire to the presidency of the United States.  As Americans we should be proud of these accomplishments, for they were not achieved without great sacrifice on the parts of many. 

We have in fact proved the racists and sexists of yesteryear wrong.  Illiteracy and ignorance are not genetic traits, stamped in the DNA of certain groups.  If we can agree on this fact, we may be able to agree on an equally valid point.  Evil, cruelty, greed and dishonesty are not entwined in the chromosomes of certain races and social classes but missing in others.  Well then, if that is the case,  then why are America's prisons filled to the brim with blacks, Latinos and poor whites?

And that brings me to this issue of "Affirmative Action."   Why doesn't our prison population more accurately reflect the social and ethnic demographics of our society?   Is it not possible that America would have avoided the worst recession since the Great Depression had the financial psychopaths who created the crisis  already been incarcerated for previous financial crimes they had almost certainly committed, but were never prosecuted for?   Would our middle class suburbs be awash in drugs if prosecutors had not for the past twenty years arrested white drug lords in addition to the  inner city drug runners with which they crowded our prisons?

A Texas district judge in February 2014 decided that an intoxicated teen from a wealthy family would serve no jail time for killing four people in a drunk driving accident. The term "affluenza defense" was coined to describe this particular legal gadget. Last week the millionaire CEO of a Tech firm was caught on video brutally kicking his girlfriend 117 times. He won't see the inside of a jail as well, having been sentenced to community service and a domestic violence training program.

 At some point American society has to decide how much more of this "affluenza defense" it is willing to tolerate.  After all, we the public will in the end pay with our own victimization for failing to promote affirmative action in our criminal justice system.  

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