Hispanics vs. Blacks: The Battle For "Preferred Minority" Status
by La Shawn Barber
As someone who loathes government-mandated race preferences, I look forward to years of laugh-riot fun as preference-loving blacks and Hispanics duel it out, fighting each other over government goodies.
I recently learned about a case involving a black cop named Kenneth A. Boyd in Wilmington, Delaware who claims he was passed over for promotion because he's black.
Boyd alleges that police chief Michael J. Szczerba promoted an undeserving Hispanic instead. Oh, why does this sound familiar? According to The News Journal, Szczerba "fostered a diverse police force," which is code for skin-color preferences. Only in this case, the Negro wasn't the "preferred minority."
A preferred minority group is one that is ostensibly under-represented in certain jobs, schools, etc. Asians also are a minority group, but they are not "preferred," particularly as far as college admissions are concerned, because they tend to be overrepresented. In fact, admissions for Asians may be suppressed in order to conform to liberals' notions of a proper racial balance. U.S. Commission on Civil Rights member Peter Kirsanow writes:
Asian Americans, though only four percent of the nation's population, account for nearly 20 percent of all medical students. Forty-five percent of Berkeley's freshman class, but only 12 percent of California's populace, consists of Asian-Americans. And at UT-Austin, 18 percent of the freshman class is Asian American, compared to three percent for the state... President Clinton worried that, without preferences, "there are universities in California that could fill their entire freshman classes with nothing but Asian-Americans."
Blacks have always been THE preferred minority group, but those days are coming to an end. Cases like Boyd's are only the beginning of the battles between Hispanics and blacks for preferred minority status. Hispanic groups are already urging the federal government to hire more Hispanics. Incidentally, whites are becoming a minority group in states like Texas and California. Will they one day become a preferred minority?
With illegal aliens working on the cheap, look for more stories about blacks crying,"Hispanic racist!" If for no other reason than Hispanics are supplanting them as "preferred," blacks should be speaking out against amnesty-for-illegal-aliens the loudest.
Here's some advice: Jump off the preference bandwagon now and start supporting hiring and promoting based on merit, seniority - anything but race. By the way, being against race preferences for college admissions doesn't mean one can't support admissions based on legacies, athletics or any other criteria. Racial discrimination, above any other kind, has its own unique place in our history. This country has fought a long and hard battle to make amends for enslaving blacks and sending them to the back of the bus and making them walk through back doors.
Our race is part of who we are, something as immutable as death and taxes. No country calling itself free and a respecter of individual rights should be mandating that one race of people receive preference over the other. No government should condone admissions and hiring that is based on the color of one's skin.
Government-mandated discrimination and preferences based on race were supposed to have been dismantled. That is what civil rights are about; these rights don't, can't and shouldn't guarantee that blacks or any other "minority" will be represented in any job or school in proportion to their percentage of the population.
The modern civil rights movement, the struggle for full citizenship status, has been corrupted. And the same people who support this corrupted form of "civil rights," which is nothing more than government skin trade, will reap what they sow.
But all that preaching is for naught. Chasing and pointing at a phantom white racist is much more profitable and satisfying than standing up for race-neutral policies. Perhaps after dozens more lawsuits in which blacks allege that Hispanics were hired or admitted at their expense, blacks who now support skin color preferences will finally understand that to sink or swim based on what you can do instead of on your membership in a preferred minority group is not such a bad idea after all.
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LaShawn Barber is an editor for the black leadership network Project 21. La Shawn Barber may be reached at http://lashawnbarber.com.
Published by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints
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