As happens, some of my essay on affirmative action and women ended up on the cutting room floor. So I thought I’d share with you the paragraphs that weren’t included, which I offer here as an important coda to the essay:
We live in a nation actively shaped by history, much of it beautiful but some of it shameful. The deep and dark legacies of explicit, legal discrimination against women and people of color still leave a mark today, continuing to stain our economy, our politics and our society with bias. The median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households.
Researchers found that the exact same resume for the exact same job application will get twice as many call-backs for interviews if the name on the resume is “Greg” instead of “Jamal”. School districts spend more on predominantly white schools than predominantly black schools. The fact that black workers earn, on average, 35% less than white workers in the same jobs isn’t erased by the election of an African American president. Just as electing a female president wouldn’t change the fact that women earn just $0.77 for every dollar earned by men.
Unequal opportunity is baked into the arc of American history — for white women and women of color and black men and many other groups. Addressing that inequality, creating true opportunity and prosperity for all, requires more than passivity and patience. It requires affirmative action. Affirmative action not only helps fulfill the vision of equality about which our founding fathers could only hypothesize, but it helps all of us, including Abigail Fisher and all white women, whether we know it or not.
In advance of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Fisher v. University of Texas, I’ve written an essay for Time Magazine’s website about how white women are the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action. Here’s an excerpt:
While people of color, individually and as groups, have been helped by affirmative action in the subsequent years, data and studies suggest women— white women in particular — have benefited disproportionately. According to one study, in 1995 six million women—the majority which were white— had jobs they wouldn’t have otherwise held but for affirmative action.
You can read the full essay here. Please help spread it around and share your thoughts.
In my latest column for Fox News, I look at why progressives have been (understandably) reluctant to pile onto reckless Republican critiques of the Obama Administration. And yet even though Republicans are hell-bent on destroying the President at any cost, those of us who care about our nation and our liberties cannot abdicate our role in holding the government, including this government, accountable. I write:
The problem with hyper-partisanship is that those on both sides constantly defend their own camp and attack the other with little regard for history, logic or ideology… Conservatives, progressives, Democrats, Republicans — we’ve all fallen into the trap of turning a blind eye to our own side’s abuses while fairly blindly hurling accusations at the other. This stops now.
You can read my full essay here. And please share your thoughts!
My mixed reaction to the heckling of First Lady Michelle Obama. I believe in the right of all Americans, left right and center, to protest. But I also believe in civility, especially in the case of a First Family that has been treated with record incivility. Watch the segment, courtesy of Fox News:
What do you think?
Well, I had a great time moderating the Council of Urban Professionals NYC mayoral forum yesterday. Christine Quinn, Adolfo Carrion, Bill de Blasio, Bill Thompson and John Liu all seemed to enjoy the exchange as well. However, all the news coverage is about how Anthony Weiner apparently didn’t. Oy.
Here is a video compiled by Azi Paybarah of Capital NY showing Weiner looking bored when he wasn’t talking:
I would point out that the discussion included some interesting points made by the candidates, especially around their pledged commitment to appointing diverse senior leaders if elected (an issue of importance to CUP) but these seem to have been eclipsed by Mr. Weiner’s winning personality (or lack thereof).
If you’re in the New York City area, please join me the evening of Wednesday, June 5, 2013 for an important across-the-aisle dialogue about gun control and gun rights in America. I’ll be moderating a discussion at the Riverdale Y in the Bronx between writer and activist Michael Skolnik and former Congressional candidate and RNC advisor Lenny McAllister. It should be a very informative exchange. Here are the details:
Rose Dialogue Series, Riverdale YM-YWHA
Wednesday, June 5
5625 Arlington Avenue, Bronx, NY
in comprehensive dialogue
Gun Control or Out of Control?
To get tickets, click here.
On Monday, June 3 from 6:00 – 8:00pm in Manhattan I’ll be moderating a forum with the leading candidates to be the next mayor of New York City. The forum is hosted by the Council of Urban Professionals and will include Christine Quinn, Bill Thompson, John Liu, Adolfo Carrión, Anthony Weiner and Bill de Blasio. Here are the details:
Council of Urban Professional’s MAYORAL FORUM
Monday, June 3, 2013
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Hosted By: KIRKLAND & ELLIS
601 Lexington Avenue (Between 53rd & 54th Streets)
50th Floor Conference Center, New York City
For tickets, click here to RSVP.
I was on Fox News with Megyn Kelly and Monica Crowley this week talking about the sad state of affairs in which, due to budget cuts, there were no police officers available to help a woman in Oregon when she called 911 for help. Instead, her violent ex-boyfriend broke down her door and proceeded to choke and rape her. Shockingly, some conservatives are using this as an example NOT for why we need more funding for vital public services but for the argument to increase gun ownership in America.
You can watch the segment on the Fox News Insider website here or here’s the video, courtesy of Fox News:
UPDATE: Thanks to my friend Denise Joines for pointing out to me that the county in Oregon where this happened has the lowest tax rate in the state and continually refuses to increases taxes to pay for public services.
I was on Fox News on Memorial Day, talking about the Republicans’ pathetic attempts to tie President Obama in some way, shape or form to the “scandals” lower down in his Administration. Keep fighting the good fight, Republicans! The real problems this country is facing will just solve themselves….
It’s time for Democrats Suck: The Immigration Reform Edition. Here’s a clip from my latest Salon essay:
When Republicans stand strong on principles while Democrats obsess about political practicality, Democrats repeatedly concede too much and Republicans repeatedly win more than policy and politics would otherwise dictate. The immigration reform markup is only the latest example of this larger, depressing state of affairs.
Read the rest here.
UPDATE: Here is a response the Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas wrote in response to my piece. An important discussion for all of us to be having. And I think if we don’t have this discussion, the Democrats will continue to feel free to sell out their base with no fear of consequences.
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