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The New Color Line Hardcover – November 25, 1995
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Readers who find attacks on recent civil rights laws and regulations too mild will relish Roberts and Stratton's shifting of the debate back to the 1950s. "The demise of liberalism" and "the assault on freedom of conscience" have their roots, the authors argue, in Brown v. Board of Education and the 1964 Civil Rights Act: "Democracy gave way to judicial and regulatory edicts, and persuasion gave way to coercion." In their defense of democracy, majority rule, and goodwill as the vital bulwarks of a liberal social order that must be rescued from decades of judicial dictatorship and "the proliferation of privilege," Roberts and Stratton take shots at everyone from Gunnar Myrdal to Lani Guinier, but the venom they heap on "critical race theory" legal scholars in particular--comparing them to anti-Semitic proto-Nazis--marks this analysis as more extreme than it may at first appear. Curiously, Roberts and Stratton seem not to notice that quotas and privileges were essential tools in the distribution of wealth and power in the U.S. long before Earl Warren was born. Popular subject, expect demand. Mary Carroll
Paul Roberts and Lawrence Stratton maintains that one of the great ironies of history is the "colorblind" 1964 Civil Rights Act which resulted in stripping white males of their constitutional protections and turning them into second-class citizens. The New Color Line: How Quotas and Privilege Destroy Democracy maintains that it is now legally necessary to discriminate against white males in order to avoid civil rights lawsuits and to achieve mandated race and gender proportionally in the work force, university admissions, training programs, mortgage financing, and even disciplinary actions. Civil rights legislation has turned America into a caste society. There are two classes of citizens: those protected by civil rights laws and white males who are not. That this problem began when the Supreme Court based its public school desegregation decision, Brown v. Board of Education, on the premise that the innate racism of white Americans precluded a democratic solution to segregation. Thus, Brown resolved segregation at the expense of the democratic process. The 1964 Civil Rights Act substituted coercive regulation for freedom of conscience, thus displacing another bedrock of democracy. The authors proposed solution is goodwill, persuasion, and freedom of conscience as the avenues to social progress if Americans are to preserve their democracy. -- Midwest Book Review
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The authors talk a lot about how it is essential to have good will among citizens for a democratic government to work. The reader may come to the conclusion that in a free society you may have to give fellow citizens freedom of association and even the freedom to discriminate, rather than coercing people by the power of federal bureacracy to hire without discriminating. It is pointed out that if an employer does not hire on merit alone, his business will be uncompetitive in the market. Essentially, we have an ineffecient market now because the best qualified are not hired according to ability. The social thinker Gunnar Myrdal thought that democracy could not get rid of racism, perhaps because of this lack of good will, and decided it would be better to enforce equality with the power of the state in his highly influential book An American Dilemma.
The New Color Line covers the Brown court decision in which the authors give evidence of this being the beginnings of what is called rule by judges or judicial tyranny today. Legal precedent was swept away for touchy feely sociological arguments based on doubtful research that the judges would base their decisions upon. "Creative judicial decisions" similar to "creative bookkeeping" that did not have any basis in the constitution were imposed on the populace. The authors also give evidence that the some of court's decisions came about by unethical dealings. Civil rights were also to be totally decided by congress through legislation, and not by the judicial branch. Separation of powers has ceased to exist.
One may come to the conclusion that democracy is only is good as the character and intelligence of the people in positions of power. If the constitution and law is ignored and a legal decision is unethically brought about, and people in power seemingly don't understand the perils of not sticking with the constitution, democracy ceases to exist. One wonders if they really merit their positions, but we're appointed only for ideological reasons. Actually the original civil rights act has explicit language forbidding privilege through quotas but these laws have been ignored by judges.
The authors Roberts and Stratton seem to be traditional liberals who believe in equality before the law, good will between citizens of different races, and equal opportunity, but not special privilege. The question is though, will some citizens be satisfied with just equal opportunity which will plainly show that there is no equality of talent and therefore no equality in income? A false utopian equality of result is desired more than just a meritocracy with a discontented underclass of lesser talents who will be lesser paid. Also, one may conclude by reading the book that integration with equality before the law was not successful as an ideal. In a few short years, it seemed more like a power grab by the government and the newly privileged than just an interest in equality before the law. And again, is there really enough good will between the races to have one nation? I think I like authors better who think along these lines such as Jared Taylor.
I am looking forward to reading Robert's and Stratton's next book.
This book offered an actual in-depth inspection of the danger of allowing the courts to rule - something the Founding Fathers warned about but continues to go on with barely a mention. I think the Founding Fathers would have been disappointed in our apathy. They fought a revolution for less.
What's interesting about this book, however, it the story they tell of how the Brown decision came about. It is not the story we read in history books, about the persuasive power of Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP, and the conscience of the Justices in overturning Plessey in the face of overwhelming evidence that separate but equal violates the 14th amendment. Rather, the story that Roberts and his co-author Larry Stratton, a lawyer at the same institute as Roberts, tells is that Mr. Marshall was actually incompetent before the court, and unable to make his argument. The Brown decision came about, rather, because a liberal Justice, and the only Jew on the court, Justice Frankfurter, had read Gunnar Mydals "An American Dilemma". Gunner Myrdal, the book tells us, was a socialist. He had doubts about whether a democratic majority in America would ever, on their own terms, end racism. Gunnar Myrdal, therefore, preferred a more "socialistic" approach to the problem. This convinced Justice Frankfurter, who then "conspired" with someone in the Justice Department (I don't think they say who) to strong arm the other Justices on the court to rule in favor of Brown, thus setting the stage for the Judicial takeover of the American government Hense, the Brown decision that lead to a judicial takeover came about due to the efforts of an incompetent Black and a conspiring liberal Jew.
One would expect to find conspiracy theories of Jews and Blacks against white people in the right-wing fringe. Read any of the literature coming from the culture that gave us Timothy McVeigh (see the Turner Diaries), and you'll see the same ideas there. The only difference is how elaborate they get and the tone in which they're cast. But how is one to explain such views when they're spun by people like Roberts and Stratton, who have "mainstream" conservative credentials? However one explains this, it is to me a very disturbing development in American politics.