Ambivalence and affirmative action, Part II
: After Brian McGrory
took a whack at the subject the other day, now Joan Vennochi
makes a lot of sense about race in America-- to a point (as usual). What I like about Joan’s column is the way she portrays the small, daily indignities blacks go through each day. The anecdotes are terrific and telling, especially the one about Greg Moore. But, typically, Joan takes it too far, portraying opponents of her views in the most extreme way, similar to her outburst against those who dared to vote for Question 2 in November: Joan: “That is the unspoken goal of affirmative action opponents. They pretend that it's about their commitment to a meritocracy when it is really about retaining their superior status. Affirmative action programs are flawed and frustrating. But without them, the power elite would never unlock the door to the powerless.” ... No hint that some (many) people who oppose affirmative action are not pretending and might actually be taking a principled stand against a ‘flawed and frustrating’ institution. Nope. Gotta portray them all as villains. No middle ground. No elaboration on the ‘flawed and frustrating’ part because that might lead to ambivalence and ambiguity in thought and prose. Can’t have that, on the left or the right.