he transformation of the American economy and polity into a racial spoils system has been a defining goal of President Obama’s first term in office. It is set to become more defining in his second term, especially in light of a federal appeals court ruling two weeks ago. Obama, by various accounts, wants to be more aggressive about suing banks, employers, schools and other institutions whose practices, however unintentionally, adversely affect “disadvantaged” (read: nonwhite) populations. This is the doctrine of “disparate impact.”Attorney General Eric Holder already has used it to extract hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements from Wells Fargo and other major banks. Its widespread application is further evidence, as if any more were needed, that “civil rights” has become a well-organized shakedown racket.
These past few years National Legal and Policy Center has been anything but muted in its criticism of government-mandated racial preferences. A major task has been to unmask it true character. Typically, mandatory preferences come dressed in euphemisms such as “affirmative action” and “diversity.” The language may be benign, but it functions as the basis for devising enforceable goals, quotas and timetables, with close official monitoring to ensure “progress.” Equality of outcome, not equality of opportunity, is the overriding goal. If an employer’s work force, for example, is only two percent black and the surrounding labor market area is 10 percent black, that employer may have to explain to a government agency why it has “only” one-fifth the number of black employees it should have. Employee traits such as perseverance, punctuality, intelligence and an ability to work with others don’t matter much in such a context.