By Patrick Appel
Coates makes a good point:
There are two questions here--how are we going to fix the race chasm, and how far are we really willing to go to do it? People like to focus on the former, because the truly frightening one is the latter. We're forever trying to achieve equality by not negatively impacting white people. You can look back at the War on Poverty and see how desperate folks were to make it look color-blind. How'd that work out? I think one of the reasons Affirmative Action was extended to basically everyone by white males, was likely, so it wouldn't be reparations. Ironically, class-based integration uses the same logic. I'm a fan because I believe in it on principle. But the politics of it seem to be captive to ancient formulations: Despite the fact that slavery and Jim Crow crippled black folks, we want to heal those wounds by inconviencing white people as little as possible. It's been this way since Reconstruction. If I'm pessimistic about anything it's not knowing the right thing to do, it's the will to get it done.