La Shawn Barber

This article, like all of [Peter] Schmidt’s reporting in the Chronicle, is fair and balanced. Still, I confess that I find it a bit jarring that Schmidt refers to the Center for Individual Rights, the Center for Equal Opportunity, and the American Civil Rights Institute as “advocacy groups” when groups like the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund are regularly described…as “civil rights organizations.”

Civil rights are those that belong to an individual by virtue of citizenship, and by that definition, CIR qualifies as a civil rights organization. The NAACP, on the other hand, is a racially conscious social club of limousine liberals that advocates racially exclusive programs and policies. But Schmidt and other journalists consider only black-focused groups to be civil rights organizations.

Some blacks see nothing wrong with racial discrimination in college admissions and federal aid, as long as blacks are the ones receiving the benefits of the discrimination. Back in the day when government skin color distinctions harmed blacks, they called the practice what it was: repugnant.

I believe the obsession with racial diversity at the expense of fair and consistent treatment masks a deeper problem: the black/white academic achievement gap. Blame it on a lack of emphasis on education in the home, anti-intellectualism, too much TV-watching, unstable home life, or plain Jim Crow-style racism – the gap persists. Parents need to a better job emphasizing education and cultivating a love for learning in the home.

Diversity of viewpoint and ideology should be the goal of programs like the Urban Journalism Workshop. The civil rights movement was supposed to end the government skin game. Blacks who favor preference programs would do well to remember that a government with the power to discriminate in favor of them also has the power to discriminate against them.

La Shawn Barber

Freelance writer La Shawn Barber blogs at the American Civil Rights Institute blog.