Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., has boldly injected himself into the affirmative action debate with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on the apparently dire consequences of "WASP elite" power and values falling by the wayside in the United States.
But Webb's real concern -- if you look past the headline that compares our society's Caucasian-friendly social constructs to unicorns -- isn't just about race. It's about money, opportunity and the number of white Americans who don't have enough of either.
Webb points out what he calls the less obvious history behind white American poverty. He also points out the likely more obvious fact that many white people are in dire need of economic help. But instead of suggesting programs to help them, he suggests getting rid of the government-run programs meant to help minorities.
Webb argues that diversity programs now put immigrants ahead of similarly-situated whites, and that the programs now slight African-Americans who were originally intended to benefit from them:
"Those who came to this country in recent decades from Asia, Latin America and Africa did not suffer discrimination from our government, and in fact have frequently been the beneficiaries of special government programs. The same cannot be said of many hard-working white Americans, including those whose roots in America go back more than 200 years."
Webb also writes that diversity programs have "damaged racial harmony" in our country. It's not clear how his words do anything to promote racial harmony, especially given his suggestion that non-black minorites don't deserve to benefit from affirmative action these days. But he clearly thinks the column speaks for itself, according to a Webb spokesperson who spoke to the Associated Press. He had no futher comments on Friday.
The full op-ed is here.
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