A New Analogy for Ending Racial Preferences

Ashley Thorne

Roger Clegg suggests the analogy we should use in talking about the end of racial preferences is not a football game with blacks vs. whites, but a marathon with individual runners.

An excerpt:

Now, it is true that, when the race began, the black runners had to carry weights that the white runners did not. But most of those weights have been removed over time. No one can deny that weights still exist, but everyone knows that the weights are much less now and that fewer and fewer of the current runners ever had to carry the weights that were common 50 years ago. And indeed many whites have had to wear at least some weights recently.

Finally, it is also impossible to tell how much of the existing gap between the descendants of the black runners and the descendants of the white runners is because of those old weights. For the truth of the matter is that some black runners and some white runners have always been faster (or just luckier) than other white runners and other black runners, weights or no weights. A runner’s speed can quickly make up for the weight his grandfather had, and of course a refusal to run—or, worse, an insistence on running in the wrong direction—can be the greatest weight of all.

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