Quotas by Any Other Name
This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published June 26, 2016 by The Washington Times.
Reverse discrimination is alive and well in the United States, judging by what transpired at the Supreme Court last Thursday and a bill that recently passed New York’s state assembly.
In a 4 to 3 ruling, the Court upheld the University of Texas’s affirmative action program to admit minorities over similarly or more qualified white applicants.
Abigail Noel Fisher, who is white, had sued over her rejection in 2008. Her case reached the Supreme Court in 2013, was remanded to the Fifth Circuit, and re-emerged this term.
Writing for the majority, Justice Kennedy denied her claim that the university’s race-conscious policy violates the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.
Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas issued fiery dissents, with Justice Alito saying the ruling allows the university to “justify systematic racial discrimination simply by asserting that such discrimination is necessary to achieve ‘the educational benefits of diversity.’”
Justice Thomas said the Constitution “abhors classifications based on race,” and that this “does not change in the face of a ‘faddish theory’ that racial discrimination may produce ‘educational benefits.’”
In a brief filed on Ms. Fisher’s behalf, the American Civil Rights Union noted that: “The incoming freshman class was just over 25 percent minority when Abigail Fisher was denied admission precisely because of racial preferences. And UT reached majority minority just a couple of years later. In such a context, further discrimination against white, Asian, Jewish, and other American applicants cannot be justified.”
Other cases may well force the Court to reexamine the issue. Harvard is being sued over its limit on Asian-Americans. Harvard’s policy is “similar to the racist quotas and caps that Ivy League schools put on the number of Jewish students they would admit in the 1920s,” Heritage Foundation scholar Hans von Spakovsky explains.
Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has decided that too many white men are writing and directing TV programs. Three ACLU groups are pushing to create a multi-million-dollar slush fund for affirmative action hiring in the TV industry.
The ACLU of Southern California, the New York Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Women’s Rights Project released a joint statement on June 15 supporting a bill that would make New York the first state to give tax credits to productions with “women and people of color” in writing and directing roles. In other words, anyone but white males.
The legislation requires the Empire State Film Production Tax Credit to allocate $5 million of its $420 million fund to encourage the quotas. Television programs would get a $50,000 tax credit for each woman or “person of color” hired. Passed by the Democrat-run state Assembly, the bill is now in the Republican-controlled Senate.
An ACLU press release states that the demand came after “a two-year investigation that uncovered blatant and rampant discrimination against women directors.”
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs were also asked to launch an inquiry, which is underway, according to the ACLU.
This means the race-and-sex-obsessed Obama administration will soon weigh in, putting more pressure on studios.
Although the ACLU release does not link to a particular study, a likely source is the feminist research at the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film at San Diego State University, which counts heads according to sex and race in TV and film production and issues finger-wagging reports.
Its latest study, “Thumbs Down 2016: Top Film Critics and Gender,” released in June, smacks the online film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes for having too many male reviewers (73 percent). The study also notes that science fiction has the highest sex discrepancy.
“Men penned 84 percent and women 16 percent of reviews in this genre,” the study said. “The greatest parity occurred for romantic comedies and dramas. Men wrote 57 percent and women 43 percent of these reviews.”
Couples across the nation were shocked, shocked to learn of this finding, which comports with similarly ground-breaking research from Venus and Mars showing that women read more romance novels than men —- and that men prefer watching sports or reruns of “Star Wars.”
“New York is an entertainment capital and a progressive leader,” said Bernadette Brown, NYCLU’s deputy legislative director. “By creating incentives for equity and inclusion in television, the state has a powerful opportunity to promote greater awareness of how we perceive race and gender and how we act on those perceptions.”
Given New York’s progressive culture, one has to wonder why the TV industry needs to be pushed through tax incentives and federal pressure to embrace diversity quotas.
Then again, if the Supreme Court can still buy into reverse discrimination, why not make the taxpayers bribe the TV industry to follow suit?