Affirmative Action

California State Senator Richard Pan in June 2020 approved of assimilation-affirmative action because “by the time you get to the college application process, structural racism ensures that people are not at the same starting point”. He is right: many applicants are the victims of exclusion- and inferiority-affirmative action. The obvious solution is to find those performing the affirmative action and to squash them. But the Senator wants to add another round of affirmative action, as though two wrongs would make a right.

From independence in 1910 until 1948 South Africa had a policy of White supremacy. Then the (White) electorate decided that that was wrong, and tried to implement a new policy, separate development a.k.a. apartheid a.k.a. plural democracy. The justification was that as there were many nations there should be many citizenries. Apartheid-affirmative action was introduced and for 45-odd years rigorously enforced. It failed, miserably, and now South Africa is trying another kind of racialism, which will also fail.

In the U.S. some people think with Senator Pan that because there is one citizenry there should be one nation; they want assimilation-affirmative action. Why might the U.S. succeed when South Africa’s effort failed, leading to general discontent and racial resentment not yet overcome?

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