Casualties on the Civil Rights Battlefield

Article excerpt

The U.S. Constitution forbids group rights. Disparate legal privileges are strictly unconstitutional. Moreover, they are strictly illegal under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Yet, unconstitutional and illegal group rights have been in existence in our country since the 1970s. Moreover, the Clinton administration is proposing to both expand and codify with federal regulation the racial and ethnic categories that provide the basis for group rights. Indeed, group rights are expanding at such a speed that during the week of May 19 two separate congressional committees held hearings on the expansion of racial categories.

One might think Congress would use the hearings to inquire as to how the quota regime was created in defiance of both the Constitution and statutory law. But the Republicans are much too tame and timid to raise a fundamental issue. Instead, Congress accepts disparate legal privileges as a feature of the new American order and is debating only the extent to which the privileges are to be limited and the number of racial categories that will have privileged standing in the law.

On May 20, the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the House Judiciary Committee held hearings on the Justice Department's race rules for set asides in federal contracting. Under these rules, "preferred minorities," that is, groups arbitrarily defined as legally privileged by federal bureaucrats, are entitled to a proportionate share of federal contracts regardless of low bid.

To make certain that every "preferred minority" contractor is entitled to a set-aside, the regulations direct the Commerce Department to conduct "racial disparity studies" of 80 business sectors to affirm that minority contracting has been stymied by discrimination in the past. This finding will permit a proportionate share of federal contracts to continue be allocated by race instead of by low bid. This codification of legal privilege and disparate group rights by the U.S. Justice Department is being done in the name of "mending" affirmative action.

On May 22, a subcommittee of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight held hearings to determine if the racial categories used in the U.S. Census need to be expanded. Obviously, more racial categories can be constructed than are presently in use. The larger the number of people who can be assigned privileged status, the fewer allies white males will have when they finally wake up and find that they are members of unprotected race and gender categories and, thereby, second-class citizens without equal rights. …