Monday, May 10, 2021
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Webb Sure To Stir Hornet’s Nest

Sen. Jim Webb had an op-ed published today in the Wall Street Journal about his desire to see affirmative action as now practiced ended. When I first read snippets of the editorial on Huffington Post, I thought, "Uh, Oh." Then, I went to the WSJ link and read the entire article. The article contains nothing Webb hasn't said before.

Before some on the left jump to the conclusion that Jim Webb is trying to end affirmative action where it is needed, I beseech them to read the whole argument Webb is making. It really isn't a change from the view he had on affirmative action when he ran for the U.S. Senate.

His thesis is this: When President Lyndon Johnson pushed for affirmative action programs, he based his argument for the laws on the 13th Amendment and on the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which authorized the federal government to take actions in order to eliminate "the badges of slavery."  As Webb said, "Affirmative action was designed to recognize the uniquely difficult journey of African-Americans."

Using specific numbers of the low educational attainment among poor whites in the South, Webb notes that they, too, are at the bottom of the  economic ladder. He is NOT attacking affirmative action for black Americans. He simply does not feel that recent non-white immigrants, including Indians and Chinese, should benefit from laws that were designed to assist black citizens, who, Webb notes, "despite a veneer of successful people at the very top still experience high rates of poverty, drug abuse, incarceration and family breakup."

This article is not an attack by Jim Webb against black Americans. It is Jim Webb standing up for poor people, regardless of the color of their skin.