Thursday, November 11, 2004

Bush, Gonzales, and Affirmative Action

The Washington Post carries a fairly shocking editorial this morning. In regard to Alberto Gonzales's appointment to Justice, they write: "We respect some of his views, particularly his stance on affirmative action, for the same reason that conservatives might have opposed his nomination to the bench."

Get that? The Washington Post respects some of his views--namely the ones with which they already agree. There's a word to describe that sort of outlook: provincialism.

But let's leave the Post aside for a moment and ask the following, impolite, question: In the last 50 years, which U.S. president has done the most to promote minority leadership in America?

The answer is George W. Bush, by a mile and a half. Bush has given America a black secretary of State, a black national security adviser, a Chinese secretary of labor, and now a Latino attorney general. This president has promoted minorities--and women--at every opportunity during his tenure. He has given tacit support of legal affirmative action and has clearly conducted his own, informal, quest to make certain minorities are in positions of great power within his own administration. It is obvious that at a personal level, it is important to George W. Bush that his administration looks like America.

Let's leave aside the question of whether or not all of this is for the good. The real question is, will Bush ever get credit from minority grievance groups for doing more for the cause of minority leadership than any president in recent history?


Anonymous said...

Since when did the Republicans become the party of "Who cares what his beliefs are, he's a minority!"? I thought this disease was merely endemic to Democrats.

Gonzales is reportedly the author of a White House memo that argues that we have no need to apply the Geneva Convention rules governing the treatment of prisoners of war to combatants in Afghanistan. This is a somewhat disturbing view that may have contributed to the lax atmosphere that led to Abu Ghraib.

Surely for any American who values liberty, this leads to at least some questions that need to be answered.

Anonymous said...

And don't forget HUD Secretary Mel Martinez, also Hispanic, who, at Bush's urging, ran for and won a Senate seat in Florida. But who's counting.