RE: `capitalist' character values

From: Barbara Lamar (
Date: Sun Jul 29 2001 - 14:12:53 MDT

James Rogers wrote:

>I know of several such cases of minority ownership stacking to gain the
>favored "minority owned" status for government contracts.

This doesn't apply only to racial or ethnic minorities, of course. Amazing
how many women owners you see these days in traditionally all-male
businesses such as highway construction. When statistics on female and
minority business ownership include sham owners you get a very misleading
picture of The Way Things Are. This allows politicians to say, "See? Haven't
we done a great job of making up for past wrongs?' The psychological effect
on individual women and members of racial and ethnic minorities can work
both ways, I guess. On the one hand, reading of other members of minority
groups who have "made it" in business might give a person the courage to try
it for himself. On the other hand, it can be disastrous to make a business
plan based on a distorted view of reality.

In one of Olga's recent posts she asked if anyone could come up with a
better way than affirmative action to deal with entrenched racial
discrimination where the disadvantaged group has been subject to unjust laws
in the past. This is a really tough question, particularly since prima facie
just laws are commonly enforced unjustly. As Olga pointed out, for example,
black males drivers are pulled over by cops more often than whites, stopped
when walking down the street and so forth. I don't have a better answer,
though I'm still thinking about it. Since racial prejudice is often overcome
when members of the two groups actually get to know each other (as Mike
Lorrey mentioned with respect to his military experience), laws that force,
or at least encourage, the mingling of racial and ethnic groups would seem
to be a good starting point. In my daughter's school, where the mix is
something like 60% hispanic, 30% white, and 10% black, the kids (at least
the ones my daughter hangs out with) don't seem to give any importance to
race in choosing their friends. Many of the kids come from mixed homes; in
some cases a kid might have the benefit of exposure to all 3 groups--for
example, a hispanic mother, a black father, and a white stepfather. Even in
this community, though, you're more likely to be arrested (and convicted) if
you're non-white, when, to the best of my knowledge, whites commit at least
as many crimes per 100 people as do non-whites.


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