Quotas and Racial Classifications Have Divided American Society

In the universities and in the job market, America’s systems of racial and ethnic quotas have generally harmed Jews—whether by a design a century ago or in the name of helping other groups today. For precisely this reason, Ruth Wisse has argued that American Jews ought to oppose the efforts of colleges like Harvard to exclude Asian Americans. Behind such discriminatory policies are governmental systems designed to sort U.S. citizens by race, which are the subject of a new book by David E. Bernstein. George Will begins his review by citing an example of a Jew named Steve Lynn, who, unusually, benefitted from a quota:

His business qualified as a minority business enterprise because his ancestors were Sephardi Jews who fled Spain centuries ago, making him, in the government’s squint, Hispanic. Your government decrees that immigrants from India are Asians but their cousins from Afghanistan are White. In America’s benighted days of yore, hearings and trials determined racial identities (octoroon, quadroon, etc.). In today’s America, such determinations are progressive because they protect the integrity, such as it is, of affirmative-action programs.

In 1977, to facilitate gathering racial and ethnic data, the government promulgated racial and ethnic categories, but stipulated that they should not be “determinants of eligibility for participation in any federal program.” This was promptly ignored, and has been exacerbated by the American tradition of self-identification. Soon a scramble was on to win victim status, and to deny that status to groups which, if they clambered aboard the gravy train, would leave less gravy for the supposedly more deserving.

The racial/cultural/geographic/whatever spoils system is now so entrenched, it is too late for what would encourage a shared national identity: complete separation of race and state. Meaning, government abstention from racial and ethnic classifications.

Today’s ever-more-arbitrary system vindicates Bernstein’s warning that such classifications are “self-fulfilling”: they encourage people to think of themselves not as individuals but as members of grasping grievance groups. Young people are taught this unattractive orthodoxy at colleges that celebrate a “diversity” that is skin-deep.

Read more at Washington Post

More about: Affirmative action, American society, Quotas

Ordinary Gazans Are Turning against Hamas—and Its Western Sympathizers

In the past few days, difficult-to-confirm reports have emerged of unrest in the Gaza Strip, and of civilians throwing stones at Hamas operatives. A recent video from Al Jazeera showed a Gazan declaring that “God will bring Qatar and Turkey to account” for the suffering of Palestinians in the current war. Being an agent of the Qatari government, the journalist turned away, and then pushed the interviewee with his hand to prevent him from getting near the microphone. Yet this brief exchange contributes much to the ongoing debate about Palestinian support for Hamas, and belies the frequent assertion by experts that the Israeli campaign is only “further radicalizing” the population.

For some time, Joseph Braude has worked with a number of journalists and researchers to interview ordinary Gazans under circumstances where they don’t fear reprisals. He notes that the sorts of opinions they share are rarely heard in Western media, let alone on Al Jazeera or Iran-sponsored outlets:

[A] resident of Khan Younis describes how locals in a bakery spontaneously attacked a Hamas member who had come to buy bread. The incident, hardly imaginable before the present war, reflects a widespread feeling of “disgust,” he says, after Gazan aspirations for “a dignified life and to live in peace” were set back by the Hamas atrocities of October 7.

Fears have grown that this misery will needlessly be prolonged by Westerners who strive, in effect, to perpetuate Hamas rule, according to one Gazan woman. Addressing protesters who have taken to the streets to demand a ceasefire on behalf of Palestinians, she calls on them to make a choice: “Either support the Palestinian people or the Hamas regime that oppresses them.” If protesters harbor a humanitarian motive, she asks, “Why don’t we see them demonstrating against Hamas?”

“Hamas is the destruction of the Palestinian people. We’ve had enough. They need to be wiped out—because if they remain, the people will be wiped out.”

You can watch videos of some of the interviews by clicking the link below.

Read more at Free Press

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Palestinian public opinion