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“Affirmative Action” for Millionaires October 19, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in Black, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discrimination, Hispanic, programs, Racism, Racist, reverse racism, Rich.

After Republicans released a Congressional Research Service study citing more than 160 federally mandated minority and female preference programs, President Clinton said that he would initiate a review of all affirmative action. The most pro-quota president in our history declared: “It is time to look at all these programs and ask ourselves: Do they work? Are they fair? Do they achieve the desired objectives? The president could have looked at the 19 separate regulations that benefit “economically disadvantaged” bankers. Most people probably wouldn’t consider anyone rich enough to own a bank qualified for preference under a program ostensibly aimed at disadvantaged persons.

But the federal government isn’t like most people, and doesn’t define disadvantaged persons the same way you or I would either. According to the Code of Federal Regulations: “Individuals who certify that they are members of named groups (Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-Pacific, Sub-continental-Asian) are to be considered socially and economically disadvantaged.” Under some programs, women “shall be presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged individuals,” too. So, by definition, if you fit into any of these categories, you’re economically disadvantaged even if you own a bank-in fact, especially if you own a bank. And the government can “encourage” its contractors and grantees to deposit their money with you as part of its affirmative action program.
But affirmative action for millionaires doesn’t stop with minority and female bankers. Federal regulations that govern the communications industry are filled with such preferences. Wealthy minorities can buy broadcast licenses from existing license holders in so-called “distress sales” for up to 75% of fair market value, while others can’t even compete. The Federal Communications Commission also exempts “minority-controlled broadcast facilities” from rules restricting multiple ownership of such facilities. And the FCC “awards a quality enhancement credit for minority ownership and participation in station management in the comparative license process.” This provision helps create minority millionaires by giving them bidding preferences for licenses.

In one famous case, then-mayor of Charlotte, N.C., Harvey Gantt, who is black, and his partners made a $3 million profit by obtaining a license for a TV station under the minority-preference bidding process and then selling it four months later to whites. The biggest boons for minority and female-owned businesses, however, are the various set-aside programs for government contractors and sub-contractors. Federal regulations mention literally dozens of specific requirements that both government agencies and government contractors must follow.
These rules affect everything from “surface transportation,” which requires that 10 percent of federal monies go to minority and female contractors, to the space program, which requires that 8 percent of the total value of such contracts go to such firms. The precision of the government’s bean counters goes from the ridiculous to the sublime. The office that enforces affirmative action for all federal contractors, for example, has set a hiring goal for women in construction jobs of 6.9 percent, while the Department of Housing and Urban Development wants its contractors to include “Hasidic Jewish Americans.” Clinton’s promise to review such non-sense might be more believable, however, if he weren’t the biggest bean counter of them all. Who was it, after all, who decided the most important qualification for his attorney general must be her gender?

If Clinton were really anxious to wipe out Affirmative Action, he would have directed his justice department to uphold colorblind principles in Supreme Court cases. Instead, the administration argued for Affirmative Action-in the New Jersey Piscataway School District case as well as in Adarand. So much for a real review of affirmative action.

Source: Center for Equal Opportunity

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