I remember once, some long time ago, my older brother in a moment of extreme frustration yelled, "Look, I'll play by the rules if someone would just tell me what the rules are!" He was in the middle of a changing landscape where he had based his life on a set of rules which kept moving away from him, rules that kept him at a disadvantage. He was finding out that everybody had some arbitrary set of rules requiring him to adapt to the unfamiliar and uncomfortable.(Sort of like the book, "Who Moved My Cheese," where you are in a constant sea of change, trying to catch up with the next set of requirements.)
This came to me as I was reading an article on ethnic quotas over at American Thinker The article says:
"The Boston Globe reports that the University of Massachusetts is setting up a med-school set-aside program: "Under an initiative set to be finalized today, the state's only public medical school [i.e., at UMass] will partner with UMass campuses in Boston, Amherst, Lowell, and Dartmouth to create a joint baccalaureate-MD program that would ensure admission for aspiring doctors from underrepresented ethnic and socioeconomic groups. . . . The medical school will set aside 12 slots in its 125-student, first-year class for qualified students from groups underrepresented among Massachusetts doctors. Those groups include African-Americans, Hispanics, certain Southeast Asians, and Cape Verdeans, Brazilians, and other Portuguese speakers. Students of any ethnic background from low-income families or those among the first in their families to attend college would also qualify."
I am averse to affirmative action and have always been. (There were better and other options to get blacks in inner cities up to the education levels of the norm.) After years of Head Start, Smart Start, and g'zillions of tax dollars thrown at education of the minorities, I can't see that much, if anything, has been accomplished. And now that we have had at least two generations subjected to affirmative action programs, I believe the field has been tilted, not leveled. There now exists a very large chip on the shoulders of minorities and an entitlement mentality. If that is "progress," then you can have it. I don't want it.
I would be willing to bet that announcement from UMASS has everything to do with "Stimulus" money, where the U.S. government will hand out money only IF you play by their rules of affirmative action. So what are the rules?
You can't discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity....unless you are the Federal Government? And that is what my brother's angst expressed. The rules are different for some people than others. Instead of equal opportunity using the same set of rules for everyone, the government is grading on the curve. The Federal Government for many years now is all about making rules for some people, picking winners and losers, redistributing your money, and using tax dollars to shore up pet programs. (To be fair, it isn't just the Federal Government. Progressives are now in place in all levels of government, local and state.)
The Constitution was written to prevent this very kind of abuse, not that "progressive" government bureaucrats give a tinker's damn about the Constitution. Remember the slogans of the Socialists / Leftists / Progressives / Liberals / Communists are full of anti-Constitutional principles that are cleverly cloaked in language meant to confuse the public. "Social Justice" instead of "Equal Justice," is but one example. "Green Jobs" instead of "Jobs," "Smart Growth" instead of "Economic Growth." They co-opted the education system, the economic system, the judicial system, the banking system, etc. Now going into the health care system and trying to "socialize it" as well. Not equalize it..."socialize" it. Everything the "progressives" do is tilted, graded on the curve of redistribution.
My brother died at age 59, full of angst and frustration. No wonder.