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Is Obama an Affirmative Action President? Yeah, Probably

Posted: 11/19/11 08:12 AM ET

MSNBC's Jonathan Capehart got huffy and played the race card after Rick Perry pointed out that Barack Obama has a "privileged" background just like his fellow 1 percenters that he rips on regularly when he's not stuffing their cash in his campaign coffers.

That's the dog whistle that Rick Perry is going for. The president was not raised privileged. He wasn't handed anything. He absolutely had to work for everything that he got. But for Rick Perry to say that President Obama was privileged and didn't have to work for what he got, the code is, he got into Columbia University, he got into Harvard University not through merit, not because he's smart, but because he took the place of someone else through affirmative action, that someone else being someone white.

Maybe other people don't want to say this out loud, but let's be honest: Barack Obama probably wouldn't have gotten into Columbia or Harvard if he were white. Obama's not Cletus-the-pig-farmer dumb, but he doesn't come across as exceptionally intelligent either. Intellectually, he's pretty clearly a cut below most of the Ivy League graduates I know, which is probably why his grades in college are as much of a closely guarded secret as the launch codes for the nuclear football.

Moreover, you really can't have it both ways on affirmative action. Liberals can't essentially say that they believe black Americans are so hapless that they can't compete with white Americans without the help of affirmative action and then complain when people start to question the qualifications of black Americans they think may have benefitted from affirmative action.

That's one of the worst, most corrosive effects of affirmative action. It puts a question mark over the accomplishments of black Americans. If you're black, no matter how brilliant you are or how deserving you are, there are always people wondering if you got the job because your skin was the right color. Is it unfair to the majority of black Americans who've gotten where they are in life based on their own merit? Absolutely, it is. But, is it racist? No, it's just a rational consequence of the sort of un-American, soft bigotry of low expectations that liberals have chosen to wholeheartedly embrace via affirmative action.

 

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