Late Thursday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that next year’s Playmate of the Year will be former White House press corps member Helen Thomas. The EEOC declared this its latest victory in a never-ending quest for equality in the workplace.
In a related story, shortly after the EEOC announcement, Hugh Hefner, 96, founder of Playboy Enterprises, died of a massive heart attack in his Los Angeles mansion.
Uh, just kidding. I’m merely demonstrating that when we take social engineering to its logical conclusion, we get illogical results.
A few weeks ago, professor Daniel S. Hamermesh opined in The New York Times that ugly peopleshould be a protected class in the United States under our Constitution’s 14th Amendment. This is just the latest in a long line of liberal thought and government policy aimed at replacing “equal opportunity” with “equal results.”
In 1960, the average unemployment rate among white civilian workers was 5 percent, but unemployment among minorities was a whopping 10.2 percent. To address this problem, President John F. Kennedy introduced affirmative action in a 1961 executive order. It was later described as a “temporary measure to level the playing field” by offering a leg up to members of disadvantaged classes. Kennedy’s order was further bolstered by a Lyndon Johnson executive order as well as several landmark pieces of civil rights legislation.
In the 50 years since, the gap between black and white unemployment has widened. Clearly, affirmative action has been a dismal failure. I personally believe that successful minorities got where they did not because of affirmative action, but in spite of it. Affirmative action doesn’t elevate its beneficiaries; it degrades them. It’s the government telling a class of citizens that they’re not smart enough, or they’re not ambitious enough, to make it on their own.
Congress has most recently employed class distinction in the area of criminal law: the definition of what constitutes a “hate crime.” I’ll go out on a limb here and say all violent crime is hate crime. No one beats the hell out of another out of love. Nonetheless, Congress believes that only certain classes of people can be hate crime victims.
In the spring of 2009, Congress debated what classes should be included in the hate crime bill then under consideration (H.R. 1913). U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, offered an amendment to exclude pedophiles from protection under the legislation. Incredibly, the amendment failed. When Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., later asked to include members of the military as a privileged class, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., replied, “It really is belittling of the respect that we should have for these groups to suggest that members of the armed services have systematically been the victims of hate crimes.” The proposals, the vote and Ms. Schultz’s chilling reply can be viewedhere.
Back to Helen Thomas and the professor who is so concerned about “ugly people.” The equal protection clause of Amendment 14 of the Constitution provides that we all be treated alike. Aside from the fact that beauty and ugliness are wholly subjective, our country’s past successes weren’t based on providing equal results; they were based on equal opportunity. What one does with that opportunity is purely up to each individual. One class of individuals should be treated no differently than any other. Moreover, when such “leg up” social engineering is applied to the economic realm, it’s been demonstrated time and again that attempts to “share the wealth” always result in sharing the poverty.