Our Constitution guarantees equal opportunity, not equal results

Declare Victory in the War on Inequality

By —— Bio and Archives--August 20, 2013

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There is no doubt that our great nation’s formation reflected the cultural norms of the late eighteenth century with its sexual and race based biases.  These cultural inequities were addressed after years of debate, a bloody civil war, and the passage of a number of Constitutional Amendments.


When this country was formed, slavery was a very contentious issue and drove political discussions for the first 75 years, culminating in the brutal War Between the States. Three Constitutional Amendments (XII, XV, and XXIV) were passed abolishing slavery, guaranteeing the right to vote, and removing poll taxes as a requirement to vote. Many laws were passed to ensure equality was implemented. President Kennedy first mandated “affirmative action” to abolish discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, or national origin. The Fair Housing Act banned discrimination in the sale or rental of housing, and has been used to address community redlining.

The Supreme Court ruled that reverse discrimination in admissions can’t be used as a factor for admission. The Voting Rights Act prohibited discrimination in voting, and included temporary oversight over areas that historically were not compliant. The Supreme Court ruled that the “temporary” provisions in the voting law were no longer responsive to current conditions. Affirmative action admissions in elite colleges have driven lower minority graduation rates. The entire civil rights legislative agenda is now law, and systemic racial inequality has been abolished. The NAACP, CORE, and the Urban League have outlived their usefulness and have become anachronisms. Equality of opportunity has been achieved and the practice of affirmative action has tipped the scales so far in favor of minorities that whites are now filing and winning lawsuits contending that they are being discriminated because of race.

When this country was formed, women were basically second class citizens. The women’s rights movement began in the middle of the 19th century and wanted the same rights as men, the ability to vote, the same pay as men, equal rights in law, and the freedom to plan their families or not have children at all. The 19th Constitutional Amendment guaranteed the right to vote, not denied by account of sex. The Equal Pay Act prohibited wage differentials based on sex. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was proposed to remedy women’s exclusion from the 14th Amendment, but died in 1982 because not enough states had ratified it. Affirmative action admissions in college now show women over 50% on most campuses, graduating at higher rates than males, and making swift inroads in most graduate programs. Income equality has been disproven as a systemic salary discrimination problem because the real root cause was the natural benefit of voluntary quality-of-life career choices. Even the military service has made combat positions available to women. Equal rights for women are ingrained in our society, now that systemic sexual inequality has been abolished. The National Organization of Women has outlived its usefulness and has become an anachronism. Sexual equity has been achieved in education, society, and business and the last vestiges of inequality of results are rapidly disappearing.

Our Constitution guarantees equal opportunity, not equal results. Martin Luther King asked “not to be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” After examining the results, it may be time to declare victory in the War on Equality and dismantle the civil rights and the women’s movement as outliving their usefulness, since their goals of equality have essentially been achieved. Now is the time to celebrate success, disband these anachronistic organizations, and move onto the next social problem.


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David Coughlin -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dave Coughlin recently retired from IBM after 31 years. He is now a political pundit who manages his web site “Return to Common Sense” and is an active member of the White Plains Tea Party. He was educated at West Point (Bachelor of Science, 1971) and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (Masters, Administrative Science, 1976). He currently resides with his wife in Hawthorne, NY.

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