Race is in the news for so many reasons right now. Hello, Paula Deen! How are you? So the plan this week was to read what everyone was saying about it, mostly so you didn’t have to. We made the mistake, however, of starting with The National Review. Sorry, we had to cut ourselves off and didn’t get to anyone else. Here’s a sampling of what we found:
For a moment, Jonah Goldberg does a good job showing how collectively insane Republicans have become over immigration reform and how they’ve been trounced by Democrats because of it. Then, he started trying to attack the current proposal, with math no less. “Liberal wonks raced to defend the bill on the wage issue by noting that average wages wouldn’t necessarily go down for existing workers. (If ten people make $100 a day, and you add an eleventh who makes $50 a day, the average goes down even if everyone’s wages don’t.)” We missed the part in the immigration bill where employers are forced to pay immigrants 50 percent less than native born citizens. What happens if you pay 11 people equal wages for equal work? The same amount you were paying those previous 10? Numbers are not our strong suit, but we think that works out pretty well. What does it say about you, though, when you automatically assume adding an immigrant worker to the pool means they will—no must—earn less than all the white people around them?
Never let the fact that something is working well be an excuse to leave it alone…
Success Shall Not Stand!
In an editorial, TNR justifies its glee over the Supreme Court’s Voting Rights Act decision with some hard facts. “In 1965, Mississippi saw a gap of 63.2 percentage points between white and black voter-registration rates; by 2004, black voters were 3.8 percentage points more likely to be registered than their white counterparts. It is a similar story across the South,” they wrote. Translation: Obviously, if something is working so well, we can’t allow it to continue for fear that it might actually continue to work so well. What is government for if not to fix things that are not broken and to not fix things that are? They end with this: “…many of today’s naysayers exhibit a palpable regret that they missed the moral clarity of the 1960s. It is not the role of Congress to indulge them.” We had to look up moral clarity, because apparently it means something different to NRO than it does the rest of us.
“The Supreme Court’s decision today to overturn a small part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is actually a victory for civil rights,” TNR’s John Fund tells us. He doesn’t tell us why or how, though. It’s a like a game where you have to guess what’s actually in his head. If you read what he writes on a regular basis, then you’re very familiar with this game and are probably an expert at it. We hear there might be a tournament soon. But we mention this piece, though, only for this: “(The Justice Department’s) consideration of state requests for election changes was often arbitrary and partisan, as witnessed by the recent smackdown that the DOJ got from a federal court when it tried to block South Carolina’s voter ID law.” Once again, TNR sends us back to our dictionary, this time to look up “smackdown.” The court let South Carolina go forward with its ID law after officials there essentially agreed to let anyone who didn’t have an ID… also vote. Yeah, bet Justice is stinging from that one.
Times Were Different, Y’all
One more, this time a defense of Paula Deen from Charles C. W. Cooke. Let’s be honest, there really is no defense of Paula Deen at this point. Maybe you used racial slurs because everyone did it and the times were different. Yes, we’ve all made mistakes. But maybe, if you’re some kind of a decent person, you realize that “everyone did it” and “the times were different” are not excuses and that in any admission of said mistakes (if you really think they were mistakes), you should be awfully contrite and demonstrably ashamed of yourself. She was not, and judging by her appearance on the Today show this morning, is not. But we digress. Somewhere in his piece, Cooke has a good argument for free speech, namely that the First Amendment protects our right to offend each other. Certainly does. But he muddles it, a lot. The article is premised on the question of, “Who decides which words, said in private decades ago, are worth firing someone over?” We always thought it was the person who signs the check, and in this case, that seems to be what happened.