Racism isn’t baked into society; affirmative action unnecessary

The affirmative action debate is one aspect of the question of racial wealth equality. The popular myth is that it stems from “structural racism.” The truth is that it is a product of inheritance. The distinction is important even if the results are the same. People of all races and income levels want to be able to give unfettered amounts of wealth and care to their children. We all want to receive our relatives’ wealth untaxed. The Soviet Union tried to equalize everybody by eliminating inheritance and private property. It was never popular. Simply put, there will never be wealth equality until everyone has the same parents, meaning it will not happen.

Sociologists love statistics, especially averages. “Household average income” is one of their favorites. This favors two- or three-earner households and makes the likes of single parents look impoverished. Averages can be misleading and are used to eliminate a lot of exceptions.

The wealth gap is understandable, if also undesirable at the same time. If this creates “structural racism” or a wealth gap, it’s a pity. But the term “racism” is particularly galling to a lot of people. To what degree it exists is an open question. To insinuate that racism is so baked into society that we practice it unconsciously is an insult, even if there is some truth to it. The inheritance tax was undone without mourning. When everyone is for something, don’t expect it to change. If the Supreme Court is supposed to solve society’s problems, staff it with sociologists.

Doug Grandpre

Lake Stevens

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