In a recent Rolling Stone interview, President Obama confided that, of all the Hope and Change his supporters assumed he was bringing to America, the hope of a change in our racial divide wasn’t on his list: “I never bought into the notion that by electing me, somehow we were entering into a post-racial period.” That may come as a surprise to the millions around the world who did indeed see his historic election as the promise of a post-racial era. Instead, as Ward Connerly points out, thanks to Obama “we are not living in a post-racial society. We are living in a most-racial society.”
Political activist, businessman, and former University of California Regent Ward Connerly is the founder of the American Civil Rights Institute, a Sacramento-based organization created to educate the public about racial and gender preferences and to help implement laws to abolish them. An outspoken opponent of affirmative action, which he calls “yesterday’s solution to yesterday’s problem,” and an advocate of equal opportunity for all Americans, regardless of race, sex, or ethnic background, Connerly is the author of Creating Equal: My Fight Against Race Preferences and Lessons from My Uncle James: Beyond Skin Color to the Content of Our Character.
In a column in the Wall Street Journal several months ago titled “What Happened to Post-Racial America?” Connerly took Obama to task for a record in office that falls far short of his post-racial promise. As just a couple of examples, he cited Obama’s Executive Order 13583, which promotes “Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce,” and the Dodd-Frank financial-reform law promoted by Rep. Maxine Waters, which Connerly says should be called the “White Male Exclusion Act.” Both of these laws are fundamentally discriminatory and redundant as well, since the federal government is already more diverse than the general population, and “the infrastructure of the diversity network is vast.”
“More than anything else,” Connerly wrote, “the pursuit of diversity overshadows and subordinates excellence and competence and often makes us content with mediocrity.” Of course, a meritocracy is heresy to leftists, who cling to their victimization narrative to justify affirmative action, and who have made the enforcement of diversity into a virtual religious imperative on the order of Islamic jihad.
Like all blacks who publicly insist that Americans look beyond color to one’s character – a concept for which Martin Luther King, Jr. is rightly lauded – Ward Connerly is demonized and dismissed as an Uncle Tom by the left, his fellow blacks who have crowned themselves the arbiters of blackness. “He has no ethnic pride,” said then-Senator Diane Watson in horror. “He doesn’t want to be black.” The Oakland Tribune depicted him in a cartoon as the proprietor of ‘”Connerly & Co./Ethnic Cleansers’” – with a Klansman’s robe hanging in the window.
“I implore you, Mr. President,” Connerly wrote in an open letter to Obama,
for the sake of all Americans, the rule of law, for fairness and justice, and for the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, end the racial discrimination, end racial preferences, policies, and laws… Unleash our potential by calling for a colorblind society in life and law.