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Straight Talk from Al Jacobs



A study, recently unveiled, points to racial and ethnic inequity as the major reason California is slipping into decline. The report, released November 14, 2017, by Advancement Project California, a Los Angeles based civil rights group, examines the causes leading to our malaise. John Kim, executive director of the project, contends we must “shake Californians out of their complacency that the state’s progressive political bent and rising multiculturalism is translating into less racial inequity.” He added that as a majority minority state, racial disparity should not be acceptable any more.

Following those philosophical generalities, Mr. Kim becomes specific when he states “We need to create a new coalition where we all work together toward progress and prosperity for all.” That concept is about as close to the workings of the 1924 Soviet collective system as you can get. It’s fascinating anyone can make such a statement, nearly a century later, with a straight face.

One of the more egregious revelations, according to the study, is that “we haven’t made progress in closing gaps in education,” adding that members of certain races “are less likely to have access to good schools.” What this fails to consider is how a school is determined to be “bad.” It’s when its students perform poorly on standardized tests. But this doesn’t necessarily mean the school is bad, but rather that its students display academic deficiency. To blame this on racial inequity thoroughly ignores reality.

Still more evidence of inequity relates to racial disparity in incarceration rates. In Los Angeles City, for example, this is the cause routinely given to explain why ethnic minorities are far more likely to be jailed than whites. However, the fact the city’s 9,843 police officers are 55.2% Hispanic or African American, while only 34.9% are white brings the following presumption into question: Could it be, perhaps, that arrest and incarceration rates are far more dependent upon the personal conduct of those persons being apprehended than is the race or ethnicity of the parties?

A final thought: I’ve long been convinced the sort of societal action normally taken to address inequity has little or nothing to do with actually attacking a problem. Rather, it’s based upon determining who will receive whatever money is thrown toward remedial effort taken. In short, combating inequity is merely a money-making endeavor.



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