I don’t fault Hanson for opposing affirmative action (though I reject large chunks of his rhetoric on race). I nevertheless find it perverse that he insists on the scrupulous treatment of young black males as individuals anytime they would benefit from group preferences, and then, when they’d most benefit from being treated as individuals rather than dark-skinned objects of suspicion, he prejudges all young black males based on statistics about the racial group to which they belong.
For Hanson, it is a miscarriage of justice worth lamenting if an Asian American applicant to UC Berkeley loses a spot to a black applicant due to racial preferences. And perhaps that is an injustice. Maybe the Asian American is the child of an impoverished family of Hmong refugees and the black applicant is the president’s daughter. What is the likely result of that injustice? The Asian American applicant must attend UCLA or UCI.
What are the consequences of racial-profiling, the form of individuality-effacement Hanson defends? Countless innocent black men — that is to say, the vast majority who will never rob or assault anyone — walking around under constant, unjust suspicion from fellow citizens and law enforcement; racial tension heightened in America; prejudice passed down across generations; and some innocent blacks killed while under wrongful suspicion. Opining on affirmative action, Hanson wrote, “It is well past time to move on and to see people as just people.”
He should take his own advice.