By Jonathan Bean | Thursday July 27, 2017 at 1:35 PM PDT | 0 Comments
Throughout American history, government at all levels has used race to categorize, enslave, segregate, regulate human behavior, and limit immigration with “nationality” quotas that served as substitutes for race. Categorizing by race was essential to racist agendas.
In response, classical liberal civil rights activists struggled to eliminate government-mandated racial categories. They were anything but naive: racism was real, categories or no categories, but the government stamp of approval made things worse–and caused constant mischief in the ever increasing addition of group categories in the census or in immigration statutes. The only feasible solution was the most radical one: the complete elimination of government racial categories. Individuals might discriminate but would no longer have the support of the State. With time, classical liberals felt, the irrationality of racism and xenophobia would give way to better human relations.
Tags: affirmative action, Black capitalism, civil rights, classical liberty, colorblindness, Constitution, Criminal Justice, Detroit, Detroit riot (1967), Frederick Douglass, James Forten, Louis Marshall, Loving, Martin Luther King Jr., NAACP, Police, Politics, politics of crisis, Richard Nixon, riots, Rule of Law
By Jonathan Bean | Sunday July 23, 2017 at 12:53 PM PDT | 0 Comments
Fifty years ago today (July 23, 1967), the largest urban riot of the 1960s rocked Detroit for five days (July 23-28). An encounter with the police (shutting down an illegal after-hours bar), sparked looting and arson on a scale far surpassing the riots that had burned in other American cities. While such riots often started with incidents involving law enforcement, the police were ordered—again and again—to stand down and let a small minority of African Americans loot property of small business owners (both black and white).
The Detroit Riot marked a turning point in how American policymakers dealt with race. The classical liberal tradition of civil rights, with its emphasis on rule of law and equal protection (regardless of race) gave way to policies that purposely treated minorities as “protected categories” deserving of treatment not accorded other citizens.
Tags: affirmative action, American History, Black capitalism, civil rights, Constitution, Criminal Justice, Detroit, Detroit riot (1967), Martin Luther King Jr., Police, Politics, politics of crisis, Richard Nixon, riots, Rule of Law
By Robert Higgs | Tuesday April 14, 2015 at 10:46 AM PDT | Comments Off on Employers Do Not Systematically and Persistently Pay Women Less than Men for Equally Valuable Work
The quality of economic journalism in the United States is terrible. Day after day, journalists write about the causes and consequences of economic conditions and events without understanding the underlying economics of the situation, and their articles are, as a rule, simply bunk. Here is an example. I have not examined the actual report...
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Tags: affirmative action, Business, Discrimination, Economics, Employment, equality, Inequality, Labor, Law, Women
By Jonathan Bean | Wednesday June 25, 2014 at 5:25 PM PDT | Comments Off on 50 Years of Mischief: The Triumph and Trashing of the Civil Rights Act
The Civil Rights Act was not a perfect law—no law is perfect–but it did embody two principles of the long civil rights movement: First, the individual (not the group) is the measure of justice. Secondly, nondiscrimination is mandatory for the government and worth pursuing in our private lives. If policymakers had enforced the Civil Rights Act in good faith, time might have eroded the tendency to view others as members of a group, rather than as individuals.
Tags: affirmative action, Affirmative Action, civil rights, Discrimination, Employment, History, individualism, Inequality, race, Race and Liberty in America
By Randall Holcombe | Thursday June 6, 2013 at 2:31 PM PDT | 1 Comment
The United States government was founded on the principle of protecting individual rights. The Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights...” People have rights as individuals, and do not derive their rights from...
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Tags: affirmative action, Civil Liberties, classical liberalism, Constitution, Culture, Family, Liberty, Morality, Nanny State, Personal Liberty, Philosophy, Politics, Regulation, Supreme Court, Taxation, The State, Women
By Jonathan Bean | Sunday October 10, 2010 at 9:46 AM PDT | 3 Comments
Over at the New York Times Robb Mandelbaum notes how the Small Business Administration has caved to political pressures and once again made the definition of “small” business so broad as to include virtually every firm in the economy. This was a key theme of two books I wrote in 1996 and 2001, including...
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Tags: affirmative action, Alaskan Native Corporations, American History, Asians, Books, Business, Carter, Congressional Black Caucus, Economics, Eisenhower, Ford, Government subsidies, Halliburton, Hispanics, Johnson, Kennedy, minority set asides, Money and Banking, New York Times, Nixon, Racism, Reagan, Robb Mandelbaum, small business, Small Business Administration
By Jonathan Bean | Wednesday November 11, 2009 at 11:19 AM PDT | 3 Comments
In the current issue of Books & Culture, Professor Paul Harvey (not to be confused with the late radio icon) takes aim at my “imagined” (read: invented) tradition of classical liberalism on race. You can read his full review here. Harvey concedes that Race and Liberty in America rediscovers “understudied authors.” Then he quickly...
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Tags: affirmative action, American History, Books, Christianity, Civil Liberties, civil rights, Civil Society, classical liberalism, collectivism, Constitution, ethnocentrism, eugenics, Glenn Beck, Law, left-liberal, libertarian, Race and Liberty in America, Racism, statism
By Jonathan Bean | Friday July 10, 2009 at 6:28 AM PDT | 0 Comments
Over at Reason.com, Damon Root has a review of my new book Race and Liberty in America: The Essential Reader (University Press of Kentucky, in association with the Independent Institute). It is available here and here (Amazon is currently discounting). The softcover is priced for classroom adoption and general readership, and as blurb-writer Juan...
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Tags: affirmative action, American History, classical liberalism, Immigration, Jonathan Bean, race, Racism
By Jonathan Bean | Tuesday May 5, 2009 at 10:39 AM PDT | 7 Comments
Fires don’t discriminate but fire departments do. While the flames of a house fire may not discriminate on the basis of skin color, New Haven, Connecticut’s fire department is making sure that those who risk their lives are dark or light-skinned in the “right” proportion, regardless of merit. After throwing out professional exam results...
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Tags: affirmative action, civil rights, Constitution, Law, Racism, Supreme Court
By Jonathan Bean | Sunday February 15, 2009 at 8:09 PM PDT | 1 Comment
A brief opening from my piece at the web site for U.S. News & World Report: George Orwell famously wrote “who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” As the NAACP celebrates its 100th anniversary, its leaders present a past that squares with its present positions on racial...
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Tags: affirmative action, American History, civil rights, Constitution, Louis Marshall