Victor Davis Hanson:
The racial spoils industry survives on several requisites.
One, Americans must be readily identifiable as being non-white or white. Two, once non-white claimants pass the racial litmus test, they must think and speak in a particular progressive manner, in dutiful obeisance to those who set up and perpetuate the racial spoils system. And three, racialism must remain defined as a one-way bias.
The problem with the first criterion is multifold. America today truly is a multiracial, intermarried society in which the old rubric “white” no longer equates to “of European descent.” Obama’s racist former minister Rev. Jeremiah Wright appears whiter than many Americans of Mediterranean heritage.
Lots of Americans of various hues are de facto classified as white, either by themselves or by the government that refuses to make them eligible for affirmative action. Over the years I had hundreds of students who were clearly non-white in appearance, first-generation Americans of Arab, Armenian, and Punjabi background, who did not qualify for any racial set-asides. The vast majority of them were as dark as or darker than third-generation Mexican-Americans who did.
Many whites of European descent are indistinguishable from so-called Latinos. Certainly a Sicilian-American can look more “Latino” than someone of Mexican or South American descent. If Ted Cruz took his mother’s name, no one would know that Ted Wilson was Latino. If George Zimmerman had used the name Jorge Mesa, the Trayvon Martin confrontation never would have made front-page news. Such a rigged system cannot even defend its own biases. Accordingly, it retreats toward the subjective category “diversity” to make up prejudice and its remedies, in ad hoc fashion, on the basis of career and political expediencies.