Allen B. West

My statement for Black History Month: The Biggest Failure of Affirmative Action

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Here at the National Center for Policy Analysis, we analyze and examine policies and ideas that have the potential to change the world. NCPA can boast in its history the creation of health savings accounts and Roth IRAs as policy ideas that went on to become success stories for the American people.

However, in this Black History Month I would like to take a few moments of your time to share my thoughts and perspectives on a policy that has had a negative effect — affirmative action.

The basic premise of affirmative action is that standards and qualifications have to be lowered in order to create an equality of outcomes as a remedy to alleviate a “historical” disadvantage.

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It’s based on the belief that the best way to advance is to disregard or alter requirements — as we say in the military, lower the bar. I remember a Black Hat Airborne Instructor once telling us at Airborne School in Ft. Benning Georgia, “if you set the bar low, you will jump low.” Profound.

And so here in 2015 we are witnessing the biggest failure of affirmative action — right in the White House. Yes, instead of seeing Barack Obama as the first African-American president, I see him as the first affirmative action president.

Now, before some of you go and get all “emotional” — which is the essence of what white liberal progressives promote — they enact policies that make them “feel better” — consider this premise a bit.

We sit back all across America and ask ourselves what is happening? How did we get to this point?

It’s simple; standards and qualifications didn’t matter in the presidential elections of 2008 and 2012. We wanted a “feel good” moment and were willing to cast aside any scrutiny. And any challenge or question of qualifications, ability, and capability were met with the vitriolic accusation of racist.

But in actuality, affirmative action is racist in itself as a policy because it admits that due to race, one is inferior and needs outcomes managed. Now, ask yourself, in the areas of sports and entertainment where blacks achieve superior results — are standards lowered?

Go to any inner city neighborhood and watch a pick-up basketball game. A team is chosen based on one single factor: the ability to play, and enable the team’s victory. So why then is there this belief that standards aren’t necessary in other aspects of our society for blacks?

In the case of Barack Obama, everything was handed over to him — the state Senate seat in Illinois, the U.S. Senate seat, and then the presidency. There were no legislative achievements – as a matter of fact, there were countless votes of “present.”

In his reelection there was no examination of his first term record — just the demonization of his opposition. Obama was elected and reelected because his greatest asset was giving speeches and he was “likeable.”

Let’s ponder the recent case of NBC news anchor Brian Williams who has now been cast off the air at NBC for six months without pay for “embellishing” stories — in other words, lying.

And just how many lies has President Obama told in these six years as president? And what have been the consequences? That’s another example of the horrible results of affirmative action — bad behavior is dismissed to maintain a level of “diversity” and the desired engineered outcome.

And what is the result of this inane Pavlovian experiment? The recipient of this blank check feels impervious to any challenge, scrutiny, or standard. He does not believe consequences apply and therefore even after a midterm election debacle in November 2014 takes the stand and mysteriously claims to hear the voices of people who did not vote.

Obama sees himself immune when clearly violating the rule of law in our country, the U.S. Constitution. He takes the stage to chide a nation to get off its “high horse.”

In other words, when you reward bad behavior because you prefer a historical moment or a quota — you get more bad behavior. And a nation finds itself accommodating a new normal in measures of effectiveness in its economy or its national security — after all the focus is on the outcome, an African-American president — not the nation, or an organization.

Think about the fact that just last fall Obama told Americans Yemen was an example of the success of his policies against Islamic terror. Well, just last night we evacuated the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa Yemen — the second U.S. Embassy evacuated in less than a year, after Libya. Yes, that same Libya, where Obama abandoned Americans to die, got on an airplane for campaign fundraisers, and later lied about the nature of the terrorist attack.

And America, he was reelected.

So, I hear all the talk about “impeachment.” But let’s be serious, that is NEVER going to happen. It was “white guilt” that brought us Obama and white guilt is not going to admit it was wrong in this affirmative action endeavor in the highest office in the land. We will just ride this out for another two years with all the ramifications thereof. And President Obama knows that, and that’s why white liberal progressive socialists supported him for the office in the first place. He’s virtually invincible.

They knew America would lie down, back off, and accept this policy of equality of outcomes. They were nervous about it succeeding in a subsequent election but with a fawning and complicit media it was possible. However, what America told the progressive socialists was that standards and results didn’t matter — and so now they’re on easy street. The only question is, will lightning strike again, and in 2016 will people say “I’m ready for Hillary.” Why?

Yes, President Obama is our first affirmative action president. That’s not a demeaning proclamation, just a statement of fact. We lowered the bar and we continue to see excuses being made for someone truly unqualified for the position of Commander-in-Chief.

I’m quite sure the hatred and vitriol will be directed towards me — but my resume was built by parents who taught me early on never to see my skin color as a disadvantage — or use it as a crutch.

What’s so great about being a black conservative? We ask for the bar to be raised as high as possible because as my mom, Elizabeth “Snooks” West said, “self esteem comes from doing ‘esteemable’ things.”

And that folks is my message for Black History Month 2015. It is better to earn something through the pursuit of happiness than get something based on the guarantee of happiness. Because frankly, the only things guaranteed in life are death and taxes.

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