Affirmative Action. A reader asked a good question. He was curious about why I have not written about the Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) decision on Affirmative Action for university admissions.

When I considered my response to him, I came to the conclusion I do not have strong feelings about the case. I can live with either side of the decision. I have lived for many years with Affirmative Action. I could have lived a few more years with it. My hope would be that proponents of Affirmative Action would understand it to be a form of reparation.

On the other side, I do not believe the change will devastate minority representation in higher education. Ironically a local commentator I respect, expressed disapproval of the decision, but he argued Blacks are strong enough they will overcome. They have overcome in the past and will overcome this decision. I wrote a letter to him and here are portions of that letter:

“Please permit me to play devil’s advocate regarding your SCOTUS commentary on affirmative action. I value your perspective, so it is important to me that you understand I am writing without regard to the SCOTUS decision. I am sure you are getting enough praise as well as derision regarding your commentary on the decision. I am asking you to reflect on your argument.

Despite your protest of the decision, I can read your argument as being in support of the Scotus decision.

How is that possible?

Consider that you were injured and on crutches. After a while you are still using the crutches but some people believe you no longer need them. They believe you do not need help. Other people believe you are entitled to keep them as long as you think you need them.

Now assume you have the crutches taken away. You wake up one morning and they are gone. If you physically cannot get out of bed, then you needed the crutches. However, if you have the strength to “adapt” you did not need the crutches and will become stronger without them than if you continued on them.

Again, please note I am not speaking for or against the SCOTUS decision. I am just pointing out your argument supports the SCOTUS decision more than you intended.”

To me it boils down to the following decision – do Black people need crutches because the tilt of the playing field is so great, or are they made stronger by removing the crutches and adapting to survive? Some believe they need help. Others believe they are strong enough to compete and will get stronger without the crutches.

Interestingly, John McWorter expressed support for the decision. His thoughtful rationale is given in the following article:,of%20standards%20that%20has%20devalued%20the%20African-American%20community.

Anniversary. A good friend and his wife are babysitting a daughter’s baby during the day while the daughter and her partner work. My friend observed how much the experience has deepened his appreciation for his wife. He has gained an understanding of how much work it took for her to parent their children while he worked.

Next Friday, July 28, Jeny and I will have been married 61 years. I echo his remarks. Jeny was an amazing mother to our young children. The first four years she was a wife and mother while finishing her education and then teaching for two years. We lived in apartments those years. Our accommodations did not improve. The next four of years, while I was in graduate school, she parented three children in a 10′ by 55′ mobile home.

I was far from being as supportive as I should have been in the parenting of the very young. I helped but I believed she was great with babies and I wanted to play with children when they were older, plus I was focused on my studies. My weakness in this regard (and I have many others) has deepened my appreciation for her. When I see how well our children turned out I know it was her foundation on which they developed.

I am glad she has put up with me for 61 years!

The same message from opposing views. Over the last few weeks, I have received the same general message several times. It always begins with the phrase – “It did not start with the gas chambers” and ends with a reference to good people ignoring what is going on. In between threats to America are given in a variety of similar ways.

The disturbing thing is the message has come from both Liberal friends and Conservatives friends. Both sides are convinced the other side is the end to America. No middle ground is discussed. No compromise is discussed.

It reminds me of one of my students from Palestine. He was a very nice young man who would visit with me from time to time. One day I asked him what is his answer to peace between Israel and Palestine. His nice manner added to my shock at his answer. His response was — “I do not want peace; I want Israel destroyed.” No middle ground. No compromise.

His position is where I fear we are heading.

Fun thought. In the cartoon Pickles the grandfather made this observation — Life is hard then you die, in between there are grandkids.

Good News


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