February 13, 2009
Judd Gregg apparently wasn?t on board with Obama?s ?stimulus? package, but there?s a whole other aspect to his withdrawal that?s being overlooked. The Commerce secretary is responsible for the decennial census, and the Black and Latino ethno-lobbies were quite worried about a ?Republican? (read: old white guy) being in charge. No one said it out loud, but the presumption was that the Republican Council of Elders (who just elected a black man to lead their national committee, by the way) would fudge the numbers as part of their ongoing attempt to cruelly oppress minorities:
The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials opined:
Census data are the fundamental building blocks for reapportionment and redistricting, which determine the contours of our representative democracy.
The body continues:
?Secretary of Commerce-Designate Judd Gregg?s record raises serious questions about his willingness to ensure that the 2010 Census produces the most accurate possible count of the nation?s population.
Policymakers and planners at all levels of government rely on these data to make important decisions about their services, such as the number of teachers that will be needed in their classrooms, the best places to build new roads, or the best way to provide job training.
?Contours of our representative democracy? is, of course, a fig leaf placed on the unending battle over re-districting and gerrymandering, with Black and Latino groups usually foregoing ?diversity? and instead pushing for intense ethnic homogeneity in particular districts.
But my sense is that there?s more to it.
Latinos, of course, benefit from Affirmative Action admissions and hiring, but then not to extend of blacks. It?s certainly easier for Latinos to ?get in? or ?get hired?; however, they rarely benefit from the kind of managed proportionality that blacks enjoy. (Whether it?s the descendents of African-American slaves who are actually benefiting from Affirmative Action at elite institutions is another question altogether.)
At Duke University, to take an example, the population of black undergrads is kept around 10 percent, reflecting national demographics. But then Latinos make up around 6 percent of the undergrads, even though nationally they comprise 15 percent of the population. Similar trends can be seen at Berkeley and other schools. As Steve Sailer has pointed out, there?ll be a major ?diversity crackup,? perhaps a really rancorous one, once Latinos begin to demand national or state-wide proportionality in Affirmative Action admissions and hiring.
The economic crisis?with the big companies laying people off left and right and student loans harder to come by?might be just the thing to light the fire.
Also, one final note on Judd Gregg. It?s come out that in 1995 Gregg actually supported the elimination of the Department of Commerce. So apparently the senator ?voted against it before he was set to lead it.? Now Gregg?s spokesperson is talking up the senator?s staunch support of the department: ?Over the course of his tenure as either chairman or ranking member, Senator Gregg helped boost overall funding levels for the Commerce Department by nearly 74%.?
Gregg rode into Washington on the class of ?94-?throw the bums out!?-antigovernment wave. Fifteen years later, he?s ended up trying to find common ground with Barack Obama and lamenting that an 800 billion dollar ?stimulus? package might just be a wee bit too much spending for his taste. It?s a shame.
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