I don’t want to say

I don’t want to say anything to alienate a single one of our faithful readers, especially if the faithful reader is a member of the Hindrocket family. But I want to note my admiration for Deacon’s blogs on the subject of racial preferences in higher education. Rocket Man and I published a piece on this subject in the Spring 1998 issue of the American Experiment Quarterly that can be accessed through the site of its publisher, Center of the American Experiment. In that piece we noted what I believe to be the first use of the argument for “diversity” in American politics. It’s a point I have not seen anyone else make, perhaps because it not worth making, but I take the liberty of mentioning it for the historical interest it may have for Professor Hindrocket.
In the course of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, while Lincoln insisted on elaborating the moral evil of slavery as an institution, Stephen Douglas upbraided Lincoln for his hostility to slavery. (Douglas, you may recall, proclaimed his neutrality as between slavery and freedom for American blacks; he proposed that their legal status be resolved by the vote of whites in the territories as they became states, i.e., the doctrine of “popular sovereignty.”) According to Douglas, Lincoln’s position was inconsistent with the “diversity” of the states and their institutions. We noted in our piece that the contemporary debate over racial preferences appears to illustrate Marx’s dictum that history repeats itself, playing out first as tragedy and then as farce.

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