March 15, 1998

To Ms. Winston,

As an individualist, I am disturbed by racism; therefore I oppose One America in the 21st Century, President Clinton’s initiative on race. I have followed the events of this commission closely and contend that it must ultimately fail in its alleged goal to improve “the quality of American race relations.” That is because the fundamental ideas which the commission upholds only erode what is required to engender genuine amity between individuals of different races. Let me offer you just a few examples to demonstrate my conclusion.

This outcome was inevitable as the fundamental ideas that this commission adopted to improve “race relations” arise from the same foundation that causes racism: the rejection of reason and individualism for emotionalism and racial collectivism.

First and foremost, President Clinton and those affiliated with his commission, such as his seven member advisory board, have failed to define racism objectively — or at all. Racism is essentially the belief that an individual’s fundamental or complete identity is determined primarily or exclusively by his race/”ethnicity” — not by his independently chosen virtues, values and actions. Thus, from John Hope Franklin, the multiculturalist historian and advisory board chairman, to most of the attendants of the commission’s town hall “open” meetings throughout American cities, the people supportive of this commission ground racism on a man’s feeling his race is morally superior to others. But this premises is merely a derivative of the essential cause of racism. Therefore, the “dialogues” that were supposed to have occurred in each of these “open” meetings, were replaced largely by a series of monologues, wherein racial minorities have voiced their grievances over how white racists have maltreated them. A “dialogue” has yet to occur wherein all forms of racism that exists among individuals of all racial groups are discussed and analyzed.

This outcome was inevitable as the fundamental ideas that this commission adopted to improve “race relations” arise from the same foundation that causes racism: the rejection of reason and individualism for emotionalism and racial collectivism. The two men who head this commission, President Clinton and John Hope Franklin, are unwavering arch supporters of affirmative action, an undeniable form of racism which is manifested by the premise that it is irrelevant which individual whites were guilty of enslaving or maltreating blacks and which individual blacks were their victims — today all whites must be penalized and all blacks are entitled to reparations.

But just as it would be entirely unjust to arrest a white man today because his racial ancestors lynched a black man, the same evaluation must apply to affirmative action. When affirmative action punishes an individual — because of his race — for injustices he never committed, by giving an unearned advantage to someone else — because they are of a different race — it only makes “race relations” worse, as the victim will, if he is justice-minded, become frustrated and bitter towards others.

When affirmative action punishes an individual — because of his race — for injustices he never committed, by giving an unearned advantage to someone else — because they are of a different race — it only makes “race relations” worse, as the victim will, if he is justice-minded, become frustrated and bitter towards others.

Is this conducive to amity among Americans? To quote a psychologist I respect: “Under today’s mentality of affirmative action, we merely replace one form of racism (‘Your of no value because you are black’) with another form (‘Your value lies in the fact that you are black’).”

A corollary ideal that this mentality begets is “equal opportunity.” Because it invokes the concept of “equality,” it is presented as representative of freedom. However, this ideal not only erodes amity among Americans, particularly by instituting class warfare, but it also destroys the only equality that must exist between all Americans: each individual’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It does this by distorting and destroying the crucial distinction between this equality in politics and equality in all other areas of human life. Political equality means all Americans have their individual rights equally protected so that each individual may pursue his life’s requirements free from the initiation of physical force or fraud. In reality, no matter each individual’s earned or inherited status in any aspect of life, be it economic, physical, intellectual, for instance, equality in them must be achieved only through an individual’s abilities and efforts.

Inequalities that invariably exist in these and all areas outside of politics are never unjust and therefore must never be the government’s function to prevent or “equalize” (unless they were obtained by physical force or fraud). The increasingly accepted falsehood that non-political inequalities are unjust actually engenders injustices, such as the use of government’s monopoly on legalized force to redistribute money from producers to lesser- or non-producers. This violates political equality — the individual’s right to keep the products of his efforts. But any comparatively disproportionate income produced under political equality is no more an injustice than the unequal athletic ability of Michael Jordan, the unequal beauty of Cindy Crawford, or the unequal intelligence of Bill Gates compared to individuals with lesser or no athleticism, beauty or intellect.

Therefore, when anti-discrimination laws force a private-property owner to employ or house an individual he choose not to associate with, whether for rational or irrational reasons, an aspect of his political equality — his freedom of association — has thereby been shackled. But as morally reprehensible as racism is, freedom nevertheless demands that a private- property owner has a right to make irrational discriminations, so long as he refrains from initiating physical force against others. Furthermore, the person who was irrationally discriminated against retains the proper opportunity -that is, the freedom — to pursue work or shelter elsewhere, to make the property-owners racism publicly known, and to boycott his company. Anti-discrimination laws, however, permit him the “opportunity,” — that is, the unjust advantage – to have the government force the property owner to associate with him and provide him a job or shelter.

Since a racist lumps all individuals of a racial group together as fundamentally indistinguishable, he thereafter blames all blacks for the injustice that one individual black imposed on him through government-force.

Since a racist lumps all individuals of a racial group together as fundamentally indistinguishable, he thereafter blames all blacks for the injustice that one individual black imposed on him through government-force. From the same premises on which President Clinton and Mr. Franklin uphold affirmative action, the racist holds all individuals of a racial group as guilty of this shackling of his rights. Ultimately, his racism toward blacks only intensifies.

There should not be any wonder why the quality of “race relations” in America have failed to genuinely improve?

I write this letter knowing that my ideas are largely or completely unacceptable to those involved with and supportive of the commission. So much for the “tolerance,” “inclusion” and “diversity” they otherwise preach. Instead, the purpose of my letter is to inform you that there are individuals opposed to the President’s commission on rational, principled grounds; the grounds of reason, individualism, and a morality of rational self-interest, wherein each individual is an end in himself, not sacrificial fodder for the ends of others.

The commission is doomed to ultimate failure because it opposes and evades the ideas I have argued herein. If racial wars ever do unfortunately occur in America, you must know that you were warned of what “race relations” require in order for them to improve, and you cannot then justifiably throw up your hands and cry: “How could this possibly happen.” So long as the beliefs of faith, tribalism and the morality of self-sacrifice that the commission champions remain dominant or “mainstream” in America, racism will persist and intensify, and its improvement and eradication will continue to seem impossible.

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Joseph Kellard

Joseph Kellard is a journalist living in New York. To read more of Mr. Kellard's commentary, visit his website The American Individualist at americanindividualist.blogspot.com.

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