Thursday, April 11, 2002

Blacks vs. Unions

The Democrats have one of the strangest coalitions ever assembled. Among the least compatible groups are blacks and unions.

There's a certain perverse respect involved in racial discrimination. After all, you wouldn't need to discriminate if you knew that the victim couldn't do that same job you were doing. You know damned well they can, and might even do it more cheaply.

That was the driving force behind apartheid. White labor didn't want to have to compete with local blacks, so they used the law to prevent them from being hired. (Do you suppose these are the "stupid white men" Michael Moore is talking about?)

There was a similar situation in the South with the Jim Crow laws. Guess which party enacted those laws? I'll give you a hint - Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.

Don't get too smug, Yankees - guys like you passed the Davis-Bacon act:
The Davis-Bacon Act exemplified the protectionist laws of the first half of the twentieth century. The law originally was proposed in 1927 by Rep. Robert Bacon of Long Island, who was alarmed about low-paid black Southerners coming into his district and taking jobs away from white, unionized construction workers. By 1931, when the Depression intensified competition for scarce jobs, the law was enacted, requiring contractors to pay prevailing wages on all federal construction projects. The law removed the economic incentive to hire unskilled black laborers, and the black unemployment rate in the construction industry has remained far higher than the white rate ever since
Labor leaders aren't as prominent as they once were, but they're still around. Can you name any that are black? Could this be evidence of discrimination? Shouldn't there be a quota? Where are Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton?

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