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Virginia NAACP head slams Webb for affirmative action column

The head of the Virginia Conference of the NAACP lashed out at Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) Monday, three days after Webb stirred controversy with an op-ed piece suggesting most government diversity programs should be abolished because they "marginalized" white Americans.

In a Wall Street Journal column published Friday, titled "Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege," Webb complained that "the supposed monolith of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant dominance served as the whipping post for almost every debate about power and status in America." As he has repeatedly in the past, including during his 2006 campaign, Webb said that affirmative action programs made sense for African Americans who suffered from the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow laws but not for other ethnic groups and recent immigrants.

Webb's column drew attention but did not spark much vocal criticism Friday, other than from former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder. But now King Salim Khalfani, the executive director of the NAACP's Virginia State Conference, has unloaded on Virginia's senior senator.

"We vehemently disagree with your analysis and wonder if serving in the elite, rich United States Senate has skewed your vision of the world in which we live," Khalfani wrote in a letter to Webb, which was first posted by NBC12 in Richmond.

Referring to Webb's 2006 campaign, Khalfani added: "Your opponent then and coming George Allen would not have had the gall to write about the 'myth of white privilege.'"

Khalfani compared Webb to various Republicans and conservative media figures, suggesting that he and Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul "are kith and kin."

"Do you really believe that affirmative action has hurt white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants or are you pandering to the divisive, conservative, Tea Bagger types whose votes you will need in 2012?" Khalfani asked. "The true beneficiaries of affirmative action programs are white, Anglo-Saxon women...overwhelmingly. If a white, republican, ultra-right winger, or Rush, Beck or O'Reilly had written or spoken it, the world would have known about it. But, you have written it and it did not go unnoticed but it did not garner the attention that it should have."

The Washington Post obtained a copy of the letter from Khalfani, but Webb's office said that as of Monday evening, they had not received it yet.

"Senator Webb has dedicated his time in the Senate to bringing fairness to America's economic system and to our work force," Webb spokesman Will Jenkins said Monday. "He has been particularly attuned to the concerns of African-Americans, including the advancement of education, workforce development, and criminal justice reform. Our office has not yet officially received Mr. Khalfani's letter. When we do, it will receive a careful response."

Jenkins also referred back to Webb's Friday column, which emphasized that the expansion of affirmative action programs to other groups has "lessened the focus on assisting African-Americans." Webb also reiterated "our continuing obligation to assist those African-Americans still in need."

Khalfani has been the head of the state NAACP since 1998. On his official biography page, Khalfani writes, "My greatest accomplishment is that I am by choice a revolutionary Afrikan Man. I am a Pan-Afrikanist. I am one who speaks truth to power unashamedly on behalf of Afrikan people. I have not cringed or cowered when faced with criticism, ostracism or bodily harm."

Below is Khalfani's full letter to Webb:

July 26, 2010

The Honorable Jim Webb, Senator
United States Senate
225 Russell Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Re: Op-Ed Piece in the WSJ on the Myth of White Privilege!

Dear Senator Webb:

On behalf of the Virginia State Conference NAACP, its' over 100-Adult Branches, College Chapters & Youth Councils we greet you as a fellow Life Member of our Association as we commemorate our 75th Anniversary the Diamond Jubilee at our State Convention, October 29-31, 2010 in the place of our founding Roanoke, Virginia. Senator Webb, we have read your piece entitled, "Diversity & the Myth of White Privilege." We vehemently disagree with your analysis and wonder if serving in the elite, rich United States Senate has skewed your vision of the world in which we live. Your opponent then and coming George Allen would not have had the gall to write about the "myth of white privilege" even though I am sure he feels that way. In African culture, it is said, when people show & tell you who they are. Believe them!" Your written word has spoken volumes for your belief system.

It appears that you and U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul are kith and kin. Do you really believe that affirmative action has hurt white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants or are you pandering to the divisive, conservative, Tea Bagger types whose votes you will need in 2012? The true beneficiaries of affirmative action programs are white, Anglo-Saxon women...overwhelmingly. If a white, republican, ultra-right winger, or Rush, Beck or O'Reilly had written or spoken it, the world would have known about it. But, you have written it and it did not go unnoticed but it did not garner the attention that it should have. After the race baiting of the past week concerning the U.S.D.A. and the right-wing blogger who doctored the tape and the statistics that show the African (Black) community's suffering disproportionately during this economic depression, one would think that you would have more sensitivity than to pen that science fiction. Have you advocated for the funding for the long overdue settlement for the Black farmers? John Boyd and the farmers need some help.

You have given cover & solace to those "who want to take their country back (from whom?), who want to reload not regroup, who think it is ok to spit on and use racial epithets against African members of the House of Representatives. Senator Webb, we need to meet to discuss your philosophy and other relevant issues like: bailouts for the rich and sellouts for taxpayers, the unethical profits of the oil companies at the expense of citizens, the Iraq & Afghanistan wars that are killing our soldiers and the economy, the outsourcing of jobs to India, China & Brazil at the expense of U.S. workers and a plethora of other life and death issues that you could have championed in the Wall Street Journal. Oh, did I forget...JOBS, JOBS, and more JOBS for the citizens of this country!

Does your colleague, Junior Senator Mark Warner concur with your belief? We will ask him as well. Well, fellow member of the NAACP, we look forward to your timely response and we can't wait to meet you!


King Salim Khalfani
Executive Director

CC: Senator Mark Warner

By Ben Pershing  |  July 26, 2010; 5:16 PM ET
Categories:  Ben Pershing , James Webb  
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The facts do not support Senator Webb's contentions that white people (especially male) are being marginalized. As a professional city planner and attorney focused on fair housing issues, I must categorically reject the Senator's use of the Big Lie. Our research -- and that of other neutral parties -- consistently confirm that African Americans and Hispanics continue to face serious levels of discrimination in purchasing and renting housing and in obtaining mortgages.

For example, in every jurisdiction around the nation for which we have conducted an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data clearly shows that the highest income African Americans and Hispanics are denied a mortgage more often than the poorest whites. I realize that's a dramatic short hand way of showing the levels of discrimination in mortgage lending. The bottom line is that in every income category Blacks and Hispanics have the lowest rates of mortgage approval and the highest rates of denial. We've carefully examined all the reasons for denial by race and by income and can find no explanation for these differences other than racial/ethnic discrimination.

With the nation's schools returning to the levels of segregation that existed prior to Brown v. Board of Education in the mid-1950s, there is little doubt that it is the African American and the Hispanic who is marginalized today.

The sad fact is that while considerable progress has been made to curtail racial and ethnic discrimination in housing, education, and employment since the 1950s, it will take many more generations to bring it to an end. Senator Webb's outright lies do not help.

We cannot expect to wipe out 300 years of slavery, 100 years of Jim Crow, and 50 years of half-hearted largely unenforced civil rights, fair housing, and fair employment laws in just a generation or two. A huge portion of white America continues to fight these laws. The Republican/Tea Party has built itself on its opposition to ending racial discrimination. It will take many more generations for our great nation to overcome the damage of the past 400 years. And as long as officials such as Senator Webb continue to spread the Big Lie that it's white people who are marginalized in America today, it will take far longer than anybody imagined to extend the full benefits of living in America to the descendants of America's greatest shame, slavery.

With friends like Senator Webb, who needs enemies?

Posted by: dl49 | July 27, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

The best way to end discrimination is to end discrimination. AA programs are legalized discrimination policies. To reject the notion that AA doesn't deserve a fixed place in our system of government immediately draws critics and name calling. I equally reject that our government subsidizes businesses. Basically if one has a cozy relationship with the GOV, benefits are showered upon them. The first step to taking back our country (FROM OUR OVERREACHING GOV), is to end mercantilist practices and to get our government away from social engineering. The government that today can grant minorities preferential treatment has the power to someday choose a new group of winners and losers. Instead of campaigning to be the business or race or religion that gets favor for the government, how about sending all the bums home. The government that governs least governs best.

Posted by: dbruther | July 27, 2010 1:56 AM | Report abuse

OMG the NAACP guy sounds insane and dated. Webb's column was sober and well argued.

Posted by: jessicamlee2 | July 27, 2010 5:20 AM | Report abuse

Why do these black activists name themselves King and take Arabic Muslim names like this knucklehead and that Black Panther guy, King Samir Shabazz? The NAACP guy cannot even spell Africa correctly.

Posted by: screwjob17 | July 27, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

What an ugly, insulting, ignorant, dishonest letter.

Ignorant: Khalfani tries to perpetrate the myth that black congressmen were spat upon and called racial epithets (when going to vote for Obamacare); in fact, not a single video has surfaced of that alleged incident, despite the offer of a $100,000 reward for such a video.

Ugly/insulting: Calling Tea Party supporters, "Tea Bagger types," deliberately invoking a term for homosexual oral sex.

And ultimately dishonest: Suggesting that all the economic ills that afflict this country would be even worse without affirmative action, when Webb explicitly stated we need to address the economic problems of poor people, and not focus exclusively on one race.

If this is what passes for leadership in Virginia's NAACP, then it is an organization that has fallen on hard times indeed.

Posted by: gilbertbp | July 27, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

SAME O, SAME O......Find something/someone you disagree with or don't like just label them as racist.

Posted by: atfish | July 27, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Way to go, VA NAACP!
Thank you.

Posted by: angie12106 | July 27, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Not only does Affirmative Action marginalize whites, it makes whites believe that blacks are too dumb to do anything on their own. If I know a medical doctor got into med school because of affirmative action there is no way I would let him or her examine me. If that black person can't get into med school on his or her intelligence I don't want this fake doctor giving me medical advice. It works the same way in all other occupations. Blacks, affirmative action just make whites believe that you aren't intelligent enough to do anything on your own.

Posted by: georges2 | July 27, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

King Salim Khalfani: you are a Left Wing Marxist Idealgoue Political Hack. The NAACP needs to be renamed to the NAALCP, with the use of the word 'Liberal' for 'L', because there just doesn't seem to be any room for free markets and limited government ideas in your group. Loser.

Jim Webb: You've voted for Tyranny about every single vote that has come up in the Senate. The only except you have is not voting for Cap-and-Tax, but Here in NoVA and throughout VA we're looking forward to kicking you out of the Senate in 2012.

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Posted by: shanchuhuiyi | July 27, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

The key point of the Senator's argument is the following:

"As he has repeatedly in the past, including during his 2006 campaign, Webb said that affirmative action programs made sense for African Americans who suffered from the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow laws but not for other ethnic groups and recent immigrants."

What is wrong with that???? I, a "white" American, remember when I went to the Social Security Office after having worked for decades, discovered that there was no room for me to sit down. The room was filled with older, recent immigrants who did not speak English.

I remember, too, the day that a brilliant, young African-American who had a Ph.D. and who worked with me telling me that he had been so insulted the night before. He stopped at a small convenience store after work. Somehow, the owner, an immigrant from Southeast Asia who spoke with a heavy accent, wanted to get his attention. He called out to my colleague and said, "Hey, N-----," and continued his sentence. I was furious, as were all of my friends and family. My colleague told me that this was not an unusual occurrence.

My colleague is an American just as I am an American, and we should be treated equally. As for the immigrants, we welcome them, but we do not want them taking advantage of all of the benefits that belong to us whose families have been here for centuries.

I have also discovered that there are special classes taught by teachers of certain ethnic origins who teach young students of the same nationality how to pass the examination for entrance into the Gifted and Talented Schools. Is there any wonder why they hold so many spaces in these schools. I do not believe that our American children are aware of these classes nor are they enrolling in them.

As for the complaint of the NAACP, I suggest that you think seriously about what Senator Webb is saying. I am hardly a biased person and there is no President I have ever admired more than our current President, nor is there anyone who defends him more than I do.

But, we, as Americans -- black or white -- should not be treated as second-class citizens because ethnic groups and recent immigrants are being given special benefits that should be ours and our children’s and that we have earned by our hard work, academic grades, life-long taxes, talents, and patriotism.

Go for it, Senator Webb!!!

Posted by: Formerrepublican | July 27, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I find Khalfani's disdain for conservatives quite intriguing. It is clear that for angry liberal blacks, the words "conservative" & "tea bagger" are code words for white people- and racist ones at that. The transformation of white racist America in the pre-60's (with it's hidden language to put down blacks), to modern black America using PC laden jargon to mask their own hostility is a fascinating topic. Khalfani sounds like some hick Southern sheriff talking about "long haired northerners" coming to his county. Not suprised that the media doesn't ask him about it.

Posted by: JohnnyGee | July 27, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Webb told it like it is. Those who want a color blind society have GOT to start looking at society without looking for the color.

The NAACP has absolutely ZERO credibility.

Bottom line, Webb is right this time. And I am no Webb fan.

Posted by: OlafGunderson | July 27, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Po Widdle NAACP!!!

Posted by: MillionSix | July 27, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

The Webb letter pointed out two things. First, there are legitimate criticisms to be made about a system that was intended to uplift a group of Americans who were still suffering the after effects of their ancestors enslavement, and second that WASP do have a legitimate beef with a system that unfairly discriminates against it.

No one should (although some do) that African Americans (or, more properly, Americans who are descended from black slaves) deserve recompence for being, in effect, second class citizens for generations after they were released from organized slavery. Afirmative action, to give these citizens the opportunity to succeed out of proportion to their technical qualifications, is a method towards this goal. However, many beneficiaries of AA are not African Americans - they are Hispanics, Asians, more recent African immigrants, and, yes, White women. An argument can be made taht these groups, too, suffered discrimination, and should have advantages - BUT THAT IS NOT THE PURPOSE OF AFIRMATIVE ACTION!!! When you allow yourself to be distracted from your original purpose, you inevitably end up failing to accomplish your original goal, regardless of the other successes you have along the way.

As to Webb's second point, that WASP Americans have a real criticism of AA, he has a fair point. You can disagree with his point, but at least it was one backed up by historical reality and logic, rather then reactionary vitriol about how blacks, or latinos are "stealing our country" and we (presumably WASPs) must "take back America". I'd really prefer that we treat a reasonable argument like this in a polite, reasonable way. That way, we might actually come up with solution, rather then devolving into shouting matches on talk shows. I might also point out that, while we have a African American president now, he really is an AFRICAN-AMERICAN president - his father was descended from former slaves, but an immigrant from Kenya. Yet, he benefited from Afirmative Action, recompensing him for historical suffering his ancestors never had. It's a case in point. If the NAACP is serious about the advancement of all 'colored people', then their position defending AA for all does them credit. If, however, they are actually an advocacy group for black Americans, which is how they have consistantly presented themselves, they need to get off their high horses and acnowledge that AA is not benefiting their core constituency as it should.

Posted by: haldon12 | July 27, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

In a final point, I would like to say that Mr. Khalfani makes at least one point that I agree with, though I come to a different conclusion. WASP women (or, more truthfully, women in general) have made huge strides, especially on college campuses. While they continue to lag behind in leadership roles (as the WP pointed out in their articles on female professors with tenure), women have clearly demonstrated their capacity to kick the stuffing out of their male compatriots, academically speaking. Does a group this strong really need to benefit from AA? I think women have demonstrated their capacity to achieve their goals without artificial help - let's see what they can do without the training wheels they have manifestly outgrown.

Posted by: haldon12 | July 27, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Talk about arrogance and racism, the head of the NAACP writes:

"We vehemently disagree with your analysis and wonder if serving in the elite, rich United States Senate has skewed your vision of the world in which we live."

Wasn't Barrack Obama elected to the United States Senate? Is Obama rich and elite King Whoever? Since the State's citizens elect US Senators, what exactly is King Salim Khalfani calling each and every one of us.

Gall? Yeah, King whatever the hell you are, you are the one with GALL!

Posted by: OlafGunderson | July 27, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

The VA NAACP's response is disappointing. Undoubtedly, Webb has placed himself on a "third rail" of politics, but his article was thoughtful and reasoned, and it spoke to matters of policy. The NAACP response fails to address the substantive points he made, and instead speaks to matters of politics. Whether Mark Warner agrees has absolutely nothing to do with the question of whether affirmative action, as currently applied, is overreaching and diluting its intended purpose of helping those who suffer the legacy of slavery.

It leads one to question whether Mr. Khalfani even read Webb's article in its entirety, as Webb plainly makes clear that he supports affirmative action's intended purpose.

Posted by: small_world | July 27, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Webb is right on target, expanding Affirmative Action programs from African Americans to other groups that did not suffer the horrors of slavery marginalized the programs effectiveness. One problem with the program is that occupations with a vast majority of minorities are justified. For example: If 99% of Bus drivers are minorities whites will never be recruited as a minority group under Affirmative Action. It is racial discrimination by law.

Posted by: quillerm | July 27, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

So much for all the talk about wanting to have a "national dialogue" on race.

Not even a sitting US seantor can offer his opinion on race without being raked over the coals by divisive opportunists in the "civil rights" movement.

Posted by: Hk45 | July 27, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

What an idiot. It's telling that the official NAACP response includes but 1 intellectual rebuttal (although its completely unsubstantiated) and the rest is full of ad-hominem attacks. That's all the proof the biggest skeptic needs to show that we're all being held hostage by white guilt, minorities included.

Example: i'm the son of a hispanic immigrant and got into competitive university that i deserved to go to based on grades, test scores, etc. But you would not believe the amount of crap I got for being a beneficiary of affirmative action by basically anyone who didn't get in. Even my friends' parents made blatantly racist comments to my face about how i only got in because of my first name!! And i'm from Arlington, a bastion of liberalism.

Then, you look at the kids that DID get in because of affirmative action and they're all sociology majors with 2.0s that no one wants to do group work with. I utterly fail to see the point in such a divisive program.

Posted by: batigol85 | July 27, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

A white, protestant young man with bad teeth resulting from lack of dental care and a thick Kentucky accent will have just as much difficulty being taken seriously in a job interview as a black man who grew up in DC.

Jim Webb has long been an advocate for the people easily dismissed as 'white trash.' The only group of people in our society whom it is seen as acceptable to broadly insult and discriminate against are rednecks. The rural white poor are constantly victimized and discriminated against.

This doesn't mean that black people haven't suffered or don't deserve help in assuming their rightful place as equals in our society. It is not an insult against blacks or any other racial or ethnic group.

Jim Webb is right that white privilege is not the monolith that it is made out to be. He has been very consistent over the years in his position that affirmative action programs should assist poor, rural whites just as they do other groups of people who are systematically discriminated against.

Webb would not dare to lecture blacks about what their experiences of discrimination consist of. The NAACP, an organization that I respect, should not dare to tell 'white trash' what their experiences add up to.

Posted by: JacksonLanders | July 27, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Khalfani lies when he said congressmen were spat upon and called racial epithets when going to vote on healthcare. Rep. Cleaver later admitted that a protester's spittle landed on him when he was yelling, the protester did not purposely spit. Not a single video has surfaced with racial epithets, in spite that the accusing congressmen were taped the entire "journey" across the Capitol lawn.

Also, it is disheartening that an NAACP official would use the derogatory sexual term "Tea Bagger" to describe a group he may not agree with. I'm sure he wouldn't stand for such an insult if it were on the other foot.

Posted by: ricandersen | July 27, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

You can still go my hometown in Virginia and see what used to be the old negro high school. It's a middle school now, but it wasn't always so welcoming of all races.

Jim Crow has not been dead for that long, especially in Virginia. W

Posted by: Anglo_Rider | July 27, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Senator Webb's comments are both selective and without careful interpretation. Selective--and parochial --because he ignores a long history of discrimination against Asians and Hispanics, groups that historically did not live in the South yet lag by some of the same indicators that he cites. Or against Native Americans, victims of a second civil war. Without careful interpretation--because he does not provide an explanation for similar attainments by Blacks and poor Whites in the South. What he fails to report is that the WASP power structure deliberately discriminated against both Blacks and poor Whites because WASP politicians promoted segregation so that they would not make common cause against the oppressive WASP power structure. The aim of affirmative action was and is to end segregation by breaking down artificial barriers to advancement by those who are qualified, regardless of race. Webb does not cite a single "program" that deviates from the goal of desegregation. Indeed, Webb might contemplate one fact more carefully: In Hawai`i, in response to statistical evidence that non-Whites in state government discriminated against Whites after statehood, Caucasians were established as a "target group" when state government established its first affirmative action plan in the mid 1970s. In contrast, Webb cites no evidence of discrimination to back up his argument. His remedy, abolition of affirmative action, is another way of saying that he wants to go back to the “good old days” of a color-blind society that never worked. -- Michael Haas, Professor of Political Science, University of Hawai`i (retired)

Posted by: mikehaas | July 27, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I'm Black and I thought Webb's letter was a perfectly reasonable starting point for an honest discussion about the "End Game" for our nation's affirmative action programs. While his comment about the "myth of White priviledge" is laughable, most of everything else he wrote is worthy of consideration.

Posted by: hoos3014 | July 27, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Does Webb know that white women are the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action? It should be limited to Native Americans and descendants of slaves only. Concerning the NAACP, please reread Webb's statement. He is actually for continued AA for America blacks.

Posted by: StLou | July 27, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Funny..Webb to me sounds logical and on point. Espescially in light of today's diverse America where no one is all white and everyone is basically an immigrant. I mean honestly.. when does affirmative action end?.. when every minority is equal in wealth in stature to every white person? I mean honestly.. white people are a minority now.

Posted by: cmsatown | July 27, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse


Why do you care what the retrogrades think? I experienced similar approbation and I just blew it off. I don't care what morons choose to think about me. After all, they are morons.

Posted by: Ken_Davis1 | July 27, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Khalfani is an ideologue doing what ideologues do: defending his organization's long-standing position and refusing to listen to or consider counter positions. Hopefully, Senator Webb will respond that he understands Mr. Khalfani's position (i.e., the NAACP, like public and private unions, exist to accumulate special favors for their constituency) but that he respectfully disagrees.
The two most interesting aspects to this issue are: 1) will Senator Webb stick to his position and 2) how quickly will Senator Warner disavow Senator Webb.

Posted by: dknight12345 | July 27, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

" I am one who speaks truth to power unashamedly on behalf of Afrikan people". Want to help Afrikan people - go to Africa. Wnat to help Americans, stay here and call yourself American. We have NAACP for colored people. Black caucus for black people. Negro college fund for Negroes. The confusing one is African-American. Some people from Haiti, the caribbean and other countries are Black but refuse to be called African-(whatever). Many whites were born in Africa throughout the decades but because they are white they're not considered African-Americans. When do African-Americans become good old Americans?

Posted by: baz987 | July 27, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Bring back the poll tax!

Posted by: nuke41 | July 27, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

This NAACP "officer" clearly didn't even read Webb's article, or maybe he was just too dumb to understand it.

Webb didn't question AA for the descendants of American slaves; he questioned it for newly come non-white immigrants (and their descendants) who VOLUNTARILY come to this country.

AA should be reserved for the descendants of American slaves (not Caribbean or Brazilian slaves) and for Native Americans, period.

We owe nothing to the rest of the world. As AA stands today, the son of a rich African dictator or a corrupt Latin American oligarch gets "racial preferences" over a white American whose ancestors served at Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, or Guadalcanal.

Not fair!

Posted by: MaryJessel | July 28, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

King??? I'm sorry sweatheart, we don't have kings in America. If you aren't happy with that arrangement I would suggest you try to change the constitution.

These racist NAACP types are putting race relations back by years in this country. I guess that's there goal.

Posted by: robtr | July 28, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ansonasaka1 | July 28, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Webb was right on. Frankly, I am shocked at some of the response to his piece. Most of the responses are all based in emotion and not in fact. His point was why should, for example, an Asian immigrant (an ethnic group which on average has higher incomes and education levels than whites) get preferential hiring treatment or access to government contracts over poor whites who are descendents of people who have lived here for centuries? The right bestowed on such an immigrant though a green card or citizenship to work in this country is, in most cases, the greatest opportunity they will ever get. Why should the government help that immigrant even further at the expense of someone else?

Khalfani's resonse was bizarre. I would hope the VA NAACP would give serious consideration to ousting him. Webb was very clear that he believes AA programs should continue to help correct the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow, so I have no idea what Khalfani's point was. Seems like he got upset at the title and never really read it.

Posted by: Chris_inMountVernon | July 29, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Yep, let's completely get rid of affirmative action and base everything on merit/ standards/ objective testing, etc. Should this happen, one minority group, representing less than 6% of the population, would occupy most of the seats at many of the University of California campuses; and, at Stanford, Cal Tech, Cal Poly, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Penn, Cornell and most other prestigious colleges and universities. This minority, Asians, are not heard complaining about using affirmative action as a means to get an education. They are simply going about the business of being academically and behaviorally better than their non-Asian peers. Currently, they (Asians) make up over 40 percent of the undergrads at U.C. Berkeley and more than 30 percent of the undergrads at other University of California campuses. But, Senator Webb did not have these folks in mind when he wrote his Op Ed. His comments were directed at folks who will continue to vote for him because he's a democrat. And, he probably has an A-plus rating from the NAACP.

Posted by: happy2behere99 | July 29, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

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