New York Times tries to justify racial discrimination in Oregon
Added 01-06-21 03:31:02pm EST - “Suppose that two similar small businesses in the same state seek funds from that state to relieve the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Suppose that one of the businesses is owned by a Black and the other by a non-Black.…” - Powerlineblog.com
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Suppose that two similar small businesses in the same state seek funds from that state to relieve the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Suppose that one of the businesses is owned by a Black and the other by a non-Black. Which business should get state funds?
To any fair-minded individual, the answers are either (1) both should get relief, (2) neither should get relief, or (3) if relief goes to only one of the two businesses, the decision should be based on factors other than the owner’s skin color. I believe these are the only answers permitted by the Constitution.
However, the state of Oregon is making these decisions on the basis of race. It has earmarked $62 million of its federal coronavirus relief money to provide grants to Black residents, business owners, and community organizations.
Two lawsuits challenge Oregon’s decision to dole out money to businesses based on race. In one suit, Edward Blum’s organization, Project on Fair Representation, represents a small logging company and an electrical services company, both of which are owned Whites. In the other, the Center for Individual Rights (on whose board I serve) represents a Mexican-American owner of a coffee house.
The New York Times, in an article by its “national correspondent covering race,” reports on Oregon’s race-based program and the litigation surrounding it here. The Times’ race reporter struggles to find a justification for favoring Black owned businesses harmed by the pandemic over similarly situated businesses owned by non-Blacks.
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