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Affirmative action ineffectual says Washington Post columnist

By Editorial Staff
Published April 7, 2008

GAINESVILLE, Florida – Affirmative action doesn’t help poor people, Washington Post columnist William Raspberry said at the University of Florida on October 4th.

Raspberry, who spoke as a part of UF’s People Awareness Week, said affirmative action helps people who already have jobs instead of the unemployed. “It’s people like me and my colleagues that affirmative action helps,” he said. “Not the people in the streets.”

Raspberry said everyone – not just U.S. Supreme Court Justice (then nominee) Clarence Thomas – has a problem with affirmative action on some level. “Nobody believes in giving extra points to those who are scorned,” Raspberry said. “We don’t like awarding prizes based on ethnicity.”

Creating opportunities and getting everyone to the same starting line is what is important, Raspberry said. “Then everyone’s got to run for themselves.”

Raspberry said it is difficult to explain long-term opportunities to inner-city black males, whose lives mirror “live for today” attitudes, which often involve drug use.

“You and I are afraid to do what they do. We’re afraid it will shorten our lives or hurt our reputations,” he said. “Those are long-term concerns. To those kids, long term is next weekend. Our social policy reflects this, since we try to directly supply needs instead of enabling others to help themselves. Positive feelings are the result of an individual’s efforts, not government action.”

“I think that’s why people hate welfare and public housing even when they depend on welfare and public housing,” Raspberry added. “The only qualification for them is to be a failure.”

Raspberry, whose urban affairs column is syndicated nationwide by the Washington Press Writers Group, joined the Washington Post in 1962. He received the Capital Press Club’s 1965 “Journalist of the Year” award for his coverage of the Watts riots in Los Angeles.

Washington Post columnist William Raspberry spoke to hundreds of University of Florida Students on October 4 during UF’s People Awareness Week.


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Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

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In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.

By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).

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Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

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5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
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