Scalia and Racial Entitlement (Part II) – 1979
And this last enactment, not a single vote in the Senate against it. And the House is pretty much the same. Now, I don’t think that’s attributable to the fact that it is so much clearer now that we need this. I think it is attributable, very likely attributable, to a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement. It’s been written about. [my emphasis] Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.
It’s the “it’s been written about” part that jumped out at me on second look. So I did some digging, and learned it’s true. It has been written about – by Scalia himself, in an article decrying affirmative action, 15 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act.
But I think it unnecessary to describe the Restorative Justice Handicapping System any further. I trust you find it thoroughly offensive, as I do. It, and the racist concept of restorative justice of which it is merely the concrete expression, is fundamentally contrary to the principles that govern, and should govern, our society. I owe no man anything, nor he me, because of the blood that flows in our veins. To go down that road (or I should say to return down that road), even behind a banner as gleaming as restorative justice, is to make a frightening mistake. This is not to say that I have no obligation to my fellow citizens who are black. I assuredly do–not because of their race or because of any special debt that my bloodline owes to theirs, but because they have (many of them) special needs, and they are (all of them) my countrymen and (as I believe) my brothers. This means that I am entirely in favor of according the poor inner-city child, who happens to be black [happens to be black?], advantages and preferences not given to my own children because they don’t need them. But I am not willing to prefer the son of a prosperous and well-educated black doctor or lawyer-solely because of his race-to the son of a recent refugee from Eastern Europe who is working as a manual laborer to get his family ahead. The affirmative action system now in place will produce the latter result because it is based upon concepts of racial indebtedness and racial entitlement rather than individual worth and individual need; that is to say, because it is racist. [my emphasis]
That “happens to be black” line seems to me to be a really telling phrase.