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Sex & race equality

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By Walter Williams
Thursday, April 3, 2014, 8:55 p.m.
 

There are several race and sex issues that need addressing. Let's look at a few of them with an ear to these questions: Should we insist upon equal treatment of people by race and sex or tolerate differences in treatment? And just how equal are people by race and sex in the first place?

According to the National Institutes of Health, male infants 1 to 3 months old should be fed 472 to 572 calories per day, whereas their female counterparts should receive 438 to 521 calories per day ( tinyurl.com/nj35qvh). That's an official sex-based caloric 10 percent rip-off of baby females.

Anyone who watches “Lockdown” on television will see gross racial segregation in California prisons. Colored signs have been hung above living quarters — for example, blue for black inmates, white for white, red, green or pink for Hispanic, and yellow for others ( tinyurl.com/m7n4df8). Sometimes inmate yard times are racially segregated.

Prison Law Office, a public interest law firm that seeks justice for prisoners, criticizes such flagrant racial segregation policy, but I question its sincerity. Criticizing racial segregation while not uttering one word about flagrant prison sex segregation is, at the minimum, two-faced. If we value equality, we shouldn't accept one prison for men and another for women. There should be integration.

There have been recent calls to end the ban on women in combat units, but there's no mention of the Army's sexist physical fitness test. For a male 17-21 years of age to pass, he must do 35 pushups, do 47 situps and run 2 miles in 16 minutes, 36 seconds. His female counterpart, who receives the same pay, can pass the fitness test by doing a mere 13 pushups, doing 47 situps and running 2 miles in 19 minutes, 42 seconds ( tinyurl.com/yaphmzl). How can anyone who values equality and self-respect tolerate this gross discrimination? I say we should either force women to come up to the physical fitness standards for men or pass men who meet the female standards of fitness.

There are a couple of other inequalities that cannot be justified, much less tolerated, in a society that values equality. Jews are only 3 percent of the U.S. population, but they take 39 percent of U.S. Nobel prizes. That's a gross disparity for which there is no moral justification. Any academic, intellectual or civil rights leader will tell you that equality and diversity mean that people are to be represented across socioeconomic lines according to their numerical representation in the population. The fact that Jews are 39 percent of U.S. Nobel laureates can mean only one thing — they are taking the rightful Nobel prizes of other racial groups.

Jews are not the only people taking more than their fair share of things. Blacks are 13 percent of the population but have taken nearly 80 percent of the player jobs in the National Basketball Association. Compounding that injustice, they are highest-paid NBA players. Blacks are also guilty of taking 66 percent, an unfair share, of professional football jobs.

Any American sharing the value of race and sex equality and diversity should find these and other differences offensive and demand that the liberal and progressive elements in society eliminate them.

Walter Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

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