“Affirmative action and slavery differ, obviously, in significant ways,” Kelly wrote. “But it’s more a question of degree than principle, for they both spring from the same taproot. Neither can exist without the foundational principle that it is acceptable to force someone into an unwanted economic relationship. Morally, and as a matter of law, they are the same.”
First, let’s clarify that this passage wasn’t something Kelly wrote as a drunk sophomore in his university’s “alternative” political magazine. He wrote it in 2014, and he included it in his Supreme Court application packet. This is an argument he is proud of.
And that aggravates me. For the obvious reasons, sure, but more because this isn’t even the right way of making an idiotic analogy between affirmative action and slavery. The right way of doing that is something to the effect of “both involve the distribution of social benefits and burdens on the basis of skin color.” That wouldn’t make the conclusion that “Morally, and as a matter of law, they are the same” any less appalling, but at least it would have an internal consistency to it.
But Kelly can’t even get that right. Affirmative action very rarely “force[s] someone into an unwanted economic relationship.” Much the opposite – typically affirmative action programs are voluntarily adopted by given institutions (e.g., the University of Wisconsin), and then challenged by external actors who want them instead to use a colorblind admissions/hiring process – or, to put it another way, want the judiciary to force them into an economic transaction that differs from the one that the university or business would want to enter into if left to its own devices.
Actually, it seems evident that Kelly simply got his issues confused. The argument he’s making has been applied to cherished elements of the civil rights project before – but it’s the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that’s been the target (Rand Paul made precisely the argument that this law, by prohibiting racial discrimination in various economic transactions, “force[s] someone into an unwanted economic relationship.”). So really Kelly should be arguing that its the Civil Rights Act that is “[m]orally, and as a matter of law” the same as slavery.
Oh, and everything that has happened and ever will happen is happening right Now, but action allows us to choose which of those happenings and infinite possibilities are to be formed to our current "reality".
With awareness there comes choice. And so you are able to say: “I allow this moment to be as it is.” And then, suddenly, where before there was irritation, there is now a sense of aliveness and peace. And out of that comes right action.
To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order; we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.
What is meant by “Right Action” in Buddhism? Right Action focuses on the physical. Actions of the body. We must seek to live in harmony and compassion. In order to accomplish this we refrain from the
ten unwholesome actions.
Refrain from taking the life of any being
Refrain from taking what is not freely given
Refrain from inappropriate sexual conduct
Refrain from speaking falsely
Refrain from divisive speech
Refrain from using harsh words
Refrain from idle talk and gossip
Refrain from coveting other’s possessions and positions