Reacting to recent accusations by the NAACP and the tea party movement calling each other racist, U.S. Sen. Jim Webb reiterated his belief Friday that affirmative action programs unfairly penalize poor whites and should be limited to assisting only native-born blacks still suffering from past discrimination.
Government-mandated diversity programs work against bringing more economic fairness because they have "expanded so far beyond their original purpose that they now favor anyone who does not happen to be white," Webb, D-Va., wrote in a Wall Street Journal column published Friday.
Affirmative action programs that assist black Americans who endured institutional racism for generations should remain in place for those "still in need," Webb wrote. But other government-directed diversity programs should end, he said.
"Those who came to this country in recent decades from Asia, Latin America and Africa did not suffer discrimination from our government, and in fact have frequently been the beneficiaries of special government programs. The same cannot be said of many hard-working white Americans, including those whose roots in America go back more than 200 years," Webb wrote.