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SPOTLIGHT
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Sex and race equality

Published on -4/4/2014, 8:08 AM

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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. In addition to this government-sanctioned war on women, one wonders whether the NIH has a race-based caloric rip-off where they recommend black newborns receive fewer calories than white newborns.

Anyone who watches "Lockdown" on television will see gross racial segregation in California prisons -- such as Pelican Bay, Corcoran and San Quentin -- where prisoners are housed by race. Colored signs have 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. Being 78 years old and having lived through an era in which I saw signs for white and colored water fountains, waiting rooms and toilets, I find California's racial segregation practices offensive. 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. In my book, if the all-male military bastion is being eliminated, it stands to reason prison segregation by sex should be eliminated. No decent American would accept the idea of a prison for blacks and another for whites. If we value equality, we shouldn't accept one prison for men and another for women. There should be integration.

Speaking of sex segregation, 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 to 21 years of age to pass, he must do 35 pushups, do 47 sit-ups 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 sit-ups 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? You say, "Williams, what's your solution?" 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. Maybe we should ask our adversaries which is better -- raising female fitness standards or lowering those of males.

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 laureates. That's a gross disparity, for which there is no moral justification. Ask any academic, intellectual or civil rights leader and he'll tell you equality and diversity means people are to be represented across socioeconomic lines according to their numerical representation in the population. The fact Jews are 39 percent of U.S. Nobel laureates can mean only one thing -- they are taking the rightful Nobel laureates 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 the highest-paid NBA players. Blacks also are 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 the liberal and progressive elements in society eliminate them.

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

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