Racial inequality has deepened, yet Republicans want to ban affirmative action in college admissions
The Guardian, Sunday 9 December 2012 14.38 EST
One of the rare moments of enthusiasm at the Republican convention this year was when former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice evoked her life story as an example of the innate genius within the American spirit that enables the country to overcome every challenge it faces.
"A little girl grows up in Jim Crow Birmingham," she said, referring to herself. "The most segregated big city in America – her parents can't take her to a movie theatre or a restaurant – but they make her believe that, even though she can't have a hamburger at the Woolworth's lunch counter, she can be president of the United States and she becomes the secretary of state."
Just the previous evening, a black camerawoman working for CNN had been pelted with peanuts and told: "This is how we feed animals." However, when Rice delivered her personal story of racial uplift in glorious technicolour, the crowd leapt to its feet.
At times it seems the only thing more attractive to conservatives than hearing how a non-white person defied the odds is doing everything they can to keep the odds of success for non-white people as slim as possible. It's almost as though they enjoy throwing down obstacles to racial equality just so they can take a perverse pride in those who get over them.