Dr. C is puzzled by my statement that affirmative action is "a well-embedded norm."
ADDED: Back in the 1960s, there was an opportunity, as a culture, to adopt the mental discipline that is color-blindness. All the decent people and the people who aspired to decency had awakened to the stark and obvious reality that discriminating against black people was terribly wrong. But some people — including Democrats and Republicans — believed it was important to take account of race in order to overcome all the deeply embedded discrimination and the effects of that discrimination.
Back then, we were at a fork in the road, and we don't know how things would have worked out if we'd taken the try-to-be-color-blind road. We went down the affirmative action road. We are very far down that road. To say let's start being color blind now feels completely different. Many, many people who think of themselves as good people, certainly decent people, think they've been doing the right thing and worry that those who are pushing for color blindness are not the good people. It's at least terribly complex. The let's-be-color-blind feat is not what it was back when we were at that fork in the road in the 1960s!