While it has a bewildering number of defenses, one of the primary functions of affirmative action is to assist blacks in resource competitions against hispanics. Both groups are disproportionatedly uneducated, but political organization among blacks far outpaces that among hispanics. Therefore, rationally, blacks political activists attempt to reward their supporters by supporting laws, rules, and regulations which assist blacks in getting jobs, contracts, and admissions, while making it harder for hispanics to do so.
It’s thus not surprising that many hispanics are skeptical of Barack Obama:
The Weekly Standard
Napolitano, who describes herself as a “dyed in the wool” Democrat, said she will vote for and support the Democratic nominee in the fall. But she has not seen the type of commitment to Latino issues from Obama that she says she saw in Clinton.
“Unless I see something inherently helpful to our community, I’m going to sit back and see what happens,” Napolitano said. Napolitano and some of her Hispanic colleagues are informally boycotting Obama campaign events aimed at reaching out to Clinton supporters because the candidate himself has not asked for their help.
Obama has stated that he supports affirmative action. This helped him racially polarize the election in which he defeated Hillary Clinton, but has harmed him among latinos. So far, Obama has only vaguely hinted that he might modify the system, from prevent the marginal number of black millionaires from benefiting to shifting some the costs (in terms of unrewarded merit, lost opportunities, discrimination, etc.) to middle-class whites, jews, and asians.
However, Obama has only hinted as a recalibration of affirmative action’s costs. Further, it’s obviously more difficult to change a whole system than to continue a policy of rewarding supporters and punishing their rivals.