Sunday, May 2, 2010

Affirmative Action in the Village of Woodstock*

I just wrote the following letter to Brian Hollander, Editor of the Woodstock Times.

Dear Editor:

In response to allegations of racism in the local Tea Parties, I did an informal survey of the Town of Woodstock's representation of various minorities.  I counted the number of African-Americans, Native Americans, Mexicans, Asians and South Americans entering and leaving seven local stores.  My finding is that the proportion of minorities who live in the Town of Woodstock is not statistically different from the proportion of minorities in the local Tea Parties. It is, however, significantly lower than the proportion of minorities living in the State of New York and in Ulster County.  A fair assessment is that the Town of Woodstock is racist.

More than the Tea Parties, which do not use expensive house prices to exclude minority group members, Woodstock is a racist Town.  Fewer than five percent of the inhabitants are African American, Latin American, Native American or Asian.

My affirmative action plan is straightforward. The Town of Woodstock needs to mandate that all homes to be sold within its borders must be sold to minority group members until such point that the minority group members are proportionately represented.  This will force prices of many Woodstock homes to fall since such an ordinance would restrict demand.  However, in the name of equity, equality, affirmative action, and to redress the harm that the people of Woodstock have done to under-represented ethnic and racial groups, homeowners should be grateful for the opportunity to sell to them, even at a loss, to redress social wrongs that the people of Woodstock have perpetrated.   Anyone who does not support this proposal is a greedy and selfish racist.


Mitchell Langbert

*Woodstock, NY is located about 100 miles from New York City.  It is famous for the Woodstock concert of 1969 (although the actual concert took place about 30 miles away); for artists' and musicians' colonies that go back for over 100 years; and as a weekend home center for Upper West Side "liberals."

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