"I didn't vote for Trump," my buddy Ted said as he pulled out a chair to join me at the cafe'. "But I can understand why people did." He ordered a medium latte. "They'll be disappointed, though."
"You bet," I responded. "Trump only cares about Trump--and those named Trump. 'I'm not a populist, but I played one on TV'."
Ted chuckled. Then, a sigh.
"What?" I prodded. "I'm your friend. We can talk privately, and no one except OpEd News readers will hear us."
"It's difficult." Another sigh. "I try to be a good person. I try to be progressive."
"They've changed the rules. It's gone too far."
He must have seen my puzzled expression, so he continued, "Look, let's go back a bit. Affirmative action."
"Uh-oh." I quickly sipped my coffee.
"No, listen. Slavery was horrible and unforgivable. The idea of providing reparations for that crime was a very good one. I wish the reparations had gone to those who needed them most, poor blacks in urban areas rather than the suburbanized middle class, but, the effort was honorable. And, we had a debt to the Native Americans as well, so we were right to include American tribes in affirmative action programs.
"I won $250 at Pachonga last weekend. I'll treat for that latte," I smiled.
"I'm being serious. But, sure. Go ahead," he grinned. "But then it all went south. Literally."
I waved for him to keep talking.
"Over the next decades, the affirmative action pool got bigger and bigger. First, Mexican immigrants, documented and undocumented, who came to the United States voluntarily were added." He stressed the word 'voluntarily'. "Then other "Latinos", immigrants from Central and South America, from Cuba, and from the Caribbean. Even people from Spain, a fellow European country, got benefits from the "Hispanic" banner--while my cousins in Ireland had to wait at the end of the line." He snorted. "My office gave a scholarship to a 'Latino' from Argentina, whose grandparents had escaped Nazi Germany." He blew on his latte for a cool down. "Affirmative action and reparations were replaced by 'Diversity'. All of a sudden, it didn't matter if you'd been forced to come to the US or your lands had been taken. A Hispanic sounding last name? International immigrant? Step to the front of the line."
"Surely helping our newest immigrants doesn't mean we are hurting our own citizens," I countered. "You haven't done so badly yourself."