Race Bias #30 - "Colin Powell and O.J. Simpson"

Colin Powell and O.J. Simpson have a great deal in common. They both profit from the numerous tax breaks granted to investments made by minorities.

There is one set of tax laws that applies to European- Americans, and another that applies to preferred minorities.

That fact should not be a surprise, since the entire purpose of the minority preferences is to produce an affluent class of political activists who will organize their people to elect politicians who's primary aim is to ride herd over the White middle class while avoiding any accountability to it.

In the excerpts reprinted below, you get a chance to see some of the "disadvantaged" minorities who are slopping at the federal trough - poor folk like basketball stars Patrick Ewing and Julius Erving, actor Mr. T, and several members of Michael Jackson's family.

And it is at the federal trough that you will find that porcine pair, General Colin Powell and O.J. Simpson, participating in the same deal to reap advantage from the same race based tax preference.

Nov. 8, 1995 Wall Street Journal p A18

Tax Breaks for Being Black


Other than name recognition, O.J. Simpson and Colin Powell don't appear, at first glance, to have much in common. But in the eyes of the federal government, both of them are "economically disadvantaged" and in need of special government help, which is exactly what they got.

According to CNN, in 1985 a group of black investors that included Mr. Simpson and Mr. Powell bought a television station in Buffalo, N.Y., and benefitted from a federal minority preference program that gave them a tax break to buy the station. They sold it in April of this year at a healthy profit. A man who can afford to hire a small army of the nation's elite defense attorneys and a national war hero millions of Americans would like to elect president were the federal government's idea of "economically disadvantaged." The investors also included basketball stars Patrick Ewing and Julius Erving, actor Mr. T, and several members of Michael Jackson's family. All of them got a tax break for being black.

It shouldn't come as a surprise. Many of the federal government's racial preference programs assume that all minority owned businesses are underfinanced and disadvantaged, although that's clearly not the case. The track record of the Federal Communications Commission on racial preference programs is a virtual textbook on how such programs primarily benefit people and companies that don't need the help. In one case, then-mayor of Charlotte, N.C., Harvey Gantt, who is black, and his partners bought a television license from the FCC under a minority- Preference bidding system. They then sold the license to whites four months later, and Mr. Gantt pocketed a $3 million profit. More largesse for the "economically disadvantaged."

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Preference programs Currently provide special treatment and give away truckloads of tax dollars to countless "disadvantaged" celebrities, millionaires and businesses that are perfectly capable of competing with other companies--and most of these minority millionaire bonanza programs aren't being re-evaluated. Since the Clinton administration is determined to protect the status quo, it may well take a lawsuit for each and every program to force any real change.

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It's time to shut off the federal pipeline for "economically disadvantaged" millionaires. The government should continue to protect minorities from unlawful discrimination, but it shouldn't give money and special treatment to celebrities and businesses that don't need it. Where's the financial sense, not to mention justice, in that?

Mr. Forster is a policy analyst at the Center for Equal Opportunity in Washington.

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