America’s Class Warfare

Gary Spina

August 1, 1999

Most Americans recoil at class rights and class privilege. Yet few Americans recognize women’s rights, minority rights, homosexual rights as class privilege with license beyond what the constitution intended.

Class privilege is the product of quick-fix social remedies that assuage one group at the expense of another. The results of sweeping court rulings have engendered a national divisiveness, one class against another: women against men, blacks against whites, the poor against the rich, the homeless against the propertied.

The courts right wrongs by sanctioning “class” quotas, set asides, residential re-zoning, or forced school busing, and entire groups of Americans draw their battle lines. In America’s slavery days, individual rights were ignored as one class of citizens was deemed superior to another. Today, as our courts rule along lines of race, gender, age, or sexual orientation, it should frighten Americans to see history turning back upon itself.

Consider a woman who sues her employer for sexual discrimination. The courts rule in her favor. The ruling sets new guidelines for the rights of all women, establishes a legal differentiation between the sexes, and somehow men become a “class” legally at odds with women who are in another “class”. Labor becomes a class to be protected against another class called management. It should be noted that the word “segment” is a both a noun designating a part of the whole, and a verb meaning to cleave. Whenever the courts rule in favor of any one segment of our population, it foments resentment and hatred and rents the fabric of brotherhood; it cleaves our society; it pits American against American; it fosters “winners” and “losers” and causes segments of the people to feel either more “entitled” than others, or to feel as though
they are being punished, reprimanded, or in some way “corrected”.

The alternative is an affirmation of individual rights when courts uphold personal liberties rather than promote the agenda of any one class of citizens. When the judiciary champions the rights of one man, or one woman, all Americans rejoice in the triumph of everyone’s personal freedom.

In the suburbs, white males with jobs and money are made to feel ashamed and guilty for unspecified offenses against women and inner city minorities. Some groups of Americans have become “more equal” than other groups of Americans as high handed judges pronounce our constitution a “living document” open to interpretation and redefinition. The group that can muster the most political clout wins the prize of the day—for that day—until another day brings another group citing the latest Gallup Poll. To draw on
the analogy of columnist Walter Williams, how would you like to sit at a poker game where the “living rules” change with each shuffle of the deck? Read the Constitution as a living document and you read America’s death certificate.

Along with the judiciary, the executive and legislative branches must share the blame for a floundering America. According to Al Gore’s proud pronouncement, the individual is the customer. That makes the government the owner of the store. The people used to be the boss, but somehow it all got turned around. In order to control wealth and maintain “social order”, the government has divided the American populace into hate groups begging handouts: One group gets certain privileges, another gets certain set-asides,
others get “entitlements”, and by usurping the power to distribute, the government becomes the master. The three branches of government—the triumvirate of tyranny—play the “class rights” game with “living” rules, and the master always wins.

Class rights are the currency of demagogues and the tools of tyrants. America is not the land of the free as long as the government punishes the individual, calls him selfish and unpatriotic, and cruelly keelrakes him
beneath the ship of state.

Let us defend the rights of the individual. Let a wealthy American cheer the gains of a poor American. Let a poor man not look to destroy a rich man. Let a man applaud a woman’s victory over an unfair employer—not because of gender rights, but because of a fundamental American commitment to fairness for each of us. Allow a white man to rejoice in the success of a black man’s admission to medical school—not because of affirmative action, but because free men still recognize an individual’s hard work, determination, and ingenuity. When, regardless of color, race, gender, or religion, each individual is recognized under law, all individuals become strong, the government becomes our servant again, and Americans across our
nation can celebrate individual liberties.

Gary Spina is an English teacher at St. Benedict the Moor Catholic School in Washington, DC.