A Brief Rant in Support of Kurt Vonnegut’s Warning 62 Years Ago

Can you imagine a system of quotas in sports because African American stars represent more than 12.8% of all players (12.8% being the African American percentage of the American population), and requiring that talented black athletes be excluded from participation in favor of less talented Caucasians? Latinos (I’m one), represent 18.7% of the United States population; should we be limited to that percentage of roles in athletics, art, politics, journalism, etc. Should any of us be passed over because of racial quotas, or religious quotas, or gender quotas or quotas based on national origin or political perspective.

The quota system, for example, the one now omnipresent in the entertainment industry (and others, e.g., politics, the military and commerce), the quota system now imposed on all of us by Cancel Culture-Identity Politics-“Woke” overseers not only utterly destroys meritocratic quality but is a huge insult to the groups it claims to defend, necessarily implying that they have no merit, artistic or otherwise, without patronizing interference from virtue signaling “moral superiors”.

Kurt Vonnegut warned against the world we now live in in his dystopian 1961 novel, Harrison Bergeron which featured an all-powerful, “handicapper general” whose task it was to impose equality by reducing everyone to a lowest common denominator. Not all minorities are so lacking in self-respect as to accept that premise.

Prejudice is not something that should be tolerated and being deprived of opportunity based on one’s inherent characteristics such as race, gender, nationality, religion or political perspectives is odious and should be rejected, but so should imposition of mediocrity in the name of equality.

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2023; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen). Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). However, he is also fascinated by mythology, religion, physics, astronomy and mathematics, especially with matters related to quanta and cosmogony. He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

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