RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia Sen. Jim Webb is calling for an end to government-run diversity programs, saying they've only disadvantaged poor whites and hurt the cause of racial harmony.
In a column that appeared in Friday's Wall Street Journal, Webb argues that diversity programs have "marginalized many white workers."
He argues that the programs now give an edge to new immigrants over similarly situated whites, and slight black Americans who were their original beneficiaries.
Webb spokeswoman Jessica Smith said the senator feels the column speaks for itself and would not comment on it.
The issue of ethnicity helped Webb win his seat in 2006 when Republican Sen. George Allen called a Webb aide of Indian descent "macaca," a slur in some cultures.
From Webb's Wall Street Journal editorial:
"WASP elites have fallen by the wayside and a plethora of government-enforced diversity policies have marginalized many white workers. The time has come to cease the false arguments and allow every American the benefit of a fair chance at the future."
"In an odd historical twist that all Americans see but few can understand, many programs allow recently arrived immigrants to move ahead of similarly situated whites whose families have been in the country for generations. These programs have damaged racial harmony. And the more they have grown, the less they have actually helped African-Americans, the intended beneficiaries of affirmative action as it was originally conceived."