Black Harvard Law Professor Randall Kennedy doesn't believe the new tax on tanning is discriminatory.
Mention the new "tan tax" in a major news outlet and cries of discrimination and reverse racism often follow.
The complaint surfaced on reader comment boards to blogs and news Web sites back in December, when it became clear that the levy -- a 10 percent surcharge on the use of ultraviolet tanning beds -- was likely to be included in the new health-care overhaul bill. Since then, it's been repeated by conservative commentators such as Rush Limbaugh and Doc Thompson, a fill-in host for Glenn Beck who intoned in March, "I now know the pain of racism."
When an article about the fallout from the tax -- which took effect last week -- appeared on the Washington Post's Web site Wednesday, dozens of commenters questioned the tax's legality.
The case can seem deceptively simple: Since patrons of tanning salons are almost exclusively white, the tax will be almost entirely paid by white people and, therefore, violates their constitutional right to equal protection under the law.
But does the argument have any merit? Not remotely said Randall Kennedy, a professor at Harvard Law School specializing in racial conflict and law.
"There is no constitutional problem at all, because a plaintiff would have to show that the government intended to disadvantage a particular group, not simply that the group is disadvantaged in effect," he said.
That’s the exact opposite position that the government takes when it comes to anti-discrimination and affirmative action laws.
As Steve Sailer has explained, if you give a test that whites do too much better on than blacks the Feds may want to come and know why, and they won’t need a shred of evidence that you intended any discrimination. It's called disparate impact.
I believe that if the tax was on hair weaves our Harvard professor would take a different view.
All that being said, I detest whites who tan.