… is from page 84 of Charles Murray’s excellent 1997 book, What It Means to be a Libertarian:
It is the old story: The government can back up its tastes and beliefs with the police power. That is why it cannot be permitted tastes and beliefs. Most emphatically, it cannot be permitted to define one group as being privileged over another group of people. It was wrong in the days of Jim Crow; it is wrong in the days of affirmative action.
I’m quite sure that 19th-century bigots (woven, along with their prejudices, so securely into the fabric of society) were inflamed with the same righteous certainty of their beliefs that today burns in the breasts of 21st-century “Progressives” – “Progressives” who are absolutely sure that the state cannot, if it is to promote the Good, be colorblind in its policies and in the policies that it foists on the benighted society that it must struggle to uplift.