Civil Rights

News from Michigan


Time to dial back to our March issue and read some sharp observations from contributing editor John Pitney:

A great unreported story in American politics is the silencing of overt debate on racial issues. When was the last time a major GOP politician came out squarely against racial preferences? After the Supreme Court upheld discriminatory admissions policies in the 2003 decision Grutter v. Bollinger, few Republicans had anything critical to say.

While Republicans have little chance at the black vote, they do hope for a share of Latinos. Although some surveys suggest otherwise, they think an attack on preferences would scuttle their Latino prospects. They also face pressure from business, which has surrendered on the issue. Discrimination in the name of diversity helps executives avoid protests and boycotts, and they cringe at the idea of revisiting the question.

All true, but grassroots voters are apparently another story. Michigan's measure restricting affirmative action is winning big, despite what National Review calls "open opposition, or at best apathy, by official Michigan Republicans."

NEXT: J.D.'s Done

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  1. Oregon’s “minor notification” amendment was being defeated last time I checked.

  2. Also see Michigan Proposal 4: “Prohibit government from taking private property for transfer to another private individual or business for purposes of economic development or increasing tax revenue”, passed by a landslide.

    This is *almost* enough to make me forgive my fellow Michiganians for the gay marriage ban ammendment.

  3. I think the lesson here is that “anti-discrimination” candidates actually have to make opposition to discrimination an important part of their political platform. If you look across all of the issues facing America, and the only time you get worked up about “discrimination” is when you decide that college spots and professional jobs being filled by black and Latino people should be filled by white and Asian people instead, making noise about that “discrimination” makes you look like a hypocrite hiding behind a pretext.

    Particularly if you jeer and look down every other anti-discrimination/anti-racism initiative that gets raised.

  4. Joe,

    That may be true, but that doesn’t detract from the wrongness of government-sponsored AA or the fact that the MCRI passing was a wonderful thing.

  5. Yep, those against this proposal were saying loud and clear that if you reject racial/gender preferences, you were racist. Most intelligent people couldn’t figure that one out and thankfully MCRI passed.

    And thankfully, Prop 4 regarding eminent domain passed too. No more robbing Peter to get Paul more taxes.

  6. Hopefully more states will take notice and get their own prop 4s in 2008. It passed by a landslide and I saw zero advertising for (or against) it. Who knows, maybe a similar (federal) constitutional amendment would pass.

  7. “College spots and professional jobs being filled by black and Latino people should be filled by white and asian people instead…”

    College spots and professional jobs shouldn’t be filled by any ethic group or race, thoses positions should be filled by the most qualified candidate, race not a factor.

  8. Buckshot,

    Qualified, how? I am not remotely as qualified to make a college’s student body an integreted, diverse environment as a student from a minority group, regardless of our SATs. (Except at places like Howard University, which does have admissions preferences for white people. I’ve yet to hear the “anti-discrimination” forces complain about this. Ever. Even once.) I am not remotely as qualified to improve relations between my city’s Cambodian community and the police department as a Cambodian applicant, regardless of our performance on the Civil Service exam.

  9. I am not remotely as qualified to make a college’s student body an integreted, diverse environment as a student from a minority group, regardless of our SATs.


    Just when I think you’re actually a reasonable person you bust out with shit like this. Or were you kidding?

  10. Huh? Isn’t the GOPs push to wall off the Mexican border really a racial issue? Just a different race.

  11. Andy,

    Expressing shock that somebody believes a diverse student body is a good thing doesn’t actually amount to an argument.

    It just sort of advertises a certain old-fashioned attitude on your part.

  12. joe,

    I don’t happen to think that a “diverse” (meaning, in your definition, a mix of skin tones) student body is of any inherent value, good or bad. I could be persuaded that it may be a good thing with a good argument, but you’ll never convince me that we should give the slot to Demetri Blackman even though Joe Whitehead is more qualified. All that does is hold “minorities” to lower standards, reward them for sub-par acheivements, punish non-“minorities” for super-par acheivements, and water down the intellectual quality of an institution.

    Yes, on average “minorities” get the short end of the stick but racist, collectivist, state-enforced solutions are not the answer to that problem.

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