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Affirmative Action Talk Grows Heated

October 23rd, 2007 by mopns · No Comments

From University News:

By Joshua Seiden

When Ward Connerly enters a room, one can expect spirited discourse and possibly some flaring tempers.

“Without question, racial discrimination and slavery and Jim Crow were wrong, but you can’t unring the bell,” he told the University News during a recent visit to UMKC. “You can’t go back and say that ‘for what was done to my great, great grandfather, I should get preferential treatment over some Asian person or white or whatever.'”

Connerly, who is black, is a long-time opponent of race- and gender-based preferences in education and employment, spoke in Royall Hall Oct. 18. Connerly founded the American Civil Rights Institute, whose motto is “Race has no place in American life or law.”

In keeping with his organization’s credo, Connerly is visiting various states to campaign for legislation that would eliminate any sort of racial, ethnic and gender related preferences in both schools and work places. The issue could reach Missouri ballots in November 2008.

Before addressing the audience, Connerly spoke to the U-News. He aimed to clarify his views on affirmative action, embracing some aspects while opposing others. Read more…

Related:

African American college student’s letter to the Missouri Civil Rights Initiative

PubDef Interview with Ward Connerly

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Tags: Affirmative Action · Decision '08 · Kansas City · Videos

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  • 1 Jim Byrne // Oct 23, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    Ward Connerly is a good man. I recently was honored to have lunch and an opportunity to chat with Mr. Connerly one-on-one. He is intelligent, thoughtful, and by all appearances, sincere.

    There was a time when affirmative action was needed in order to make sure that all involved had the ability to start the race from the same line (paraphrasing Mr. Connerly). The demographics in this country have changed significantly since the 60’s, and the result has created a new and opposite effect.

    A minority owned business with a blemished record can end up with a contract that a non-minority owned business with a spotless record should have been awarded. Minorities that have attained great achievements are, at times, considered to have only come by those achievements thru affirmative action.

    Ward Connerly doesn’t want to leave minorities high and dry. He just wants to give them a chance to stand on their own two feet. He wants them to be recognized for what they have accomplished, and not what affirmative action has permitted them to accomplish.

    Are we a country in which all men and women are created equal? Should the color of your skin or the birthplace of your ancestors be a determining factor for whether or not you succeed? If you and I grew in the same neighborhood and went to the same school, should the color of our skin be a determining factor for our futures?

    Affirmative action continues to provide an illusion that minorities lack the ability to achieve success without outside assistance. Affirmative action was initiated by executive order, and it can always be reinstated by executive order. The states that have the courage to get rid of affirmative action are, in effect, giving the minorities a chance to prove that they can do it on their own. Like a parent seeing their child off to school for the first time; when that child succeeds, it is the parent that feels blessed. This Country and it’s many states have nourished minorities for 40+ years now. It’s time to make them leave the nest, a nest that will be there for them, should the need arise again.

    I read the letter submitted by T.R.O.Y. I only wish he would have stated some ideas that would be useful in formulating new law. I understand his concerns. He appears to be agreeing that affirmative action needs to be updated, but he never states how to update it. I would welcome an update from T.R.O.Y.

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