Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Arizona Republic editorializes in favor of Prop. 107 - AGAIN

Affirmative action no longer needed

Oct. 26, 2010
The Arizona Republic

Affirmative action wasn't meant to be a perpetual-motion machine. The policy served an important purpose, making up for missing opportunities in education and the workplace. But over time, the drawbacks have come to outweigh the advantages.

Voters should pull the plug. They should approve Proposition 107, which would amend the Arizona Constitution to ban affirmative-action programs in public employment, public education or public contracting.

Activist Ward Connerly, a former University of California regent and founder of the American Civil Rights Institute, argues persuasively against racial and gender preferences. Instead of creating a level playing field, they skew the game. Qualifications are subordinated to minority or gender status - certainly not the fair play that Americans value.

Affirmative action can raise unjust doubts about genuine achievements. Connerly tells how the African-American pilot of a commercial airliner thought he saw fear in the eyes of passengers, who wondered if he was truly qualified for the job.

Discrimination hasn't disappeared in America. But we have legal tools, including the authority of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, to deal with it directly.

When former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor voted to support affirmative action in 2003, she voiced the expectation that racial preferences would no longer be needed some day. O'Connor thought it would take another 25 years.

There's no reason to wait that long.

The time has come to end affirmative action. Arizonans should vote "yes" on Prop. 107.


  1. Good for the AR and Ward Connerly!!
    Here is some information on how the deal went down in California....


    Stuart H. Hurlbert

    The numerous lies and distortions that have been spread about Prop. 107 and its proponents have a familiar ring to them for us Californians. They closely mirror those spread about the California Civil Rights Initiative (our Prop. 209) a decade and a half ago.

    Following passage of our Prop. 209, a group of organizations fought a last ditch stand as announced in their online November 1996 press release, "ACLU files federal lawsuit to block implementation of California's anti-affirmative initiative." Here are a few quotes from it:

    "Mark Rosenbaum, legal director of the ACLU of Southern California … said 'the measure … disenfranchises minorities and women from reliable and effective participation in our political process.' "

    "Ted Wang of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights [said it] … 'would prevent governments from eliminating ongoing, identified discrimination.' "

    "Kathy Rodgers, executive director of the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund [said] … 'women will once again lose critical opportunities for economic equality…' "

    "Abby Leibman, executive director of the California Women's Law Center said, 'This unconstitutional initiative must be challenged, or women and girls will find themselves back in the 1950s instead of ready to enter the 21st Century.' ..."

    " 'Proposition 209 has only one purpose: to reverse gains made by women and persons of color during the past 30 years,' said Professor Karl Manheim of Loyola Law School...."

    "Professor Erwin Chemerinsky of U.S.C. Law School [now dean of the University of California, Irvine, Law School! - S.H.] said, 'Proposition 209... is clearly discriminatory in its present and future impact and a denial of equal protection.' "

    Is the rhetoric familiar to my Arizona friends? The only matter more surprising than the blatancy of those lies is the fact that their authors have not been smart enough to take them off the internet during the past 14 years. Kind of embarrassing you'd think.

    What happened in California's system of higher education after Prop. 209? As a result of the very heavy weight that UC admissions officers were giving to race prior to Prop. 209, there was a temporary decrease in numbers of certain minorities at two of the most competitive UC campuses. For California public universities and colleges collectively there was zero effect on numbers. Instead disparities in academic qualifications and graduation rates between different ethnic/racial groups declined, and divisive racial preference policies were reduced to only those few mandated by the federal government. Affirmative action programs that do not discriminate on the basis of race or sex remain alive and well throughout California, as they surely will in Arizona. All has been good.


  2. According to an article in the Arizona Daily Star, UA President Robert Shelton is both fighting Prop. 107 tooth and nail and at the same time making sure no UA programs conflict with it. Go figure. He also misrepresented the consequences of Prop. 209 in California.

    Arizonans don't need to feel too embarassed about such antics and the rhetoric that accompanies it. Politically correct, bean-counting diversiticrat university administrators are much the same across the country, all a bit too stuck in the 1960s and too enamored of the governmental racial categorization schemes needed to implement racial preferences. You can't change these guys easily, you just have to try to keep them on a short leash.

    Just before the 1996 elections, my own San Diego State University President, Stephen Weber, published an anti-Prop. 209 op ed. In it he grossly misrepresented Prop. 209 proponents in saying, a "bright future can be ours, if we conquer our fear of change, reject the voices that try to separate us, …Some of us believe that [affirmative action] is necessary to overcome the continuing inequities of our society; others believe we have achieved a "level playing field" …"

    "Fear of change"? "Voices that separate us"? Those were good descriptors of the opponents of Prop. 209 just as they are of the opponents of Prop. 107. And no fan of Prop. 209 (or Prop. 107) I've heard of has ever claimed "we have achieved a level playing field." There are many reasons for not getting there yet… and the use of racial preferences has been one of them.

    A few years later, in 2003, President Weber boasted in a newsletter to the SDSU community that between 1997 and 2002 "35.5 percent of tenured or tenure-track faculty hires were persons of color - more than double the percentage of applicants of color available nationwide." No one knew exactly what he was trying to tell us. That, Prop. 209 notwithstanding, he and his compliant minions had been able to find under-the-table means of implementing racial preferences in hiring? That during this period an unusually high proportion of "colorless" applicants had poor qualifications? Who knows.

    I'm sure that President Shelton is a basically nice guy, as is President Weber. But anyone who in their political passion gives themselves over to cant, cliché, distortion or falsehood needs to be held accountable for the bad example they set for civil discourse and rational decision-making.

    Stuart H. Hurlbert is a professor emeritus of biology at San Diego State University and founder and president of the Rainbow Coalition for Commonalities and Cablinasians.

    Stuart H. Hurlbert is a professor emeritus of biology at San Diego State University and founder and president of the Rainbow Coalition for Commonalities and Cablinasians.

  3. Liberals are trying to wash Americans into believing that Prop 107 is against equal opportunity. Many of the articles I've found do not even mention Affirmative Action.