Check only the "American" box! The remarkable man who led the fight to abolish racial preferences in California was invited to speak about civil rights at the University of Texas Law School a few weeks back. Connerly is normally an eloquent speaker, but he had no hope of winning hearts and minds in Austin on March 8. They resorted to the usual thuggish tactics, yelling insults, pounding the walls, stomping their feet, waving placards.
Read Mode Three States Reconsider Affirmative Action At a time when voters could elect the country's first African-American president, three states also will decide in November whether to end affirmative action programs that supporters say help historically oppressed minority groups, but that critics say cause reverse discrimination against whites and sometimes Asians.
The ballot measures to end racial and gender preferences now pending in Arizona, Colorado and Nebraska would block public universities from considering race or sex when deciding admissions, and state and local governments would do the same in hiring and awarding contracts.
Similar initiatives in California, Washington and most recently Michigan caused an uproar from civil rights advocates, but all were overwhelmingly passed, killing their affirmative action programs. Weighing in from the presidential campaign trail, Republican Arizona Sen.
John McCain said he supports his state's anti-affirmative action ballot, leading to charges of flip-flopping, because a decade ago, McCain opposed a similar plan in the Legislature.
Barack Obama, whose father is African and mother is white, said he opposes the measures, but said he does not consider affirmative action a long-term solution.
He suggested that such programs should eventually focus on class, not race. Ward Connerly, the initiatives' author and driving force, said Obama's success is proof that affirmative action is no longer necessary. The federal government first created affirmative action in the s, requiring contractors and subcontractors to expand job opportunities for women and minority groups including blacks, Latinos and Native Americans.
State governments and colleges followed suit. In higher education, though, Asians weren't among the minorities who benefited. Some research has shown that Asians are overrepresented at colleges with a disproportionately large enrollment, resulting in higher academic requirements for those applicants.
Connerly founded the American Civil Rights Institute to challenge affirmative action programs after successfully leading a drive in to end racial and gender preferences in California. His group later spurred the movements in Washington and Michigan, as well. This year, they gathered thousands more signatures than necessary to get the initiatives on the ballot in Arizona, Colorado and Nebraska.
So far, polls show the measures would easily pass. The question is whether they will make the ballot. A Michigan-based group called By Any Means Necessary BAMN is leading a legal challenge to the ballot measures in Arizona, claiming that petition gatherers misled voters about the intent of the measure and that many of the circulators were not from Arizona, which violates state law.
The initiatives in Colorado and Nebraska are also being challenged under similar charges of voter fraud or misleading ballot language.
In Missouri, BAMN supporters aggressively trailed signature gatherers as they approached voters to explain that the measure would end affirmative action programs. The initiatives in both states failed to get enough signatures. After the anti-affirmative action Proposition took effect in California, the numbers of black, Latino and Native American students dropped throughout the University of California system.
In recent years, those numbers have inched up to surpass pre-initiative levels throughout the system. During the last school year, UCLA enrolled just over black freshmen out of a class of more than 4, students.
That was double the previous year, when the school enrolled black freshmen out of a class of more than 4, a year low. Inthe U. Supreme Court issued a mixed ruling that struck down the University of Michigan's undergraduate admissions process, which awarded bonus points to applicants based on race, but it upheld the law school's admissions process that used race as one of several factors in considering prospective students.
That led a handful of colleges - including Ohio State Universityandthe University of Massachusetts at Amherst - to drop their point-based race-conscious admissions systems. Schools also began ending scholarships aimed at specific races. But a few colleges used the ruling to re-introduce race considerations in admissions.
Last year, the University of Wisconsin system announced that it would begin examining race and income when deciding admissions. The University of Texas at Austin already offered admission to all students, including those from largely minority schools, who graduate in the top 10 percent of their high school class which filled about 80 percent of the enrollment.
After the ruling, the school began considering race to fill its remaining spots. But UT's new policy is being challenged in the courts, with plaintiffs arguing that the school's percent rule already ensures a diverse campus. Most colleges, though, overhauled admissions policies in the wake of the ruling to look at more "holistic" factors that the Supreme Court referred to, such as targeting high schools or neighborhoods that were underrepresented in enrollment and considering whether a student was the first person in the family to attend college.
The University of Michigan's undergraduate school instituted similar policies, using race as one factor. That ended after 58 percent of Michigan voters passed the anti-affirmative action Proposition 2 in Should this year's ballot measures pass, they may not carry much impact on undergraduate admissions at the public universities in Arizona and Nebraska, which look only at factors like standardized test scores, grade point average, class ranking and course load.
In Colorado, the University of Colorado at Boulder considers gender and race, along with other factors like income, whether another family member attended the school, whether a student is the first in the family to attend college and what region of the state the applicant is from.
Most graduate and professional programs in the states do consider race in admissions, however.Justice for All This paper attempts to understand the rationale of anti Affirmative Action leader Ward Connerly and the detrimental effects ending the program will have on society.
I. History of Affirmative ActionA. Modes of thoughtB. Language of the groupC. Inherited situation of ConnerlyD. "Angry University of Texas students disrupted a Monday night speech by Ward Connerly, the leader of a national campaign against "racial preferences" and the architect of . In , Connerly led a similar anti-affirmative action campaign to victory in Washington State; and in he is working on a similar-themed measure in Michigan.
Looking at Proposition #54 helps one better understand Proposition # That confused me a bit," said Ward Connerly, head of the American Civil Rights Institute, which led the successful campaign to eliminate affirmative action in Michigan as well several other states.
Wardell Anthony Connerly was born June 15, , in Leesville, Louisiana. Connerly has stated he is one-fourth black, with the rest a mix of Irish, French and Choctaw.
His father, Roy Connerly, left the household when Ward was 2, and his mother died when Ward was 4. The young Connerly went to live. Connerly has been trying to kill affirmative action nationwide since , when as a University of California regent he led colleagues in voting to end the system’s consideration of race in admissions.