August 29, 1997 |
There are a couple of particularly pernicious notions about affirmative action (which seems to be under attack by everyone, including some black people) that bother me. One is that people who are admitted to elite universities under affirmative-action programs are unqualified and don't perform well in their chosen professions. False. In fact, a University of North Carolina study of law school graduates (even in California, where Proposition 209 has effectively ended affirmative-action admissions at some schools)
November 12, 1998 |
The surprising strength of the Democrats in last Tuesday's elections, and the unexpected resignation of House Speaker Newt Gingrich, pushed a major civil-rights story out of the headlines: Initiative 200, Washington state's bid to end affirmative action in employment, education and contracting, passed with 58 percent of the vote. It was a stunning victory, because anti-affirmative- action forces were outspent 3 to 1 by the pro-affirmative-action camp, including heavy corporate hitters such as Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks, Eddie Bauer and the Seattle Times, which devoted free ad space to fighting the ballot measure.
May 23, 1988 |
The Camden County administration has proposed overhauling its affirmative- action practices to reverse what officials have concluded is a "poor record" on hiring and promoting blacks, Hispanics and women. In a plan to be given to the freeholders today, County Administrator Louis S. Bezich proposes that the county assign about 20 administration officials to monitor hiring and promotion. "There's a feeling that affirmative action has been icing on the cake," Freeholder Director Robert E. Andrews said.
April 7, 1987 |
America has never been the color-blind meritocracy of our highest ideals. But today we are a little closer to the goal of equal opportunity, thanks to a surprising shift by a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court. With the March 25 Johnson vs. Santa Clara Transportation Agency decision upholding the right of public employers to adopt hiring and promotional goals for women, the court has arrived at a consensus supporting affirmative action to help victims of discrimination. The ruling is right on time for the growing number of women who are becoming aware of sex discrimination on the job. A Gallup Poll reported March 20 that 56 percent of the women surveyed believe they do not have equal job opportunities with men, up from 49 percent in a 1975 Gallup Poll.
March 27, 1995
Africans first came to the Western Hemisphere in chains, to work without pay for European settlers. After 245 years and a bloody civil war, the slaves were released. But for another 100 years they were denied full citizenship, terrorized and even hanged. After enactment of a civil-rights law and an epidemic of race riots, policies were created 30 years ago to compensate African-Americans for nearly 400 years of oppression. These policies are called "affirmative action. " Now black people are equal - in fact better than equal.
February 23, 1995 |
The conventional wisdom is already busy predicting that the "wedge issue" of the 1996 campaign will be affirmative action. Before you leap into the fray, are you sure you know what affirmative action means? Can you define the difference between affirmative action and reverse discrimination? Can you define the difference between affirmative action and anti- discrimination laws? Between affirmative action and quotas? Do you know which laws promote affirmative action and which encourage reverse discrimination?
February 9, 1995 |
Based on the intensity of the current political assault on affirmative action across the country by many Republicans, conservative Democrats and even some African Americans, one might think that so-called "reverse discrimination" is at the heart of most of America's economic woes. If you read the news stories about the debate, you'd think affirmative- action proposals were liberal Democratic initiatives that came out of the civil rights struggle of 30 years ago. You would think that they have outlived their usefulness and have severely limited the opportunities of white males to get government contracts, employment and education.
January 21, 2000 |
One of the arguments supporting affirmative action in police hiring is that adding African American officers can help a department handle crime in black neighborhoods more effectively. However, John Lott, a professor at Yale Law School, has completed a study that appears to shoot a large hole in that argument. It shows that in cities where departments have entered into consent decrees to increase minority hiring, crime rates have risen. This is particularly true, he finds, in cities that have a disproportionately large black population.
February 17, 1995 |
Hugh Price, the Urban League president who warmed conservative cockles last summer with his don't-blame-it-all-on-racism admonition, told an interesting story the other day. It was the spring of 1963, he said, and he had "really butchered" his test for admission to law school. He had been an outstanding high school student, and a solid B scholar at Amherst. But his law board score ("probably 200 points below that of the average white enrollee") threatened to derail his legal ambitions.
February 28, 2012
MAYBE IT'S the magical ride of Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin that's been on my mind lately. When I heard that the Supreme Court would hear a case claiming that affirmative action at the University of Texas had resulted in discrimination against a white woman named Abigail Noel Fisher, I immediately thought: How do Asian students fare under college admissions and affirmative-action programs? Asians, after all, are a minority group, like blacks and Latinos. It turns out that Asians are seen as a worse enemy of the sacred goal of diversity on college campuses, and some studies have indicated that they must get substantially higher SAT scores than even white students to be considered for admission to the top colleges.