Michigan affirmative action could haunt white minority in decades

| April 23, 2014

We’ve got one question: Just where the hell are all these jobs affirmative action allegedly took from white folks and gave to black folks? Someone, please help us because, given the tremendous unemployment rate in the black community, we can’t find these jobs. Same goes for university admissions which have driven cases like this.

First of all, the battle over affirmative action has been a joke from the forefront. Affirmative action did not “give” jobs to black folks: For the most part, it merely required folks to stop throwing black people’s job applications in the trash and judge them on merit. Once again, not that many black folks got jobs. And, let’s not talk about all the sham companies white contractors set up with wives to get so-called “minority” set-asides. (We also could show you the books on Indiana law to prove to you that these so-called set asides were merely suggested “goals” with no legal ramifications as long as a prime contractor “looked for” minorities with which to work, but that’s another discussion.) Have there been “abuses?” No doubt, but is that any different from an employers historically passing over qualified blacks, Hispanics and women to hire someone’s “idiot brother-in-law” simply because he was white? Funny no one seems to complain about that kind of affirmative action—or “legacy” admissions into college.

Interestingly, the courts saw no reason to overturn what they insinuated was popularly passed legislation. If we’re not mistaken, the measure had a little help with some misleading marketing. Wasn’t it called something like the Michigan civil rights initiative? Maybe we heard that in a different life.

It will be interesting to look down the road a couple of decades when the U.S. population has completed its shift to a non-white majority to see how many of today’s conservatives will be clamoring for affirmative action once people of another persuasion are running most of the country and making sure their children get the jobs and college slots.

 

Supreme Court upholds Michigan affirmative action ban

The US Supreme Court Building in Washington DC on 31 March 2012Justice Kennedy said the court lacked the authority to overrule the will of the Michigan voters in this particular case

The US Supreme Court has upheld a voter-approved ban on racial preferences in university admissions in the US state of Michigan.

In a 6-2 ruling, the court said voters there had the right to prohibit public universities from taking race into account in admissions decisions.

It was the latest blow to the 1960s civil rights movement-era system of race-based preferences in admissions.

The decision could spur other states to push for similar ballot initiatives.

“This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion in the case of Schuette v Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action.

“The courts may not disempower the voters from choosing which path to follow,” he added of the court’s decision to reject a challenge to the constitutional amendment, passed by Michigan’s white-majority electorate in 2006.

In his opinion, Justice Kennedy wrote that nothing in the US constitution nor case law provided the court with the authority to undermine the state’s election results on the matter.

But in a stinging dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic person to sit on the high court, castigated the majority for allowing white voters to undermine the opportunities for advancement that race-based preferences offer to minority Americans.

via BBC News – Supreme Court upholds Michigan affirmative action ban.

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Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.