T Nation

Michigan Civil Rights Initiative


#1

If any of you are following this, in the wake of the USSC decision allowing the affirmative action program in the University of Michigan Law School (and disallowing a similar program in the undergrad), anti-quota activists have been working on a ballot initiative modeled on the California Civil Rights Initiative (Prop 209, for those of you who remember).

And pro-quota activists have been fighting tooth and nail to prevent the MCRI from getting on the ballot and being put to a vote, direct-democracy style. The main group is a Trotskyist organization known as theh Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action By Any Means Necessary (often going by "By Any Means Necessary" or "BAMN").

You may think its artistic license or hyperbole to call them Trotskyists, but you'd be wrong.

Here's a copy of a document complaining about BAMN's tactics during the Proposition 209 campaign in California.

And guess whose doing the complaining? Leaders in the Socialist movement. Nobody likes BAMN--except the Michigan Board of Canvassers and the Michigan Democratic Party.

http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45/058.html

[i]"Socialist organizations condemn attack at UCB by "Coalition to defend affirmative action by any means necessary" and the Revolutionary Workers League/NWROC.

"6 September, 1995

"The following statement has been signed by a range of national socialist leaders and Bay Area socialist activists (see the list at the end of the statement):

"STATEMENT:

"On Wednesday, August 30th at UC-Berkeley, the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action by Any Means Necessary, which is composed largely of members of the Revolutionary Workers League, assaulted leaders of the broad student Diversity in Action (DIA) coalition and sought to disrupt DIA's pro-affirmative action rally. Members of the Revolutionary Workers League assaulted students and shoved them aside in order to seize DIA's microphone and harangue the crowd gathered at the rally. This followed a pattern of disruption of DIA organizing by the Revolutionary Workers League.

"As socialists, we condemn the actions of the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action By Any Means Necessary and the Revolutionary Workers League (RWL). The Revolutionary Workers League's actions in no way reflect socialist values and contribute nothing to social change, "revolutionary" or otherwise. The Revolutionary Workers League, both under that name and its National Women's Rights Organizing Committee (NWROC) name, has a history across the United States of similar disruption and undermining of progressive coalitions.
We call on all socialists and left-minded individuals of principle to reject the tactics of the Revolutionary Workers League and the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action by Any Means Necessary.

"Militant socialist values can and must be promoted with respect for the broad progressive movements. There is no room in the left for the sabotague and disruption that has been too common a characteristic of the Revolutionary Workers League.

"As members of the left, we are committed to supporting progressive change and our allies fighting for affirmative action.

"In Solidarity,

National Socialist Leaders

David McReynolds, Socialist Party USA, National Co-chair
Duane Campbell, Democratic Socialists of America, Anti-Racism Commission
Sushawn Robb, Committees of Correspondence, National Co-Chair
Claudette Begin, Solidarity National Political Committee

Bay Area Socialist Organizations/Chapters

Northern California Committees of CorrespondenceFreedom Socialist Party

UC-Berkeley Campus

Nathan Newman, Committees of Correspondence
Tom Boot, AFSCME Local 3211, Diversity Council
Janice Kimball, AFSCME Local 3211, President
Anders Schneiderman, Committees of Correspondence
Jim Cane, AGSE/UAW, History Department Steward
Steve Ongerth, Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) member

Other Areas of Country

Robert Naiman, Socialist Forum, Urbana Illinois
Chris Faatz, Oregon Fellowship of Reconciliation, Board
Stan Yasaitis, AFSCME Local 82, Pres U-WI-Milwaukee
Paul Burke, Appalachian Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, Vice-Chair
J.J. Plant, Editorial Board Revolutionary History, London
Warren Davis, Solidarity, Philadelphia Branch
Justin Schwartz, Solidarity, Columbus Branch Chair
Pablo Vragus, Solidarity, San Diego Branch" [/i]

As usual for people backing programs that don't have the support of the population on which the population might actually get to vote, they've been fighting via lawsuits.

The Wall Street Journal had a great op-ed piece on this issue the other day - and get a load of the ridiculous and condescending theory BAMN is advancing to try to get the signatures tossed out:

http://www.opinionjournal.com/cc/?id=110007091

Michigan Meets Malcolm X
Gov. Granholm joins forces with a Trotskyite group to suppress democracy.

BY S.D. MELZER
Thursday, August 11, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

DETROIT--Liberals have been beating their collective breast in recent years over the Bush administration's post-9/11 assault on civil liberties. But Michigan Democrats--from Gov. Jennifer Granholm to the State Board of Canvassers--have joined ranks with a radical, 1960s-style Trotskyite group to deny state residents the most basic of all rights: the right to vote.

The group, which lives in a Malcolm X-inspired fantasy world and calls itself By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), has been engaged in a long guerilla campaign to prevent the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI) from getting on the state ballot.

This initiative, backed by Ward Connerly, the California businessman who successfully spearheaded a similar effort in his home state, seeks to end, once and for all, racial preferences in public universities and state government.

Polls have repeatedly shown that over 60% of Michigan voters oppose preferences, even though the U.S. Supreme Court last year ruled them constitutional in a lawsuit challenging University of Michigan admission polices.

But instead of doing the hard work required in a democracy to convince voters, BAMN has been using its patented formula of political intimidation and legal harassment in an attempt to strangle the initiative in the crib. Last year, it disrupted initiative meetings on college campuses and tailed initiative signature-seekers, denouncing through bullhorns any student who approached them.

At the same time, it mounted a legal challenge questioning the language of the petition. Even though it lost twice, including in the Michigan Supreme Court, the delay made it impossible for MCRI to gather enough signatures for the 2004 ballot deadline. That will not be a problem for the 2006 ballot. MCRI has already obtained 500,000 signatures and the secretary of state's office has certified around 450,000 of them--about 125,000 more than necessary.

Undeterred, BAMN is now trying to invalidate the signatures. And, unfortunately, instead of distancing itself from BAMN's thuggish tactics, the Democratic establishment in Michigan is backing them with its political muscle.

BAMN alleges that MCRI signature gatherers engaged in "systematic and racially targeted" verbal fraud by claiming that the petition would protect affirmative action.

But BAMN's evidence of fraud consists not of any audio or video recording of the deception, something that Stephen J. Safranek, the legal counsel for MCRI, notes it could have easily obtained given its habitual shadowing of signature-seekers. Rather, its evidence consists mostly of affidavits that BAMNers themselves signed after supposedly conducting phone interviews with duped voters. Only a handful of the affidavits were actually written and signed by the voters themselves.

Longstanding Democrat Mark Grebner--a political consultant who has advised BAMN and who supports affirmative action--believes that even if initiative representatives verbally misled voters, that is not sufficient to throw out the signatures. In a democracy, of course, voters bear the ultimate responsibility for reading any petition they sign.

Despite the flimsiness of BAMN's case, the Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer has joined BAMN in condemning the Republican secretary of state for certifying the petition signatures--never mind that career civil servants with unimpeachable credentials verified the signatures using long-established methods.

Mr. Brewer is also accusing the Republican attorney general's office of partisanship. Why? Because the Deputy Attorney General Gary P. Gordon--who also served under Ms. Granholm when she held the same office--wrote a letter rejecting Mr. Brewer and BAMN's demand that the State Board of Canvassers investigate MCRI for fraudulent inducement.

Mr. Gordon's letter pointed out that well-established case law limits the board's powers to ensuring that the petition conforms to a prescribed form and has the requisite number of authentic signatures--not conducting wide-ranging investigations.

But the irony is that if anyone is co-opting the Board of Canvassers--a bipartisan office--for partisan ends, it is Mr. Brewer himself.

At a recent hearing held by the Board of Canvassers, supposedly to give both sides a fair opportunity to express their concerns, Mr. Brewer huddled with one of the Democratic members after the member called a five-minute recess. Soon after, the board split 2-1 along party lines (with the Granholm-appointed Republican member abstaining) and against the secretary of state's recommendation refused to certify the petition--a move that even liberal editorial pages such as the Detroit Free Press and the Lansing State Journal condemned. MCRI has filed an appeal.

Incensed by the board's shenanigans, the Michigan Legislature a few weeks ago approved a bill to limit the board's powers. But Gov. Granholm vetoed the bill on the grounds that her approval might signal that she was ignoring allegations of fraud and misrepresentation against the Initiative.

"The governor's move has made BAMN the mouthpiece of the Democratic Party, its agent in circumventing the democratic process," says Bill Ballenger, publisher of the highly respected and nonpartisan Inside Michigan Politics.

Why BAMN has no use for democracy is perfectly clear. In its totalitarian, morally righteous universe, political opponents deserve no voice. Those who reject racial preferences are not honorable individuals with different views--they are "racist devils."

But what's more troubling is the Michigan Democrats' willingness to ally themselves with BAMN despite its contempt for the democratic process. As at the national level, there is an intellectual void, a lack of vision, among mainstream Democratic leaders in the state--a vacuum that extremist fringe groups are filling.

Ms. Melzer is a writer in Detroit.


Does anyone from Michigan have any first-hand observations and opinions about what's going on up there? Or does anyone else know more about this?


#2

Here's another interesting post on BAMN, authored by a law professor at University of San Diego:

http://therightcoast.blogspot.com/2004_02_01_therightcoast_archive.html#107802464352267225

February 28, 2004

BAMN BAMN: The Kookie Left Attacks the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative in the Courts.
By Gail Heriot

One lawsuit against the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative was apparently not enough. Now there are two. Both are pretty silly, but the newer one is special, because it?s brought by BAMN ( http://www.bamn.com/news/index.asp?idx=334 )--an organization with a long track record of really, really silly attacks on efforts to curtail race- and gender-based admissions policies in higher education. It promises to be entertaining if nothing else.

BAMN is the acronym used by an organization that once called itself the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action By Any Means Necessary. It has now lengthened its name to the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action and Integration and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary. If there's one thing you can say for the loony left, it's this: They aren't stingy with words.

BAMN was available for comic relief during the 1996 campaign for California's Proposition 209. During that period, its members proved over and over again that the organization had been misnamed. They were not in fact willing to defend affirmative action by any means necessary; they were quite unwilling to use one method that might have won them some converts: rational argument. Instead, BAMN activists staged militant sixties' style rallies, some small and some rather large, including one that one that shut down a freeway. They did things like stand outside a high school with a bull horn and demand that the students walk out of class in protest of 209. (A few did and were promptly cited for truancy; most just stared out the window in disbelief.) By the end of the campaign, even committed supporters of racial & gender preferences at UC-Berkeley were getting tired of BAMN?s neo-Marxist harangues and fondness for blocking traffic.

I have to admit I loved them. I figured for every television camera that followed them around, Proposition 209 picked up another five to ten thousand votes. The most extreme BAMN antic occurred at Cal State Northridge where they staged a mini-riot to protest KKK Poobah David Duke's appearance there advocating Proposition 209. The only problem was that Duke had been invited by opponents of the initiative in cooperation with BAMN. The whole thing was staged to embarrass the Yes on Proposition 209 campaign. The plan backfired only because a letter detailing the plan was accidently (well, as far as I know it was accidently) sent to the 209 campaign. By then, even the liberal media figured out what clowns these guys were.

Since 209, BAMN has taken its act all over the country, mostly in the form of shouting down campus speakers who speak out against race-based admissions policies. And they have made a special (if futile) project of demanding that Ward Connerly be fired from the UC Board of Regents.

The current lawsuit is called BAMN v. Board of Canvassers. It seeks to compel the board to reverse its previously issued opinion allowing signature gathering to get underway for the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (which is modeled after 209). According to BAMN and the other plaintiff organizations with which it has formed a coalition, including the Michigan Black Legislative Caucus, MCRI is misleading because it calls itself a civil rights initiative, but is in fact an anti-civil rights initiative. Apparently the definition of a "civil right" is "a right supported by BAMN."


#3

It doesn't suprise me at all. I'm embarassed by the level of liberalism that goes on in my state. As far as affirmative action goes, nothing would make me happier than to hear the death bell of that racist program. Affirmative action isn't about equality of opportunity, but strives to provide equality of outcome. That's bullshit.

The reason the dems want to circumvent the polls is that they've proven that they can't win at the polls.

Stabenaw and Levin make me want to vomit up all of my internal organs.


#4

The undergraduate and law school affirmative action programs were not similar. The undergraduate program gave 16 points for being African American towards a required 100 points for admittance. The SATs were out of 12 points. This meant that an African American could almost not take the SATs. Or essentially that they could totally bomb them.

An African American athlete from and under-represented area received near 80 points. These resulted in grossly unqualified individuals being admitted. It wasn't good for anyone. They took spots of those who were qualified, so it was bad for those people. And they didn't do well once they were there. In the law school, minority status is only a consideration. The median LSAT is 164 (25%) to 167 (75%). There may be a greater percentage of minorities in the lower range or even in the bottom 25% than whites.

But I can almost guarantee you that you could count on one hand those who were admitted more than 1-2 points below 164. So, unqualified minorites are not taking spots from qualified majorities. Less qualified minorities are simply being admitted in greater percentage than less qualified majorities. But everyone that is there basically should be. What concessions are made for minorities are largely made because of the argument that increased diversity makes for a richer and better educational experience for all who are there. I believe it's true.

I'll be there in the fall, so I'll let you know if I find that to be the case once I'm there. I, personally, agree with the decision to eliminate the form of affirmative action the college employed but to uphold affirmative action the way the law school undertakes it.


#5

There are problems with preferential acceptances beyond affirmative action as well at U of M and elsewhere. I have a friend who was a talented, talented sprinter (who happened to be white). He received a partial scholarship to Michigan despite questionable academics. The argument is that athletes bring something particularly worhtwhile to the school. This I don't think can be denied. But in terms of academics, a lot of those people don't belong there.

To make a long story short, my friend got caught up in fraternity, didn't train right, etc... By spring he was not in shape, ended up getting injured, and didn't compete a day. He graduated but barely and ended up doing pretty shitty. He really shouldn't have been there. If he had stayed fit and healthy, he would've helped the school, but that would've been the same. The same goes for football players and other athletes. They receive a lot of handholding to barely pass. Most of them don't turn pro. Then what the fuck are they supposed to do for the rest of their lives. I don't have the answer. I love college sports. And wanting top notch athletics is compelling.

But it's a problem. A similar argument is made for affirmative action. There are many arguments for affirmative action. But one is that increased diversity makes for a greater educational and overall experience. I agree with this but not if it results in unqualified applicants being admitted which is so often the case. That doesn't help blacks, whites, or any other race.


#6

I NEED SOME HELP HERE! I live in a town that is so liberal and full of democrat's, it's actually quite disturbing. They read the new york times as a mormon would read the bible, and quote it as scripture in a way that would make southern baptists red with envy.
My problem is, that while I agree 100% with what is being said here, if I was to say these exact same things in my gym, I would be assaulted.
The biggest complaint would be that with these new laws, everything would go right back to where it started and all the "progress" over the last 30 years would be undone.
It would be shoved in my face that racism would automatically take back over and blacks and whomever else would be open season toward racial discrimination.
Couldn't an argument be made the there ACTUALLY IS A NEED FOR AFFIRMATIVE ACTION? But just that it shouldn't play as big of a role as in the example of the U of M admissions standards.


#7

Yup. That's why it was struck down in the college and upheld in the law scool where it is exponentially less of a factor in the admissions process.


#8

I disagree. In effect they were exactly similar -- but in undergrad they were more straightforward concerning what they were doing. With the law school, the sneaky lawyerly types hid it much better, and made the reasoning vague.

Sneaky lawyers...


#9

You could actually make the argument that affirmative action hurts some blacks even while it helps others. In effect, it makes people compete with others with whom they're ill prepared to compete once they've been admitted.

If you hold the premise that the combination of standardized test scores and grades form a good prediction for success at the next level of education (which they do, when taken together), then you are in effect setting people up to get worse grades and not be competitive for honors or for admission in certain more competitive majors. (Thus the "need" for continuing affirmative action up the scale.). At schools with affirmative action, recipients have higher drop out rates, and tend to gravitate toward less competitive majors (hello sociology and ethnic studies...).

There are some really interesting studies that were recently completed that focused on blacks and affirmative action in law school, which concluded that overall blacks were worse off than they would be without affirmative action. I don't think you can necessarily generalize that conclusion out across the board, but it definitely should raise the question.

Thus, it's debatable whether it helps or hurts -- I'm sure some people are helped, and I'm sure some are hurt (talking about intended beneficiaries here). Overall I don't know how it works out. But I do know it violates my idea of what the Constitution holds vis a vis Equal Protection, and if you read the cases on affirmative action you can see the justices (or rather their clerks) have done some pretty strained rhetoric to get around the fact that it is essentially the government discriminating solely on the basis of race. And to do that for a program that may not even work seems especially wrong.

This has been hashed over before, but it does bear repeating. Just because the intention is noble doesn't mean a program bears good results, as we have seen over and over again.


#10

BTW, w/r/t Grutter, here's a good take -- and the stat at the end may make you re-think your wager on LSATs:

Michigan?s Small World
Racial preference for diversity is constitutional only in elite institutions.

By Douglas W. Kmiec

he affirmative-action cases are being overstated. Yes, rather dramatically the Supreme Court has declared for the first time that public universities may have a compelling governmental interest in promoting educational diversity, including diversity of racial experience. It is good to have public institutions readily open to all who qualify. And yes, the Court found a constitutional difference between attaining such diversity mechanically and unthinkingly with a flat 20-point windfall for favored skin color or ethnicity and individualized applicant review.

What is being missed, however, are the numerous other qualifications the Court prescribes for a constitutional diversity program ? most notably, that the legal permission to take the extraordinary step of employing race is necessarily hinged on the institution being fully capable of carrying out its educational mission. In this regard, there is much in Justice O'Connor's opinion to suggest that only the most elite educational institutions will be able to accomplish both goals and that therefore, public (and vicariously) private institutions that cannot do so are not permitted by the Constitution to shape their decisions by race.

Perhaps this essential point has been invisible to the public commentary since Michigan from the get-go declared itself to be elite and the Court agreed. Justice O'Connor specifically links approval of the Michigan law-school pursuit of a "critical mass" of minority students to the fact that the law school "ranks among the Nation's top law schools" and that admission to such a selective institution is a prelude to power and essential to creating leaders for private and public contexts, whether politics, the military, or business.

That highly selective institutions satisfy these educational outcomes is thus what allows them to satisfy strict scrutiny and demonstrate a compelling governmental interest. It is also what allows Justice O'Connor to remain faithful to the Court's precedents, many of which she authored, that demand nothing less. To be sure, this is obscured somewhat by the presumption of good faith that the majority gives the Michigan law school. As the dissenters point out, the presumption seems incongruous given how the factual record illustrates that minority students were admitted to Michigan with significantly lower credentials than their white and Asian counterparts. These facts lead Justice Kennedy ? who states explicitly that he shares the view articulated by the late Justice Powell that race can be used in admissions as a nonpredominant factor ? to believe that the majority had "abandoned or manipulated [or] distort[ed] [the] real and accepted meaning" of strict scrutiny.

While that is possible, of course, it should not be assumed that Justice O'Connor intended to overturn decades of precedent establishing that there is only one equal-protection clause, and that it applies to black and white alike, regardless of whether the government's desired classification is said to help or hurt the particular group. There is nothing in the majority opinion to suggest that Justice O'Connor abandons "searching judicial inquiry for race-based measures" or the proposition that there is no way to determine whether classifications are "benign" or "remedial." She cites both with approval. Instead, Justice O'Connor writes: "context matters," and the context that matters most are the words with which she begins her opinion: in the case under review the sought-after diversity occurs within one of the Nation's top schools.

When Justice Thomas in dissent argues that Michigan ought to be made to choose between its elite status and the diversity that it seeks, Justice O'Connor rejects that notion. She calls the prospect of lowering admissions standards, "a drastic remedy that would require the Law School to become a much different institution and sacrifice a vital component of its educational mission." It is for this same reason that Justice O'Connor finds that the Michigan law school has acted in a "narrowly tailored" manner without having exhausted all race-neutral means to achieve diversity, as the Bush administration had urged the Court. Percentage plans and lotteries do have greater racial fairness, but the law school does not need to consider them since that would force the school "to abandon the academic selectivity that is the cornerstone of its educational mission."

In endorsing Justice Powell's views, the Court accepted many qualifications for the use of race in university admissions: applicant review must be on an individual basis; the process must not be a disguised attempt to achieve racial balance; and one minority racial group cannot be preferred or played off another. A faculty cannot spuriously conclude that it wants more African-Americans, say, than Hispanics. That's not an overall critical mass of minority students but racial balancing, said the majority, which would be "patently unconstitutional." On the last point, Justices Scalia and Thomas
actually joined the majority. But the most important qualification ? and the one that makes the holding reconcilable with stare decisis ? is that the permission to employ race is narrowly limited to those few educational institutions that can actually achieve diversity without sacrificing selectivity.

Of course, it will be open to debate at any given time how many universities or law schools see themselves as elite or selective, and therefore, as qualifying for this rare constitutional dispensation. Being in the educational environment, I know that each school has unique features that make it attractive, but the reality is that applicants with high grades and test scores rationally seek out places, on average, that have large endowments and the traditions and faculties which give rise to them. All sides in the affirmative- action debate also concede that for reasons that remain perplexing and intractable (and that cry out to be addressed in noncosmetic ways), far too few minority students fall within the upper ranges of the entrance exam. Of the 4,461 applicants to law school who had scores in roughly the 93rd percentile in 2002, 29 were black. About 25-30 law schools consistently and exclusively take their nonminority students from this range, and that arguably, defines the contextual universe Justice O'Connor was writing about.

The use of race, in this way, remains extraordinary: to the giving of remedy for unlawful discrimination or the achievement of diversity in highly selective places.

? Douglas W. Kmiec is the Caruso Chair in Constitutional Law at Pepperdine University in August. Professor Kmiec served Presidents Reagan and Bush (41) as head of the office of legal counsel.


#11

I'd like you to explain to me how. And show me some evidence that minority applicants in the law school are actually less qualified than the white applicants as was often the case in the college.


#12

Uggg I hate affirmative action almost as much as I hate that stupid hippie liberal school known as the University of Michigan.


#13

See the second to last paragraph of the Kmiec article I posted above.


#14

BB, it makes an interesting point. Personally, I only support affirmative action when institutions have qualified minority applicants in their pool to choose from. Of those 30 or so qualified minority applicants in 2002, where do you think most of them ended up? Michigan and other top 10 law schools. I agree that this will often not be the case. And I don't think schools, graduate or undergraduate, should accept minority applicants who are clearly unqualified in the quest for racial diversity. But I do believe that minorities who may be in the low end in terms of credentials set for that particular school (grades, standardized tests, etc...) should receive preferential treatment over whites who are similarly qualified to attend but also at the bottom of the standards set.


#15

Also, it doesn't really matter that there's few minorities upwards of 93%. Outside of the top law schools, neither is the most of the general applicant pool or accepted students be they black, white, or otherwise.


#16

Affirmative action is stupid. Why should anyone be given special consideration because of their race. To take a spot away from a slightly more qualified white? All that bullshit is designed to try to help out anyone who is not white. Isn't that racist? A white isn't going to get help based on race, ever. To even suggest some kind of preferential white treatment or fighting for "white causes" you will be labeled a racist and probably get hounded by law inforcement and racist "ant-racists". Should one race be given preferential treatment because there are less of them? If you are poor black and average intelligence you could probably get into school with diversity scholarships and affirmative action, but if you are poor, white and average intelligence, you are shit out of luck. They have plenty of their own colleges anyway. I never understood black colleges and then regular colleges having affirmative action to attract blacks who could not cut it on their own. Thats really what it is.


#17

Pretzel, you're living in the 1800s. You probably believe in 'separate but equal' too and look fondly back to the days of segregation.


#18

And it's people like you that make legitimate arguments against affirmative action (which I can appreciate and to a large extent agree with) seem invalid and just motivated by predjudice, ignorance, and hate.


#19

You've got to do the numbers again w/r/t the top 20 schools.

Harvard's entering class alone is about 500. Georgetown's is about the same. They're the big ones for private schools. Public schools like U of Texas, U of Mich, UCLA, UC Berkeley and UVA are also relatively large, but probably not to that size. Vanderbilt's entering class was about 185 or so when I was there, and I think it's bigger now.

There were a lot more affirmative-action minorities enrolled in those schools than one could account for with the 36 whose numbers actually would have qualified them under race-blind admissions policies. I mean, come on -- that's just under 2 per top 20 school... [UCLA and UC Berkeley technically are supposed to have race-blind admissions, but I believe they've figured out how to use proxies].

Now, if you wanted to be extremely cynical about it, you'd argue that affirmative-action programs actually help those who actually do get in under race-blind admissions, i.e. whites and Asians. And that benefit would be higher grades in law school, as grading is done blind and on a curve. There's a reason that no black students have made Harvard Law Review under its blind write-on competition, and it ain't racism. If you're thrown in the pool to compete against those against whom you're not prepared to compete, you're not going to excel. Of course, that hasn't stopped Harvard from talking about whether it should start an affirmative-action program for its law review, but that's pretty typical -- extend a program that doesn't achieve your desired results instead of questioning the reasoning behind the program itself.


#20

Not to hijack, but is anyone else enjoying the amazing humor in the first post?

Seriously, last I checked, it was 2005. Yet, tiny groups of Marxists (most of those political "parties" listed have memberships WAY under 10,000 people) are STILL condemning one another over ideological issues!

I actually used to know one of the anti-BAMN socialist signers, nice guy (he introduced me to Gramsci's Prison Notebooks, the only intellectual Marxism EVER), but 10 years ago he was spending more time shit-talking other Marxists than the bourgeoisie. Some things never change. A cursory exploration of Marxist history will show that this is what they ALWAYS do! They backstab one another over ideological issues rather than focus on the "revolution." Actually revolutions are the aberration in socialist history, the norm is infighting.

Sorry, I just wanted to share that as I find Trots, "scientific socialists," and all other commies to be the absolutely funniest thing ever, with all due respect to the millions Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc. killed.

With that said, Trots are the best friend the anti-Affirmative Action folks have. They make the opposition look like total ass-clowns.