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June 30, 2008 08:08 AM UTC

There oughta be a Law - Yes on 46 !

  • 4 Comments
  • by: NEWSMAN

Sundays Colorado Springs Gazette Editorial

STATE RACISM DOESN’T WORK

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION ON THE ROPES    

Remove all the political pettifoggery, obfuscation and claptrap, and one thing becomes clear: decisions based on race and gender are racist and sexist. Period.

  That’s why a recent poll regarding the November ballot issue that would end racial and gender preferences by the state indicates the measure will win by a landslide.

  A Qunnipiac University/Washington Post/Wall Street Journal poll surveyed 1,300 likely Colorado voters and found that 65 percent support the proposed state constitutional amendment to end preferences. Only 15 percent plan to vote against it. For opponents to the measure, the odds are almost insurmountable.

The initiative will appear on the ballot as Amendment 46. If approved, the amendment would read: “The state shall not discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to any group or individual on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public contracting, or public education.”

The overwhelming support of the measure perplexes some academics and political pundits. Rather than accept the fact that Coloradans object to racism and sexism, some have decided that supporters of the measure are simply confused. They have argued that people who signed the petition, which contained a few simple words, were misled.

The Rocky Mountain News quoted Colorado State University political science professor John Straayer explaining that voters don’t know a lot about the amendment, so they tend to “automatically say, ‘Oh, you don’t want to have preferences. Fair is fair, equal is equal’ … When people focus on it a little more, look at the ads, more people will become cognizant of why those preferences were put in in the first place.”

In other words, they might come to a conclusion other than “fair is fair, equal is equal.” They might come to a conclusion that “fair is fair,” but sometimes an unfair policy unfairly benefits me. Or they might conclude that “equal is equal,” and sometimes unequal benefits me.

The instinctive reaction – the one in which Coloradans are repulsed by the idea of race or gender-based preference by the state – is the moral and intelligent reaction.

Racism is the simple act of basing behaviors and words on race; sexism is the act of basing behaviors and words on sex. An enlightened society bases behaviors and words on more relevant considerations, such as intelligence, character, experience, education and achievement. Race and gender don’t enter the equation.

When the state bases college admission – or hiring decisions, or anything else – on skin color and sex, the state engages in racism and sexism. It really is that simple.

When racism and sexism somehow become justified, as people rationalize them with circumstances and needs and the desire to counter historical bias, it doesn’t change the basic fact that’s apparent when people read the simple wording of the proposed amendment. Their reaction: racism and sexism are wrong.

Racial and ethnic minorities don’t need favorable treatment, as if they’re somehow less capable than others. Women don’t need favorable treatment to compete with men. On merit alone they will reverse conventions and ignorant prejudicial practices of the past. Racism and sexism have always been wrong. They cannot be made right by counter efforts at racism and sexism on the part of the state.

Colorado voters are on the verge of institutionalizing genuine civil rights, with an amendment that forbids state officials from basing decisions on sex and race. They support it instinctively and overwhelmingly.

That’s because racism and sexism have no place in this modern world. They’re the remnants of a bygone era, when good ol’ boy networks, cliques and conformity could survive in markets limited by primitive communication, low-end technology and barriers to entry that no longer exist

In today’s highly technical, well-connected, decentralized and intelligent markets, only merit, innovation, intellect and prosperity compete. Today, nobody can afford decisions based on gender or race. That’s why Coloradans instinctively cringe at the thought of state decisions based on gender and race – decisions that are sexist and racist.

There oughta be a law, and it looks like there will be one soon.

http://www.gazette.com/opinion…

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