Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Is it racist to not want to judge by race?

Last month the Supreme Court, in a 6-2 decision, upheld a Michigan Constitutional amendment banning the use of race as a factor in college admissions. It was a controversial decision which sparked a great deal of debate among both opponents and supporters of affirmative action.

One of these debates occurred on Fox News Sunday between Jennifer Gratz and Shanta Driver. I had seen the two present their views before and both pretty much stuck to their normal scripts, at least until the very end when Driver dropped a bombshell by saying "this is a racist decision that takes us back to an era of states rights where white majorities can disenfranchise minority communities and now prevent us from getting higher education."

So, if I understand correctly, Driver believes that the members of the Supreme Court who voted to allow the amendment to stand are essentially being racist because they are not in favor of discriminating on the basis of race.

You might think that perhaps Ms. Driver let her emotions get the better of her during the interview and that she doesn't really think that it was a "racist decision"...except that there is a very long quote of her responding to the decision on BAMN (By All Means Necessary) which starts by saying "Today's Supreme Court decision upholding the ban on affirmative action in Michigan is a racist decision."

Jennifer Gratz gave what I thought was a perfect response to Driver's cheap tactics saying "I think it is unbelievable that someone would sit here today and say prohibiting racial discrimination is a racist decision, I think that that tells us where the level of discourse is today. Look, good people can disagree. But we can’t have name-calling and baiting like this.” Couldn't have said it better.

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