Skip to comments.Bush Administration Denounces Quotas
Posted on 01/15/2003 1:29:57 PM PST by PhiKapMom
Bush Administration Denounces 'Quotas'
By RON FOURNIER
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush opposes quotas and racial preferences, the White House said Wednesday as Democrats criticized administration plans to oppose a University of Michigan affirmative action program in court.
Such policies ``do not serve to lift up our country and to help the average American,'' presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters as administration lawyers completed work on their Supreme Court brief.
``Instead, they have a tendency to divide people, to separate people who are deemed to be worthy of something and have it taken away from them not on the basis of merit, but on the basis of simply a quota or something that is driven exclusively by race,'' he said. He did not confirm Bush's stance on the Michigan case.
Behind the scenes, Bush and his advisers discussed how broadly to press their arguments against the university's program, administration officials said on condition of anonymity.
The politically charged issue forced the president to balance the desires of his conservative backers, who staunchly oppose affirmative action, against the potential reaction from the broader electorate if he is viewed as being racially insensitive.
Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle called it ``a watershed moment for the administration. They have to decide whether they're for civil rights and diversity or not.''
Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri, a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School who says he'll seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, plans to file a brief in support of the university's program.
``I believe affirmative action is an essential tool in expanding educational opportunities to minorities,'' he said.
Complicating the president's decision is the fallout from Sen. Trent Lott's remarks that seemed to hold nostalgia for the days when segregation was accepted in parts of the nation. Bush condemned the comments last month, and the Republican Party has been trying to attract more minority voters.
In a sign of the White House's discomfort with the issue, Fleischer spoke of Bush's support of diversity while also discussing the president's plans to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, increase aid to Africa and funnel more money to black colleges.
Bush planned to make a public statement about the Michigan matter once the brief is filed.
The university's affirmative action question is one of the most-watched issues before the high court this year and could yield the court's most important statement on the use of racial preferences in a quarter-century.
Admissions policies at the University of Michigan award extra points to minority candidates, and the law school uses race as one of many factors that could enhance an applicant's chances. The school said the racial preferences were justified because the school had a legitimate interest in ensuring a diverse student body.
White students sued, claiming reverse discrimination.
A senior administration official said the president believes race is obviously a consideration as institutions seek more diversity but that goal can be achieved by expanding opportunities to all people - not just one race.
The brief is expected to point to a university admissions program begun in Texas while Bush was governor as well as affirmative action opinions by the Clinton administration that seem to support the president's views.
In Texas, Bush opposed racial preferences in public universities and proposed instead that students graduating in the top 10 percent of all high schools be eligible for admission to state schools. Supporters say that had the effect of continuing a stream of minority students, because some public high schools are nearly all black or Hispanic.
The high court hasn't spoken definitively on the issue since the fractured 1978 Bakke decision, when the court banned racial quotas but still allowed universities to take race into account.
States across the country are wrestling with ways to keep up minority enrollment in public colleges, and several are operating under court orders or negotiated agreements to end discrimination.
01/15/03 16:14 EST
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The majority of Americans are against racism and racial quota systems.
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The racially segrgated Congressional Black Caucus will be allowed to make its usual statements of outrage, as will Jackson, Corrie, Belafonte, and several other field hands. Sharpton, however, will not make any sanctioned comments because the dems simply don't want him to achieve "spokesman" status.
The official statements of "concern," "troublement," and "outrage," will be made by Dashole (as soon as he checks with his wife to make sure that she hasn't been paid to have him speak otherwise) and by Pelosi (who asks that no reference ever be made to her family's position on blacks while they "bossed" Baltimore).
The usual left wing media coverage of all this "outrage" will be overwhelming causing most folks to shift to the normal media. But, again, consider that the missing black race pimps will get their black race pimps standard messages on the record ASAP.
dick is a stupid racist bigot. He is essentially saying that the so-called "minorities" are inferior to whites and therefore, need help getting educational opportunities. This is much, much worse than what Lott said without meaning to. The real ESSENTIAL TOOL for education? STUDY hard? Interesting concept, eh?
Thanks for posting this, PhiKapMom. My respect for President Bush just went up a notch.
Perhaps team GW took into account that in a down economy people are less understanding of affirmative action scams. Particularly ones run by public universities they pay taxes for.
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