Melissa Harris-Perry Calls Out Clarence Thomas

This is a good one. One of the reasons it is critical that Obama win this next election is the opportunity to replace at least 2 justices on the Supreme Court and clean up the cesspool the Rethugs made of that institution.

 

SCUMUS 5 to Re-segregate Schools

Looks like a setup to take down that level playing field…

Back to the Affirmative Action Wars…

In case you missed it the right has been reconditioning and rolling out their anti-Civil Rights crew frantically over the past several months.  One of the folks to get a shiny new paint job was Pat Buchanan – although with his vision of a white America as a precondition for continued greatness – I think he let the real cat out of the bag a little too quickly. George Will blubbering about how AA has hurt minorities… A Republican sitting a panel which dealt with discrimination gets canned – by railing against minorities… They have even have stalwart Lawn Jockeys like Larry Elder and Walter Williams de-fossilized and trotted out in a reprise of their racism shielding role for the conservative right in the 90’s.

So why all the sudden attention?

U.S. Urges Creativity by Colleges to Gain Diversity

The Obama administration on Friday urged colleges and universities to get creative in improving racial diversity at their campuses, throwing out a Bush-era interpretation of recent Supreme Courtrulings that limited affirmative action in admissions.

The new guidelines issued by the Departments of Justice and Education replaced a 2008 document that essentially warned colleges and universities against considering race at all. Instead, the guidelines focus on the wiggle room in the court decisions involving the University of Michigan, suggesting that institutions use other criteria — students’ socioeconomic profiles, residential instability, the hardships they have overcome — that are often proxies for race. Schools could even grant preferences to students from certain schools selected for, among other things, their racial composition, the new document says.

“Post-secondary institutions can voluntarily consider race to further the compelling interest of achieving diversity,” reads the 10-page guide sent to thousands of college admissions officials on Friday afternoon. In some cases, it says, “race can be outcome determinative.”

The administration issued a parallel 14-page outline on Friday for the nation’s 17,000 public school districts, explaining what government lawyers consider to be acceptable ways that educators can seek to reduce racial segregation, which has been increasing nationwide.

The two documents, issued as the presidential campaign heats up and as the Supreme Court considers whether to hear a new affirmative action case, were designed to give educators a clear administration interpretation of three high court cases that, since 2003, have limited the use of race in admissions, zoning and other school policies.

The contrast with the Bush guidelines interpreting the same three cases is stark. Where the Bush administration’s letter in 2008 states, “Quotas are impermissible,” the 2011 version says “an institution may permissibly aim to achieve a critical mass of underrepresented students.” Even in addressing the same principles, the framework is practically reversed.

Bush guidelines: “Before using race, there must be a serious good faith consideration of workable race-neutral alternatives.”

Obama guidelines: “Institutions are not required to implement race-neutral approaches if, in their judgment, the approaches would be unworkable.”

Colleges seeking to increase diversity while not running afoul of Supreme Court guidelines, the new document says, “could select schools (including community colleges) based on their demographics (e.g., their racial or socioeconomic composition), and grant an admission preference” to graduates of those schools. They could also “select high schools for partnership” based, among other things, on “racial composition of the school’s student body” and former partnerships with historically black colleges and universities”; consider race as they select students for mentoring programs; and sponsor retention or support programs that highlight, for example, “the accomplishments of Latino business leaders.”

Ada Meloy, general counsel for the American Council on Education, which represents 1,800 universities and colleges, predicted that educators would immediately begin to pursue ways to draw more racial minorities, as the new guidelines would ease fears of legal challenge.

“University administrators have been confused about how they could follow the court’s rulings and still achieve the benefits of diversity,” Ms. Meloy said. “So they will welcome this practical, step-by-step set of directions.”

For kindergarten through 12th grade, the guidelines tell school districts that they can shape policies on locating schools, drawing attendance boundaries and governing student transfers to achieve a better racial mix. For example, a school district with two elementary schools with distinctly different demographics could consider making one school serve kindergarten through second grade and the other grades 3 to 5 in order to force a better mix.

“Diverse learning environments promote development of analytical skills, dismantle stereotypes and prepare students to succeed in an increasingly interconnected world,”Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement. “The guidance announced today will aid educational institutions in their efforts to provide true equality of opportunity.”

Lee C. Bollinger, an advocate of affirmative action, was the named defendant, as president of the University of Michigan, in the two 2003 Supreme Court cases that laid down new markers on the permissible use of race in admissions. He described the new guidelines as “perfect.”

“It’s a very fair interpretation of what the court decided,” said Mr. Bollinger, a First Amendment scholar who is now president of Columbia University, “which is primarily that race can be one of many factors, and as long as your policies truly embody that approach, you’ll be fine, and can strive for diversity in all its benefits.” (more)

UC Berkeley Republicans Bring Back Racist Bake Sale

The first one to come up with this was Dinesh D’Souza, the author of a racist, and discredited screed done for the Hoover Foundation – “The End of Racism” in 1995 during his book tour at campuses. John Stossel converted it into a nationwide campaign.

The funny thing about this is that when Prop 209 was passed in California, outlawing Affirmative Action, while black and Hispanic numbers went down – the percentage and number of white students did too. Indeed, the sole “winners” of Prop 209 were Asian students, which now make up 50% or more of most elite California Schools. Post Prop 209, the white student percentage has dropped from near 50% to 30% at Berkeley and other schools.

So when these Republicans are selling bake goods for…

$2 to white students and $1.50 to Asian students – that is racism. Asian kids aren’t the ones who got the preferences. The biggest losers in the conservative attempt to eliminate black and Hispanic students and resegregate California Universities…

Was white kids. And the group most advantaged before Prop 209 by Affirmative Action…

Was white people.

Not much different from when an earlier generation of Republicans/Tea Baggers was carrying these signs -

Michigan Segregation/Apartheid Law Overturned (Temporarily)

Not to worry conservative folks – the fix is in on this one with the 5 Thugs in Robes of the (formerly) Supreme Court – now known as the “Cash and Carry”. The re-Segregation of America will proceed on schedule!

Appeals court panel strikes down Michigan’s affirmative action ban

Affirmative action is back on the menu in Michigan, but for how long is anyone’s guess.

On Friday, a federal appeals court struck down Proposal 2, the 2006 Michigan constitutional amendment that banned affirmative action in college admissions, employment and contracting.

“It’s a tremendous victory,” Detroit attorney George Washington said after a U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled in a 2-1 decision that Proposal 2 was unconstitutional.

He represents a coalition that sued the governing boards of Michigan’s three largest universities — the University of Michigan and Michigan State and Wayne State universities — to overturn the proposal.

Not so fast, countered state Attorney General Bill Schuette, who said he plans to ask the entire U.S. 6th Circuit to reconsider the ruling. In the meantime, Proposal 2 will remain the law, Schuette said.

Proposal 2 — which Michigan voters approved 58%-42% — “embodies the fundamental premise of what America is all about: equal opportunity under the law. … Entrance to our great universities must be based upon merit, and I will continue the fight for equality, fairness and rule of law,” Schuette said.

The ballot proposal was prompted by a long legal fight brought by three white students who claimed to have been denied admission because of racial preferences in U-M admissions. The Supreme Court ruled narrowly in favor of the universities in 2003.

Legal experts said a final decision by the 6th Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court, if the case gets that far, could go either way…

The appeals court said Proposal 2, which state voters approved 58%-42%, is unconstitutional because it restructured Michigan’s political process in a way that placed special burdens on minorities that deprived them of equal protection under the law. White people overwhelmingly voted for the proposal, polls showed, while black people overwhelmingly opposed it.

“The majority may not manipulate the channels of change in a manner that places unique burdens on issues of importance to racial minorities,” Judge R. Guy Cole Jr. wrote in an opinion joined by Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey. Judge Julia Smith Gibbons dissented, saying Michigan voters didn’t restructure the political process by amending the constitution, “they have merely employed it.”…

Financial Reform Bill Includes Diversity Requirements

Couple of factoids -

  1. Black people in the US start about 30% of the new incorporations each year – they receive less than .03% of the Venture Capital and Investment Money put into new or growing businesses.
  2. Women of all colors  start about 60% of new businesses in the US – they receive only 3% of the Venture Capital and Investment Money.

Not much of a “level playing field” – now is it?

Republicans and conservatives have opposed any move to change this, and make things more fair using disingenuous arguments about “quotas”, and other racially tinged code words.

Now the reason I call “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” black conservatives “Uncle Toms” is this – pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is exceedingly difficult, when those bootstraps have been cut by the fact you don’t have access to the very thing which makes every one of your non-minority businesses that is successful,  successful in the first place…

Access to capital.

So expect a fight by the right against ANY effort to level that field – including false arguments like quotas, Affirmative Action, and reverse discrimination…

And a lot of hayteration directed at Maxine Waters.

My own experience with exclusion of Minority owned firms dates form the early 90’s when I owned a Government Contracting Firm which specialized in very high end telecom and computer engineering. Most of my customers were other Government Contracting Firms. I never filed for any sort of 8a or Small Disadvantaged Business Classification, although we did file as a Minority Owned Small Business with the Feds. My company had 12 people working at a major Federal Contractor, who was having “problems” meeting their minority SDB and Minority Owned Business (8a) goals – and was filing for an exemption, claiming that there were no minority owned firms which could do the technical work. I pointed out to the Program Manager that indeed, 1/4th of his development staff was being supplied by my company – which was a Minority Owned Firm, although not a SDB (for which we could qualify if we wanted) or a MWOB (Minority Owned Disadvantaged Business or 8a for which we also could qualify if we wanted) and as such, they could indeed reach the 10% requirement. Although it would require hiring more people from my firm, or other like firms, of whom I gave him a list of 10 who were fully qualified and capable fo doing the work who were already certified as SDBs and MWOBs. (And no – white folks can own both SDBs and MWOBs, if they can meet the eligibility requirements).

They terminated my contract 48 hours later, and successfully got an exemption from having to hire Minority Firms because “none were technically competent to do the work”. This is the game that has been played for years at the Federal Contracting level, with the Federal Government Agency sometimes being willing participants. Republicans had managed to gut any enforcement or penalty for not meeting contract requirements (Much as they gutted the Criminal Penalties in Title IV of the Civil Rights Act) in this, and only this one area – meaning that there really wasn’t any penalty for ignoring Small Business or Minority  contract requirements.

That “level playing field” on the side of a mountain thing… Again.

Feds demand diversity on Wall Street

A little-noticed section of the Wall Street reform law grants the federal government broad new powers to compel financial firms to hire more women and minorities — an effort at promoting diversity that’s drawing fire from Republicans who say it could lead to de facto hiring quotas.

Deep inside the massive overhaul bill, Congress gives the federal government authority to terminate contracts with any financial firm that fails to ensure the “fair inclusion” of women and minorities, forcing every kind of company from a Wall Street giant to a mom-and-pop law office to account for the composition of its work force.

Employment law experts say the language goes further than any previous attempt by the U.S. government to promote diversity in the financial sector — putting muscle behind federal efforts to help minority- and women-owned firms gain access to billions in federal contracts. Continue reading

Chris Mattews – AA for White Guys in the NBA

This one is funny! Matthews is obviously putting Buchanan on… Which will probably generate a veritable poop-storm on conservative rags.

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