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October 25, 2006

Prop 2

Before I say anything, please read Proposal #2, that will be on the ballot in Michigan this Novemeber 7th.
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PROPOSAL 06-2
A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO BAN
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROGRAMS THAT GIVE PREFERENTIAL
TREATMENT TO GROUPS OR INDIVIDUALS BASED ON THEIR RACE,
GENDER, COLOR, ETHNICITY OR NATIONAL ORIGIN FOR PUBLIC
EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION OR CONTRACTING PURPOSES

The proposed constitutional amendment would:
• Ban public institutions from using affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment to groups or individuals based on their race, gender, color, ethnicity or national origin for public employment, education or contracting purposes. Public institutions affected by the proposal include state government, local governments, public colleges and universities, community colleges and school districts.
• Prohibit public institutions from discriminating against groups or individuals due to their gender, ethnicity, race, color or national origin. (A separate provision of the state constitution already prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin.)
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I'm white, but I'm not racist. I'm male, but I'm not sexist. I am, however, voting YES on this issue. Which goes against almost everyone and everything you see in SE Michigan and specifically Ann Arbor.

My reasoning for voting YES is pretty simple. I don't think race or gender should be considered in any decisions involving being accepted to a public University or being hired for a job. Let the best woman or man win... or in. What I think should be taken into account in these decisions is not covered in this proposal.

I'll face it, Lakewood High School was not one of the best high schools in the state. I would guess that it still isn't one of the best. Some neighboring high schools, like Maple Valley, were not the cream of the crop either. Why not? These school districs didn't have the money and funding to give top notch educations. A lot of the families in my school district were farm families, many of them were not too well-off financially.

So, what I would like to see, instead of race, instead of gender, is the socio-economic status (SES) be counted. These are the people who are trully born and living one step behind many others both in education and in the real world. It sounds nearly horrible to say, but under the current form of affirmative action, an African-American child from a slightly wealthy family has a better chance to get into a publicly funded school, than a child with equal grades in equal school classes but from a very poor family. You're telling me that that African-American child is slightly "better" or needs more help than the white kid, simply because he's black.

Isn't that racist?

In my scenario that I just laid out, I'm not saying the white kid should have an advantage because his family is poor. I'm actually saying that they should be equals, but since affirmative action wants to award help to those who need it, should the white child get that help? He's the one who is at a disadvantage because his family has no money... the way it stands now, he's at a disadvantage because he's white too.

Posted by mldarby at October 25, 2006 11:55 AM

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