We’ve gathered 508,202 signatures and the people of Michigan will have an opportunity on November 7, 2006 to amend the state constitution to finally end state-sponsored discrimination.
Consideration of race, color, gender, ethnicity or national origin will be eliminated – in hiring and promotions, in awarding contracts, and in admissions to taxpayer-financed educational institutions.
No more grids, points or “plus factors.” A permanent end to quotas, goals and “set asides.”
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law with the best of intentions and the noble goal of creating a color-blind society.
Have we gotten much closer? The original idea of “affirmative action” — that opportunities be made equally available to individuals of all races — has since degenerated into a divisive, condescending system of preferential treatment based on race.
Our society is more divided because of racial preferences. But the US Supreme Court says we should look forward to at least 25 more years of the same.
Even another 250 years won’t make a difference. When social programs are intentionally color-conscious, how can we expect individuals to not divide themselves by color, and resent other groups for perceived differences in treatment? And how can we expect those who supposedly benefit to not feel that preferences cast a shadow over all their accomplishments?
As long as we allow our government to categorize people based solely on physical characteristics and then treat them differently, we’ll never make any real progress in healing racial divisions.
Even a journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step. If we seek equality, it is long past time that we take the next step down that road.