|(42) The End of Bias?
Or the beginning of preferences?
Frederick R. Lynch (07/26/01)
|The end of Bias?
Or the Beginning of Preferences? (07/26/01)
Excerpted from the Washington
"Since the mid-1990s, opponents of affirmative action preferences have been winning dramatic legal victories through court decisions and by passage of state initiatives in California and Washington. But, as the five-year anniversary of California's Proposition 209 approaches, a well-oiled diversity machine of consultants, foundations, universities, government bureaucrats and corporate CEOs is waging a persistent ground war to keep preferences alive in daily organizational life. Through non-compliance with preference bans and by linking ethnic preferences to demographic change, they're starting to turn the legal tide. Today, Proposition 209 likely would not even make it onto the ballot.
"Everywhere, officials hedge. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand for a second time a 1996 Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision banning racial preferences in student admissions at the University of Texas Law School. Yet a month earlier, the Supreme Court refused to hear challenges to a much more recent Ninth Circuit Court's favorable ruling on preferential admissions at the University of Washington Law School. Two weeks before that, the University of California Regents repealed their 1995 ban on ethnic preferences.
"Admittedly, these are temporary victories both Washington and California universities are still governed by statewide preference prohibitions. But similar initiatives elsewhere have stalled and this fall the Supreme Court will reconsider use of ethnic criteria in federal contracting. ...
"In cutting-edge California, the diversity ground wars are especially fierce. State and local government agencies are openly evading Proposition 209. [That is why the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) has had to become one of California's staunchest defenders of color blind justice. The PLF has] created 1-866-END BIAS, a whistleblower hotline for state or local government employees to anonymously identify 209 violations. PLF has already launched lawsuits against San Francisco, Huntington Beach Union High School District and Sacramento Utility District because of continuing preference policies. ...
"A new ground war is being waged to boost student diversity at UC Berkeley and UCLA by shifting admissions weights towards "non-academic factors" that contain coded criteria (including ethnically linked names, high schools, associations or awards), while decreasing emphasis on grades and SAT I aptitude tests. ...
"The ground campaigns are reinforced by political and economic elites anxious about dramatic demographic changes. The 2000 census findings of unexpectedly large immigrant populations combined with geographically and ethnically polarized 2000 election results quicken trends towards multicultural accommodation and diversity management while weakening allegiance to color-blind law. ...
"Indeed, Republican strategists crave a more diverse voter base, admitting they've maxed out white voter potential. Proposition 209 and kindred efforts are seen as embarrassments."
Frederick R. Lynch is a government professor at Claremont McKenna College and author of "The Diversity Machine."
Excerpted from "The
end of bias? Or the beginning of preferences?" written by Frederick R.
Last known link to the complete
Lynch article in the Washington Times:
PLF sues San Francisco for racial
discrimination against white-owned business.
PLF attacks Huntington Beach racial
PLF sues Sacramento Municipal
Utility District over reverse discrimination.