September 27, 2006

Best Column of This Past Sunday: George Will on Michigan’s Civil Rights Initiative

Filed under: Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:29 pm

In Michigan, it looks like payback is a …. Jennifer Gratz (and no, she isn’t one).

Gratz was turned away from the University of Michigan’s Law School by racial handicapping despite her superior qualifications 10 years ago. This year she has joined with legendary racial quota-buster Ward Connerly to get the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI) on the state ballot. It would “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.” In other words, it would put into law the colorblind society Dr. Martin Luther King wished for.

The heirs of Dr. King don’t see it that way, and have resorted to lowest-of-the-low tactics to fight it. This is where George Will’s Sunday column comes in, describing what these reverse-racist cretins are doing:

- Pressuring signers of MCRI petitions to say they did not understand what they were signing. Some talk radio stations have broadcast the names of signers, and opponents of MCRI have gone to signers saying, “Did you know you signed a petition against equal opportunity?” Two who recanted their signatures, saying they had signed without reading the measure, are federal judges.

– Violently intimidating the state Board of Canvassers, which certifies that initiatives have qualified for the ballot. The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) disrupted the board’s deliberations, shouting and overturning a table. Video of this can been seen at

– Asking a court to rule that MCRI committed “fraud” because many who signed the petition supposedly were confused — the signers were, presumably, not competent to read and understand the initiative, the full text of which was printed at the top of each petition. A federal judge — Arthur Tarnow, a Clinton appointee — sadly said he could not rule that way because, although he thinks MCRI is a fraud, whites as well as blacks were confused about it, and even if all signatures gathered in majority black cities were invalidated, there still were enough signatures to qualify it for the ballot. So Tarnow contented himself with an extrajudicial smear of Gratz, charging that her “deception” had confused all Michigan voters, regardless of race.

– Michigan ballots are printed by counties, so BAMN says it is asking local officials to assert an extralegal “moral authority” to leave MCRI off the ballot.

….. Given the caliber of opposition arguments, it is no wonder a Detroit News poll published Sept. 15 shows MCRI with an 11-point lead. Gratz says that if her group is outspent “only” five to one — Connerly was outspent that heavily while winning in Washington state — MCRI will become Michigan law.

Anti-MCRI demonstrators chant, “They say Jim Crow, we say hell no.” So, the rancid residue of what once was the civil rights movement equates Jim Crow — the system of enforced legal inferiority for blacks — with opposition to treating blacks as wards of government, in need of infantilizing preferences, forever. To such Orwellian thinking, Gratz and Connerly — and soon, perhaps, Michigan — say: Hell no.

The presence of MCRI on the ballot will, I believe help the gubernatorial candidacy of Republican Dick Devos at the expense of incumbent Democrat Jennifer Granholm. Not that I’m necessarily thrilled with that — I see Michigan’s race as a lesser of two evils contest, and I’m glad I don’t have to figure out which one is worse. I had an earlier post on Granholm (“Michigan’s Economy Makes Ohio’s Look Good”) questioning her tax and spend tendencies while the state’s business climate deteriorates. In the latter half of this post about Bob McEwen during last year’s 2nd District Primary, it should be clear why I think Amway/Quixtar Dick Devos’ ascendancy to the governor’s office would be potentially very dangerous .


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