According to its lead editorial of July 25, “Who doesn’t like equal rights?,” the Colorado Daily opposes the Colorado Equal Rights Initiative, Amendment 46, to be voted on, come November. Finding himself (or herself) immediately in a dilemma the editorialist indirectly suggests that the Initiative is “deceptively named.”
Why? We are not told.
Well, “after all,” he adds, “It does call on the voters to prohibit state institutions from considering gender, race, color, ethnicity, or national origin when evaluating students.” Yes, it does, but that’s only a confirmation that Amendment 46 is truthfully, honestly named the Colorado Equal Rights Initiative. He then further strengthens the case for Amendment 46 by immediately adding: “Essentially, no matter if a prospective student (faculty or staff member) is black or white, male or female, Jewish or Muslim, he or she wouldn’t get any special treatment if the initiative passes.”
Well stated. That’s what Amendment 46 is all about. Here is the complete text of Amendment 46
“Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado Constitution concerning a prohibition against discrimination by the state, and in connection therewith, prohibiting the state from discriminating against or granting preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, and in public contracting.”
Do you, dear reader, find anything “deceptive” in the Colorado Equal Rights Initiative?
In light of the principle of just (equal treatment under the law for all citizens ) expressed by the Colorado Civil Rights Initiative, Amendment 46, it is hard to understand why the Colorado Daily’s editorial board would not enthusiastically support its overwhelming passage. Could it be that the Daily’s editorial board fears not being “politically correct”?
The editorialist follows (his words quoted above) with this statement:
“Fair enough, unless you think supporting the educational aspirations of women and minorities is important.“
Of course, supporting their educational aspirations is important. That’s precisely why Amendment 46 is important; it will support not only the educational aspirations of “women and minorities” but of the educational aspirations of all, repeat, all men and women regardless of skin color,” and on a level (competitive) field. Nobody will because of his or her ethnicity, race, or gender be given a false advantage over others in his or her pursuit of education.
Believe it or not, the editorialist immediately after urging us to support “the educational aspirations of women and minorities,” assures us that: “Yes, women are as smart as men. Blacks are as smart as whites, and so on.” That’s why we should oppose Affirmative Action, and wholeheartedly support Amendment 46, which allows all, repeat, ALL of us to compete equally on a level playing field. (By this I do not mean that in our pluralistic society, some of us have parents who because of their culture have not emphasized education as much as others, and that every individual brings his or her own educational development when they are admitted as university or college students.)
On the athletic field, for example, no competitors in a race or game are given an advantage over others. That’s the only fair way. Why should not the same principle be applied in the classrooms of the University of Colorado?
Affirmative Action n stigmatizes all members of minorities and all members of the so-called majority. How? By regarding minority human beings as somehow inherently inferior to members of the majority. In doing this, Affirmative Action disguised (misnamed) by fat academic bureaucrats as “diversity,” has for decades now continued to stigmatize (paint) members of the majority –at least its male members –as racists.
A few years ago a study was conducted by Linda Chavez’s Center for Equal Opportunity which showed that majority applicants for admission to CU who made higher scores than minority applicants were not, repeat, not being admitted as students.
For what logical reason does it oppose a citizens’ initiative which would effectively establish a level playing ground for all students, ground on which all students could acquire as excellent an education as they are capable of –in equal competition with their classmates?
Is perchance the Colorado Daily suffering from “white guilt?” Surely the Colorado Daily does not believe that since some of our white forefathers discriminated against the blacks, that it is now pay-back time. Two wrongs don’t make a right. If Amendment 46 passes, and I believe that it will overwhelmingly, ethnic and racial prejudices will be dealt a near-death blow.
Inevitably, of course, some racism will survive, from both sides. And–look where the money is–some university bigwig administrators will probably resist full implementation of the Amendment 46 which simply requires equal rights be given to all students, faculty, and staff. But in the end the right will prevail as Proposition 209 has done in California. Minority enrollment figures in the State’s universities are higher than ever, and academic standards are being maintained, thanks primarily to the noble efforts of Ward Connerly, the man primarily responsible for Amendment 46, as well as the successful passage and implementation of similar ballot measures in Washington and Michigan. The “diversity” resulting from fair treatment of all is an authentic diversity, not an artificially contrived one.
Yet, Steve Balch, Founder and President of the National Association of Scholars, recently observed that “College administrators are often more committed to diversity than to the pursuit of truth.” Yet though one hears so much praise from CU’s top dogs about the value of “diversity” I am not sure that they are not using the word as a euphemism for Affirmative Action. They preach that “diversity” as so essential to a first-class education. But when I look at the sociopolitical diversity of CU’s professoriate I see little diversity, differences In the Department of English, for example, I understand that there are 38 professors–all members of one party, Guess which one.
In my day on the Spanish faculty at CU, 1964-87, I was the only vocal conservative and Republican. Or so I thought. But years later, after a departmental colleague had left for another academic position, he returned to visit me in my home. There he confessed to me that during all his years at CU he had been a Republican but had kept secret his political affiliation.
Is not the primary purpose of Universities, indeed their very reason for being, education, not diversity? If you believe it is, be sure to vote for Amendment 46.
Charles L. King is a CU, Boulder, Professor of Spanish, and former editor of The Modern Language Journal, 1971-79. He was recently elected President of the Colorado Association of Scholars, the state chapter of the National Association of Scholars.