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Buried in the pages of an obscure White House statement on energy policy are 50 words that reveal the Bush men's actual affirmative action policy: they oppose all programs that can be interpreted as providing special benefits to minorities. The four-page "Statement of Administration Policy," or SAP, raises red flags on three programs scheduled for funding, significantly narrowing the scope of what the White House interprets as permissible under the "due process" clause and equal protection provision of the Constitution. The May 8 document, revealed by the Washington Post, shows that the administration plans to tolerate no program that even smacks of minority advantage. These are the suspect items:
This interpretation goes far beyond the fine points of "quotas," drawing a bright line against special attention to any minority institution. Policies including phrases such as "increase the participation" and "encourage ... underrepresented groups" are to be considered constitutionally flawed. These are the barest bones of any race sensitive policy, after which there is nothing left.
Which immensely pleases
the anti-civil rights outfit that calls itself the American Civil Rights
Institute. Spokesman Edward Blum had been worried about Bush's stand on
race, but not anymore. "They were 50 percent right in the Michigan
case," Blum told the Post, "but they are 100 percent right in
this SAP. This is what colorblind policy calls for, and it goes beyond
If Blum rates Bush
100 percent right, we can be assured that the White House is a 100 percent
Blum's American Civil
Rights Institute and the equally fraudulent Center for Equal Opportunity
play tag team in targeting programs that can be construed as giving minorities
even a whiff of a break. The anti-affirmative hit teams convinced the
Bush Department of Education to pressure universities to drop programs
designed to help minority youth, according to an excellent Znet
article posted by Sharon Smith:
Smith notes that the
Bush Administration's relentless attacks on minority education opportunities
was the stimulus that brought tens of thousands of demonstrators to the
steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building, April 1 - most of them students.
The March on the Supreme Court was organized by BAMN,
the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action and Integration, and Fight
for Equality By Any Means Necessary.
BAMN calls for a New
Civil Rights Movement, with young people in the lead:
BAMN's national conference
is May 30 - June 1 at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
No sympathy for
Justice Clarence Thomas
is always found on the anti-civil rights side of the equation at the U.S.
Supreme Court. Yet, writes Counterpunch
contributor Elaine Cassell, Thomas is constantly reliving the painful
rejections of his youth. Cassell has no sympathy for the man from Pin
Talking like folks
What a difference a venue makes. Seven of the nine Democratic presidential candidates answered to the leadership and delegates of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) in Des Moines, Iowa, over the weekend. AFSCME President Gerald McEntee set the stage for the discussion: "Our job is to take back America from a President who coddles corporations. He's gotta go!"
With 1.4 million members, AFSCME is "the most politically powerful union in the American labor movement," in McEntee's words. Secretary-Treasurer Bill Lucy called his members "the backbone of America. Our work makes the country work." State and local public employees also learn quickly when the country is in trouble. "We are the first to see the already-vulnerable placed in even greater jeopardy," said Lucy.
The most refreshing aspect of the candidate forum was the absence of corporate distractions from the likes of ABC's George Stephanopoulos, whose only mission is to engage the "top tier" of candidates in debates over issues that the host's network believes are important. Health insurance co-payments are not deemed worthy of discussion. At the AFSCME forum, candidates were confronted on bread and butter questions of job security and, repeatedly, universal health care, issues that matter to most TV viewers, but are effectively censored by the millionaire hosts.
Two candidates were absent. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry was otherwise engaged, and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman begged off the Saturday affair on religious grounds.
Bill Lucy also heads
of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), holding its 32nd Annual International
Convention in San Francisco, this week. 1,400 delegates are expected to
attend, representing Blacks in 50 different unions in all 50 states and
Canada. The theme is "Advancing the Working Families Agenda."
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