October 10, 2013

By Leon Jenkins

 

The United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments whether to affirm the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision striking down Proposal 2, the Michigan Constitu­tional Amendment, (which is identical to California’s Prop. 209), which repealed the use of affirmative action to achieve diversity in Michigan’s colleges, universities and public employment.

The decision is as important to minorities as the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954.  In Brown, the Supreme Court said that separation of the races in education violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.  In the present case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, we argue that Michigan’s Proposal 2, and its equivalent California Proposition 209 denies minorities Equal Protection under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution for the following reasons:  Michigan and California give special preferences to legacy admittees (children of alumni and donors), athletes, students who excel in the arts or special skills, and certain grades and test scores admittees, veterans, and students in certain areas of the state among other admittees.

In all of the aforementioned catalogues if the state or universities changed, modified, reduced, rescinded, or revoked any of these admissions policies any of the affected persons have the right, opportunity and access to petition, meet, and/or have individual or group communications and contact with these separate entities, i.e., the colleges or universities, the governors’ office, the Board of Trustees, or individual presidents and/or chancellors of the colleges and universities, local and state legislators, alumni and large donors, individual universities trustees and school facilities governing bodies.

What California Prop. 209 and Michigan’s Proposal 2 have done is to not only ban Affirmative Action, both constitution amendments also took away from the affected parties “us” all rights, opportunity and access to redress our denial of equal protection and rights to higher education in California and Michigan colleges and universities by means available to all other groups, i.e., petitioning for redress through the colleges and universities presidents or chancellors, local and states legislators, the governor’s office, or through alumni or large university donors.

Proposal 2, and Proposition 209 left for affected minorities denied the rights to equal access to higher public education institutions that they, their parents and grandparents spent a lifetime supporting through their taxes, and community support only one method of redress, which is the impossible method of voter referendum.  Which would take a majority vote of all California or Michigan voters to overturn these constitutional amendments, which the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said would be an impossible task given the fact that in California or Michigan no minority lead, or issue orientated referendum have ever passed in the history of either state, and is a blatant violation of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution Equal Protection Clause.

The authors and initiators of Prop. 209 and Proposal 2 Ward Connerly and others specifically had in mind in drafting both constitutional amendments to make the amendments repeal proof knowing minorities would never have the power once these diversity destroying constitutional amendments were passed to repeal them.

Proposition 209 and Proposal 2 in California and Michigan respectively have destroyed diversity on our colleges and university campuses.  Diversity is when minorities on any given university campus reaches critical mass where minorities, especially African-American students do not feel they are alone, or the designated speaker for all African-Americans in the eyes of other students because their student population is so small.

We need to let the United States Supreme Court know that on October 15 we minorities of different races, creed, color, origin and ethnic groups are watching them and telling them “to do the right thing.”

If you are willing to stand with us the Los Angeles NAACP, UCLA African Student Union, BAMN, SCLC, Los Angeles Urban League, Brotherhood Crusade, Alliance for Equal Opportunity in Education, Black Community Clergy Labor Alliance, Coalition for Black Student Equity, California Law Professors and Constitutional Historians, Cali­fornia Social Science Researchers, Coalition of Black Clergy and Community Leaders, and the 32 other California Branches of the NAACP join us on October 15 at 10:00am in front of the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper office located at 3800 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA.

The fight is not over until we win!

For more information go to the Los Angeles NAACP website www.naacp-losangeles.org or call the Los Angeles NAACP President Leon Jenkins at (310) 397-1171, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to provide support until the United States Supreme Court rules on Proposal 2, which effectively is a ruling on California Prop. 209.

Category: Opinion

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