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January 17, 2003


Bush to Condoleeza Rice: Back off beeatch. You betta step down

Well, OK not. Let's forget all the name calling. Bush isn't a racist and few Republicans are (though more are than is healthy). But they are misguided and a little too PollyAnnish, when it comes to looking at where race relations are in the world today. forget the world; where they are in America today.

How does it help when the Rove administration chooses MLK JR Day to announce its opposition to a measure designed to help minorities, particularly black. Apparently it wasn't the entire administration.

Today. C. Rice, says she would also prefer that hiring, admittance decisions not be based at all on the race of the person in question. But she also said, the country isn't in a position today where that will happen.

MSNBC article here.
UPDATE, 1-18: 11:09 and today, here

This announcement came as a surprise, since I read a Washington Post article, yesterday that said she helped with Bush's pronouncement and position. Of course, it is likely that both are true. But the clear intention of yesterday's article headlined "Rice Helped Shape Bush Decision on Admissions" is that it had the stamp of approval from a black woman - and by the way pointing out that C. Rice got there on her merits.

Still, the lede doesn't seem to hold much of an ounce of truth today. Oops.
National security adviser Condoleezza Rice took a rare central role in a domestic debate within the White House and helped persuade President Bush to publicly condemn race-conscious admissions policies at the University of Michigan, administration officials said yesterday.

In an AP story found here, this is what Sen. john Kerry had to say:
"The Bush administration continues a disturbing pattern of using the rhetoric of diversity as a substitute for real progress on a civil rights agenda," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Eleanor Clift, tells us that "former House leader and presidential candidate Richard Gephardt, a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, has filed an amicus brief supporting his alma mater."
Interesting point isn't it. Heard that from anyone?

There is also this paragraph from the Atlanta journal Constitution:
The decision to intervene places the Bush administration between conflicting political priorities -- pleasing his conservative base, which tends to disdain racial quotas, and raising the GOP's appeal to minority voters.

Let's examine "tends to disdain racial quotas." Why? Also why does the GOP have trouble attracting black and most other minority voters. Last question first. It's because people who have problems being hired because of their race HAVE THOSE PROBLEMS, Those that would end racial quotas, like to believe those problems don't exist. To the first question - Republicans are genuine in believing that each person should be treated the same in America and no group should receive special treatment (well, except for the obvious businesses that don't like environmental laws and CEOs who need tax breaks)

If my computer had not crashed in the middle, I would have posted the first C. Rice story yesterday. I would have also juxtaposed it with a study conducted that seemed to say black people still faced extra obstacles when being hired. A study which was also released on MLK JR Day, hasn't received much publicity.

You'll get the complete story here.

The story says by a wide margin, that resumes with equal qualifications listed were subject to different treatment when headed with "black sounding" names such as Alishia and Tyrone. In fact those with lesser qualifications listed, but headed with other "white-sounding" names were more likley to get interviewed.
Resumes with "white'' names had a 10.1 percent chance of getting a callback, while "black'' names had a 6.7 percent chance. In other words, whites received a callback for every 10 resumes mailed, but blacks had to send 15 to spark interest.

So if they change their names to those that are "acceptable" and continue to lose their black identity then they'll get along fine.

Let us end with Joe Conason, who ends his Thursday column with the following:
The children of alumni are about twice as likely to be accepted by Yale as other applicants. Whether their qualifications are twice as good, nobody seems to know. In the class of 2004, according to this interesting essay in the Yale Herald, the largest identifiable group of matriculates is from "families with some kind of Yale affiliation."

Now there is no movement among conservatives to require that legacy applicants (or athletes) display the same level of merit as anyone else admitted to an elite school. To the right diversity isn't an important value -- but traditions of family privilege must be preserved.