Saturday, November 04, 2006

We Cannot Get Sloppy on Proposal 2 by Akindele Akinyemi

I have heard several arguments on Proposal 2 in the past several days and on both sides I have heard some good points.

In case you don't know what Proposal 2 because you have been living in a cave for the past year that is the affirmative action proposal. Proponents of Proposal 2 (the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative) has placed this on the ballot:

Ban public institutions from using 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. Public institutions affected by the proposal include state government, local governments, public colleges and universities, community colleges and school districts. Prohibit public institutions from discriminating against groups or individuals due to their gender, ethnicity, race, color or national origin. (A separate provision of the state constitution already prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin.)
The opponents of Proposal 2 (One United Michigan) are saying that we need affirmative action because it would cut funding for women programs, hurt health care for minorities and increase costs for all and is critical to maintaining diversity on college campuses and ensuring a level playing field for all in Michigan. Both Jennifer Granholm and Dick DeVos are opposed to Proposal 2 as well. However, there are so many across the State of Michigan are in favor of eliminating Affirmative Action in Michigan.

One United Michigan is a coalition of business people, labor, social and religious organizations that have come together to defeat Proposal 2.

But there is a problem.

They say this is a non-partisan movement. If that's true then how come I find this on their website:

Steering Committee

Tina Abbott
Michigan State AFL-CIO
Kary Moss

Rev. Wendell Anthony
NAACP - Detroit Branch

Doug Rothwell
Detroit Renaissance

Debbie Dingell

Al Short
Michigan Education Association
David Hecker
AFT - Michigan

Larry Smith
Llenda Jackson-Leslie
National Women's Political Caucus

Shirley Stancato
New Detroit
Sr. Monica Kostielney
Michigan Catholic Conference

Yvonne White
Michigan State Conference NAACP
Patrick McCarty

Campaign Co-Chairs

Debbie Dingell
Paul Hillegonds
Heaster Wheeler

The majority of these people are either Democrats or lean Democrats. If One United Michigan is non-partisan in this movement why it is so far to the left?

Only Paul Hillegonds and Doug Rothwell are conservatives on this steering committee.

Which opens the doors for other Black Conservatives to ask questions if this is really legit or is this a Michigan Democratic movement to gain votes in the upcoming general elections.

I attended a Affirmative Action Forum recently at the Detroit Parent Network in Detroit. What I did not like about this forum was the lack of balance and NO opposing viewpoint. Furthermore, it became a tirade about how the Republicans have gutted Detroit (even though the whole city is ran by Democrats) and how Jennifer Granholm has saved Detroit time and time again.

I got up and left because NO ONE invited a Young Black Conservative from the community to get up and speak on the panel. I felt that it was a prelude to the general election for Democrats. What will it take for young people to collaborate on issues on both sides of the aisle?

Some of the Black people (both Democrats and Republicans) I have spoken to are voting YES on Proposal 2. Their reasoning is that they feel that they should be looked at based on their skills and not their skin color. Others have said they do not want special treatment but an equal chance.

To tell you the truth, I'm not sure if they understand what this proposal is all about. It's not about race. It's about equality.However, this MCRI thing is leading as we speak with only 2 days before elections. Even when I was in Benton Harbor I saw a lot of NO on 2 signs but outside the city limits people are supporting YES on 2. Which is a serious concern to me because we feel that this movement is concentrated in Southeast Michigan in the URBAN areas and NOT rural areas.

White people are NOT going to talk to White people about supporting affirmative action in places like Sawyer, Three Rivers, Escanaba and Iron Mountain. I would have thought at SOME point people of color would have went into these areas and have a honest dialogue on race and equality but we are still caught in our comfort zone in Detroit.

Proof of this is having an Affirmative Action Rally at Greater Grace Temple on Monday, November 6, 2006 in Detroit. Not only we are in our comfort zone but take a look who is on the schedule:

Dr. Joseph Lowery

Judge Greg Mathis

US. Senator Debbie Stabenow

Congressman John Conyers, Jr.

Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick

Rev. Wendell Anthony

Bella Marshall

Dr. Claude Young

James Hoffa

Willie Hampton

Rev. Horace L. Sheffield III

Robert A. Ficano

Rev. Timothy McDonald

Bishop Charles H. Ellis, III


Michigan Young Dems, Michigan Democratic Women'’s Caucus, Michigan Black Caucus, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, SEIU 79, TEAMSTERS, Inner City Sub Center, SCLC, AME Midwest Jurisdiction, AAMIA, Michigan State Conference NAACP, Fannie Lou Hamer PAC, Change To Win, Community Coalition, National Action Network, Mary Church Terrell Council For Community Empowerment

Again, if this is supposed to be a NON-PARTISAN movement show me one Republican on this list that was invited to speak. Let alone a YOUNG Black Republican. And if we are telling other Republicans to speak within their own circles to their own networks to their own people then there is no One United Michigan. We are STILL DIVIDED. And you know who is watching? The MCRI.

Even the literature I have seen is totally biased. Nothing but Democrats. Is this supposed to make Black people feel right at home with this critical issue? Where is the political balance?And again, where are the YOUNG BLACK CONSERVATIVES if we are supposed to defeat this MCRI thing together.

Now, I have also heard some Black Republicans who strongly feel that by voting YES on 2 would make Black people in the community get up and do something instead of asking for a handout.

So let me explain why we need to vote NO on 2 without the crap from either group.

Racism is REAL in Michigan and anyone who says less is lying. Do I feel that we run race into the ground too much in the Black community that prevents us from progress? Yes.

But we need to understand what is really going on with affirmative action. Let's look at this from a higher education point of view.

MichiganĂ‚’s public universities and colleges would no longer be allowed to exercise their ability (as recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court) to consider race, ethnicity, and gender in several contexts. The following general areas and specific programs represent the several segments of higher education in Michigan that could be affected by the proposal.

Impact in General Areas

  • Financial Aid: Diversity scholarships that consider race, gender, national origin, ethnicity or color would be at risk. Financial aid programs help to recruit and retain a diverse student body, and are one tool that many universities use to attract underrepresented students to campus. The University of Michigan uses race-conscious scholarships, many of which are privately funded, to help attract a diverse student body. These private scholarships could also potentially be affected by passage of the ballot proposal to the extent that the University administers them. The elimination of such scholarships could limit the overall pool of financial aid resources available to University students, because many donors give money with the expectation of pursuing certain types of goals that are within the bounds of current law. This potential loss of financial aid funds comes at a time when the state is cutting general revenue funding for all universities.

  • Diversity in Housing: Diversity positions and programming, such as international houses used to give students the experience of living in a diverse environment, would potentially be affected by the passage of the ballot proposal.

  • Faculty Recruitment and Employment: While, technically speaking, Ă‚§ 4 of the ballot proposal would allow a state recipient to continue to take any action required to retain eligibility for federal funds and/or to comply with all federal mandates, the passage of the ballot proposal could make it harder to attract and retain top-notch faculty. Potential faculty members, including women and minorities, as well as international faculty, may choose positions at universities that appear to be more committed to and supportive of diversity.

  • Private Foundation Grants: Many national foundations use diversity as a tool in determining grants or have certain diversity requirements that an institution must meet in order to receive grants. The Kellogg Foundation, for example, has historically evaluated the diversity efforts of grant applicants and has denied funding to applicants that did not demonstrate results in diversity efforts.

Impact on Specific Statewide Programs

Many statewide outreach, recruitment, retention, and academic support programs could be affected by the passage of the ballot proposal. Here are some examples:

  • The College Day Program invites 6th-11th graders from schools with the greatest numbers of African American, Native American, and Latino populations to visit college and university campuses.

  • The Select Student Support Services Program provides monetary incentives to universities that develop minority retention programs.

  • The Morris Hood Jr. Educator Development Program offers grants to universities that are focused on increasing the number of minority students in K-12 teaching programs.

  • The Michigan/College University Partnership Program attempts to smooth the transition of minority students from community colleges to baccalaureate programs.

  • The Future Faculty Fellowship Program is aimed at increasing the number of minority teachers, and particularly targets those who will become instructors at a post-secondary education level.

  • The Visiting Professors Program was enacted to increase the number of minority faculty members at Michigan universities.

  • You have to be out your mind to eliminate these programs that have helped people. These programs are still needed to bring about diversity in our workforce and educational settings.
    So when I hear Black people (of all people) saying they want to eliminate affirmative action I have to scratch my head. Some of our brothers and sisters are so ultra conservative that they are missing the boat. Do they expect President Bush to give some faith based money (which is nothing but government grant money) to churches in our community to pick up the slack of these multi-million dollar programs just in case affirmative action is defeated in Michigan? Who will help those who aunderprivilegedged? Who will train them? And the biggest HOAX that I hear from my Black Republican colleagues is that our community is color blind. We practice racism ON EACH OTHER so how the hell can our community be color blind. Think!!!!

    Will Proposal 2 pass? Of course it will unless we can pull together AS ONE and defeat it on the polls this coming Tuesday.

    So yes, I am asking our Black Republican brothers and sisters to see past Debbie Dingell and the Democratic Party and VOTE NO on 2.

    I am asking those racist Republicans and Libertarians who would love to keep their foot on people's necks to VOTE NO on 2. This includes you too Leon Drolet.

    I am asking those racist Democrats who gloat in the limelight through One United Michigan, who pretend to love us but hate us, who come into the hood not just asking for a vote but cannot even articulate your position on Proposal 2 to VOTE NO on 2.

    I am asking Black men who date and are married to White women to remind them after love making in their bedroom to VOTE NO on 2 since benefitedted their woman the most.

    I am asking Black women who are either dating or married to White men to remind them to VOTE NO on 2 and tell their racist friends up in Holly, Clio and Coldwater to VOTE NO on 2.

    I am asking Black people, who cannot read and write because you attend a failing public school to spell it with me....V-O-T-E N-O O-N 2!!!!!

    I am asking those up in the Upper Peninsula while you are hunting bears and wolves to stop what you are doing and VOTE NO on 2.

    I am asking the mourning dove people who want to shoot doves that represent peace to VOTE NO on 2.

    Just do us ALL a favor and VOTE NO on 2 on November 7th.

1 comment:

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