Affirmative Action: A Thing Of The Past?

Some Utah Legislators hope so.

HJ24 Equal Treatment by Government is moving faster than one can say “equal rights”.  The Resolution is aimed at eliminating Affirmative Action and would require an amendment to Utah’s Constitution, which would be up to the voters to ratify in the November election.

Ward Connerly, a former member of the University of California Board of Regents … has worked to pass similar legislation in other states, was in town to testify for the bill.”The implication is that those of us who are … minorities cannot compete and therefore society has to bestow its benevolence,” Connerly, who is black, told lawmakers. “Sometimes we don’t realize that’s a double-edge sword. We demean people.”

Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, said the measure will help ensure Utah colleges don’t discriminate.

“We’re not getting necessarily the most qualified students there because of the quota system,” Waddoups said.

Opponents are angry at the speed at which this is occuring:

“To pull this bill out two days ago, and ram it down the throats of this community, is awful,” said Rep. Jackie Biskupski, D-Salt Lake City. “This is big, and it deserves public input.”

Jeanetta Williams, president of the NAACP Salt Lake Branch, said she wasn’t made aware of the proposal until Thursday night.

“He’s trying to kind of do it in a backdoor approach, which I find very offensive,” Williams said.

Senator Margaret Dayton supports the Resolution:

This fast moving resolution has caused a flurry of controversy.

But is the Resolution really necessary?  The has published an opinion piece on the issue.

Our main beef with Oda’s resolution is a concern over whether it’s really needed in Utah. According to Kay Harward, University of Utah senior associate vice president for enrollment management, there is no preferential treatment when it comes to admission in state universities. Also, state agencies are not allowed to use preferential treatment in hirings or promotions.

Nevertheless, Utah legislators are determined to prevent even a hint of a non-existent quota system from infecting our state. Before that energy is expended, it might be a good idea for Oda and other anti-affirmative action fighters to find evidence of such discrimination in the state.

Agreed.  The evidence has yet to be published to solidify the justification for this Resolution.

(cross-posted to Utah Legislature Watch)

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