Skip to comments.NAACP Executive Director Urges Affirmative Action Policies, Criticizes Government Challenges
Posted on 07/13/2003 4:19:44 PM PDT by Jean S
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) - NAACP executive director Julian Bond urged states that have abandoned affirmative action policies for higher education to "come back into the Union" Sunday while criticizing President Bush and his brother, Gov. Jeb Bush, for challenging race-conscious admissions.
Speaking at the 94th annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Bond praised the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld the use of race as a factor in university admissions policies. The Bush administration filed one of the briefs opposing the policy.
The court, however, ruled against the use of a point-based system for enrollment decisions, which was used at the University of Michigan.
"The court struck down the points but upheld the principle," Bond said. "Since the opponents kept telling us that this was all about principle, I'd say we won!"
Bond said the decision "gave legal sanction to what we knew to be morally, socially, and educationally correct."
But he said he knows affirmative action policies will be continue to be challenged.
"The average KKK member may be stupid, but the well-financed forces of the radical right are not," Bond said.
He also vowed the civil rights group would be watching states, including Florida, that no longer use affirmative action policies to monitor their commitment to achieving diversity.
Bond criticized the Florida governor for his One Florida program, under which state universities can no longer consider race or gender in admissions decisions. High school students are instead guaranteed admission if they are in the top 20 percent of their graduating class.
"First Governor Jeb Bush became the only governor to carry out a pre-emptive strike on affirmative action," Bond said. "And then President George Bush carried out a pre-emptive strike on Iraq, the only President in our nation's history to attack a country which did not threaten or attack us first. Both strikes were unnecessary and unwise."
Jacob DiPietre, a spokesman for the governor, said minority enrollment and student achievement are rising under the One Florida program.
"The results speak for themselves," DiPietre said. "Under the governor's leadership and One Florida, minority students in colleges and universities are far outpacing their counterparts in other states."
Bond also voiced his disappointment that neither President Bush nor his brother attended the 2002 conference in Texas or the 2003 meeting in Florida.
White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said Saturday the president's busy schedule prevents him from accepting all the invitations he receives. The governor was unable to attend because of a legislative session in Tallahassee, DiPietre said.
Meanwhile, NAACP president Kweisi Mfume criticized some of the Democratic candidates for president who are not expected to appear at a Monday forum.
As of late Saturday, Sens. John Edwards of North Carolina and Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Reps. Richard Gephardt of Missouri and Dennis Kucinich of Ohio were not expected to attend. Sens. Bob Graham of Florida and John Kerry of Massachusetts were set to appear, along with former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun and the Rev. Al Sharpton.
On the Net:
"come back into the Union"
"The average KKK member may be stupid, but the well-financed forces of the radical right are not,"
where Julian, Jessie, Sharpton and the rest of the race pimps are the loyal overseers who keep the others inline.
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