Tuesday, October 31, 2006
The New York Times reported on Proposition 2, a controversial Michigan ballot initiative challenging the affirmative action policy at the University of Michigan. As expected, the issue has divided people.
“We have a horrible history when it comes to race in this country,” said Jennifer Gratz, a key figure in the debate. “But that doesn’t make it right to give preference to the son of a Black doctor at the expense of a poor student whose parents didn’t go to college.”
The president of the university opposes the proposition, fearing it would reach lower school levels too. “It would make it illegal to have our program targeting girls in junior high school, and having them come to campus to learn about science and engineering,” said Mary Sue Coleman. “I’m a woman scientist, and I know how fragile our gains are.”
“We need to keep affirmative action because it’s still not a level playing field for women or minorities,” said one resident.
“I don’t know a lot about Proposition 2, but I do know a neighbor kid, a good kid, a local kid with a 3.7-3.8 average, who didn’t get into the university and he should have,” said another resident. “I do think there’s something wrong with [the University of Michigan’s] admissions.”
“If voters think about it as being about race, black and white, support goes up,” said the vice president of a Michigan polling firm. “So the opponents are trying to show that it’s not just race, that it would hurt women, hurt Michigan’s economy, and they’re having some success with that.”
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