NAACP Chairman Urges Affirmative Action Policies
MIAMI BEACH, Fla.
NAACP chairman Julian Bond praised the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld the use of race as a factor in university admissions policies while criticizing President Bush and his brother, Gov. Jeb Bush, for challenging race-conscious university admissions policies.
In a speech at the 94th annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People earlier this month, Bond urged states that have abandoned affirmative action policies for higher education to “come back into the Union.”
The Bush administration filed one of the briefs opposing the affirmative action policy. The court also ruled against the use of a points-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 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.”
He criticized the Florida governor for his One Florida program, under which state universities can no longer consider race or gender in admissions decisions. Instead, high school students are guaranteed admission if they are in the top 20 percent of their graduating class.
“First, Gov. Jeb Bush became the only governor to carry out a pre-emptive attack on affirmative action,” Bond said. “And then President George Bush carried out a pre-emptive attack on Iraq, the only President in our nation’s history to attack a country which did not threaten or attack us first. Both these strikes were unnecessary and unwise.”
Gov. Bush spokesman Jacob DiPietre said minority enrollment and student achievement are rising under the One Florida program.
“The results speak for themselves,” DiPietre says. “Under the governor’s leadership and One Florida, minority students in colleges and universities are far outpacing their counterparts in other states.”
— Associated Press
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