For Release: January 16, 2003
Contact: David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 or Project21@nationalcenter.org
African-American conservatives from the Project 21 leadership network applaud President George W. Bush for standing firm in his commitment to a colorblind America by authorizing the U.S. Department of Justice to side with students challenging the University of Michigan's race-based admissions policy. The Bush Justice Department is supporting the students' position in their case before the U.S. Supreme Court with a brief filed with the Court.
"The Bush Administration is correct to oppose the University of Michigan's demeaning admissions practices," said Project 21 member Deroy Murdock, a syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News service and a senior fellow with the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. "Parents and secondary schools should be assured that their charges meet and even exceed those high expectations, no matter what color those young Americans happen to be."
Justices will consider the constitutionality of the admissions guidelines used by the University of Michigan that give preference to black, Hispanic and Native American applicants. At present, university policy awards applicants from these minority groups 20 points in a 150-point admissions scale (to put this in perspective, a perfect SAT score awards an applicant only 12 points). The students who filed suit against the university claim they were denied admission because of their race. The case is expected to be heard in April, and a decision would be announced before the end of June.
Murdock adds: "By granting an extra 20 points to prospective candidates just for applying while black, the University engages in educational racial profiling. How dare they assume that a black applicant needs extra help just for having dark skin?"
Opponents of the Bush Administration are
trying to use this case to drive a wedge between the President
and American minorities. In fact, President Bush's position on
the diversity mandates at the University or Michigan is similar
to a position that the Clinton Administration took in 1997. At
that time, in a case involving the firing of a white teacher to
allow the retention of a black one, the Clinton Justice Department
said affirmative action policies should not be used as a means
of maintaining diversity."
Project 21 has been a leading voice in the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact Chris Burger or David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 or Project21@nationalcenter.org, or visit Project 21's web site at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html.