Friday, June 23, 2006

The Michigan "Civil Rights" Initiative: a total crock of sh*t...

Are you informed about the upcoming November 2006 Ballot Issue on the “Michigan Civil Rights Initiative?”

“Civil Rights” sounds positive right? Ha! Guess again! Passing this amendment could have a dramatic effect on programs designed to help women, girls and people of color in the State of Michigan, limiting many of the social programs that help us fend off discrimination!

Michigan’s current Civil Rights Act was signed in 1964 and was designed to equally give opportunities and prevent discrimination on the basis of gender, race, religion, national origin and age.

Voting “yes” in November would eliminate outreach programs to interest middle and high school girls in math and science fields.

Voting “yes” in November would eliminate fair housing and lending programs that makes sure that women and minorities are treated fairly when they apply for loans.

Voting “yes” would prohibit financial aid and student loan programs aimed at women and minorities.

A similar “Civil Rights Initiative” was passed in California in 1996 and can be linked to the hiring of fewer women faculty and faculty of color at public universities; a drop in the percentage of women working in skilled trades; decreases in government contracts awarded to women and minorities; and fewer women and students of color enrolling and graduating in technical fields.

With the passing of the amendment in California, the amendment was used as the basis to challenge funding for domestic violence programs and other state-supported services specifically designed to address women’s needs, including breast cancer screening.

Vote NO on November 7th!

1 comment:

Steve Sutton said...

The MCRI would do none of what you claim. May I suggest you read the FAQ prepared by UC Santa Cruz following passage of California's Proposition 209.

Some selected portions of that FAQ:

7. Q: Does Proposition 209 eliminate employment affirmative action at the University?

A: No. UC is a federal contractor and is obligated to comply with federal laws and regulations regarding affirmative action. These obligations include good faith efforts to create diverse pools of applicants for UC positions; developing and implementing affirmative action plans which identify areas of underutilization of minorities and women; and demonstrating good faith efforts to eliminate underutilization.

8. Q: How does Proposition 209 affect the University's employment affirmative action obligations?

A: The constitutional amendment permits "action which must be taken to establish or maintain eligibility for any federal program, where ineligibility would result in loss of federal funds to the state."

11. Q: How can good faith efforts towards meeting goals and remedying underutilization be achieved without taking into consideration race, ethnicity, or sex in hiring or training and developing employees?

A: Good faith efforts can be demonstrated by including outreach and recruitment efforts to include qualified minorities and women in applicant pools, to promote opportunities to participate in employee training and development programs, and to provide equal opportunity to compete for positions. Training is another tool that can be used to demonstrate that the workplace welcomes and supports diversity in the workforce.

The MCRI forces universities and other public institutions to actually implement programs designed to reach out to minorities and females. "Affirmative action" implies "positive steps" will be taken to be inclusive. Simply granting bonus points based on one's color or gender is neither "positive" (because it will negatively affect a non-preferred race or gender) nor is it "action" (tacking on bonus points at the college admissions process continues to allow the education system to ignore the problems).