Ward Connerly, the butcher of affirmative action
His mission has been to undo the gains that affirmative action sought to correct relative to historic discrimination
Say Proposition 209 (also known as the California Civil Rights Initiative – CCRI) and the name Ward Connerly surfaces; as a University of California regent, he led the fight for the ballot Proposition 209 which, upon voter approval in November 1996, amended the state constitution to prohibit state government institutions from considering race, sex, or ethnicity, specifically in the areas of public employment, public contracting or public education. He then took the fight to other states including Michigan.
In 2003, Gratz v. Bollinger (and a companion case, Grutter v. Bollinger), two University of Michigan cases, about its undergraduate affirmative action admissions policy, reached the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court majority ruled that the University’s point system which awarded points – at the beginning of its admission policy consideration – to under-represented minorities was unconstitutional, despite the policy’s intent to remedy documented historic discrimination.
Now, the plaintiff in the Gratz case, who had been an outspoken supporter and defender of Connerly in the past, is complaining about Connerly’s financial expenses and expenditures – specifically she is alleging that his reported pay has been between $1.2 and $1.5 million – despite Connerly’s ACRI (American Civil Rights Instituti) is a non-profit and is presently experiencing a budget crisis. Notwithstanding the amount of Connerly’s pay is more than half ACRI’s annual budget.
Sources say that Connerly’s response has been that it’s a case of ‘sour grapes’ … a disgruntled ex-employee venting off steam. Gratz apparently wrote a letter to the board of directors alleging that ACRI is guilty of financial “irregularities” that Connerly knowingly under-reported the income and expense structure in order to facilitate his high salary, and ‘palm off’ lucrative leases and contracts to his close friends and family members.
It has also been reported that Connerly has benefited financially from some of the same ‘affirmative action’ programs that he openly sought to destroy; he just has them labeled under another name. (But a dog by any other name is still a member of the canine family).
Connerly has left so much destruction in the wake of his anti-affirmative mission that Proposition 209 has wrought in California (notwithstanding other states) that the NAACP is now on its own mission to reverse 209. According to Leon Jenkins, president of the NAAACP of L.A., “the number of African Americans, Latinos, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans on UC campuses are so small that minority students now feel more isolated, seen more racial animosity, encountered less tolerant students, and within the past few years, minority students have experienced acts of racial bias and prejudice not seen on UC campuses since the 1950s and 60s.”
Those are some of the consequences of Connerly’s doings, as he lurks in the shadows of discrimination, preying on the misfortune of minorities like a vulture. ACRI evolved out of CCRI.
Gratz has urged an investigation of Connerly, who she said, after leading efforts to end affirmative action in California and elsewhere, has misused the organization’s money in general and also used it for personal gain.