Affirmative Action On the Ballot In Michigan

Blogger Chetly Zarko wrote to me earlier this week to point out the so-called “Michigan Civil Rights Initiative,” which would ban affirmative action in Michigan, will appear on the ballot in November in that state.

Another friend reminded me of this story which the Detroit Metrotimes printed in January, but I forgot to post here, where I’m quoted talking about BAM-N.

See all my BAM-N posts

Author: Rob Goodspeed


  1. Rob,

    Where has “” gone? And do you have the content archived somewhere?


    (PS – MCRI ends preferential treatment and discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity, and national origin, and would not “ban affirmative action” per se, unless you define all affirmative action to be preference-based. Outreach, anti-discrimination enforcement, socio-economic programs, and race-neutral measurement of disadvantage are all unbanned forms of affirmative action that MCRI would not affect.)

  2. “Congratulations”, for the sake of politeness, on MCRI getting to the ballot; though I am opposed to it as ever. But, you are entitled to your moment etc.
    …What is “race-neutral measurement of disadvantage”? Some study alone does not count as real affirmative action in any case, but I am trying to understand what the term means at all.

  3. (I posted this before; it disappeared)

    “Congratulations”, I say in politeness about MCRI getting on to the ballot; though I oppose it as much as ever. But we all have our moment etc.
    …What is “race-neutral measurement of disadvantage”? In any case, some mere study does not qualify as real affirmative action; but I still wonder what your term means.

  4. First, don’t forget outreach and anti-discrimination enforcement. That’s what “affirmative action” originally meant, and those programs are solid. They also operate “without regard” to race, the principle of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    “race-neutral measurement of disadvantage” was not meant to convey mere “study” (although while we’re talking about studies, I defy you to show me one study that shows preference “helps” those it intends to help, and I do not believe it is our duty to prove it doesn’t). It was meant to convey the idea that universities should measure K-12 performance, and help underperforming institutions (regardless of race) perform better. There are many different models to choose from, but one example of one program is the program that the UC system implemented following the CCRI in 1996. UC sent student mentors and guidance counselors to the 150 schools it measured as lowest performing in California. The long-term result of this was to increase overall minority applications system-wide, but, of course, it took time (and will take more), but overall minority admissions are now greater than they were in 1996, despite initial short-term declines.

    86%, according to preference-supporters, of preferences go to wealthier minorities. They are not designed to repair social problems. They are designed to hide a social problem. Without preferences, universities and policymakers will have to look to longer-term, and better, programs.

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