|(21) Colin Powell Calls for Quotas
|Ward Connerly Says
Powell divides GOP while trying to pull it to the Left (08/01/00)
BACKGROUND: During Colin Powell's July 31, 2000 speech at the Republican Convention
in Philadelphia he made the following, quirky, pro-quota statement: "Some in our party miss no opportunity to roundly and loudly
condemn affirmative action that helped a few thousand black kids get an education, but
hardly a whimper is heard from them over affirmative action for lobbyists who load our
federal tax codes with preferences for special interests."
Responding to charges by retired General Colin Powell last night that those who oppose racial preferences "create cynicism in the black community," American Civil Rights Institute Chairman Ward Connerly, a registered Republican and backer of Governor George W. Bush, issued the following statement:
"There he goes again. Four years ago, General Colin Powell addressed the Republican National Convention and defended affirmative action preferences. Last night, he did it again.
"One would think that he would catch up with the American people on this issue. Instead, he reminds us that he is to the left of voters in liberal states like California and Washington who have rejected preferences as a divisive policy that forces us into little boxes and pits one group against another. Governor George W. Bush has consistently spoken out against these ill effects, using those same words. General Powell, on the other hand, wants to drag the Republican Party to the left of the political spectrum, making it indistinguishable from the Democratic Party on this issue.
"General Powell is respected for his military expertise. His views on race carry no greater weight than any other American who is entitled to equal treatment under the law and special preferences for none, whether they be -- to use the odd dichotomy the General used last night black kids or lobbyists.
"If Powell wants to flip-flop on affirmative action, as he has done, let him do so, but the G.O.P. and Governor Bush need to make it clear that Powell speaks for himself and not for the rest of us.
"When Powell claims that "affirmative action" helped a few thousand black kids get an education, is he really so badly informed that he does not realize that the end of preferences is not denying anyone the opportunity to get an education? By his own admission, kids in Texas still have access to a quality education without affirmative action. The same goes for kids in California, Washington, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts and many other places where affirmative action has been found immoral by the voters and unconstitutional by the courts.
"Finally, I fail to understand why someone who is opposed to preferences based on race has any obligation to speak out against lobbyists who seek "special preferences" in the tax code for their clients. Talk about a non sequitur. If Governor George W. Bush wants to be a "uniter and not a divider" -- and I take him at his word on that -- he should begin by putting a leash on those who use the forum provided by the Republican nominee to bash those in his own Party." -- Ward Connerly 08/01/00.
The American Civil Rights Institute
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