Obama and race preferences
By Jim Wooten | Monday, June 16, 2008, 08:08 AM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Barack Obama’s political success — he’ll be Democratic nominee for President of the United States — prompts the Wall Street Journal to pose this question on its news pages: “Does America still need affirmative action, given that an African-American has made it to the top of American politics.”
That issue, The Journal’s Jonathan Kaufman speculates, “is likely to dog Sen. Obama on the campaign trail as he seeks to win over white blue-collar voters in battle-ground states like Michigan.”
In addition, Arizona, Colorado and Nebraska voters may be asked this November whether race and gender preferences should be banned in admissions to state universities, state-funded jobs and state contracts. Whites and blacks, as you might image, divide sharply on the question.
Obama, according to his spokesman, believes “affirmative action in universities today is appropriate only if race is one of many factors.” John McCain opposes “affirmative action plans and quotas that give weight to one group of Americans at the expense of another,” said his spokesman. “Plans that result in quotas, where such plans have not been judicially created to remedy a specific, proven act of discrimination, only result in more discrimination and violate the concept of equality of opportunity.”