One thing that is being lost in the liberal media euphoria about the Democratic takeover of the House and Senate is the fact that most of the ballot initiatives or referendums that conservatives supported passed easily. One of the more contentious of these initiatives was Proposal 2 in Michigan which would amend the Michigan state constitution to prohibit all state agencies, including colleges from operating affirmative action programs that grant preferences based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin or gender.
Known as the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative and backed by groups that were supported by the American Civil Rights Coalition group a sister organization to the American Civil Rights Institute which was founded by former University of California Board of Regents member Ward Connerly who led successful campaigns of similar proposals in California and Washington in the late 1990’s.
On the surface it would seem to be that everyone should oppose preferences, but not in Michigan. Donations to fight the measure poured in from the education establishment. The Law School Admission Council dropped in $250,000, the Association of American Universities $7,500, the Association of American Medical Colleges $10,000 and many corporations also chipped in heavily ranging from Ford Motor Company to Dow Chemical to Daimler Chrysler.
Of the $4.6 million that was raised to fight the initiative, one third came from corporations. Compare that to the $1.4 million the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative raised to pass the measure. In the end common sense ruled the day. While Governor Jennifer Granholm was cruising to victory with 56% of the vote, Proposal 2 passed with 58% of the vote surprising the well funded opponents.
Hiding behind the diversity banner, the politically correct foes of the successful effort to eliminate preferences are planning on filing a lawsuit to prevent the measure from being enacted. Once again the will of the people is being subverted and if anyone thought the campaign was divisive just wait for the court battle.
Academic freedom has won the battle and now they must win the war.