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Posted on Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 12:46 p.m.

Supreme Court to consider Michigan's affirmative action ban a decade after landmark U-M case

By Kellie Woodhouse


University of Michigan students traverse campus.

Joseph Tobianski |

A decade after upholding the use of affirmative action policies in University of Michigan admissions, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear another case that will affect the Ann Arbor school's ability to consider an applicant's race.

The high court has agreed to hear a case arguing the legality of a 2006 voter-approved constitutional amendment that bans consideration of race in admissions by Michigan's 15 public universities.

In an 8-7 decision late last year, a federal appellate court upheld a Sixth Circuit court's July 2011 decision to strike down the amendment, known as Proposal 2 or the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative. The court ruled the ban presents an undue burden to proponents of affirmative action who would have to mount a long, expensive campaign to amend the constitution.


The Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

AP photo

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed an appeal with the Supreme Court, which decided Monday to hear the case. The case is Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. The court in the fall heard an affirmative action case questioning the University of Texas' consideration of race in admissions and for that case U-M filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting affirmative action. A decision is expected this summer.

Experts believe that by taking up the Michigan ban, the Supreme Court is looking to take a broader stance on affirmative action.

While university administrators publicly support affirmative action —U-M President Mary Sue Coleman has said she is a "huge believer in affirmative action"— the school hasn't offered a stance on Proposal 2; instead Coleman said she is adopting a "wait and see" attitude as litigation continues.

It's unclear whether the university will offer support the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action's case, led by attorney George Washington, now that it is before the Supreme Court.

"We've been watching it," U-M spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald said of the case, adding that the school's no-stance policy has not changed.

Washington assisted the university's legal team before the Supreme Court in Grutter v. Bollinger in 2002 and 2003 when it argued in favor of the school's consideration of race in admissions. In that landmark case, the court found that U-M could work toward achieving diversity in admissions, but that the school's existing policy considered race too heavily.

As the university redrafted its affirmative action policies, opponents mounted a campaign to ban affirmative action among Michigan's 15 public universities. The result was Proposal 2, and since it took effect in 2006 U-M hasn't used affirmative action in admissions.

Diversity in the school's student body has clearly suffered. Currently, underrepresented minorities make up 10 percent of the freshmen class, a 0.5 percent decrease from 2011 and a 0.6 percent decrease from 2010.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the number of blacks enrolled as freshmen at U-M dropped nearly 15 percent from 2006 to 2010. Black enrollment at the law school fell 28 percent from 2006 to 2011.

"These laws have driven down black and latino enrollment," Washington, the attorney that will represent affirmative action proponents before the Supreme Court when it hears the Michigan case in the fall, said in an interview. "It damages the minority.... It's a disaster, we want them to reverse the law."

Washington said that while Schuette filed the appeal, his legal team encouraged the Supreme Court to take up the case. Washington thinks the court will find in his favor, thus setting a national precedent that affirmative action proponents have been seeking for years.

For his part, Schuette has expressed confidence that the Supreme Court will uphold the ban.

"The Michigan Constitution exemplifies the fundamental premise of what America is all about: equal opportunity under the law for all citizens," he said in a statement released Monday. "Entrance to our great colleges and universities must be based upon merit, and I remain optimistic moving forward in our fight for equality, fairness and rule of law at our nation’s highest court."

In 2011, 33 percent of U-M freshmen said they supported affirmative action policies. That same year, 42 percent of college freshmen throughout the nation supported weighted admissions policies, according to an annual freshman survey conducted jointly by the University of California's Cooperative Institutional Research Program and U-M.

Washington criticized U-M for not publicly supporting a repeal of the state's affirmative acton ban.

"Their position so far has been to be neutral," he said. "They just say 'Whatever the courts decide,' which we think is wrong."

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 9:49 p.m.

The political correctness is out of control on this board. Deleting comments is not going to fix the problem. And there is a problem. I can't wait for the day when these clowns get stopped taken seriously.


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 9:47 a.m.

It's interesting to note that there does not seem to be a legal standard on how "much" of another race you have to be in order to put it on a college or job application. I say fight this blatant racism by finding out whatever other race you hold heritage in (even if its 5%) and put it on every application you can. As long as you can articulate why you put it there you should be fine, unless someone can correct me I could not find a law on this. From what I can tell, there is nothing stopping you from putting any race you want on your application. Can you imagine the outrage if someone who was 10% of a race was not admitted because they weren't blue, orange, purple enough?

Silly Sally

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 2:37 p.m.

For Indians, oops, "Native Americans" it must be at least 1/16. I met a blond white man who kept talking about "my people" and he was referring to the 1/16. When will it ever end?


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 10:05 a.m.

Oh and also: Does racism still exist? I know it does, and maybe there are limited areas (such as organizations with a history of blatant discrimination) where it makes sense. Why would U of M, which has some of the most educated faculty in the country, need programs to ensure racism against minorities isn't happening in admissions? Generally, racist people are uneducated. If they aren't afraid of admission officials being racist, and just want diversity, why force it? Why is diversity so important that it needs to be forced? If you want your students to experience working with other cultures, have them do work studies at minority owned businesses or force them to study abroad.


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 4:17 a.m.

When was the last time a voters' referendum considered left wing or liberal overturned by an appeals court or surpreme court on constitutional grounds? Ever?


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 1:56 p.m.

A voter referendum did not imprison the Japanese-Americans during World War II. It was an executive order signed by Franklin D Roosevelt.


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 6:11 a.m.

So if a voter referendum passed saying we should take away the rights of a minority by imprisoning them, like what we did the Japanese during WWII, is OK? We all have certain inalienable rights, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We don't get to vote on the definition of all. All means all.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 11:50 p.m.

Why would the Universuity of Michigan even consider such a racist policy such as affirmative action?

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 5:23 a.m.

Thanks for your response. There's blame and there's responsibility, and we're not quite using those words in the same context. We've been trying Affirmative Action in the mainstream for half a century now. We've been doing everything possible in many school systems for about as long. And the gulf continues to widen where the populace truly is liberal. At what point do we admit that these programs aren't working? In fact, because the gulf continues to widen when the effects of overt racism are decreasing and efforts are made toward creating new privilege, it seems obvious to me that these programs cause enormous harm to those they try to help. It's a well-meaning, kind, disastrous sort of racism. We have to reach the children early - before they're anywhere near school-ready. And we're not. Instead, we create this strange sort of make-up privilege largely for minorities who have gotten through it OK and need it least. Since we can't burst into someone's home and insist they read to their babies every night and provide balanced meals and, later, make sure their kids do their homework and respect their teachers... what do we do? Because that's what will make a difference, long-term.

Robert E.

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 3:11 a.m.

OK MS...I respectfully disagree but I also respect your right to your own opinion...I pray it will feel like we are the same side someday soon however the way things are going in this country, it feels like an enormous trench between...I also respectfully disagree with your opinion about Jay...even if he meant well, which I think he likely did...the ignorance displayed by not acknowledging the barriers faced by black children, ESPECIALLY in the inner city, is inexcusable...have you read Kozol? This "victim-blame" mentality is so pervasive in this country that even defenseless children are blamed for their shortcomings...its akin to many women who have experienced sexual assault and are told they were "just asking for it" or "they shouldnt wear such revealing clothing" or "they shouldnt have been out that late alone"...its unbelievably shocking and so so a DIRECT result of the centuries long legacy of racism in this country, minority communities experience DISPROPORTIONATE levels of poverty and everything else that comes along with that...including significant barriers to higher education...those are facts...if you put the blame solely on the parents, what are you actually saying? Are you saying poverty has no impact and its just the lack of the "content of their character" that causes them to not be strong enough to shield their children from the brutal effects of poverty? If that is Jay's belief, he would be wrong!!! I guarantee you I worked longer than Jay in the inner city of Detroit, one can tell me that the parents and families I worked with who live at or near poverty level dont love their children more than life itself... Thank you MS for your last comment...I do get emotional about this subject but I appreciate the fact that you made me think...I just feel so strongly about this and upon much self examination, I will never budge an inch until the playing field is completely even...take car

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 8:27 p.m.

I'm trying to give you the benefit of the doubt and have a real discussion here. But it's an emotional subject, and I understand why it's difficult. Believe it or not we're on the same side when it comes to our goals. If you find offense in what I wrote, take a moment to figure out why you feel that way. It's easy to reach down and create some winners. But it doesn't address the problem. It actually causes harm because the poorest minority communities can't be reached. Opportunities exist in abundance. But unless parents and communities buy into the system, children won't learn. You were hard on Jay for describing his teaching experience. Using the Racism bludgeon. But he was just reflecting frustration. He went out there and he taught in areas most of us never want to see. He did more than most are willing to do. He understands. By the time we reach the University level, all we're doing is assuaging guilt. Real change will take enormous effort and a willingness to get past the emotional findings of offense.

Robert E.

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 8:18 p.m.

Indeed MS...I will be civilized if you will...but Good Lord, talk about painting with broad strokes..."millions of black children will not reach their potential because they are not learning personal responsibility". How is that statement not offensive? "Personal responsibility" according to whom? Are you saying that somehow only African Americans have a monopoly over lacking in "personal responsibility" according to your own personal definition?

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 7 p.m.

Yes, I went to UM. Can we discuss this in a civilized manner, please?

Robert E.

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 6:09 p.m.

Oh and by the way..."politically correct" is the last refuge for conservatives with weak arguments...its a blanket term completely made up by ultra conservatives to deride anything they disagree with because they dont have any coherent or sensible argument of their own...I have another term for it...intelligence, common sense, and human decency...amazing how threatened conservatives feel when affirmative action is brought up...I was able get my "poor disadvantaged" white self into UofM...were you not able to do the same???

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 5:40 a.m.

Or maybe it's easier just to be politically correct and preserve the status quo, at any cost. In this case, the millions of young black children who will never reach their potential because they are not learning personal responsibility.

Robert E.

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 4:41 a.m.

Because U of M always has been and always will be a progressively minded top-notch university that has enough intelligence and social awareness to see reality for what it actually is rather than the distorted perception perpetuated by racism and discrimination...


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 11:28 p.m.

No way. I went to UM and took an English class. This guy that claimed to go to one of the best schools in the city of Detroit, black, for the sake of disclosure, could not even write a proper essay, let alone a sentence. It was all written in terrible ebonics. I was all for Affirmative Action until this happened. I couldn't believe guys like him were getting in. I taught for a bit and saw what goes on in lower-income schools, usually full of a particular race...again, for the sake of disclosure. Many of these kids wouldn't do their work. They believed in the thug mentality, believed it was a part of their culture, and refused to utilize their free public education. When I went to schools that were primarily white, with a few other races here and there, Asian, East Indian, Hispanic, even a few blacks, every child handed in their paper at the end of class. I had stacks of papers. At the lower-income schools? I may have had 5 on a good day. It would be one thing if the disadvantaged minorities were trying their best in school and just couldn't make it into a decent college. One thing I learned was that those students usually did make it into great schools on their own merit anyways! What Affirmative Action does is let in the worthless ones that should never have gotten accepted. So I say no to Affirmative Action. Go ahead and call me racist, I don't care, it's the TRUTH.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 1:21 p.m.

Here's a tip Jay. If you find yourself saying "I'm not racist, but" - you're probably about to say something really racist.

Robert E.

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 4:12 p.m.

Yeah keep on telling it like "it is"...I'll stick to completely disregard the disproportionate and extremely damaging impact of poverty on children in many "low income" areas...those schools dont have anywhere near the funding that schools in higher income areas do...that is a fact...public school funding is in part based upon property taxes and obviously the property in higher income areas is worth more, therefore those schools get waaaaaaaay more yourself a favor, especially if you are a teacher, and read Savage Inequalities by Jonathan should enlighten you to the brutal facts...


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 10:55 a.m.

Just because the people involved are minorities, doesn't mean it's not true. BTW, we're not saying all minorities are bad, obviously, just the ones from certain areas. There are kids at the bad schools that can beat the kids from the good schools on tests and grades, for sure. However, what we're talking about are the ones that shouldn't even have graduated from high school that are being let into college. We're not racist, we're just telling it like it is.

Robert E.

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 4:56 a.m.

Yet GT...your comments directly refer to the race of your derision...why refer to their race if it doesnt matter what "race or ethnicity they are"...btw thanks for callin me the General...kinda makes me feel tuff...


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 4:49 a.m.

General, I have no axe to grind with anyone. The story I told is tragic but true. If a college student student does not possess basic language and written communications skills, then they have no business on a college campus, no matter what race or ethnicity they are.

Robert E.

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 4:26 a.m.

Wow...speechless guys are out for blood...grind yer axe on minorities huh? YOU guys must be the ones that just "dont have what it takes" not the other way around...


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 4:12 a.m.

Jay, I have been there and done that. As a former graduate assistant at EMU, I graded essay tests in the Political Science department. Even though I did not know any of the students personally, I could easily tell who the minorities were. How? Because they were not even written at an 8th grade level. Poor sentence and paragrah structure, mispelled words, and grammar school penmanship. Forget about any organized thought processes. Some of these students had no business on a college campus let alone possess a high school diploma.

John of Saline

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 9:24 p.m.

I wouldn't mind weighting the scale for family income. Has that been tried? Presumably the U of M knows ZIP codes of applicants. It would not greatly surprise me if they used that as a proxy for race/class. I wonder if anyone has FOIAed the internal e-mails/policies of the admissions office to see what they actually do consider, day-to-day.


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 9:58 p.m.

Both John and A raise good questions. Yes, John, institutions have tried to achieve diversity through weighting family income (a method I once supported), but, from what everything I've read, it simply doesn't work. Too bad, too, b/c many people out there, when they see a minority in a high-profile position, automatically assume that s/he got the job solely b/c of their race. That said, A's point is a good one: giving preference to a Black kid from, say, Bloomfield Hills just b/c he's a minority seems absurd. I think this is why Michigan (and others) use race as but one factor to consider, along with many others, viz., family income, grades, test scores, extracurriculars, life experiences, alumni legacy in the admissions process.


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 9:57 a.m.

Would be nice if they used income. What really grinds my gears is when you have a wealthy kid that happens to be a minority get in over a non minority. That is just sickening. The only reason you could reasonably articulate that a minority be given any advantage is due to being low income.

John of Saline

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 9:20 p.m.

I remember when I was a U of M student and a dorm official came by, all excited about a new hire for the computer cluster in the dorm. "He's a Native American!" Beaming smile. Nothing about his qualifications, what a nice person he was, how he got along with everyone, how he'd really make the place better, or not. He was reduced to a characteristic. "We got one! Look how great we are!" Sad.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 9:08 p.m.

If you can't make it on your own merits, you don't belong.

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 8:32 p.m.

I'm afraid I don't understand your response. Something to chew on, perhaps? What is the purpose of a university like Michigan?

Robert E.

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 7:59 p.m.

Scores dont define Affirmative Action masticate...they are one small part of it...there is a big picture to look at for applicants that many of you inexplicably fail to see...

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 6:11 a.m.

What's the purpose of a University, then? If a student is not prepared, even if he is brilliant and he grew up in a bad area, the University can't simply wave a magic wand and weave a better outcome. Advantaged minorities fare poorly at Michigan in part because the race-based admission system puts too many in a position where they'll fail. I agree that in the case of two good kids with 120 IQs growing up in vastly different environments that we need a better outcome for both. That's not a University problem, though. That's a community problem. Sadly, not one that can be solved simply by throwing money at it.


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 5:57 a.m.

If public education was the same everywhere in the state, we would not need affirmative action. Needless to say, a student with a 120 IQ from AA would probably do better on the SAT than a 120 IQ student from Flint, Detroit, or Benton Harbor. Why, because poor districts, in most cases, do not do as good a job educating their students as the richer districts. If UM does not take things like this into account, there will be a lot fewer students from poorer districts than there are now.


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 4:28 a.m.

Robert- Affirmative action effectively allows admissions officers to disregard the fact that an applicant is lacking in GPA, ACT, and SAT scores, and invite the applicant into their school because they are a certain race/ethnicity. So yeah, it kind of does.

Robert E.

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 4:04 a.m.

Well thanks for that clarification a2citizen...apprec it...Wish Mr. Tommy could have clarified that himself because GPA, ACT, and SAT scores are not what affirmative action is about...


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 1:52 a.m.

I believe Tommy is saying if your GPA, ACT and SAT scores are not high enough then you should attend a college that accepts lower scores.

Robert E.

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 10:22 p.m.

"Dont belong"....hmmmm...can you elaborate on that? Are you saying that minorities no longer have ANY barriers to overcome compared to non minorities? Are you saying that racism and discrimination towards minorities no longer exists?

Roger Kuhlman

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 8:39 p.m.

To discriminate against people to fix discrimination long in the past is morally wrong. Everybody needs to be judged and evaluated exclusively on the basis of their own performance and character.

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 7:06 p.m.

Yes, but you are conflating outcome with opportunity. I'm not sure you understand the word opportunity, because otherwise you would not combine systemic and racism in this manner. To actually solve this problem, and it is an important and difficult one, you have to go right to the source. I know that's not comfortable, because it requires something more than throwing money or diplomas at the problem, but it's the only way to actually improve the situation. It requires you to get out of your comfortable living room and share your education.

Robert E.

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 4:02 p.m.

You MS are assuming...and you would be wrong...that there is an even playing field to begin with...that pokes a huge hole in your entire argument...again you also ignore the disproportionate impact of are the one one who is painting me with a broad brush and see everything through brutally concrete fail to understand the subtle systemic discrimination that persists and impacts minorities who are MORE than able to compete...THATS the problem...if a person is white and frankly, male...that person has advantages over minorities and women that they (including myself but I try) likely dont even perceive...thats a fact...most minorities and women would agree...ask them...Im not saying its directly your fault...its a legacy that is ingrained and you know what systemic means by the way??? As for the lone star state, do you realize there is a pending affirmative action case against UT as well? Thankfully UT is trying to fight back against the tidal wave of ultra conservatism that dominates most (BUT NOT ALL) of Texas...I only hope and pray UM can do the same in my beloved home state...if you want to debate MS...please do not insert false assumptions about my views that serve your own purposes...we define the world in different terms...obviously, with you accusing me of ridiculous notions like parenting and community involvement not being important, finding middle ground is something you are not interested in...

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 5:37 a.m.

Is the goal to eliminate this systemic racism you talk about, or ensure it lingers? It seems by creating an uneven playground, you reward one group at another's expense, thus, essentially, creating a new systemic racism. In terms of 50 (states) shades of grey, you're the one painting with the broader brush. To you, Texas is all about racist thought. To you, we are all guilty of not giving black people a fair shake in life. I think the cruelest thing you can do to someone is assume they can't compete on their own because of their skin color. Look at the AAPS. Decades and decades of trying everything to reduce the achievement gap, and they only make the situation worse. Because if you don't insist on a civilized, positive society, no amount of money or attention works. Your way teaches learned dependence and ensures animosity toward the system, long term. You say you want to insist that everyone contributes, but your accusations toward the system indicate the opposite.

Robert E.

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 5:13 a.m.

MS...I disagree wholeheartedly but I'll give you the last word...I dont think you read what I said at all and to say that I implied that everyone does NOT need to contribute is a low cant see the shades of grey...oh well...

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 4:07 a.m.

It's one of the uglier vestiges of this nobility I talk about (and nobility doesn't necessarily mean having a lot of money) that whenever opposition to these grand and harmful schemes manifests, the writer often refers to a Southern state, where presumably racism is open in a rather cartoonish sense. You do Texas a great disservice by painting with such broad strokes. My problem with your ideas is that nowhere lies the expectation that everyone must contribute to have a positive and vibrant society. And a big part of that problem is the yoke of low expectations. Black people don't need your help. They need a society where they are expected to take part just as all of us take part.

Robert E.

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 3:04 a.m.

Woah hold on there MS...who said anything about lowered expectations? The trap that anti affirmative action folks fall into is thinking that just because someone is pro-affirmative action that means they discount the role of parenting and community involvement and that they just want to give minorities a handout...nothing could be further from the truth and that is NOT what affirmative action is a deliberately considered policy that attempts to mitigate the enormously damaging and deeply rooted legacy of SYSTEMIC racism and discrimination towards minorities that persists today despite your insistence that it does also ignore the impact of poverty which has also disproportionately impacted minority communitites in this country...this is U of M my fellow AnnArborite, not Texas...we do it the right way up here..Oh and by the way, Im really not that noble and struggle enough to manage my own life...

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 11:22 p.m.

Robert, I see comments as yours as very damaging. There are overt racists in the country, though we're making great progress on that front (at least on the white side). But the subtle racism of lowered expectations is far more damaging. You assume black people need your noble help. They don't. What everyone needs is good parenting and a community that demands responsibility. You require neither.

Robert E.

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 10:12 p.m.

Yeah RK...IF racism and discrimination didnt exist anymore...are you saying what it doesnt? If you are a white male as I am, we are by far the most privileged group in society solely because we are white and male...its so easy for those most privileged among us to make these declarations...I guarantee you that MLK would agree with me, not you...


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 8:22 p.m.

The color is matter, and the money makes the real difference.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 7:17 p.m.

"These laws have driven down black and latino enrollment," Washington, the attorney that will represent affirmative action proponents before the Supreme Court when it hears the Michigan case in the fall, said in an interview. "It damages the minority.... It's a disaster, we want them to reverse the law." The laws haven't driven down this enrollment, it was the lack of qualified applicants from these groups. There should be equal opportunity. They are not discriminated against, they must not have the qualifications. Although I thought that they had found other ways to weight the admissions for certain groups that they feel are unrepresented?

Roger Kuhlman

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 8:42 p.m.

Let us all be clear that 'affirmative action' is just an euphemism for a new politically-motivated form of discrimination.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 8:15 p.m.

this is funny as all get out, when you argue that, a conservative owned blog has liberal bias. Oh, my. That is hilarious!


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 8:12 p.m.

show me where the "lack of qualified applicants" have been the factor? do not proffer your biased opinion as fact. I offer my opinion as being my opinion, I offer facts to support it, but I try not to offer my opinion in such a way as to state it as a fact. Your comment is misleading. I'm thinking you don't even know the process used to collate the information statistcally. But that is just my opinion.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 7:48 p.m.

Exactly! Why don't they post the numbers to accompany this article. Should be pretty easy to do. Or will that just let the truth get in the way of the point is trying to make in favor of affirmative action.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 6:42 p.m.

what was it that Martin Luther King said ? " day live in a nation where none will be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

Macabre, do you think that minorities inherently make worse parents than white people?

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 7:10 p.m.

But race is an artificial indicator, and our Constitution indicates it's not one we should use when allocating our country's resources. We can't ignore this problem, but neither can we sit back and pretend we're addressing the situation by artificially elevating a few lucky advantaged students while leaving the rest behind. Because we're not really elevating them, we're only satisfying our guilt. And we're teaching a new definition of the word opportunity.

Basic Bob

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 2:29 p.m.

"These barriers are mostly erected in the imaginations of incompetent parents and irresponsible members of their community." I agree that is a factor, however: Some barriers occur because of where a person's parents live when they are growing up. Tell me that people growing up in Flint or Detroit have the same *opportunity* as people growing up in West Bloomfield or Ann Arbor. Perhaps we can identify individuals with the same outcome, but on a macro level, growing up in Flint is a significant barrier to entry into U-M or any other prestigious school. Race is a strong indicator of this kind of hardship, due to many factors. Those marginally-qualified "bubble" students from West Bloomfield will get into another good school, even if it isn't U-M, and being the least qualified of all freshman admitted will probably fail out of school like a large number of other students.

Robert E.

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 3:47 a.m.

Wow...Im speechless...good evening to you MS...

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 11:19 p.m.

These barriers are mostly erected in the imaginations of incompetent parents and irresponsible members of their community.

Robert E.

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 10:06 p.m.

Ahhh...the good old "blame the victim" argument...a "clean slate" is a relative term...not that there arent exceptions but minorities still have to deal with an entire host of barriers that non minorities never even have to think deny that is to deny reality...go ahead if you wish, but you will be perpetuating discrimination...simple as that...

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 8:46 p.m.

In most areas, the damage is self-inflicted, though. I agree with you that there's damage. But when a child is born, he or she has a clean slate. The community needs to do more to help parents do their jobs properly.

Roger Kuhlman

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 8:45 p.m.

King's words were spoken nearly 50 years ago. That is a long time and I think it is now time to put them into action.

Robert E.

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 8:43 p.m.

Not so MS...discrimination against minorities is still ingrained within our society in a systemic way...the damage perpetuated by hundreds of years of blantant racism is still impacting many deny this is to deny reality...

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 8:35 p.m.

But your argument assumes it's present everywhere. In other words, we are presumed guilty, with no opportunity (or even an interest) to prove our innocence.

Robert E.

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 8:27 p.m.

Yes bunicula...and today is not yet that day...people use MLK's words against minorities in trying to say that race shouldnt or doesnt matter anymore...the that while its not always as bad as it used to be, racism and discrimination most certainly still do exist...


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 6:09 p.m.

Rather amusing how when the color of a persons skin was used against groups, that was terrible. Now that is is working against others, it is just fine. Two faced at best.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 8:08 p.m.

actually Greg, when the color of a person's skin was used against groups and individuals, it was perfectly fine and normal for many, many, many decades. How does one erase the effects of that? You tell me. Even after many decades there is still a solid foothold in this country of racist attitudes. In many areas it prevails, I've seen it personally. In other areas, it prevails, just under the surface, barely whispered in certain corners lest it be heard and denounced by others... and you talk about two-faced people... lol! Your argument is full of holes, like swiss cheese.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 7:41 p.m.

Is there a term reverse racism? If so, I can see no better definition for it than affirmative action.

Silly Sally

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 6:22 p.m.

Its very amusing at how biased is in their editing of comments, too. They are not neutral reporters on this topic at all. If you call former gov. George Wallace racist, that is fine, but then when others push the same views, but against other people, it is called progressige and if one calls them racist, the comment gets deleted by


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 6:03 p.m.

the law should be color blind (is that better LOL...

Silly Sally

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 5:45 p.m.

Attorney George Washington is advocating a vile viewpoint before the US supreme Court. Were I to argue the reverse, that white people should have an advantage over others strictly due to the color of their skin, I would be called a racist. It should be the same treatment for him and for others that share his point of view that racial discrimination based upon race has a place in university admissions. U-M President Mary Sue Coleman has said she is a "huge believer in affirmative action"— Are people only to be seen by their skin color and not as individuals?

Silly Sally

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 5:32 p.m.

The University of Michigan and its leaders are advocating racist policies and do not judge people by the content of their character but instead judges people by the color of their skin. Shame on the University of Michigan. Just as the scales of justice should be color blind, so should university admissions. Were UM to make an argument that someone who overcame odds of a poor education from a rural area or inner-city and deserves a chance or a boost when compared to a "person of privilege" her words, from a prep school back ground, I'd be willing to listen. But no, UM will give the boost to the privileged son or daughter of a "person of color" over a poor white or Asian student, only because the former is black or Hispanic. That is a racist view that needs to go. UM should lose this court case – The Michigan voters have it right.

Silly Sally

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 12:19 p.m.

Hundreda of years? What do you mean. Some Immigrants, who never suffered any efects get placed to the front of the line, while others are told "you are number 8 on our Asian waiting list" To answer you question, there are quite a few "privileged" people of "color" who get place in the front of the line. How did they get a foothold? Far too many by being admitted to jobs and universities that they did not qualify for instead of hard work. But why should this system continue? Should their children and grandchildren, and immigrants be a new privileged class due to their skin color? that is you argument.

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 5:05 p.m.

In America, we are presumed guilty of racism and no one even bothers with a trial. It's time to permanently strike these racist practices from the lawbooks. Ultimately, they do more harm to the privileged minority than anyone else.


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 1:29 a.m.

"What would you do to erase the effects of hundreds of years of discrimination?" I can tell you what I wouldn't do and that's to continue with hundreds of more years of discrimination. I love when people consider the question, "How would you correct the injustices of the past?" Their answer usually relies on creating injustices of the present, aka affirmative action. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 8:33 p.m.

Your answer to injustice is to perpetrate more injustice, and to select winners and losers. To assume you know anything about me or what my ancestors faced because of the color of my skin is just as ignorant a behavior as the people you dislike.

Robert E.

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 8:22 p.m.

Indeed Bear...very well put...there are efforts abound to say that race should never matter anymore and this is used as a cover to perpetuate more discrimination...its just given a subtle and sometimes not so subtle modern other words, it aint cool to be a old school racist anymore (with some glaring exceptions)...discrimination against minorities most certainly continues...failure to recognize this is due to an inability or refusal to think critically about race and modern society...MS pulling out the "privileged minority" card again...hah!


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 7:50 p.m.

Your premise is skewed and your assumption is wrong. What privileged minority are you speaking of? The only privileged minority in this country is Wealthy white men. Which has been a big part of the problem. What would you do to erase the effects of hundreds of years of discrimination? Try to kill programs designed to change the face of the effects of that discrimination after only a couple of decades? Play upon the limited memory of the new generation to try to reinstitute the effects of such discrimination in order to maintain your own "status quo" or the status quo of your perceived leaders? Your opening comment is flawed as is your argument.