Friday, November 5, 2010
American Association for Affirmative Action Statement on the Passage of Arizona’s Proposition 107 to End Affirmative Action Programs
American Association for Affirmative Action
Statement on the Passage of Arizona’s Proposition 107 to End Affirmative Action Programs
Association of diversity and civil rights professionals denounces the passage of Arizona’s Anti-Affirmative Action Initiative
For Immediate Release: November 4, 2010
Contact: Shirley J. Wilcher (617) 298-4156
We, members of the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA), regret that the people of the Great State of Arizona chose to limit the opportunities of those who have suffered discrimination by virtue of their race, gender, ethnicity, national origin and color. Proposition 107 purports to bar discrimination and so-called preferences, but laws against discrimination have existed since 1964. Federal laws and regulations prohibit quotas and other forms of preferential treatment. So, why was this initiative necessary? Because the sponsors of this unfortunate legislation misrepresented affirmative action and equal opportunity programs as denying opportunities for some, when these laws are intended to level the playing field that has been uneven for centuries. Affirmative action programs prevent discrimination and remove barriers against those for whom the doors of opportunity have been closed.
This nation will not be as great as it can be if those who have the talent and qualifications find their opportunities limited by race, gender, ethnicity, national origin or color. While much progress has been made since 1964 the glass ceiling still exists, unemployment rates for minorities exceed those of non-minorities and charges of discrimination filed with civil rights agencies number in the thousands. As President Lyndon Baines Johnson said, “It is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates.”
The people of Arizona have spoken. Perhaps one day they will comprehend the true impact of their decision. Limiting the opportunities of some will ultimately affect us all.
Gregory T. Chambers