Affirmative Action: Pro and Con
April 25, 2000
William Bagley, Ward Connerly
My name is David Theroux and Im the president of The Independent Institute. Thank you, Bill. (applause) Im delighted to welcome you to our Independent Policy Forum Seminar this evening entitled Race Preferences: Pro and Con.
As many of you know, The Independent Institute regularly sponsors forums like this, which can be debates or seminars and many other formats, and theyre held on major social and economic issues. For those of you who are new to the Institute, hopefully when you registered, you received a packet of information on our program. The Independent Institute is a non-profit, scholarly public policy research institute. We produce many books. We have a quarterly journal, The Independent Review, this is the current issue, which of course, is the greatest thing that you can read, and the Institutes work is designed to get beyond the normal stereotypes of left and right and, hopefully, a more incisive perspective on major problems which concern people.
One of the pieces in your packet is a flyer on tonights program which discusses what well be talking about, and also has background information about our two distinguished speakers. Youll also find information about two upcoming events, which Ill mentioned briefly.
On May 24, were going to be having a program entitled Pearl Harbor: Official Lies in an American War Tragedy? The program will be with Robert Stinnett, who used to be a journalist with the Oakland Tribune and the BBC. Hes author of a very acclaimed book called Day of Deceit. Stinnett is the journalist who spent the last 16 years fighting with the Freedom of Information Act in the Naval Department to try to get information about the actual documents that were involved with the Pearl Harbor tragedy, and the story that he has found is quite startling.
On June 21, our program will be on The War on Drugs: Prohibition, Politics and the CIA. The program will feature four speakers, well have Alexander Cockburn, a columnist with The Nation, Jeffrey St. Clair, co-editor with Alex with Counterpunch. Theyre co-authors of a book called Whiteout. The other two speakers, Jonathan Marshall, who used to be economics editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, and Peter Dale Scott from UC Berkeleys English Department. Their book is called Cocaine Politics. If youre interested in the issue of drug policy, and perhaps some of the background to what the war on drugs may entail, I strongly recommend this program.
Also in your packets youll find information about two different projects of ours. One is called the Independent Scholarship Fund, which is a private scholarship program that we sponsor in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties for K-12 children, disadvantaged children from families to enable them to afford sending their children to the school of their choice. And the deadline for applications for that program is this Friday.
The last thing I was going to mention, also in your packets, is the new brochure on our l program for high school and college students. And this year weve expanded it to two week-long seminars in June. Actually itll be June 19-23rd and June 26th-30th.
For this evening, were very pleased to have two top figures in the hotly debated issue of affirmative action, race preferences, and race relations. Our program features two members of the Board of Regents of the University of California, Bill Bagley and Ward Connerly, who will discuss differing views.
As most of you know, begun in the 1960s, government affirmative action programs that were started are now in retreat in many states such as California, Washington, Florida, Texas, and other states and localities in the US. Will such changes end Americas racial divide, or merely intensify it? Can the American dream be color blind, or are race preferences a necessary policy to right the wrongs of past discrimination? Is affirmative action a force for fairness to past injustices, or instead, merely a feel-good policy that cloaks the real barriers for those yearning to be upwardly mobile to overcome?
All these and other questions actually boil down to one question, in my opinion, and that question is what kind of policies will assist people, especially the most disadvantaged, to improve their lives?
Historically, racists have chosen government power, or collectivism, as the means to impose race preferences. These policies have, in the past, been known as Jim Crow laws, apartheid, and not just in the United States, but around the world. Such race laws reviewed by racists as necessary to keep racially and ethically different people apart. In short, the power of the state, the power of government, was essentially the sword of racism.
Theres been many economic studies also that indicate that economic liberalization and trade and free association through open markets among people maximizes the incentives needed to grind racism down, and by using government power, is a way to avoid this process.
Public choice economists, in fact, have shown that collectivist measures or government programs, are intrinsically driven by interest groups who social the costs, risks and liabilities to the public, especially the most politically disadvantages, while special interests essentially line their pockets through such policies.
So it further appears that perhaps even if egalitarians were to design government programs, the outcome may also end up being one that fosters prejudice or racism or other kinds of outcomes.
Racism was consequently a matter of policy, not only in Nazi Germany and in South Africa, but the U.S. South. It was certainly the policy behind the American Indian Reservation, but also throughout Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, much of Asia, much of Africa, to the extent that state planning was practiced, the chances were very high the outcome was racist.
Our discussion this evening hinges on events that actually began a little more humbly on July 20th, 1995, when Ward Connerly led a majority of the Regents in the University of California, to end the Universitys use of race as a criterion for student admissions. Some saw Ward, who was a successful businessman, as bringing Martin Luther King Jr.s dream a bit closer to reality, a step closer, while others accused him of race treason.
In December of that same year, Ward accepted chairmanship of the California Civil Rights initiative, known as Proposition 209, when he decided the campaign was in jeopardy. Subsequently, Prop. 209 obtained over one million signatures to quality for the November 1996 ballot, and California voters passed it by a 55-45 margin. Two years later, Ward then led a successful campaign to pass I-200 in Washington state, very similar to Californias Prop. 209. He then turned his attention to Florida, where he then found himself challenging Governor Jeb Bush, and essentially the Republican Party establishment.
During all this time, there have also been numerous court rulings, many of you may be familiar with, which has struck down affirmative action policies. But again, the question being asked is whether this is a real progress for civil rights, or a major step backward.
More recently, Bill Bagley has been organizing an effort to rescind the University of California Regents decision to end affirmative action in the University of California system. The questions being raised: Does this supersede the mission of the University and the reputation of the University? Bill has kindly brought information, I should mention about his work for anyone who is interested, we have copies.
I dont know where they are.
Theyre right here.
Are they? Thank you.
Unfortunately of course, tonight we cant discuss all aspects of any of these issues, but we can certainly begin a dialog. So to do so, the format that we wanted to use for our program is to have each of our speakers speak for about 20 minutes. Afterward were going to ask each of them to respond for about two minutes, and then have Q&A. At the end of the Q&A, were going to give each speaker again the chance to speak for two minutes to sum up. So your participation is going to be even doubly valuable for us tonight.
So our first speaker is Ward Connerly. Ward is founder and president of the American Civil Rights Institute and president and chief executive officer of Connerly & Associates.
I first met WardIm not sure if he knows this or notback in the early 80s when he was successful in real estate and related businesses. I had organized a conference for a group of people in Sacramento on the housing crisis of California, and Ward was one of the people who spoke. At the time he did not know who I was. In fact, he did not even get the invitation from me, but I was the person who actually put together the program: the late Bruce Johnson, our founding research director, who was an economist of the University of California at Santa Barbara, was one of the other speakers at that conference.
Ward, as you all know, is author of the new book, Creating Equal, which I highly recommend to anyone interested in any aspect of this. Its also an extremely charming book because of Wards background and his commitment to these ideas. Ward, as you know, is an outspoken advocate of equal opportunity for Americans, regardless of race, sex, ethnic background, or sexual orientation. As I mentioned, Ward is a member of the Board of Regents of the University of California where he has focused national attention on these issues. Hes been profiled in many national shows, including 60 Minutes. Hes been on the cover of Parade magazine, hes been on virtually every program you can think of, Meet the Press, Dateline, Crossfire, Politically Incorrect. Hes the recipient of numerous of awards
too many to list. Im very pleased to introduce Ward Connerly.
Thank you very much, David. Customarily in an event like this, the challenger goes first because Im satisfied with the status quo. Bill wants to change it. But in deference to him, I decided to go first. Hes the challenger. I said, why dont we go alphabetically, Bagley before Connerly? Why dont we go age before beauty? (laughter)
BC, thats before Christ. (laughter)
This issue indeed has been settled, but since I am going to start this, Im going to have to anticipate the arguments that my dear friend Bill Bagley is going to make to you and try to respond to them as best I can. And hope that I have not disserved him by anticipating the arguments that I think he is going to make.
First of all, Ive heard that Bill believes that on July 20, 1995, I injected the University of California into a raw political debate, and that Bill wants to pull the rug out from under one Ward Connerly because I am now traipsing across the countryside spreading this venom of equality throughout the land. (laughter) My response to that is, yes, its a raw political debate, but its also a policy that affects the University of California. Admissions affects everyone who applies, the parents of those people who apply. SP 2 affects employment and contracting opportunities, and it would be derelict, in my opinion, for someone sentenced to a 12-year unpaid term on the Board of Regents to know as a fiduciary, that the University is using race, gender and ethnicity in ways that are morally wrong and certainly Constitutionally suspect. And to say, well, this is a political issue, so therefore I wont act upon it.
I did not become a Regent because I had nothing else to do. I became a Regent because I wanted to serve my State. I didnt seek appointment to the Board of Regents, but once I accepted that appointment, I had an obligation to do the best that I could to serve you and the rest of the people of this State. Once I learned that preferences were in fact being practiced, not affirmative action as most of us know it and will embrace it, but preferences were being practiced, it would have been the height of irresponsibility for me to ignore that and to pretend that it did not exist, and that I should wait for some unforeseen and possible not-to-occur events, such as what happened with Proposition 209.
As Bill knows, I got involved in this issue beginning in the Summer of 1994, when Clair Burgener who was the Chair of the Board of Regents at the time, sent to me Jerry and Ellen Cook and asked me to meet with them to determine, as the Chair of Finance, whether I thought the Universitys policies were in danger because of action that had been taken with regard to their son. This was August of 1994.
We had a meeting at the Board of Regents in November, 1994. And I concluded at that point that we werent getting the full story on this issue. We scheduled it on the agenda in January, 1995, and I said, as I think any Regent ought to do, lets study this, lets take a look at it, and see whether the policies make any sense.
I concluded that applying different standards to people on the basis of race was wrong, and we were doing it. In June, 1995, Jack Peltason sent a letter to the Regents saying UC will discontinue giving automatic admission to all under-represented minorities at UCLA and at Davis. A practice that Jim Holtz had written was clearly Constitutionally suspect.
Jim, being General Counsel.
Yes. One of the rules were going to have to embrace is that Mr. Bagley is going to have to circumscribe his tongue while I speak, and I will do the same for him. (laughter)
Im trying to help you. (laughter)
Well, help me later. (laughter)
Jim Holtz was General Counsel.
This goes on at Regents meetings all the time (laughter), and some of us sometimes are ready to choke the you-know-what out of them as a result of that (laughter)but we concluded beyond any doubt that practices were being employed that needed to change.
Now looming on the horizon was a possible initiative, known as the California Civil Rights Initiative. I want to take you back to July, 1995 when the Regents voted on S.P.-1 to eliminate preferences at the University. Prop. 209 as it subsequently became known, was floundering. People were having a difficult time getting signatures. The election, which happened in November, 1996, was roughly 18 months away. In my view, I should not hold my finger to the wind and say well, what if Prop. 209 passes; as a fiduciary, my duty is to hold the Constitution of the United States and the State of California, not to anticipate what the voters might do. What if the initiative doesnt get enough signatures? We would have wasted 18 months.
So my opinion was then, and is now, that it was indeed appropriate for a member of a governing board of the University of California to act upon that which he or she considered the right thing to do.
Bill says that the resolution that I offered harmed the University. Well, I want to share with you a number of articles that have been written in the aftermath of Prop. 209. One says that Blacks and Latinos Post Gains in UC ApplicationsLos Angeles Times, January, 2000. Black, Hispanic Applications Up at BerkeleyAssociated Press, January, 2000. Mexican-American Admissions Up at UCSan Francisco Chronicle April, 2000. A Better Path to DiversityChristian Science Monitor, April, 2000. Minority Admissions Almost at 1997 LevelLos Angeles Times, April, 1999. UC Says Minority Numbers IncreasingSan Jose Mercury, May, 1999. A Momentous Change of Direction From Group Preferences to Individual Assessment in Cal AdmissionsBerkeleys Alumni magazine, California Monthly, September, 1998. Recruitment Keeps Doors Open in Post-209 AcademiaClarence Page column, Sacramento Bee, April, 1999. Cal Makes Its Pledge an Education ModelOakland Tribune, February, 99. UCD Targets Low Income Students at a Young AgeTuition Will Be Paid by UCD acramento Bee, June, 1999.
And one of the most compelling arguments of all, The End of Affirmative Action, And the Beginning of Something BetterNew York Times Magazine, May, 1999. Time magazine, or NationWhen the Field is Level, which talks about how minority students admitted to Riverside in Irvine and Santa Cruz in Santa Barbara are pleased that they are being admitted on their own merits; that campuses that theyve applied to without any preferences in place. We havent harmed the University of California. How can you harm something by forcing it to do that which is right?
I didnt have the luxury of going to the University of California. I went to a community college, American River. 1957. I graduated from there and went to a state college, Sac[ramento] State. 1959. But I think one of the things of which I am most proud in my life is the fact that I am able to serve on the governing board of an institution that I could not attend, and I love it as if it were my own alma mater. I would not visit harm upon it.
If you saw the letters I received everyday from parents who say thank you very much for giving my child a fair chance to be considered, not just white or Asian, but black, Latino as well. People want fairness. This is not 1960, my friends. This is the dawn of the 21st century, and one of the most multi-racial places on the planet. If we cant make equality work without the gun of government to our head, were in big, big, big trouble.
And so, I havent harmed the University, and, I dont think that the people of California, when they voted to Proposition 209 by a plurality of 900,000 votes thought I was harming the University of California, nor do I believe that those students who have now gotten in, who otherwise would not have gotten in, believe that Ive harmed the University of California.
Bill says that under-represented minorities do not feel welcome, and I think hes referring mostly to black students. Those of us who look like me, and I dont mean moderately tall and bald, we represent 6.7 percent of the population in this State. There arent too many places were going to be able to go where were the majority. So I think that were going to have to get accustomed to the fact in this nation that we may not be the majority, in terms of skin color, and what I want it to be is irrelevant. I dont want skin color to have any relevance in our society.
So I want to feel welcome wherever I go, whether my color is in the majority, or whether its in the minority. And, what better place than to learn that lesson than at a college campus?
But tell me this, Mr. Bagley, if they dont feel welcome, why are they applying in record numbers? Why are they applying in record numbers if they dont feel welcome? The reality is, they do feel welcome. And you know why they feel welcome. Because Bob Berdahl, the Chancellor and all of the administrators, call them up on the phone after theyve been admitted and say, we want you here.
These students dont need welcome mats, although we give it. They need agents to handle all the different deals that are coming in that says we want you. So I want you to discount that one right off the bat, because it has no legitimacy. Anyone who has been in this state for the last five years ought to know the efforts that were expending to make sure that these students feel welcome. Were spending $250 million this year on outreach, to make sure that they know that they are welcome, and that we will prepare them so that they dont need any preference.
The argument is made by Mr. Bagley that were losing a generation of black kids while our outreach programs kick in. Give me a break. How are we losing anybody in this State with 106 community colleges; one within 15 minutes driving time of every man, woman, and child in California; 23 state colleges, some equally as great as some of our UC campuses; and, eight undergraduate campuses.?
Any student who was eligible before Proposition 209 or S.P.-1 took place, is still eligible. Nobody is rendered ineligible because of this, so how are we losing a generation because of S.P.-1? The reality is that were not. What were doing is were saving several generations by making them feel that theyre going to have to work in order to earn the right to go to the University of California, Whether theyre purple, whether theyre green, whether theyre yellow, brown, black, chartreuse, whatever. No one gets a preference, but the opportunity is there. If you dont get admitted to the University of California first time around, you can go to a community college and you can transfer in. Just get a B average, and you can automatically transfer in. So no generation is being lost.
So I want to conclude by simply saying that this debate ought to be over. Its time for us to move forward. Not send a message to these kids, a false one that, geez, you may not be welcome because you dont get any preferences now. That is specious. Its time to move forward. Its time for us to do everything we can to prove to our kids, all of our kids, our kids, that we want them to get an education, and were going to do everything that we can to ensure that they get that education. But if they want to go to Berkeley or UCLA or San Diego, or Davis, theyre going to have to earn it.
Thirty-four thousand students applied last year to Berkeley. We have 3,500 seats. Of that 34,000, 14,000 had 4.0s and higher. Race should not be one of the factors in the equation. Race should not be a factor in the equation. Get them prepared, let them compete, and let the chips fall where they may. Thank you very much. (applause)
Thank you very much, Ward. Our next speaker, Bill Bagley, is a member of the Board of Regents of the University of California, as Ive mentioned. Hes also a senior partner with the law firm Nossaman, Guthner, Knox and Elliott in San Francisco. Bill also graduated Phi Beta Kappa from my alma mater, the University of California at Berkeley.
See what I tell you?
Do you know (inaudible) (laughter).
You graduated in 1949. (laughter)
David, you know what, you didnt graduate (inaudible)
He was valedictorian of his 1949 class, and he also serves as permanent president of the Class of 49. I was in the class of 49, but my graduation from my mother was of a different sort. (laughter) Bill was the first Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Corporation Commission under President Gerald Ford. He has served as Chairman of the California Transportation Commission, and is a member of the California Public Utilities Commission, and the California Advisory Committee on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He received his J.D. from both law schools at the University of California, Berkeley; hes a former member of the California State Assembly, the recipient of many awards including Most Effective Assemblyman by the California Press Corps, Legislator of the Year by the California Trial Lawyers Association, the Golden Bear Award from California State Park and Recreation Commission, and so forth.
Im very pleased to introduce Bill Bagley. (applause)
I do have some material here that perhaps should be distributed because there are some numbers in there that sort of discount some of the numbers that youve heard earlier, and I would like you too look at them. Ward makes a very nice presentation. Ward cares. I care. I care in large part because of my affinity with the University. This is the University that started me out in life, and Ward has his history, his heritage, I do with mine. I was a Depression kid. Grew up in the little town of Woodacre. We had Post Office Box 2. I used to go trout fishing and bring a few trout home for dinner at night. I went to the University of California at the age of 17 in 1945.
That University was great to me, and Ward is correct, youve anticipated correctly, I dont want it to be hurt. Now we can go through a lot of numbers, but Im going to give you one number, then well go backwards and hopefully well go forwards. One of the absolute facts of life and effect of the regents resolution was the dissuasionthats a polite wordmostly of African Americans or blacks to apply to at the University, or is admitted to agree to enroll.
There are three aspects to this: application, admission, and acceptance. The three As. The most dramatic figure that comes to mind, and there are a lot of more numbers, 1999, now thats post-Prop. 209, thats post-WC, thats Ward Connerly. Thats post-1995. These are the absolute, top cream of the crop class applicants at UCLA Law School. Eighteen were admitted, two agreed to attend.
Now, its a small number of people, but its a dramatic number, and its an absolute indication and absolute verification of one of my major points, and Ward is correct again. He anticipates correctly, that we have hurt the University of California by dissuading, by telling these folks, you aint welcome.
So let me go backward a step, then maybe go forward a step. In this material, youll see a lot of numbers. Ill give you a few more, just for the hell of it, because Ward asked me to talk about numbers. He says, admissions and applications have increased. Increase those headlines that he quoted, for the year 2000, were all in reference to 1997. 1997 was two years after July 20, 1995, when there was a nadir, an absolute bottom to the applications and the admission.
So, of course theyre going up. We have a wonderful outreach program. We didnt spend $250 million. We spent $180 million. We use to spend about $60 million just going out to high schools. Weve now doubled it and tripled it. Thats good.
One of the points Ill make later, and Ill make it right now, is if we would simply get rid of the universitys participation, its leadership, its genesis, its pro-generation, its incubation of Prop. 209. Get the University out of this vortex. Add to the outreach program, by the Board of Regents, we did wrong in 1995. We shouldnt have led the politic matrix, if you will, the political vortex, if you will, the political fight that has been started.
Ward has written a fine book. Ive looked at it. He has indelibly imprinted in that book the fact that the University of Californias Board of Regents, incidentally by a vote of 14 to 10. So those 10 other people, according to Ward, were irresponsible, were not doing their fiduciary duty. Nine chancellors, the president, all the officers, dont do this to our University. The Board did it by 14 to 10. Ten were irresponsible, 14 were leaders, and led the University down this path, down this path. Im going to get back to that in a moment.
Admissions, admissions. Ive got some figures here. University of California law schools, in 1999, applications 1999: 213. 1994: 467. Applications havent gone up. Theyve gone down by at least a half. Thats African-Americans, blacks it says here. Same thing is true with Hispanics. Oh, Admissions. In 1999, first year enrollments, University of California: seven. 1994: 31. There were double the number of applicants, put affirmative action preferences aside, just pure applicants, the folks aint showing up, and if you look at some of the material Ive handed out tonight, that youve seen tonight, youll see that.
Let me go back to the 60s, Ward. You were thereoh, Ive got to give you credit. This is an absolutely true story, Ward. And you were there, too. In 1969, the Republicans took the majority of the Assembly by one vote. Bob Monagan was Speaker. I was either number two or number three in the House. Then sophomore Assemblyman Pete Wilson was slated, because I had left the Judiciary Committee, to be chairman of Judiciary Committee. He was slated to be Chairman of Judiciary.
Pete Wilson came to Bob and myself and said, Im from San Diego. Urban sprawl down there is a big problem, I want to chair a housing committee. In January, 1969, we created a Housing Committee, and Pete Wilson drafted Ward Connerly to be his Chief Consultant. Ward, I spawned you, sir. (laughter) Im your godfather. Now thisits literally true.
I decline you.
You asked me a question.
The 60s were watershed years, my friends, and Ill do this as quickly as I can, and we get back to the issue at hand. And Im serious when I want to go back this far. In 1965, we had Selma, we had the Civil Rights Act, we had the Voting Rights Act. We had LBJ after the assassination of JFK. 1968, God, that was a bad year! Kennedy was killed, George Wallace was wounded, and Martin Luther King was killed.
I stood on the altar at the church of Martin Luther Kings funeral. The choir was crying and singing at the same time. And I was crying. 1963, this is the beginning of this movement. Were only out about 30 years. 1960s to the 1990s, thats 30 years of progress; after 5,000 years of repression.
So are we going to have a race-free society in the next X years? Im sorry, were not. Weve got to help. Weve got to help. We just cant just blind ourselves and say everybodys equal and were all going to have fun together. Its not going to happen. Weve got to help people get ahead.
I dont mean quotas. Thats a bad word. I dont even mean preferences. I mean, tell the world theyre welcome at the University of California. Thats my real point. My point here is not to defend every aspect of affirmative action in its broadest categories where people were givenpeople were actually discriminated against because they were white. Thats not my point. My point is keep the University out of this issue. And theres a way to do that. In 1963, we passed the Rumford Act. I wonder how many people here know the name Byron Rumford, black Assemblyman from Oakland, from Berkeley, a pharmacist.
It was fair housing, and three Republicans voted for it. I was one. In 1967, Ronald Reagan campaigning as a right winger, Repeal the Rumford Act, teeth and fists clenched and red-faced. Repeal the Rumford Act. What a terrible thing to do. And then in 1967, SB 1, Senate Bill 1, to repeal fair housing in California, came to the AssemblyIm bragging now. We had a Conference Committee. We amended the bills so there would be a Conference Committee. And I never called a committee meeting. We did not repeal the Rumford Act. Thats only 30 years ago, my friends. So Im bragging at you, and Im telling you a little bit of the background of why I care about this issue.
I could go on and on and on, but my point is, race is not going to go away. We have to acknowledge it. What did the Regents do? What did the Regents do? Pete Wilson was running for President. Everybody knows this. This is the most raw, evil rotten meeting weve ever had. We had to go upstairs three floors in the building to hide from the public. Jesse Jackson was allowed to speak for a half an hour because my friend (my friend whose Housing Committee I helped create) was there and hed wanted Jesse Jackson and he to debate on national television. It all occurred. Remember the vote was 14-10, one of the great leaders of the Board, and I wont quote him, but you can ask me later what his name was, after voting aye, said to me, shaking his head, Bill, I hope we didnt do too much harm today. Thats an exact quote.
So what are we going to do about all of that? Now I thought Ward was going to talk more about his national movement. He has a First Amendment right to do that. In catechism, Ward, the second grade, I had never made the first grade, I learned the little expression, Where is God, God is everywhere. Where is Ward? Ward, he is everywhere.
He traveled the United States, First Amendment, doing his thing, so to speak, but every time he shows up, the progenitor of that movement is the University of California. Thats my whole point in one nutshell. Ward can do any blessed thing he wants. Id pay his filing fee if hed only run for office, and participate in the process, but dont use the Board of Regents. Dont abuse my University nationwide by being the progenitor of this movement. I dont care whether you agree or not. Do you like affirmative action; dont like affirmative actiondont put the University in the middle of this, dont put the University in the middle of this! He said its relevant because admissions are relevant.
On the way over, I was listening to the radio from San Francisco. If a member of the Board of Regents really wanted to have fun, he would put a proposition before the Board to, by fiat, admit Elian Gonzalez to the University of California at Berkeley. Thats an admissions problem. By God, Vice President Gore would be out, as Jesse Jackson was, saying thats a wonderful thing to do. Thats an issue that the University of California ought to take up. I think Ill put it on the agenda.
Ward laughs at me when I say, we abort babies at our hospitals, lets get the Board of Regents involved in that issue. We teach evolution, my God, in our anthropology courses. Lets have only Christian hymns played by the Campanile Bells. Im sorry, its a little extreme. How about the Confederate flag? How about a scroll of the Ten Commandments streaming down from the Campanile?
Ward, Ive got to tell you another story. We had a bill in the Legislature to print the Ten Commandments on every school book in California. The damn thing passed the Senate 25 to 5. It was on the Assembly floor. It was going to pass. Ronald Reagan would have signed it. I moved to divide the question, saying there are at least two commandments upon which I cannot vote. Somebody moved to table. We killed the bill. True story. True story.
Im exaggerating to make the point, but does this University, because its relevant, have to get involved in these issues? Or, should we back away, endorse outreach programs, endorse K-12 improvement, endorse budget improvements? Work with the legislature, which is predominantly Democratic, predominately against what my colleague Ward has been doing, its literally true, or do we go on and hurt the University by getting it involved in this raw political issue? Thats my whole point. Its my whole point.
So what is the effect? Yes, theres a lost generation. Oh, 20 years from now things will be much better. Fifty percent of California will be Hispanic and 30 percent will be white. I think thats 40 years from now, to be accurate, 2040, and that is a projection.
Well, what do we do in the meantime? Yes, we are losing a generation, not of those who profited by preference, but were losing a generation of qualified kids. The University of California, 1965, and Ward claims credit for it. Why didnt we wait for Prop. 209. Hell, no. The University of California Board of Regents, by a vote of 14-10 sponsored Prop. 209. They led the fight. Of course, some people figure, whether theyre right or wrong, Ward, some people figure, God, Im not welcome there. The damn Board of Regents did this to us. My point. My point, and I hope you dont have to agree about preferences. You can at least look at whats happened at the University in that context.
We have lost a generation (itll be repaired) of qualified kids. The 18 who are admitted at Berkeley, at UCLA Law School and two attended, we are losing the qualified kids.
Im going to read you something. Ward reads well. Ward has resources. I have resources. There are all kinds of material that Ive sent to you, being distributed, but this is a wonderful little quote. Here is a lady who is the president of Smith College. Very elite college, she happens to be, and Im reading, . . . the black daughter of a sharecropper. She is now on a personal quest across America to increase racial diversity in leading colleges and universities, and Im quoting, We want to exploit what weve seen as a weakness, Proposition 209, and the discouragement factor, she said, we would like to get some of the best students who may not feel that this is the place for them now that California universities are being segregated. I dont adopt that statement as mine. I quote it. I quote it. Ruth Simmons, President, Smith College.
There is absolutely no question, that Harvard, Yale, Stanford, the rest of them, are recruiting our best kids. Graduate schools are suffering. We have no outreach program for graduate students. Period. Law schools, medical schools, business schools are all going down.
Yes, Riverside has improved. Riverside is not the most popular campus, and Im sorry, but thats a fact, among the University systems. A wonderful campus, wonderful people. its not the most popular. Riverside is improving, but Berkeley, UCLA, San Diego, and Ill give you the numbers, are losing applicants and losing admissions, and the graduate schools are almost decimated, and thats one in ten; thats worst than decimated. That is whats happening to the University of California. Its a fact. Ward can tell you admissions are going up, applications are going up, only since 1997, two years after we did what we did.
So what do we do about it? Its really simple. Its really simple, and Ward, its going to happen. Every 20 or 30 years the Board of Regents disturb an ordinary, normal, progressive situation. The University of California, my friends, and this is absolute fact, is the acknowledged international leader as a public research institution. There is no other. Harvard]s nice, but theyre not public. Stanfords nice, but theyre not public. Michigans nice, but theyre not an internationally recognized research institution. We dont want to hurt them. We dont want to hurt them.
So as a part of our outreach program, and I don}t know how much time we have left, but Ill finish in three of our minutes. I wasnt timely, Ward. As a part of our outreach program, we simply rescind, oh, not all nine paragraphs of SP1, because SP1 spoke of outreach. Frankly, I added paragraph nine that said we are for diversity. Around the room, it was amazing. All the little boy regents and little girl regents say Im for diversity, but Im voting aye. One of the regents cried as she voted aye, because she was pressured.
So you don]t rescind the resolution, you simply take paragraphs three and paragraphs four and say we hereby rescind the action by which we said the University of California is against affirmative action. Thats all we do. We say welcome. It absolves us. Out damn spot! It absolves us from the blame, rightly or wrongly, that we are getting. And if you looked at some of the material weve handed out, blame goes on, and blame will continue to go on. And the book indelibly imprints the University of California as a target, rightly or wrongly, as a target for the blame. Its very simple. We simply rescind that resolution.
Now I said earlier, every 20 or 30 years the Board of Regents gets the University of California into trouble. Some of you were around in 1950, I was. The Board of Regents passed a loyalty oath. They followed Joe McCarthy. No, no comparisons. They followed Joe McCarthy. Seventy, 80 professors quit, fired, went through lawsuits. Five years later the Board of Regents rescinded that resolution.
Twenty years later, 1968-70, theres some riots at the University of California. Ronald Reagan became governor. Ronald Reagan was going to show, by God, that he was in control. So he had the Board of Regents fire Clark Kerr, if any of you know him, the most renown, the most respected educator in the world. We fired Clark Kerr. Twenty-five years later, in 1995, ah, the finger in the wind, we are going to lead the fight that has erupted into a national divisive campaign.
Jeb BushI read the book, Ward. I read it. I perused it. Its good. Im not complaining. I think its page 273, you can look it up afterwards. Jeb Bush says I dont want to deal with Ward Connerlys initiativeits a divisive measure. Where is Pete Wilson today, who ran for president in 1996, who sponsored Propositions 187 and 209, and then speak the English only, I think it was Proposition 226 or 227. Those are divisive wedge issues. Do you know what wedge is defined as, a spike. We wouldnt be involved, we the University shouldnt be involved. You can. Ward can, but we, the university, shouldnt be involved in wedge issues.
The solution is simple, simply rescind those provisions of which weve been speaking. Tell the folks who welcome, tell the folks theyre welcome, add that to the outreach program. Its not going to solve all of societys ills, but at least its going to get the university out of the vortex.
Ethnic studies, ethnic studies. Even ethnic studies has been under attack. Dont attack ethnic studies. Let these folks have their own programs if they want. Its not a preference. Its not race. Pacific Legal Foundation, somebodys here representing them, had a lawsuit whereby if you call a minorityI grant you, this is contractors, and say why dont you join in this bidding, my God? You, the City of Palo Alto, or whatever city it was, are engaging in a preference. What if your administrators concentrate their efforts on Hunters Point instead of Huntington Beach? Is that a preference? Im afraid theres going to be lawsuits.
Pacific Legal Foundation thinks thats a preference. To call folks at Hunters Point, when everybody knows 80 some odd percent of Hunters Point are black people. To go to schools that are predominantly black, because, by God, were looking at people who have a different color, and therefore we are trying to entice them into the University And, just going to them is a preference.
These are problems, my friends, these are legal problems that are in the courts today. Again if we could just get rid of our participation. Leave that issue to Ward. Leave that issue to those who run for office. Ill pay their blessed filing fees if they run for office and fight all these programs that theyre concerned about. But dont abuse my University. Thank you. (applause)
Thank you very much, Bill. We have a chance for each of our speakers to respond, and they each have two minutes. Well start with Ward Connerly.
There are so many things that Bill said that just arent true. (laughter)
And I dont want to go through all of them, but some of them are quite significant. Meredith Kachigian cried at the meeting, but she cried because Roy Brophy, who was on Bills side was pressuring her. Pressure didnt come from us. Pete Wilson didnt sponsor 209. 209 was sponsored by Tom Wood and Glynn Custred months before Pete Wilson. Years, almost, before Pete Wilson decided to run for President. So Pete Wilson didnt sponsor that.
Bill said Im using the Board of Regents. When I go someplace, people introduce me as a member of the Board of Regents, they do the same thing with him, member of the Board of Regents. Once you reach a certain position, and you get something on your portfolio, people use that, but Im not trying to use the University of California, Board of Regents, to advance my campaign. Its something that I take with me as a member of the Board of Regents, and its credit or its baggage, depending on the circumstance. But Im not trying to use it.
Gray Davis would be out of his mind to embrace what Bill Bagley is asking the Regents to do. He said that he would not frustrate Prop. 209. He said that his appointees are there to represent his point of view. And, if the Regents on that board, appointed by Governor Davis, vote to rescind Prop. 209, Gray Davis will have broken his promise to the people of this State. And that is precisely what Bill Bagley is asking them to do.
Divisive? Tell me what public policy isnt divisive? Public policy, by definition, is asking people to choose sides. By nature its divisive. Its not the question of whether its divisive. Its whether or not youre asking people to make a choice on the basis of the facts that are presented. We shouldnt run away from issues because some people are going to be on one side and others are going to be on another. We shouldnt be trying to rewrite history.
I dont think that SP1, the resolution that ended preferences was a mistake. How may of you here think it was a mistake? Let me see a show of hands. That it was a mistake. That is was a mistake. Eight? Nine? How many of you think that it was not a mistake (applause)
Let me read something else to you. Last week, these are college students, . . . roughly 84 percent of the 1,004 respondents to a wide-ranging survey conducted by The Zongbe (sp?) International, said that ethnic diversity on campus is important. But, 79 percent said that lowering the entrance requirements for some students, regardless of the reason, was unfair to the rest of the student body; and, 77 percent said that it was not right to give preferential treatment, if it meant denying admission to other students.
One final thing. Bill talks about our yieldthe number of students who are being admitted to our law schools. We never were able to compete with Harvard, Stanford, and Yale. We never were able to compete, because they can offer full scholarships on the basis of race, and we cant. Thats the reality.
But lets talk about whether we are welcomedwe send out the welcome mat. Recently 13 students from a certain region of the state, the Bay Area, met in the loft of Jerry Browns home, with Chancellor Berdahl to talk about the admissions offer that they had received. The 13 students, and Im reading from the Oakland Tribune, The 13 students, all of whom have acceptance letters but have not yet enrolled, could be sure on one point, theyre wanted at the university. Read on. It is an extraordinarily diverse campus, even in the wake of 208, Berdahl said of the University. As disappointing as the number of under-represented minority admissions have been, we still remain the most diverse university of our quality in the United States. In that same article, At one point during his speech, Berdahl asked for a show of hands, wanting to know, who had made the decision to attend Berkeley. All but one raised their hands. And the article concludes, Antrina Bratley, 17, who attends Emery High School in Emeryville, said she plans to attend UC Berkeley, but that race was never a factor in her application or decision process. I was just thinking of myself as a person and not as a black person, she said. (applause)
Bill, two minutes.
Oh, we could do it in 30 seconds. Incidentally, I understand the makeup of the audience. Im glad that you people care. Im glad that you feel the way you feel. Youre not the majority in the world, but what the hell, youll get there someday, except the Hispanics are going to take over, my friends. Not too many people of color in this audience as I look you over. Not too many people of color in this audiences as I look you over. But I didnt look you over for that reason. I looked you over to communicate.
Oh, my friend, Ward. My friend, Ward. Heres another number for you. Its maybe totally extraneous. Interpret it for yourselves. Remember, were talking about the reaction of qualified students vis-a-vis the University of California; 1997, thats before the 1995 action of the Board took effect. Out of all these applicants, we get 60,000-70,000 applicants a year from the University system; 1,953 decline to state their race. (applause) Thats fine. Thats fine. Good for them. In 1998, the next year after S.P.-1 took effect, 5,600 declined. You can clap again. (applause)
But the difference between those numbers, 3,500 or so, these are people that didnt want to be identified because they were afraid that they might not be admitted to the University because, my God, the University is against some kind of diversity. Aw! You interpret the numbers. I told you, I opened the sentence by saying that you interpret the numbers, I thought Id get that response. Thats why I said it that way.
Let me just close for the time being with just a little bit of aI dont know why those people changed the way they did. I dont. I dont. Let me just closeoh, stop cajoling and cavorting and making noises. Let me finish in 30 seconds, OK. (laughter) What the hell?
Voltaire saidI think Ill reverse his statement. I agree with everything Im saying, but I will defend to the death against your right to say it. That]s the reverse of Voltaire, my friends, so try to be civil.
Let me just quote two or three people. This has nothing to do with the University of California. I didnt come here to defend all of the extensions of affirmative action. And frankly, I didnt do that. And frankly, David, wherever you are, I wasnt billed as such. I was billed as somebody who wanted to defend the University of California. And Ive done it. But when you talk about in the broader sense, affirmative action, not as a matter of quotas. Quotas is a miserable word. People use that just to deride you. Were for/against quotas. Sure Im against quotas, but are you against an effort to bring about equality? No. No. We agree.
But in the context of the bigger world, here are three or four quotes and Ill quit. Robert Allen, the Chairman of AT&T, Affirmative action is not just the right thing to do, its a business necessity. This becomes relative in a moment. Chairman, CEO of Procter & Gamble. Diversity is an integral part of the character of the company. It gives us unity, it gives us strength. It gives us talent. Richness of talent [that] we need to be successful, to sell our products, to sell our products, to people of all cultures. My good God, the new chairman of Bank of America, Hugh McCall, whos not the greatest hero in the world in California. The first step to creating a successful business is to manage the changing work force to appreciate the growing number of cultural, education and labor backgrounds. The second step is to use diversity to our advantage.
You cant have diversity in the economic workplace unless you have some diversity in the educational institutions in California. Thank you. (applause)
OK, those of you who have questions, if you wait for Alex with the microphone, and please raise your hand. Alex, there]s a gentleman in the aisle there, and please make it a short question and address who youre asking the question to.
Questions from the Floor
My question is for Mr. Bagley. The 18 invitees and only two accepted at UCLA, is your assumption that the other 16 are part of a lost generation because theyre sitting at home not doing anything, or because they went to Harvard Law School and not?
All right. Theres a mic over here. Ill assume, and youre assuming, so Im agreeing with your assumption, that they went to Harvard, Stanford, Yale, some of those wonderful institutions. Probably got a scholarship to do so. In the context of their individual education, theyre not a lost generation. In the context of the remaining student body, of that law school, that law school suffered by their not being there. Laugh, if you will.
Thank you. Id like to ask about the minority students who are now getting into Cal and the other University of California campus. Can you tell us if, since the implementation of the 1995 resolution, has more of the minority students stayed in to graduate? Because Ive seen a lot of them get there, but not be able to stay there.
I sat in on a Berkeley normingwhat they call a norming session for a day just to make sure that I understood the process. And, one of the things that we dont hear very often is that the number of high achieving, and I dont know the reason for it, and Chancellor Berdahl didnt know either. But, the number of high achieving black students and Hispanic students went up dramatically in the aftermath of Prop. 209. I dont know why. They dont know why. But, the number went up dramatically. Those that were not as competitive at Berkeley, for example, went down, and maybe you can explain why the number went down, but its hard to explain why the number went up.
The thing that was most interesting was that they pointed out that the academic gap that had existed prior to this new regime is narrowing rapidly. There was something like a 230 point SAT gap between blacks and whites prior to the implementation of this policy. Now it is down to 124. From 230 to 124 SAT points, thats black in relation to white. And among Chicanos, Latinos, the gap has reduced from 203 to 142, and their projection is that that is going to translate into retention and graduation that will be identical without regard to color or ethnicity or race, because the students will be admitted basically at the same level. And, they will graduate basically at the same level. The quality of the student body, throughout the system, every campus says this is the highest quality weve ever had.
A question for Ward Connerly. We now already have our class of politicians and government bureaucrats who have a strong interest in different classes of citizens, some of whom are disadvantaged and between whom they need to mediate. How do you address that? The notion that, in fact, there are a huge group of people that have a big interest in continuing to have classes of citizens who are dependent, in some respect, upon the state, and are victims on an ongoing basis?
That is a real problem, and I think we have to characterize it without getting pejorative or running anybody down. But, on both sides of the aisle, there people who have an institutional interest in preserving whatever it is that theyre fighting or trying to change. And I dont think there are many places in public policy where that institutional interest that industry, if you will, is greater than with respect to this kind of issue. There are many organizations that have, as their mission, maintaining the policies that exist, because their constituency is expecting them to do so. And, what I have urged is that we not eliminate all affirmative action, but that the $250 million bill that we are spending in the fiscal year 2000, 2001
20002001, its $250. In 1999 to 2000 it was $180, that we spent that on the basis of need. We have outreach programs that are trying to help under performing schools. Thats legitimate, whether they are white or black or Asian or whatever, thats legitimate. Thats good affirmative action. We ought to be doing it. But doing it on the basis of race, mainly because of the industry thats out there, I think is wrong.
Now that isnt to suggest that all discrimination is gone. Its not. It isnt to suggest that we dont still need further changes. And I think that a lot of changes still need to be made in the procurement area. A lot of discussion centers around the admissions policies, but in the area of procurement contracts, theres still a lot of work to be done there, to make sure that people have equal access to bid on the jobs, and I think that the emphasis has not been placed there. But the industry, those with an institutional interest in preserving their point of view is formidable.
The gentleman right there.
Thank you. This is for both of you. This matter of welcome, Im thinking back to how I was bothered at the time this issue first came up, because I was hearing from many opponents of S.P.-1, that this would send a signal that minorities were not welcome anymore at the University. And, I also heard of stories of members of the opposition actually letting people know that they were no longer welcome. Im wondering whether anybody has any evidence of anybody who supported S.P.-1 ever sending a signal that minorities were not welcome?
Ill answer. Frankly, the message was sent largely by my friend over here on my left. I think Bill has done more to propagate that notion than anybody on our side of the table. We have done everything we can to say to them that theyre welcome, but if you keep saying to people the reason the Regents did that is because they didnt want you, it almost becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. People begin to believe that garbage.
No, sir. No, sir. No, sir. No, sir. Every time I speak, and Ive said it here three or four times, I said rightly or wrongly, Ive advocated outreach. Ill say it if I didnt say it earlier this evening, that one of the plusses, my friend, of what was done, is the fact that the administration and the board woke up to the need for outreach. Thats plus. All Im saying is add to the plus. Get rid of the damned spot thats still in there, in our craw, in the craw of others. And it is there. Ive handed out material, Ive shown you quotes from people that are saying the same thing. Its not I.
One other aspect. One other aspect that I didnt mention, Ill do it right now, I am told by very high authority in the University of California administration, you can ask me who it was later, that one-half of the diverse members of the faculty have either left or are leaving. We cant recruit, apparently, I say apparently, now if somebodys lying to me, you can check that out, but I am being told that we are having a hell of a time, in fact, losing diversity in the faculty.
UC Berkeley Expert on Diversity Quits, Went to Harvard. This is just one of two or three, but the fact is that there is an atmosphere that we could correct so easily, we could correct it so easily. Its going to happen. Its going to happen. Theres a whole brand new Board of Regents coming on in the next two or three or four years. Its going to happen just as it did in the (inaudible) situation. Its going to happen. And Ward, itll never happen by a vote of 13 to 12. I can count about 10 or 11 votes right now. I can count, you can count, you can look at the list. You can see all of the people that voted the other way, there were 10 of them, there are 8 or 9 left of those 10. You can count up. But you dont want to prevail, you dont want to prevail by 13 to 12, because thats not a message. You want to prevail by 20 to 3, and the day that Ward joins me in saying, by God, youre welcome, were going to rescind paragraphs two and three of that resolution, well win 20 to 3. Theyll be three people that wont know what the hells going on, but theres always three people on the Board of Regents that dont know whats going on. Thank you very much.
Let me just say one thing, by the way. The professor thats leaving in the Ethnic Studies department at Berkeley is going from an Associate Professor to a full Professor at Harvard. And, at Harvard, as a full Professor, his children will also receive a legacy, if you will, admission, so Bill should have told you that this is not simply leaving because he doesnt feel welcome at Berkeley
He said that, though.
The dude got a better job. (applause)
Lets hear it for free enterprise.
You know, Ward, I was hoping you could talk to something. They talk about diversity, and I was at the University of California in the 1960s, and I went to graduate school there, and at the time, it was quite interesting.
At Evans Hall, in the computer center, the fifth floor were Chinese from Taiwan and the fourth floorthis was at 2 a.m., and on the fourth floor were the Chinese from the Mainland, but what I saw, and I could tell the difference between their language on the elevator, and they used to kid me because of that. But, in terms of diversity, what is remarkable to me is the tremendous increase in growth in the Chinese students at the University of California at Berkeley. All this stuff about how the University is not open to diversity is kind of belied by this enormous growth of the Chinese student, and I just wonderedand I believe that has been led away from the concept of affirmative action but towards this concept of diversity, because it seems to me that the growth of the Chinese student illustrates that a minority group, which works hard and so the question is, what does this mean?
In terms of the issues that were talking about today?
Well, a statistic that keeps haunting me is that in 1980, two years after Bakke, the number of Asian students admitted to the University of California was about 12% system-wide. In 1999, that number was about 32%. Lets compare the number of black students admitted to UC. In 1980, about 3.9%. Before affirmative action was eliminated, preferences were eliminated; 5.1%. Roughly the same percentage in the population. Out of 18,000 Asian students graduating from high school every year, about 8,000 are UC eligible. About 8,000 out of 18,000 or so.
Out of black students graduating from high school every year, about 18,544 are UC eligible. Now what that says is that something is happening over here that seems to be working, and we have been concerned that Berkeley, for example, would become all Asian, and have consciously tried to keep down their numbers in some respect. We have done everything we can do bring up the number of black students.
If youre making a product and one is working and one isnt, you dont keep doing it the same way. So what it says to me is that there is something going on outside the classroom, in the families, that is inspiring people of a certain cultural background to excel academically. And what we ought to be doing is trying to take that model, whatever it is, and try to carry it over.
And its not just black kids, by the way, that are following behind Asians. Whites are also beginning to fall behind. And so I think that theres a lesson to be learned for all of us, not to hold down those who are studying hard and excelling, but to make sure that everybody understands that message. And a lot of these kidsI saw a statistic the other day, by the time an average black kid starts the first grade, hes a year behind, and they never catch up. Thats what we ought to be working on. Thats the thing that ought to preoccupy us every minute of every waking day. (applause)
One more question.
Im puzzled by all this. Doesnt Prop. 209 moot this whole discussion, and if it does moot this whole discussion by re-opening this, arent you just opening a scab wound that is now just beginning to heal?
Well, Prop. 209 moots the discussion, but there is a fellow out there by the name of Ron Rodriguez who is trying to qualify an initiative for the ballot that would one, repeal Prop. 209, to impose a one-and-a-half cent sales tax that would be devoted to making sure that nobody pays any student fees. The hipbones connected to the thighbone.
Mr. Rodriguez would dearly love for the University of California to give his initiative some legs, and that is why Cruz Bustamante, the Lieutenant Governor, the lieutenant government, is supporting the effort that Mr. Bagley is pushing here to give some life to this arguably disconnected S.P.-1 and Prop. 209. Theyre not disconnected, theyre all part of the same thing, and the end game is to repeal Proposition 209.
OK. At this point, I was going to, as I mentioned, give each of our speakers to have a chance to have a two minute, and thats two minute, closing statement (laughter). Well start with Bill.
All right. Thank you, sir. Oh, everything has been said. Youve been listening. Youve been reasonably polite, somewhat attentive. Half a dozen of you agree with me. (laughter and applause) But thats not the point. This isnt a popularity contest. Im not writing a book, incidentally. I dont have time. Im not selling a book.
This is not an effort to repeal Prop. 209. Prop. 209 passed by, somebody said 55 percent, I thought it was 54. Thats not a mandate. There was some confusion, there were some confusionwe are against discrimination. A whole bunch of people said, yeah. Were against quotas, yeah.
So thats not really a mandate, my friends, although the public so voted, and we will adhere as the Board of Regents, as the University to the law under Prop. 209. But we shouldnt be under the thumb, we the Administration, they the Administration, shouldnt be under the thumb of a Board of Regents who sponsored, who spawned Prop. 209. I made that point.
If I am so wrong, why, and Ward can answer this, hes got the last two minutes, why would every chancellorthese are decent people that we employed. We exercised our fiduciary duty and employed these people, why would every one of the nine chancellors, why would the President of the University, Chang Lin, leave the chancellorship at Berkeley? In part, and I will make this statement as a fact, because of what that Board of Regents did.
Why would Joe Martin go back to Harvard? I dont think he got a sinecure. He was chancellor at UCSF. Why would every one of these people say please dont do this to our university? Were they all so irresponsible? Thank you. (applause)
No, I dont think they were irresponsible, but there are just some things in our society that we know. We know the majority of us, the overwhelming majority of us know that treating people differently because of race and skin color, ethnic background and gender, is wrong. (applause) Whether the nine chancellors, seeped in political correctness, understood that reality or not. If the election on Prop. 209 were held today, according to private polls that Ive seen, it would pass by twice the margin. The voters understand it. The voters understand this. Why do we think that the voters are a bunch of idiots? They know that preferences mean preferences. They know what they voted for.
This is really about equality. I dont know whats so controversial about this. I just dont understand it. When Bill was in the Legislature, he mentioned this to you. Bill was an irreverent Liberal Republican from Marin County. I admired Bill Bagley, because Bill Bagley was one of two people who went to Atlanta for the Martin Luther King funeral representing the Legislature. Bill was an independent guy. His message was relevant about ending racial discrimination. It was relevant in the 60s, but this isnt the 60s now. (Audience mumbles)
May I please speak without your interruptions? I would greatly appreciate that. (applause) Here we are at the dawn of the 21st century. Interracial marriages occurring at a rapid rate. One out of every three marriages in this state right now is interracial or inter-ethnic. Fourteen percent of all children are multi-racial. We have been debating the census for the last five weeks or so. People who are wondering why do I have to check this race box?
Its time for us to get beyond this. Its time for a new paradigm about race, not to be mired in the 60s and looking back through the rear view mirror at where we were. Its time to move on, and not to try to rewrite history and say that S.P.-1 was wrong. It wasnt wrong. It was right. Thank you. (applause)
I want to thank Bill Bagley and Ward Connerly for their time and effort in making our program so successful tonight. I also want to thank all of you for joining with us.
Two notes I want to mention, getting back to something that Ward mentioned about the quality of students in California, and elsewhere, for that matter. I mentioned that we have a program called the Independent Scholarship Fund, which is specifically aimed at K-12 children because of the serious mess that the public schools are in. And unless we address these kinds of issues, it doesnt really matter what kind of admissions policies youre going to have, because people are not going to be prepared to live in the world of the 21st century.
Let me give you a hand for those. (applause).
Those of you who have not picked up a copy of Wards book, Creating Equal, again, I strongly recommend that you do so. Hed be delighted to autograph copies for those of you who do have copies.
Ill sign it if you want me too. On the back page. (laughter)
Its been a real pleasure to have you joining with us. We hope to see you again at our next program. Thank you and good night.
Come here, come here. Shake hands. Congratulations.