In June 2008 the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a landmark ruling on the Second Amendment individual right to keep and bear arms with its Heller v. District of Columbia decision. Two years later, in June 2010, a second historic decision squeezed through the highest court in the land.
On September 16, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, actor and director Andy Garcia, and entrepreneur William K. Bowes, Jr. were honored at the Independent Institutes A Gala for Liberty. Each honoree received the Alexis de Tocqueville Award in recognition of their contributions to advancing the ideas and ideals of liberty, entrepreneurship, innovation, and peace.
In the 1960s, civil rights victories dealt a blow to racial discrimination, and yet 40 years later many blacks remain left behind. Has affirmative action sabotaged the gains of the civil rights movement? What is the role of personal accountability in improving the standing of minority groups?
The Civil Rights revolution was a pinnacle of American history, freeing African Americans from centuries of disenfranchisement. Yet, according to linguist John McWhorter, it has had a tragic side effect. As racism recedes as a serious obstacle to black advancement, many black Americans have been misled into a self-destructive ideological detour. Has affirmative action fostered the cults of Victimology, Separatism, and Anti-Intellectualism? Have false assumptions and low expectations conditioned black students for low achievement? If racism is to be dealt a final death blow, what strategies must Americans black and white pursue?
Begun in the 1960s, government affirmative action policies are now in retreat in California, Washington, Florida, and many other states and localities in the U.S. Will such changes end America's racial divide or merely intensify it? Can the American Dream be colorblind or are racial preferences necessary to right the wrongs of past discrimination? Is affirmative action a force for fairness and justice or instead merely a "feel good" policy that cloaks the real barriers to social and economic advancement for the most disadvantaged? Ward Connerly and William Bagley, two distinguished members of the Board of Regents at the University of California, will debate this very timely and crucial issue.
Co-sponsored by the Independent Institute and Koch Crime Commission
University Theater, Garvey Fine Arts Center
Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas
Arthur R. Miller, Professor of Law, Harvard University
Bruce L. Benson, Professor of Economics, Florida State University; Senior Fellow, The Independent Institute
Erika Holzer, bestselling author of book and major motion picture, Eye for an Eye
Wendy Kaminer, Contributing Editor, The Atlantic Monthly
William I. Koch, Chairman, Koch Crime Commission
Alan J. Lizotte, Director, Hindelang Criminal Justice Research Center, University at Albany
David B. Sentelle, Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
David J. Theroux, Founder and President, The Independent Institute
Richard L. Thornburgh, former U.S. Attorney General
Hubert Williams, President, Police Foundation
Marvin E. Wolfgang, Director, Sellin Center for Studies in Criminology, University of Pennsylvania
James R. Wyrsch, President, Wyrsch Hobbs Mirakian & Lee, P.C.
Violent crime continues to be a major social and economic problem in the United States and around the world. This important debate, held before an audience of 1,000 at Washburn University, features a panel of experts from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, including criminal justice officials, business and civic leaders, scholars, and best-selling authors.
In a lively and challenging exchange of ideas, the program addresses why the criminal justice system has become increasingly bureaucraticized and politicized, ever less responsive and ever more costly. Topics include victims rights, crime and incarceration rates, restitution, civil liberties, illicit drugs, guns, racism, policing, privatization, and sentencing.
Co-sponsored by the Independent Institute and Koch Crime Commission, this program was distributed by Central Educational Network and appeared on the Public Broadcasting System.