Thursday, November 09, 2006

The ban on affirmative action in Michigan will not stand!

(more info at

On November 8, BAMN filed a second lawsuit against Michigan's Proposal 2 in federal court. Joining in the suit are: UEAALDF, the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, several Detroit city workers union locals, and many other organizations and individuals. We assert that Proposal 2 is invalid under federal law because (1) it is preempted by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, (2) it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and (3) it violates the First Amendment as affirmed by the Supreme Court decision, Grutter v. Bollinger.

We will post the date for hearing in this case when it is announced. A mass demonstration will be organized at the federal court on that day.

If your organization would like to sign on as a plaintiff in this suit, contact us immediately.

Stop the Voter Fraud! Defend Affirmative Action!

The effort to outlaw affirmative action in Michigan is proceeding to the ballot on the basis of systematic racially-targeted voter fraud perpetrated by the so-called ‘Michigan Civil Rights Initiative’ (MCRI), now known as Proposal 2. Racially-targeted fraud has no place in Michigan elections.
After a 6-month investigation, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission found that “MCRI’s efforts to change the Constitution of the State of Michigan rest on a foundation of `deliberate and orchestrated fraud… [MCRI] targeted African American citizens on a statewide basis.”
Federal District Court Judge Arthur Tarnow was unequivocal in his denunciation of the voter fraud perpetrated by the anti-affirmative action campaign. His ruling stated, “[T]he MCRI engaged in systematic voter fraud”; …if it “passes, it will be stained by well-documented acts of fraud and deception.” He also lambasted state officials for their failure to protect the integrity of Michigan elections. “[T]he state has demonstrated an almost complete institutional indifference to the credible allegations of voter fraud.” Despite his finding of systematic voter fraud, Judge Tarnow failed to remove the proposal from the ballot. The reasoning he gave was that because white voters were victims of voter fraud as well as black voters, no one would receive the protections of the Voting Rights Act. This makes no sense, and contradicts all previous applications of the Voting Rights Act in U.S. history.
Had two consecutive, independent evaluations both found systematic voter fraud permeating an effort to amend the State Constitution on any other issue, the call for its removal from the ballot would be clear, loud, bi-partisan and uncontroversial.
It is a complete scandal that the powers-that-be have allowed Prop 2 to remain on the ballot when EVERYONE KNOWS that MCRI perpetrated systematic voter fraud to gain its place on the ballot.
Right now this fraud is going forward. When it comes to attacks on civil rights and the gains women and minorities have made toward equality, the standards of integrity and honesty in elections are junked.
But the struggle to defend affirmative action doesn’t begin or end at the ballot box. If Proposal 2 passes, we will organize resistance to its implementation. We are pursuing our Voting Rights Act lawsuit which is now before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and we will challenge the legal interpretation of the law -- there are no affirmative action programs that give “racial or gender “preferences”. By building mass protests -- demonstrations, walk-outs, etc. we can both win in the courts and defend the gains of the civil rights movement.
The December 4th March on Washington to Save Brown v. Board of Education and Defend Affirmative Action (see box below) will have an enormous impact on our struggle to get Prop 2 struck down by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals if it passes in November. We must do everything in our power to make the December 4th Save Brown March big and bold. The Courts must be put on notice that this nation will not accept increased inequality and re-segregation.

What you can do:

Publicize the voter fraud perpetrated by the Prop 2 supporters
Write letters to the editor
Organize opposition to the voter fraud and attack on affirmative action in your church, union, block club, etc.
Organize a contingent to the December 4th March on Washington to Save Brown and Affirmative Action

March on Washington December 4th to
Save Brown v. Board of Education!
Defend Affirmative Action!
Desegregate American Education at ALL levels

On Monday, December 4, 2006, civil rights activists from across the nation will march and rally at the U.S. Supreme Court when oral arguments are heard in two lawsuits which seek to bar any and all measures that promote racial integration and equal opportunity in American education.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Our Racist State

Published: November 08. 2006 3:00AM
Detroit Free Press Editorial

Prop 2 Sends Divisive Message

The passage of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative on Tuesday leaves the state torn by hard and hardened feelings that will not be easily salved.

Although a ban on affirmative action might allow at least half the state to see Michigan as a place with a level playing field or some such cliche, enactment of MCRI paints the state as hostile to minorities.

Now that they've won, Proposal 2 supporters should not continue to pursue divisive challenges. When opponents raised concerns over the viability of gender-based health programs and domestic violence shelters that accommodate only women, MCRI leaders dismissed such arguments as red herrings. They must not now come back and challenge sensible programs.

Michigan's playing field, especially in education, remains woefully uneven. It will take a fortitude and an investment -- and it's not clear this state has the capacity for either -- to fix the ills that beset poor, largely African-American schools here and give those students an equal chance at success.

If the race-baiting that went on in some contested legislative districts around the state is any indication, Michigan's minorities have little reason to believe such help would be forthcoming. They will not recover easily from being again denied opportunities that had just barely come within reach.

If there is an upside, and it's mighty hard to find, at least one gender dispute might go away: Michigan's clearly disparate sports seasons for high school boys and girls. That case has wended up and down the federal court ladder, with rulings so far in favor of changing the girls' seasons to make them more comparable to the boys'. MCRI surely reinforces that.

But that's a detail. In the big picture, a ban on affirmative action sends an irreparably unfriendly message to minorities, as well as to the businesses Michigan needs to lure and that need to reach all audiences.

This is hardly progress.