The Western Michigan University College Republicans wish to announce our support for the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI). This is an initiative that will appear on the ballot in November to be decided by Michigan voters. It would prohibit the government and state universities from discriminating on the basis of race or sex.
The simplest reason to support the MCRI is that racial discrimination is morally wrong. We believe that in a time when almost everyone professes support for civil rights, it is outrageous that programs that judge people differently based on the color of their skin continue to exist. Many excuses exist to justify such “benign discrimination,” but they cannot excuse it because no racial discrimination is benign. Every human being has inherent dignity and worth; we all deserve to be judged on our merits, not on irrelevant physical characteristics.
Beyond this, there is a highly relevant question in this debate that is usually left unasked. That is, does “affirmative action” actually work? Such programs are usually conceived as benefiting blacks at the expense of whites, with people lining up on one side of the issue or the other. The truth is different. All the available evidence indicates that affirmative action not only doesn’t work, but in fact it hurts blacks most of all.
Consider the issue from an economic perspective. The most efficient allocation of resources will occur when jobs or university admissions are allocated based on merit. Promoting people beyond their level of qualifications is setting them up to fail. Of course, there are exceptions. But the numbers don’t lie. Statistics show that the people who receive preferential treatment are much more likely to drop out of college. This clearly doesn’t do them any favors.
Racial discrimination doesn’t benefit anyone except a few demagogues. The opponents of the MCRI can be expected to employ all sorts of doomsday scenarios to scare people away from voting for it. But the truth is that we have nothing to fear from ending racial discrimination. It is high time that the party that ended slavery lead the way to abolish state-sponsored racial discrimination forever. We urge you to vote for the MCRI in November.