Back to Madison!

The Center for Equal Opportunity went back to Madison, Wisconsin, this week! Our studies  revealing the heavy weight given to race and ethnicity in undergrad and law school admissions at the University of Wisconsin prompted a hearing at the state legislature. The chairman of the relevant committee is no friend of this kind of discrimination, and we were asked to testify. The hearings went very well, and you can read my testimony on ceo’s website at .

As you know, our earlier visit to Wisconsin  last month was a great success. With the protestors, politically correct university officials, and all the media excitement, CEO’s studies got lots of publicity, and the issue of racial and ethnic admissions preferences is now clearly on the front burner in the Badger State.

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Here’s one for the books, or at least for the “booked”: In this Newark, New Jersey, corruption trial , the defense is that the official involved was not funneling municipal contracts to his (alleged) business partner because he was his business partner, but because he was black. In other words, this isn’t corruption, because it’s just good old-fashioned racial discrimination and racial politics! Amazing.
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“What Drives Innovation at JCPenney?” asks this news item . Well, the better question might be “What drives quotas at JCPenney?”—and the answer, apparently, is that chief executive officer Mike Ullman does, according to this interview. In it, he states: "The best way to articulate how we think about [the commitment to diversity] is that I’d want to take a look at the top leadership team, middle management as well as all their associates, and make sure that they mirror the customer segment that we’re dealing with.”

Do these companies not have lawyers? The fact that your customers have a particular racial makeup has long been rejected by courts as a reason for hiring and promoting with an eye on race. Do these companies not have shareholders? Surely they would want companies to hire the best qualified and productive people, regardless of race, rather than engaging in politically correct bean-counting. Do they not have a public relations department? The general public hates the unfairness of affirmative-action hiring and promotion, and rightly so.
Last spring I wrote here  about CEO board director Tom Klingenstein’s golf game with the president of Bowdoin College and the latter’s politically correct but inaccurate account of their golf-course conversation during a subsequent convocation address at the school. Tom discussed all that in a wonderful essay  and made some broader points about lessons to be learned from that experience—and, indeed, from the Bowdoin curriculum.

So you will be interested to learn that, since then, Tom has agreed to fund a National Association of Scholars study  “examining the curriculum, student activities, and campus values of Bowdoin College as a case study to learn what a contemporary liberal arts college education consists of.” Professor KC Johnson this month writes, “The project’s announcement prompted me to take a look at Bowdoin’s history department,” and he does so here
As I wrote last week, the Center for Equal Opportunity’s visit to Wisconsin, and the “affirmative action bake sale ” at Berkeley that followed not long thereafter, have put the issue of racial preferences front and center. Please support CEO’s work for colorblind equal opportunity!