Affirmative action is still needed, says Vernon B. Parker, Mayor of Paradise Valley.
“To believe that centuries of discrimination can be eradicated with a misleading ballot initiative is a fantasy. On its face, the Ward Connerly initiative sounds great: Discrimination of any kind should not be tolerated. Memo…We do not live in a colorblind utopian society. Racial and gender discrimination did not just happen yesterday, and will not disappear tomorrow. While de jure (sic) discrimination no longer exists, de facto discrimination still rears its ugly head. While serving as an assistant secretary for civil rights at USDA, I addressed thousands of cases of discrimination across the country, which gave me a different perspective. There has to be a more sensible approach than Connerly’s.”
Regardless of Parker’s view, showcased in the daily’s Plugged In column, the Initiative has racked up successes in California, Michigan, Washington state and was signed into law in Florida. Colorado and Nebraska have pending measures.
The wording of the ballot measure is eloquently simple:
“The state shall not discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting. ”
This one sentence is brilliant in its undeniable truth. It’s a good bet Mayor Parker is out of step with his constituents on this issue.