State Capitol News
Fri June 19, 2009
House moves to ban affirmative action programs
By Howard Fischer
Phoenix, AZ – The state House voted Thursday to ask voters to constitutionally
ban programs designed to help women and minorities.
The constitutional amendment would make it illegal for the state
or local governments to discriminate against any group or
individual on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or
national origin in public employment, education or contracting.
That includes universities and community colleges as well as
public schools. Rep. Frank Antenori said any injustices of the
past do not justify what he sees as the current discrimination
against those who are not minorities.
(That's what I think we need to get over in this country and put
that terrible history behind us and establish a true level
playing field, where everybody is finally the same, where nobody
gets any special preference. You all are equal.)
But Rep. Cloves Campbell said his experience as an African
American convinces him that discrimination still exists -- and
that certain preferences and programs this measure would outlaw
remain necessary. And he chided proponents for saying that
``everything's OK'' in race equality.
(The people who push this piece of legislation have had a great
time eating the cherries off the tree of equal opportunity. And
now that their bellies are fat, they think it's time to throw
away the tin and say that their bellies are full and we're ready
to go home.)
The measure now goes to the Senate.