Allen B. West

States’ rights triumph in SCOTUS Michigan decision

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This week the Supreme Court upheld the State of Michigan’s constitutional ban against race and gender preferences in college admissions. This is important for two reasons: first, the Court has ruled that the state and Michigan voters have the right to change their constitution and second, it does not mandate colleges change or lower standards in order to manage outcomes.

Liberal progressives have always believed in promoting equality of outcomes over equality of opportunity. They’ve always felt it was caring to change, alter, or lower standards and qualifications in order for those deemed “less privileged” to be able to play in the same sandbox.

I grew up in a system of pure meritocracy that held no regard for skin color or gender but allowed individuals to advance based upon their competence, character, and ability to assume greater responsibility: the US military. I will be the first to say there is a degree of cronyism even in the military, but it can only advance a career to a point.

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My dad drilled into me a simple rule: never see your skin color as some crutch or obstacle that prevents you from taking advantage of the opportunities afforded. He taught me that success in life came from knowing the standard and exceeding it.

I fully support the Court’s decision – and I know that means some will call me (as usual) Uncle Tom, Sellout or Oreo because they advocate a government “guarantee of happiness” as opposed to the unalienable right to a “pursuit of happiness.”

As reported by Fox News, the Court voted 6-2 in favor of the ban with Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissenting. Sotomayor’s dissenting opinion said the decision tramples on the rights of minorities, even though the amendment was adopted democratically.

Interestingly, at 58 pages, Sotomayor’s dissent was longer than the combined length of the four opinions in support of the outcome. Apparently it takes more time, effort, and paper, to promote a failed argument rather than convey the simple truth — hence why we should all beware when Congress advances legislation called “comprehensive.”

I’ve always wondered why is there no concern for affirmative action in the area of sports and athletics? Why don’t we lower the standards in order to allow everyone to participate? We don’t, and minorities and women who want to excel, indeed do. They know the standard required and they exceed it — but we should be afraid of the “every kid gets a trophy” crowd.

So why not the same with educating our children and promoting greater opportunities for their future — just challenge them and ensure the resources are available. That’s why we need competition in education through school choice. We certainly do not need common core standards but states and local school boards to develop, promote, advance, and institute the policies that prepare the next generation.

The key to a bright future and the vital ingredient in equalizing opportunity in America is a quality education. Liberal progressives argue that minorities are at a disadvantage because of failing schools. However, when there is any effort to escape the failing schools especially inner city schools — the liberal progressives block those attempts.

Consider this interesting paradox. Once upon a time Democrats stood outside the doors of institutions of higher learning denying blacks entrance. Today, Democrats stand inside the doors of failing schools denying blacks the ability to escape.

Barack Hussein Obama cancelled the DC school voucher program. He unleashed Attorney General Eric Holder against the school choice program in Louisiana. And NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has set his sights against the charter school programs in his own city, Success Academy in Harlem, one of the highest performing schools in NYC.

So, Justice Sotomayor’s lengthy dissertation is hollow as the only group trampling on the “rights” of minorities in the area of education has and continues to be Democrats — their preference is for teacher’s unions.

I applaud the SCOTUS decision and Michiganders should be proud of setting this example. We should teach our children this simple maxim: tell them what they can do, what they can achieve, and enable them to seize the opportunities afforded. Do not tell them how the standard must changed or lowered so that their outcomes are managed. Make our children victors, not victims.

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