This month three universities will have the honor of the sitting President of the United States delivering their Class of 2009 commencement address. Arizona State University, the University of Notre Dame and the United States Naval Academy will not only have a president speaking at their commencement ceremonies, they will be addressed by the United States’ first African-American president. It’s a significant moment in our nation’s history, and no doubt universities would like to take credit for instigating the social changes that produced an enlightened electorate unbiased enough to elect a black man as president.
According to the media, the election of Barack Obama heralded a new era for our country: a post-racial America. No longer are Americans tainted by racial preferences. Voters are now colorblind in their selection of leadership. (Whether voters are gender-blind is still questionable—just ask Secretary of State Clinton.)
Californians could argue they were at the forefront of this post-racial movement. Thirteen years ago, University of California Regent Ward Connerly led a fight to stop the racially discriminatory admission practices in California’s government schools. The passage of Proposition 209 was a watershed moment because it challenged the liberal “diversity” policy that schools look first at a student’s race before examining their scholastic aptitude. For decades prior, achieving the appearance of racial diversity was prioritized above intellectual diversity, regardless of race.
In 1996, California voters changed those antiquated priorities by amending the state constitution to read, “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 was the true fulfillment of President John Kennedy’s “affirmative action” against racial discrimination.
Despite all their proclamations about this new post-racial era, liberals are still acting as though there have been no societal advances in racial equality and harmony. In fact, it is university liberals, not American voters, who are clinging to a race-based worldview.