An Ol’ Broad’s Ramblings

June 5, 2007

The Committee

Panel supports fixes for affirmative action
Members fight bitterly over whether changes needed

Yes, we did support fixes, NO, there wasn’t a bitter fight over whether or not changes were needed. The battle was on ‘procedures’ on how to run the meeting.

A committee of Wisconsin legislators and citizens formed to review the state’s affirmative action policies approved at least two reform measures Monday night as members fought viciously over whether race and ethnicity should be considered in government contracting and university admissions.

Viciously? Makes it sound like bazookas were going off.

State Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) and other supporters of affirmative action accused the committee’s founder and chairman, state Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), of trying to ram through proposed legislation that would abolish or scale back affirmative action.

Now, the problem here, while people were attempting to discuss each issue, Sen. Taylor was talking over everyone, so perhaps she, and others were unable to hear?

Grothman and other advocates of reform lashed out at Taylor for being disruptive.

I, for one, considered leaving. If you can’t talk rationally about an issue, even one as touchy as ‘affirmative action’, then how will anything ever improve?

“What you’ve done is a disgrace to this committee,” Taylor yelled at Grothman, founder and chairman of the Special Committee on Affirmative Action.

Repeatedly, she yelled this, among many other things, accusing Sen. Grothman of many things in the course of the VERY long evening, at one point, bringing out a color chart. (Personally, I thought that was rather amusing, since, even I am a minority, and I don’t fit into that chart.)

“Can’t you just shut up?” Fred Mohs, a Madison attorney and Grothman supporter, snapped back at Taylor.

Actually, Fred only said this after many others asked Ms. Taylor to be quiet because NONE of us could hear what was going on.

Among other things, those proposals would have drafted a constitutional amendment to prohibit state agencies and public universities from granting preferential treatment to any individual or group based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin, and would have required racial or ethnic minorities applying to the UW System or state contracting agencies to prove they are at least 25% that race or ethnicity to receive preferential consideration.

But the panel recommended measures:

• To prohibit minority businesses with net worth of $1 million or more from receiving preferential treatment.

• To require minorities to be U.S. citizens to receive preferential treatment.

Now, granted I was really tired, but I thought the net worth thing was tabled, or amended to increase it to 5 mil. I’m going to have to dig through my papers.

Related story:
Efforts would disregard race
Affirmative action in UW System, state contracting targeted

All in all, quite an education.

Now, MY opinion? I honestly do not believe we should be putting people in pigeon holes. I don’t give a flip what your color, religion, or gender might be. The idea of giving preferential treatment to anyone annoys me. Yes, at one time, there was a need to give folks a hand up due to past injustices. The first thing we need to fix is our education system. Kids needs to be prepared for life, and we aren’t giving them the tools. The ONLY group of people who deserve special attention are our veterans.

That’s the short version.



  1. The Committee

    Trackback by University Update — June 5, 2007 @ 1:13

  2. “I don’t give a flip what your color, religion, or gender might be”

    Are you forgetting Islam and Muslims?

    Comment by Tim — June 5, 2007 @ 1:53

  3. No, actually, I’m not. Should we give them special considerations? No, I don’t think so.

    Comment by olbroad — June 5, 2007 @ 3:12

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