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February 28, 2003 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-02-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

DAVID GAD-HARF, executive direc-

tor of the Jewish Community Council
of Metropolitan Detroit:
"Similar to the position the board
took in 1998, the JCCouncil opposes
the use of quotas as a tool to achieve
affirmative action. However, its position states that
a race-conscious program addressing the negative
effects of past discrimination are not only legiti-
mate but should be encouraged as long. as race is
just one of many factors considered."
Some of the principles he says the JCCouncil
wrestles with over this issue include: What's in
accord with Jewish values? What will build a
strong American society in the best interest of the
Jewish community?

RABBI LEE BUCKMAN, head of
school at the Jewish Academy
Metropolitan Detroit.
"It's important to look at this issue not
in terms of how it will benefit or hurt
Jews, but how it will benefit or hurt
Americans or, more specifically; minorities."

University of Michigan students Jason Coben, left, and James Gonzalez pass by students protesting President
Bush's position against affirmative action outside the student union in Ann Arbor on Jan. 16

ROBERT BROWN, of West

Bloomfield, local president of the
American Jewish Congress.
"We shouldn't need a court to tell a
university that diversity is a fundamental
requirement in today's society. We're liv-
ing in a global society, and if our colleges and uni-
versities are not preparing our students to live and
work with people of different cultures and back-
grounds, they're doing us a great disservice."

JOANNE WATSON, 51, of Detroit,

U-M student activist and graduate, for-
mer head of Detroit's NAACP, national
talk show host, running for Detroit City
Council.
"My life was definitely transformed
forever as a result of my attendance at the U-M
from 1968 1972. U M will return to its pre affir-
mative action status lacking meaningful diversity
without the affirmative action policies."

-

-

-

JEREMY BARUCH, 17, of West Bloomfield,

student at the Jewish Academy of Metropolitan
Detroit.
"As Jews, we should be a light unto the nation.
It's a Jewish value to help disadvantaged, and many
who get affirmative action are disadvantaged."

JOSH DISKIN, 16, of West Bloomfield, student

at the Jewish Academy of Metropolitan Detroit.
"Instead of focusing on ethnicity, focus on
socio-economics. But my problem with affirma-
tive action — I'm not a believer of fighting fire
with fire. It's using reverse discrimination to fight
discrimination. Instead go to the focal point of
the problems and help the disadvantaged public
school systems."

2/28
2003

12

says his father was a victim of anti-Semitic dis-
crimination.
U-M's vice president and general counsel,
Arbor. He adds that though the university has
Marvin Krislov of Ann Arbor, who also chairs
"honorable motives, it's morally wrong."
Washtenaw County's Jewish Federation
U-M student Lana Gersten, 19, of Ann Arbor
Campaign, agrees. "The Harvard cited by the
reflects more the ambivalence of a generation that
Bakke case had a very different program that used
didn't experience quotas, yet she strongly supports
neither quotas nor set asides nor separate tracks
the need for affirmative action. She says the uni-
for minority enrollment. Race was one factor
versity should improve the point system so it
among
many to be considered in admissions," he
doesn't look like a quota system. "I'm not sure if it
says.
is or isn't a quota system, but I do support it," she
"The idea of a quota is a red herring," says the
says. U-M uses a 150-point system to determine
chairman of U-M Board of Regents, Laurence
undergraduate admission.
Deitch of Bingham Farms. "The U-M admissions
Attorney Terrance Pell of the Center for
policies do not involve quotas of any types. And
Individual Rights (CIR) in Washington, D.C.,
no one 'owns' a place at U-
representing the three students who have sued the
M, and thus no admitted
university, says that U-M has
student has, in that sense,
a narrow numerical range
taken the place of anyone
to achieve every year" —
else."
minority admissions
"It's not a quota system,"
between 10-17 percent. He
says
Robert Brown, 47, of
says it's "the functional
West
Bloomfield, Detroit
equivalent of a quota."
metropolitan president of the
Pell adds that Harvard
Sharona
Mary in
Laurence
American Jewish Congress.
University in Cambridge,
Shapiro
Kris lo v
Deitch
"Yet people continue to
Mass. — cited as a model
focus on a system that allows
for bringing diversity to the
African Americans in.
higher education campus in the last major affir-
"Some of this [focus] is racism," he says.
mative action case, Bakke vs. University of
"There's
a reason why every statistic demonstrates
in
1978

has
a
history
of
using
quo-
California
this is the most racially segregated metro area in
tas against the Jews.
the country. It's very easy to live here in your own
Thirty years ago, Harvard used geographic quo-
enclave, which reinforces the argument of why you
tas as a way of suppressing northeastern Jewish
need diversity on college campuses like U-M."
students and increasing male Anglo Saxons, he
Yet, the ADEs Kellman said she believes "the
says.
university
has an unconstitutional use of race."
"This was a shameful part of our past, just like
She
adds
that
she never wants to see immutable
Lempert,
the
Eric
Stein
Richard
racism is," says
characteristics, like race or religion, be used to
distinguished professor of law and sociology at U-
admit or not admit a person into a university.
M. "But this has nothing to do with affirmative
"Though we applaud the university in what
action — or racial affirmative action." Lempert

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION from page 11

"

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