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April 10, 1977 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1977-04-10

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California: Probing preference by race
tion, is more than reasonable; it is vital, The classification is - a questionable mode of payment but a possible one - then spheres. But wink we must not. Each party in its
by race in order to give a moderate boost to members of those let us be certain that we look in every case to the 'injury for abide the restrictions of constitutional process.
races so long the recipients of immoderate kicks. The preference which we give redress, and not to the race of the applicant. most important feature of a constitution, if it is

VAT IS AT ISSUE in the case of Kakke v. The Regents of
the University of California? Affirmative action? No; all
-sides agree that vigorous action, affirmative steps must be taken
to integrate the professional schools. The traditional admissions
criteria of medical (or law) schools? No; all sides agree that
professional school may properly use, in screening for admis-
sion, a host of factors other than test scores and grade point
averages - dedication or dexterity, compassion or professional
aims. Compensations? No; all sides agree that persons unfairly
injured are entitled to full, appropriate and timely redress.
What then? Since both parties in this litigation are deeply
committed to justice among the races, to an integrated society,
and to excellence in professional education, what remains at is-
sue? One thing only: preference by race.
Allan Bakke was twice rejected (in 1973 and 1974) by the
Medical School of the University of California at Davis. His under-
graduate performance was fine, his test scores excellent, his
character and interview performance admirable; he ranked very
high among the more than 3,000 applicants for 100 seats. But 16
of those seats were reserved for minority applicants, who faced
admission standards deliberately and markedly lower than did
majority students like Bakke. The Univei'sity of California, like
many of its sister universities, was determined to enroll a repre-
sentative proportion of -blacks and other minorities in its medical
school - however distasteful the double standard believed neces-
sary to accomplish this.
A special committee was established to fill the reserved slots,
evaluating minority candidates who competed only against one
another.- Officially, any disadvantaged person could seek admis-
sion under the special program; in fact, all persons admitted
under that program, from its inception in 1969, were minority
group members. Officially, that committee reported to the ad-
missions committee, whose actions were final; in fact, the appli-
cants chosen by the special committee were invariably admitted.
In each of the years Bakke was rejected, some minority admit-
tees had grade point averages so low (2.11 in 1973, 2.21 in 1974)
that, if they ,had been white, they would have been summarily
rejected. The University does not deny that the overall ranking
of many of the minority applicants accepted - after interview,
with character, interests, scores and averages all considered -
was substantially below that of many majority applicants re-
jected. Bakke contends that had his skin been of a darker color
he would certainly have been admitted. He argues that, refused
admission solely because of his race, he was denied "the equal
protection of the laws" guaranteed him by the Fourteenth Amend-
ment of the U.S. Constitution.
But the equal protection of the laws surely does not guarantee
identical treatment for everyone. Income, employment, intelligence
- uncountable other characteristics too - are properly used in
law and administration to differentiate classes of persons. Group,
differentiation, if done reasonably to advance a legitimate public
purpose, may be entirely just. In this case the purpose, integra-

s turn must
The single
more than

cannot be denied. But why think it less than fair? Second, integration. If the requirements of justice cannot sup- paper, is its preclusion of unjust means. Hence the precious-
The advocates of special admissions systems present two port racial preference, perhaps the social interest in integration ness and power of the guarantee of equality before the law.
chief claims. The first arises from alleged demands of justice: can. The Supreme Court of California, while upholding Bakke's When good process and laudable objectives conflict, long
only in this way, by deliberately preferring minority applicants, claim, allowed that integration is a compelling interest. Of course experience teaches the priority of process. Means that are
can we give adequate compensation for generations of oppressive "Integration" has different meanings. The University, meaning corrupt will infect the result and (with societies as with
maltreatment. The second arises from alleged needs of society: by integration what the Court may not have meant when calling individuals) will corrupt the user in the end.
if we do not continue to give deliberate racial preference our it compelling, builds here its chief argument. "You tell us to The third response to the integration argument is as
medical and law schools will again become what they long were integrate," they say in effect, "and when we devise admission compelling as the first two, but adds bitter irony. Hating
- white enclaves: Compensation is the heart of the first argu- systems designed to do just that, you tell us we may not use the taste of racial preference in admissions, the advocates
ment, itegration of the second. Both arguments are profoundly racial preference. But the problem is a racial one. We cannot of these programs swallow 'them only because convinced
mistaken... achieve racial balance unless we give special preference to racial they are so good for us. Bitter, but medicinal. In this too
Compensation first. It is injury for which redress is rightly minorities. Do not ask the impossible of use; and do not, please, they are mistaken. Racial preference is good ,for nobody,
given, not being black or brown. Minorities have been cruelly ask us to do in devious ways what you will not permit us to black or white, majority or minority. It will not integrate
damaged; but whatever damage is rightly compensated for - do straightforwardly." the races but will disintegrate them, forcing attention to
cultural or economic deprivation, inferior schooling, or other - The argument is not sound. Reply to it (here much com- race, creating anxiety and agitation about race in all the
any applicant so unfairly damaged is fully entitled to the same pressed) is threefold. First, as the Supreme Court of California wrong contexts, exciting envy, ill-will, and wide-spread re-
prohibition of special favorstby race -any race - is the cen- emphasized, it simply has not been shown that preference by sentment of unfair penalties and undeserved rewards.
r hrutinofa cnsitutinalry e ayrrace in admissions, which all agree is objectionable, is necessary
tral thrust of a constitutional guarantee that all will receive the to achieve our social goals. With other forms of affirmative ac- It will not serve the minority well if it becomes clear
protection of the laws equally. Classification by race for the dis- pursued vigorously,, and admissions criteria enlarged and that minority students admitted preferentially are less well
tribution of goods or opportunities is intrinsically odious, always enriched and applied even-handedly to all applicants, diversityqualified to pursue their studies and to practice their pro-
invidious, and morally impermissible, no matter how laudable end an ay een-hady all apct dighty fession. A black psychiatrist at Case Western Reserve Uni-
the goals in view. accomplished if various compensatory schemes are introduced, but versity Hospital, Dr. Charles DeLeon, says: "I wouldn't hit
What of the school desegregation cases then, in which the they must be applied in a racially neutral way. Some majority a dog with some of the minority students I've seen, and I
U.S. Supreme Court has approved the use of racial categories to applicants deserving compensatory preference will benefit also have an idea that you honkies are taking in these dummies
insure racial integration? Don't these show that racial preference under such programs, but that is entirely fitting. so that eight years from now you'll be able to turn around
is permissible if the aim is good? Certainly not. In these cases and say, 'Look how bad they all turned out.' " (New York
- Swann, Green - attention to race was allowed in order to There is nothing disingenuous about this. The claim that these Times, April 7, 1974.)
ascertain whether school boards which had been discriminating are but devious ways to reach the same ends is simply false,
wrongfulily by race now really 'ceased to do so. Racial identi- and betrays an inclination to introduce racial preference some-;BOVE ALL, RACIAL PREFERENCE clouds the accom-
fication was there permitted, but only to insure that all students, how, through the back door if need be. That would be ugly. There plishments and undermines the reputations of those
of whatever race, received absolutely equal treatment. The dis- is no reason to fear or to be ashamed of an honest admissions plymetad nrinessthe r to ofithoe
tinction between that use of racial counting, and the use of program, and an honest compensatory system, honestly applied. superbly qualified minority professionals who neither need
racial categories to reintroduce special preference, is sharp and The racial count ensuing may not be the same as that when and white, a physician's dark skin is automatically linked
profound. racial preference is used, but perhaps it ought not be. Even if to charity and payoff, who among the minorities are served?
CAN THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA be defended on the the count were the same, the individuals would be different, and It is a cruel result.
that makes all the, difference. In any case, it is -sure that sub- ti re eut
ground that its system of racial preference is not injurious tat prkess in diersifying and i tis resal Racial preference is dynamite. Many who play with it
but benign? No. Results, not intentions, determine benignity. All school classess cn b ived ' i trai prfence now are blinded by honest zeal, and hid3 from themselves
racial quotas have injurious results, and therefore cannot be be- tionally accdptable grounds for discriminatory distribution,
nign. When the goods being distributed are in short supply, and Second, we must see that granting favor on the basis of the explosions in the sequel. Once established as constitu-
some get more because of their race, others get, less because race along is a nasty business, however honorable the goal. The !racial categories will wax, not wane, in importance. No
of their race. There is no escaping that cold logic. Bakke, and moral issue comes in classic form. Terribly pressing objectives prescription for racial disharmony can be surer of success.
many unidentified others like him who are blameless, are seri- (integrated professions, adequate legal and medical service for
ously penalized for no other reason than their race. Such a sys- minorities) appear to require impermissible means. Might we Official favoritism by race or national origin is poison
tem, as even the Washington Supreme Court in the DeFunis not wink at the Constitution, this once, in view of the importance in society. In American society - built of manifold racial
case agreed, "is certainly not benign with respect to nonminority and decency of our objectives? Such winking is precisely the and ethnic layers - it is deadly poison. How gravely mis-
students who are displaced by it." nhope of every party having aims that are, to its profound con- taken it will be to take new doses of th? same stuff, while
All this says not an iota against compensation. If redress is viction, of absolutely overriding importance. Constitutional short- still suffering the pains of recovery from the old.
due, let us give it, and give it fully. If compensation is to be cuts have been and will be urged for the sake of national security
offered through special favor in professional school admissions (can we forget the internment of Japanese-Americans during arl Cohen is a plofessor of philosophy in the Residential

194t Afdtigan Biy
Eighty-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, M1 48109

Sunday, April 10, 1977

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Was this the right place
for Ford to speak his mind

JERRY FORD has come and gone,
leaving us a little wistful that the
excitement he brought to campus has
now subsided into the tense days of
mid-April, and finals.
What did he accomplish? Well, not
all that much. It was fun to have him
here, and his visit no doubt showed
some students that a President is
neither an ogre nor a titan, but a
person who breathes and blows his
nose like the rest of us. As sopho-
more Jeff Lieberman put it "It was
worthwhile, but it wasn't spectacular.
I kind of got caught up in the aura
of the thing while he was here." That
was apparently the way most people
But Ford himself apparently had
another motive or two in .mind. He
took the opportunity to take a pot
shot at detente a la Carter, which
didn't seem to be quite the sort of
thing the political science department
had in mind when they invited him.
Ford is still a politician, and from
his remarks this week it was apparent
that he wouldn't be reluctant to make

another run for the presidency. No
one begrudges him the chance to
make some political hay. But this
wasn't really the appropriate place,
and that brings up the question of
what a nation does with its former
We seldom agreed with Ford's poli-
tics, but we recognize his ability to
speak intelligently on national af-
fairs. Wouldn't an ex officio seat in
the Senate be the appropriate forum?
Sports Staff
KATHY HENNEGHAN..............Sports Editor
TOM CAMERON........Executive Sports Editor
SCOTIT LEWIS......... Managing Sports Editor
DON MacLACHLAN. Associate Sports Editor
Contributing Editors
NIGHT EDITORS: Ernie Dunbar, Henry Engel-
hardt, Rick Maddock, Bob Miller, Patrick Rode,
Cub Schwartz.
ASST. NIGHT EDITORS: Jeff Frank, Cindy Gat-
ziolis, Mike Halpin, Brian Martin, Brian Miller,
Dave Renbarger, Errol Shifman and Jamie Tur-

EDITOR' NOTE: This fourth
installment of a five-part Eas-
ter series on the faith of blacks
deals with the black church.
AP Religion Writer
That gathering place, "the
church," has an extra special
meaning to blacks. It's not just
a periphery but the axis, not
just for weekly worship but for
vivifying their own lived ex-
perience, not just another or-
ganization, but the framework,
heart and sinews of their
It instilled in them a revolu-
tionary secret - that they also
are God's children.
"My chosen people, the
people whom I formed," Isaiah
43:21 puts it.
That was the fundamental in-
sight that preserved their sense
of worth and self-respect
through the degradations of
slavery, that sustained their
dignity through the slurs and
humiliation of socio-economic
exclusion, that fired their in-
stinting struggle for rights en-
dowed by their creator.
It reinforced them with a uni-
versal truth, a beacon of equal
human nobility, even when con-
ditions all around them con-
spired to contradict it, which
they sensed had the power of
the Almighty behind it.
"For he delivers the needy
when he calls, the poor and
him who has no helper," says
Psalms 72:12-14. "He has pity
on the weak ... and saves the
lives of the needy. From op-
pression and violence, he re-
deems their life; and precious
is their blood in his sight."
This was the potent and nur-
turing conviction among blacks
that has made the church their
strongest cultural institution.
Whites have myriad other or-
ganizations, social, political, fi-
nancial, recreational, which
they dominate and utilize. But
American blacks generally
have had only one that was tru-
ly their own - the black
It is the largest, most pow-
erful and comprehensive black
movement in America, in-
volving 18.5 million blacks in
about 58,000 congregations of
seven major black denomina-
tions, 74 per cent of the nearly
25 million blacks in the coun-
try, a bigger proportion than
the 62 per cent of the white
population actively affiliated
with churches. Another 2 mil-
lion blacks belong to pre-
dominantly white denomina-
tions - about a million Protes-
tants and a million Roman
Catholics - altogether making
20.5 million black Christians.
"We've had to walk by
faith," says the Rev. Dr. J. H.
.1aekscnn of Chi,'.arx re r,iAnf

Is Sustaining Force in Black
I -t


lion, also including 4.5 million
in the National Baptist Con-
vention of America and 700,000
in the Progressive National
B'aptist Convention, Inc., their
numbers closely trailing the 16
million white Baptists.
Black Methodists count more
than 3 million in three major
black denominations, also in-
cluding the African Methodist
Episcopal Zion Church of 1.25
million and the Christian Meth-
odist Episcopal Church of
642,000. Black Pentecostals
number 4 million, of which 3
million are in the thriving
Church of God in Christ, the
rest in more than a score of
smaller Pentecostal bodies.
The black church, says Bish-
op E. P. Murchison of Cincin-
nati, executive head of the
CME Church, "is all we've had
to hold us together."
It was the keystone of black
solidarity. It was the nexus of
their community life, their
playing, celebrating, helping,
motivating and planning center,
their refuge, rallying point and
welfare station, the springboard
for their strategy and action. It
was, through their history, "the
only community where their
dignity was affirmed," says,
b 1 a c k historian Lawrence
It made the Biblical terms
for human mutuality, "broth-
ers" and "sisters," typical of
the black idiom in general. It
kept them proud in who and
what they were, despite the ob-
stacles to it.
"You are a chosen race, a
royal priesthood, a holy nation,
God's own people," first Peter
2:9 assures Christ's followers.
Black religion generates spe-
cial qualities, a direct kinship
with the Biblical narratives of
redemption from suffering
hewn out of their own ex-
perience, a sense of immediate
.'n.rtidoinaJinn .andnrrptin.,-

WW II?), for the enforcement of

the criminal laws, and in other College.

not simply a black coating on a
white base, but r a singular re-
sponse to a particular history
in which God was seen as
directly involved. "Therefore
hear this, you who are af-
flicted.. .," says Isaiah 51:21-
22. "The Lord your God .. .
pleads the cause of his people."
That lived relationship has
produced a special "black theo-
logy" surging through the black
It involves a reclaiming of
black history and culture, pre-
viously fragmented and virtual-
ly erased in a European-de-
rived Aiy. n culture, a res-
toration of black consciousness,
identity and pride that had
been disparaged in attempts to
be like whites, and an emphasis
on the special black experience
of the bondage, deprivation and
rejection on which God focuses
his works of deliverance both in
the Old and New Testaments.
The analysis holds that
blacks especially and specific-
ally have passed through a re-
enactment of the Biblical reve-
lation, thus making the authen-
tic representation of Christian
theology necessarily black.
"Christian theology in America
must be black," writes black
theologian James H. Cone of
New York's Union Theological
"It is indeed the Biblical wit-
ness that says that God is a
God of liberation, who calls to
himself the oppressed and
abused in the nation and as-
sures them that his right-
eousness will vindicate their
suffering ... It is in this light
that black theology is affirmed
as a 20th century analysis of
God's work in the world."
While that living link to the
Biblical theme gives a special
immediacy to the religion of
blacks, their churches also re-
flect a totalistic faith that af-

racially downtrodden years
looked both to final fulfillment
in eternity and also to advance
toward it in this world in the
unfolding of God's power for
justice and brotherhood on
In some periods, blacks have
tended to despair that the
earthly aspect of the dream
would ever be realized and
sometimes have dwelt on what
seemed a more likely goodness
only in the hereafter. They
showed a certain fatalism, akin
to the religion of Africa, that
resists desires, recognizing
their own powerlessness, but
which still did not lead to des-
pair and kept an optimism and
hope both for the hereafter and
in the present.
The two aspirations inter-
twined and black religion al-
ways has stressed its appli-
cability to the present scene.
Gross caricatures have often
denigrated black religion as
mostly "sweet bye and bye"
anticipation of a happy state
and "golden slippers" in heav-
en, but the fact is that black
churches never divorced
present and future ramifica-
tions of faith to the extent done
by whites at some periods.
Since the black church and
c o i m u n i t y were inter-
dependent; they didn't draw
sharp lines between the "sa-
cred" and "secular" worlds but
saw both as merged in life.
Blacks originally were includ-
ed in predominantly white
churches in colonial times in
America, but most of them be-
gan leaving about the'time na-
tionhood started, to form their
own churches because of the
onset of discrimination against
They were forced to occupy
so-called "Negro pews" at the
back or on the sides, some-
times even painted black, or
we~re acda'npd to cDninne in the

Under the compromising cir-
cumstances, the wonder was
that blacks did not abandon
Christianity altogether. But
"the churches had demonstra-
ted an interest in blacks un-
matched by any other dimen-
sion of society," says black so-
ciologist-historian Joseph R.
Washington. For a moment in
history, he says, the church
had shown itself to be a fellow-
ship without barriers of race or
class, and blacks stuck with it
as a "source of the power of
God." A
Black Baptists were the first
to begin forming their own con-
gregations, such aathose at Sil-
ver Bluffs, Ga., in 1723, Peters-
burg, Va., in 1776 and Rich-
mond, Va., in 1780. But the an-
tecedent national body of the
present major black national
conventions didn't take shape
until 1886 in St. Louis.
Black Methodist denomina-
tions had their beginnings one
Sunday morning in 1787 when a
white deacon of St. George's
Church in Philadelphia collared
a black member kneeling at
prayer and ordered him and
several others to a balcony.
They walked out in what has
been called "the first black
freedom movement," leading to
formation in 1816 of the African
Methodist Episcopal Church.
Other black denominations
originated in similar ex-
Forged under pressures of
white racism and blacks' sense
of their own dignity, the sepa-
rate black church today is a
distinctive phenomenon, a
realm of a people's develop-
ment, of their aspirations and
achievement, of long memories,
heavy burdens and surging
hopes, where black leadership
emerged, where singers and
orators honed their talents,
where they found the light to
It is a place of strong feel-
ings, where sorrows have been
deeper and joys thus higher, of
weeping and ecstasies, where
sermons and gospel songs
speak directly to lives lived,
where there are tears, laughter
and shouts of "Yes brother, say
it true!"
In the black church, God is
definitively real, not a figment
of imagination. He's seen as a
God "active in history, who
does things in a physical kind
of way," says black sociologist-
theologian C. Eric Lincoln. The
black preacher, identifying with
the everyday troubles and
yearnings of his people, tends
to depict a "God you can talk
to, with flesh on his bones, a
God of power and strength who
can deliver you, who responds
for real when you pray, who
has a loud voice, who talks loud
and walks tall, a real God."

1 **

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