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June 29, 1979 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1979-06-29

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Page 4-Friday, June 29, 1979-The Michigan Doily
SMichigan Daily
Eighty-nine Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI. 48109
Vol. LXXXIX, No. 36-S News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan
Affirmative action wins
S YSTEMATIC discrimination against blacks
and other minorities throughout history
prompted Congress to enact the Civil Rights Act
of 1964, and it underlies current public and private
affirmative action programs. This article led the
U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday to approve
"voluntary, private, race-conscious efforts to ab-
olish traditional patterns of racial segregation
and hierarchy." The ruling rejected the argument
of Brian Weber, a white worker for Kaiser
Aluminum and Chemical Corporation. Weber
claimed his employer's training program con-
stituted illegal reverse discrimination against
whites by reserving half the positions for black
The laudable majority opinion struck down
lower court decisions that "reverse
discrimination" was illegal under the Title VII
clause of the 14th Constitutional amendment. That
clause prohibits employers and labor
organizations from discriminating against any
individual on the basis of race, sex, religion, or
national origin.
The case is among private parties, so the Con-
stitutional question has little bearing as Associate
Justice William Brennan pointed out. The
decision involved interpreting the spirit of the
Civil Rights Act.
The arguments against quotas of dissenting
Justices William Rehnquist and Warren Burger
might be acceptable if the racial scales were not
already so unbalanced. The labor force of
Kaiser's plant in Gramercy, La., where Mr.
Weber works, was 39 per cent black. But only two
per cent of the plant's work force is black-five
out of 273 skilled workers.
These proportions strongly suggest the need for
quotas, despite the race-consciousness and other
negative aspects they create. Brennan demon-
strated the need for quotas by citing nonwhite
unemployment rates in 1947 and 1962: 64 and 124
per cent respectively.
Temporary discrimination is necessary to
restore racial balance, until the percentage of
black skilled workers nears their proportion of the
local labor force, Brennan wrote. The decision
wisely defines the extent of such efforts in order to,
prevent unfair reverse discrimination from oc-
The high court is essentially condoning quotas
when the private sector uses them to rectify racial
inequalities. But this decision does not contradict
last June's ruling against the rigid quota ad-
missions policy of a California medical school,
which rejected the application of Allan Baake, a
white student. This ruling is not meant to define
proper affirmative action programs, and does not
set down such standards. Other court rulings, and
legislative action are needed to elucidate yet
shadowy aspects of the issue.
Consequently, some white workers with greater
seniority may be denied jobs and apprenticeships
until affirmative action is no longer necessary.
While awaiting parity, private employers no
longer must walk the tightrope between
discrimination and its reverse, fearing legal

Ford has a better chance
to lead the 'tJ' than U.S.

Fantasy and the news continue
to be in competition. Here is a
story which is now only a bad
The smart money is on Gerald
Ford as the next president of the
Speculation about Ford's can-
didacy was fueled this week by
the discovery of the existence of
"secret guidelines" which the
University Board of Regents are
reported to be using in the
presidential selection process.
NO ONE BUT the Regents is
known to have seen the secret
list, but several Regents recently
were noticed scrambling for a
piece of paper that had fallen
from a Regent's briefcase.
One Regents was heard to say,
"If they see this list, they'll know
we are not picking a Lincoln."
Ford supporters, on campus
last week for the dedication of his
presidential library, were listing
the virtures of the famous.
Michigan alumnus. It is possible
to reconstruct what must be
among the Regents' secret
guidelinestbased on whatare
described as Gerald Ford's
qualifications for the presidency.
constraints, it will be important
to have a University president
who will not do anything. As a
congressman, Ford's record of
not sponsoring legislation was
exceptional, and in the White
House, he vetoed bills at a faster
rate than any U.S. president.
Should the South Africa
demonstrations here last spring
foreshadow a new round of cam-
pus protests, Ford has a proven
record of tough responses to
provocation. As Commander-in-
Chief in 1975, Ford did not
hesitate to send the Marines tore-
capture the Mayaguez, a U.S.
ship which had been Ifized by the
FORD IS ALSO good in front of
the cameras. He was able to keep
a straight face before the press,
even after it was learned that the
Mayaguez had been released just
before the assault, in which
several dozen Marines were
killed, began.
On the other hand, Ford is not
lacking in compassion, especially
toward his predecessors. A for-
mer University official was
reported saying, "I am not a
crook. But if I was, I am sure
Jerry would be forgiving."
Nor is Ford above making use
of able people in his ad-
ministration. A source close to
the ex-president revealed that
Ford's first act at the University
probably would be the appoin
tment of Henry Kissinger as
University provost. "He cer-
tainly would not want to take of-
fice without Henry."
ASKED IF FORD would then
only be a figurehead as Univer-
sity president, the source
claimed that Ford had talents of
his own. "Remember
WIN-Whip Inflation Now; that
slogan was all Ford's idea."
"He could even use the same
slogan at Michigan. WIN-Woody
Is Nothing." When reminded that
Ohio State Football Coach Woody
Hayes had been fired for pun-
ching an athlete last season, the

Ford aide remembered that
Ford's inflation slogan was also
quickly outdated.
Ford can be counted on to sup-
port the University's affirmative
action programs in the same
manner as other recent Univer-
sity administrators. Ford's
previous opposition to the Civil
Rights Act was later transformed
into the kind of support which
University recently has given to
campus minorities.
'WE HAD SOME women and
minorities in the Ford ad-
ministration," the former Ford
aide said. "I saw some."
Many in the Michigan Law
School would be happy with Ford
in the University presidency. As
a supporter of the move to im-
peach progressive Supreme
Court Justice William Douglas in

tials in general raise some
questions, but a source close to
the Faculty Advisory Committee
on the Presidency made an in-
teresting observation.
"We all know that teaching is
the most valued activityat
Michigan. If we let him teach
students in political science cour-
ses here last year, surely we
would let him be president," the
source said.
sAsked alout Ford's research
competence, the professor cited
the work Ford had done while a
member of the Warren Com-
mission investigating the
assassination of John F. Ken-
"They would like him at the
Medical School. Everyone in the
University would have to get flu
shots. The campus religious
community could not forget his
support for a constitutional
amendment to permit prayer in
the schools. And Ford is as close
to the business community as
most Michigan Regents are,"
said the source.
Only one major drawback to
Gerald Ford's candidacy for
University president has been
cited. He would be a Republican
facing appropriation committees
in Lansing frequently controlled
by Democrats. But as one
University official stated, "After
we refused to give them a list of
faculty salaries by name, we do
not expect much from the
legislature anyway."
The chief question among
campus political observers this
week was how long Ford might
remain as University president.
With the Republican convention
in Detroit next summer, even a
mild draft could carry Ford
When Richard Nixon flew into
exile, Ford told the American
people that a long national
nightmare was over. How long
will we have Nixon's revenge in
our dreams?
John Ellis is an occasional con-
tributor to the Daily's editorial page.

Next 'U'president?
Congress, Ford would be sym-
pathetic to a legal education
aimed at preparing students for
Wall Street and the
There are some complications
in the Ford candidacy, however.
Where Ford would get tenure is
one critical issue. Some sen-
timent was reported among
members of the Zoology Depar-
tment's faculty to grant him
tenure there, in part motivated
by their remorse for denying
tenure to Jewell Cobb, who was
briefly offered the LS & A dean-
ship a few years ago.

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