State Question 759: Affirmative Action
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahomans are faced with a tough choice this November about the future of affirmative action.
On the ballot is State Question 759, which, if passed, would prohibit affirmative action programs based on race, color, gender, ethnicity or national origin.
The NAACP and the ACLU are against the state question.
ACLU Executive Director Ryan Kiesel believes there is a lot of misinformation about affirmative action.
“Quotas have been illegal for decades,” Kiesel said. “That’s not what we are talking about here. We are talking about modest efforts to identify areas where diversity may be lacking either in higher education or state services.”
The NAACP believes banning affirmative action would eliminate opportunities for qualified individuals.
However, there are those who disagree.
Ward Connerly is the founder and president of the American Civil Rights Institute based in California.
Connerly helped pass a similar measure in California.
“It’s an issue that is about fairness, about treating everyone the same,” Connerly said. ”I think with a President who is black and white and with the country having evolved the way it has, I think that most people realize that now is the time to do away with this stuff.”
Connerly believes affirmative action also perpetuates the idea that minorities are not qualified.