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Michigan Voters Quit Quotas

Will this presidential election be the most important in American history?

(Released Nov 2006)

Government often discriminates by basing hiring practices, the awarding of contracts and college admissions on racial criteria. Given an opportunity to put a stop to it, Michigan voters overwhelmingly passed the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI) ballot referendum.

The MCRI, also known as Proposal 2, “amend[s] the state constitution to ban affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment to groups or individuals based on their race, gender, color, ethnicity or national origin for public employment, education or contracting purposes.” On Election Day, almost 58 percent of Michigan voters voted for it.

While racial preference policies are intended to rectify past racial injustices, Proposal 2 provides a timely opportunity to evaluate the long-term consequences of affirmative action on minorities and society as a whole.

Racial preferences always run the risk of placing unqualified candidates in positions beyond their abilities, thereby harming both the employee and employer. An individual hired or promoted based on their skin color, for example, might be frustrated if they cannot meet expectations, which could lead to a sense of failure, disillusionment, and low self-esteem. Employers, on the other hand, face economic consequences of addressing an unproductive employee as well as possibly dealing with the morale of other workers. Replacing an unproductive employee or hiring an additional worker to meet business needs can lead to added expenses such as training, background checks, relocation fees, and additional paperwork.

Preferential treatment can foster an entitlement mentality to the detriment of principles such as hard work, independence, and self-esteem. Individuals indoctrinated with a government-sanctioned entitlement mentality may acquire a false sense of security and little motivation to work and improve themselves. Knowing that opportunities are assured can lead to greater reliance on government and stifle independent thought.

Preferential treatment is also unjust because it creates more racism. It’s simply unfair for unqualified individuals to benefit from opportunities they have not earned. Such entitlements are detrimental to those who have worked hard to accomplish their goals, and can result in feelings of resentment and anger towards minorities.

To meaningfully address racism, awarding jobs, contracts and college admission should be based on objective evaluation and qualifications. When individuals are treated fairly based on capability and personal contributions, the rewards are a win-win for all parties involved.

Granting preferential treatment based on skin color, race, ethnicity, sex, or national origin is immoral. Individuals, who gain opportunities based on superficial and subjective standards instead of experience or objective accomplishments, may falsely interpret their gains as a personal achievement. Consequently, denying qualified individuals of opportunities because they are not of a certain skin color is discriminatory and creates a form of state-sanctioned reverse racism.

Clearly, government-enforced racial preferences are not the answer for minorities to achieve opportunities in modern society. The road to success lies in replacing preferential treatment with fundamental values – standards to guide actions and behavior.

A strong set of personal values will provide direction in life for any individual, regardless of race. Independent thinking is the key to making rational decisions, and self-esteem stems from doing a job well.

Hard work and self-reliance – not dependency on government-sanctioned affirmative action policies – are the only sure ways to break the cycle of despair and inspire hope. Increased awareness of pro-growth economic policies and limited government also helps liberate minorities from the false promises of Big Government and can be a motivating factor to strive for a successful and productive life.

Short-term gains from preferential treatment can have long-term negative consequences. In Michigan, this misguided notion now has a chance of being remedied to benefit everyone.

Deneen Borelli

Deneen Borelli is the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Deneen is a contributor with Newsmax Broadcasting. She is a former Fox News contributor and has appeared regularly on “Hannity,” “Fox & Friends,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” and “America’s Newsroom.” She has also appeared on Fox Business Network programs “Making Money with Charles Payne,” “The Evening Edit with Liz MacDonald,” and “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.” Previously, Deneen appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and C-SPAN. In addition to television, Deneen co-hosted radio programs on the SiriusXM Patriot channel with her husband Tom. Recently, Deneen co-hosted the Reigniting Liberty podcast with Tom. Deneen is a frequent speaker at political events, including the FreedomWorks 9.12.2009 March on D.C. which drew a crowd estimated at over 800,000 people. Deneen is also an Ambassador with, a social media platform that promotes free speech, and with the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) which advances policies that put Americans first. Deneen testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in May 2011 and before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee in December 2011. Previously, Deneen was a host, Outreach Director with overseeing its outreach program, a Project 21 Senior Fellow, and Manager of Media Relations with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Prior to joining CORE, Deneen worked at Philip Morris USA for 20 years. During her corporate career at Philip Morris she worked in various positions, her last as Project Management Coordinator in the Information Management department where she was responsible for the department’s mandated quality processes, communications, sales information and database management. Deneen began her Philip Morris career as a secretary and advanced to positions of increasing responsibilities. Deneen worked full-time and attended classes at night for 11 years to earn her B.A. in Managerial Marketing from Pace University, New York City. Deneen served on the Board of Trustees with The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York. She appeared in educational videos for children, worked as a runway fashion model, and auditioned for television commercials. Her interests include ancient history, pistol target shooting, photography, and volunteering at her church. Deneen currently resides in Connecticut with her husband Tom.

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