- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 25, 2001

Bush sells out on racial preferences… again

In his Aug. 21 Commentary column, "Affirmative apostasy?" columnist Bruce Fein gives President Bush too much credit for past opposition to racial preferences. In 1996, mere days before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals pronounced the racial-preference programs at the University of Texas unconstitutional, then-Gov. Bush expressed his approval of that discriminatory program.

Mr. Bush has never publicly embraced the result in the Hopwood case, which nominally ended racial preferences in higher education in Texas. He did, however, sign legislation designed by black lawmakers to re-create racial preferences by another name, legislation that has led to exploding enrollments at Texas' top schools and even lower admissions standards than under the old racial-preferences regime.

Mr. Bush did not, as Mr. Fein contends, abandon "preferences in college and university admissions as governor of Texas in favor of a color-blind standard of applicant excellence." Mr. Bush continued the affirmative-action policies of his Democratic predecessor in state hiring, promotion and contracting. Mr. Bush appointed university regents who pushed for the reinstatement of racially discriminatory admissions preferences, and Mr. Bush's close ally, Texas Attorney General John Cornyn, defended those policies with far more vigor than his Democratic predecessor, Dan Morales.

That Mr. Bush's "Adarand Constructors somersault was executed with the furtiveness of a thief in the night" should surprise no one. Mr. Bush has never publicly defended his racial-preference policies, preferring to let his actions speak quietly for themselves. As a result, he got a pass from the local Texas race hustlers and the liberal Austin media on race issues although he got no such amnesty from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Sadly, while Mr. Bush occasionally has made ambiguous noises about racial preferences, he has assembled a record favoring racial discrimination of which Jesse Jackson could be proud. In his Aug. 10 decision to support racial preferences, Mr. Bush certainly sold out conservatives on racial preferences but not for the first time.


DAVID ROGERS

Boyds, Md.


David Rogers was a co-plaintiff in the Hopwood case.

Cuba, former President 'Jell-O' and Bush

With respect to the Aug. 23 Op-ed column, "Cuba sanctions work," by Manuel Miranda, I respectfully request an opportunity to respond.

I charged former President Bill Clinton with having "a character of Jell-O, backbone of Jell-O" because he had just waived Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which allows U.S. citizens to sue in U.S. court foreign investors who acquire stolen U.S. property in Cuba and also for many other reasons.

By that time, it had become clear that Mr. Clinton would not vigorously enforce any aspect of the embargo against Cuba's Fidel Castro and that he was orchestrating the creation of a coalition of traditional Castro allies and business interests to lobby Congress to lift the embargo. Mr. Clinton made it clear that he would avoid confrontation with Mr. Castro at any and all cost, work with Cuban dictatorship to seize and return freedom-seeking refugees to Cuba, and turn his back on the brave Cuban internal opposition.

President Bush is very different. He has firmly and repeatedly committed to oppose all efforts to weaken the embargo against the Cuban dictatorship and has already used his leverage in that fight. He has also committed to vigorously enforce existing sanctions, find ways to strengthen and assist the Cuban internal opposition, and to find ways to break Mr. Castro's jamming of U.S. Information Agency news broadcasts to the Cuban people.

I was the author of many sections of the Helms-Burton Act, and I continue to support all aspects of that law, including titles III and IV. I asked Mr. Bush not to waive Title III and disagreed with his decision in that instance. But this president supports freedom for Cuba and not the continued oppression of the island by a demonic, aging tyrant.


REP. LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART

Washington

Give proper recognition to media for NAACP ad campaign

I applaud the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for encouraging parents to involve themselves in their children's education ("NAACP, ally urge parents' involvement in education," Nation, Aug. 22). Parents can turn off the TV and provide a quiet place to study. More important, parents can read with their children as preschoolers and through the primary grades.

If the NAACP's campaign is successful in increasing parental involvement in education, academic performance is certain to improve. Parental involvement is perhaps the most effective community-based, grass-roots, pro-literacy initiative yet and it doesn't require a single federal dollar.


JAMES A. METCALF

Fairfax


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