The Right Coast

January 24, 2004
Guess Who?
By Michael Rappaport

Which right-wing Republican made the following two points about public schools and the civil rights movement? First, “he described school systems that are ‘imploding upon themselves,’ beset with ‘bloated bureaucracy’ and ‘stagnant administration.’ He said we had to 'end tenure as we know it' so incompetent teachers could be fired more easily. ‘Those going into teaching have the lowest SAT and ACT scores of any profession in the United States,’ he observed. The teacher certification process, he concluded, is ‘an absurd anomaly’ that creates a ‘convoluted monopolistic structure.’ He suggested that every school should be turned into a charter school so parents would have more choice."

Second, he “took on civil rights groups. In speeches at Yale and in Washington, he said affirmative action had achieved many positive results. But he said it was time to acknowledge the costs. Once, he said, the civil rights movement was a ‘mighty battle between good and evil,’ but now the ‘civil rights arena is controlled by lawyers, [with] the winners and losers determined by rules most Americans neither understand nor are sympathetic with.’ Affirmative action, he argued, ‘has kept America thinking in racial terms.’ It has helped foster a ‘culture of dependency.’ Further, he said, ‘there exists a reality of reverse discrimination that actually engenders racism.’"

In fact, this person is running for President. Is Bush being primaried? Nope. The person is John Kerry, the current Democratic frontrunner. David Brooks, from whom these quotes were taken, has the story.