Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Dear Joe
Below is the text of an email I sent to Joe Lieberman expressing my disappointment with his campaign.

Although I have great admiration and respect for you as an individual and as a public leader, I am very saddened by your support of the University of Michigan's discriminatory admissions policies. It is especially troubling to me that you cite Martin Luther King, Jr. in support of the University. It is disingenuous for either side to claim the legacy of this great man, but I do find it difficult that someone who dreamt of an America in which his children would be judged not by their race, but by the content of their character would lend his support to a policy that gives an applicant points based on his/her race.
It seems to me that the Joe Lieberman that we used to know disappeared with his nomination for Vice President. There did seem a glimmer of hope that the old Joe might be back when you criticized the Gore campaign for its divisive rhetoric during the 2000 campaign. But now, I am not so sure.
Affirmative action is a difficult issue, especially in higher education. The solution is much more complex than a trite sound bite about diversity. What America needs to do is end the inequitable K-12 education system so that a poor black girl from Harlem can have the same quality of education that an upper middle class white boy from Westchester receives. And we must acknowledge the difference between undergraduate and graduate/professional school admissions policies. There is no compelling reason for affirmative action in the latter, where the admissions process takes place after completion of a four year degree, resulting in a leveling effect.
I find it unfortunate that you have decided to take a left turn in order to head off some of the criticism you are receiving for your support of the war. I also find it sad that you have decided to mouth liberal platitudes about race and equal pay, as though those problems are easily solvable or that there is not an economically rational explanation for "unequal" pay. Apparently, you did not learn a lesson from the Gore campaign and its left lurch away from New Democrat ideals.


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