Affirmative Action

Dr. Martin Luther King had a dream that one day all people would be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. As someone who marched with Dr. King in support of his important message in 1963, I believe America must promote a colorblind society -- one in which merit, character, and qualification are the factors that determine who does and does not succeed.

Toward that end, I believe affirmative action programs, which have in many instances become a euphemism for racial quotas and set-asides, should be eliminated. This is why I am a proud co-sponsor of the Equal Opportunity Act of 1995 (H.R. 2128), which was introduced by Rep. Charles Canady. H.R.2128 would prohibit the federal government from requiring or encouraging racial or gender preferences, such as quotas, set-asides, numerical goals, timetables or other numerical objectives based in whole or in part on race, color, national origin or gender.

The United States is known today throughout the world as the land of opportunity--a place where anybody can rise as high as his intelligence and hard work will take him. Eliminating discriminatory affirmative action preferences does not mean that racial minorities and women will be denied equal rights, equal opportunity, or equal access. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly bars discrimination in employment based on race, creed, religion, sex, or national origin. In addition, the U.S. Constitution guarantees all citizens the right to equal protection under the law.

Please know that as the House moves to consider legislation dealing with affirmative action, I will be sure to keep your important views in mind.

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