Ralph G. Neas Welcomes Condoleezza Rice's Statement on Affirmative Action

WASHINGTON – Earlier today, Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor to President Bush, released a statement on affirmative action. Coming one day after the president announced that his administration would file a legal brief in opposition to the University of Michigan’s affirmative action policies, Rice’s statement noted that “while race neutral means are preferable, it is appropriate to use race as one factor among others in achieving a diverse student body.”

In response to Rice’s comments, People For the American Way Foundation President Ralph G. Neas released the following statement:

“It is very good news that Condoleezza Rice agrees with Colin Powell’s longstanding belief that it is appropriate to use race as one factor among others in achieving a diverse student body. It also reflects precisely both what the law of the land has been for a quarter of a century and what a bipartisan majority of the American people support.”

The complete text of Rice’s statement on affirmative action, also available on the White House’s Web site is below:

“When the President decided to submit an amicus brief, he asked for my view on how diversity can be best achieved on university campuses. I offered my view, drawing on my experience in academia and as provost of a major university. I agree with the President's position, which emphasizes the need for diversity and recognizes the continued legacy of racial prejudice, and the need to fight it. The President challenged universities to develop ways to diversify their populations fully. I believe that while race neutral means are preferable, it is appropriate to use race as one factor among others in achieving a diverse student body.”

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