The Arizona Republic reported that the American Civil Rights Institute (ACRI) has proposed a ballot initiative in Arizona. The language (in The Arizona Republic’s article (right column)) is the same as in the initiative proposals in other states (for more information, click on the affirmative action category in the right column).
In the article, Ward Connerly is optimistic about the initiative’s success.
Without sounding arrogant or pompous, I think it will pass decisively,” said Connerly, who is African-American.
Connerly is optimistic because Arizona has a population that is overwhelmingly White, thus the likelihood of approval is high.
Arizona (population: 5,130,632 (2000 Census) [NOTE: high number of “some other race”])
|Race||Percentage of population||Number|
Related Post Script
I do not believe it is accurate to consider Ward Connerly as a Black person. In an article, Connerly has described himself as 25% Black.
Connerly has stated he is one-quarter Black, three-eighths Irish, one-quarter French and one-eighth Choctaw.
The inference from his statement is that he is primarily White and Native American.
Update (11/8/2007): In response to a blogger’s post and comment I received, the description of Mr. Connerly is far from a “blood quantum” or “purity test.” It is a summation of how Mr. Connerly described himself in a 1997 New York Times article (click here for the article).
Again, Mr. Connerly describes his background as being minimally Black (1/4) as compared to the rest of the descriptors in his own statement: Irish and French (White) (4/8) and Choctaw (1/4).
Here is another interesting quote in the same article (emphasis mine):
Mr. Connerly considers himself black ”because blackness is an experience and others have thrust that experience upon me.” He, on the other hand, claims to be not only blind to pigment but a celebrator of the continuous blending in the melting pot. ”In 10 to 15 years, intermarriage will make this entire debate a moot one, anyhow, and we’ll wonder why we didn’t see it coming,” he said.
Mr. Connerly states that the descriptor Black is forced on him, but he does not view himself like that. This is a point that even the blogger concedes:
[…]Ward’s multi-racial status (and he’ll call himself that before he calls himself black, but that’s not the point […]
In fact, it is the point. Thus, to be fair to Mr. Connerly, given his self-description, it may not be accurate to call him Black as that description ignores the rest (75%) of his heritage (as he defines it).