“Colorblindness”: Without Clear Explanation of the Hegemonic Power Structure in the United States, Blind Use of Initiatives to Determine Human Rights Can Have Unfair Results for the Minority Group

The use of ballot referenda to amend the definition of rights that primarily affect a minority group should not be allowed. (I have argued this position before in the blog.) This issue was somewhat hinted at in the majority opinion of Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality by any Means Necessary (BAMN) v. Schuette (6th Cir. Nov. 15, 2012).

United States (population: 308,745,538) (2010 Census)

Race Percentage of population Number
White 72.4% 223,553,265
Black 12.6 38,929,319
Native American 0.7 540,013
Asian 4.8 14,674,252

While the majority opinion had a similar argument as on this website, it is hard to see the specific issue raised without the Census data describing the population of the state of Michigan. Without this critical piece of information, the argument defaults to a “majority wins” argument (that is, presuming the racial categories have equal social power (which is not the case within the United States of America), which prevails in the dissenting opinions.

Michigan (population: 9,883,640) (2010 Census)

Race Percentage of population Number
White 78.9% 7,803,120
Black 14.2 1,400,362
Native American 0.6 62,007
Asian 42.4 238,199

Also disconcerting was the low attention placed on the effect of ballot referenda on protected groups. Given Michigan’s population, opponents to Proposition 2 were effectively shut out of the process.

The ballot referendum being examined in this case, Proposition 2, was a Ward Connerly initiative that was funded by right-wing groups. (I have analyzed the Connerly’s wording of the initiatives earlier in the blog.)

NCAA: Health Insurance for Student-Athletes–Who Pays When Injuries Occur?

NCAA: Health Insurance for Student-Athletes–Who Pays When Injuries Occur?

It is unfortunate, but when serious injuries happen (requiring hospitalization), one has to think about the cost of the medical care. The expenses quickly stack up, reaching levels that people cannot pay. A Louisville basketball player, Kevin Ware, suffered a terrible injury that was witnessed by many. The injury required surgery, and perhaps some level of rehabilitation. Other student athletes also suffer injuries while participating in college sports, though those injuries likely are not on a widely watched televised competition.

My expectation was that the colleges that these athletes play for would pay for any injuries that occur during the athlete’s participation in the athletic program. David Sirota’s article states that this expectation is often incorrect and that players often are expected to pay the medical bills.

Will Ware have to pay? His injury was too public, so such a cost shift would be unjust. But, according to a 2009 article in the New York Times, other NCAA athletes have had to pay tremendous amounts of medical expenses as a result of their participation in collegiate athletics. A 2012 article in the Birmingham News, seems to indicate that the burden of medical bills falls on the player.

Kevin Ware, Louisville basketball player, beginning recovery process from injury

Kevin Ware, Louisville basketball player, beginning recovery process from injury

I was listening to this game, but I was preparing Easter dinner. I turned to watch the TV and saw people with facial expressions of shock. It took a while to figure out exactly what happened. (I luckily missed the two CBS Sports replays.)