Posted on November 25, 2022

Ties to White Supremacy Taint Affirmative Action Foes

Jean Guerrero, Los Angeles Times, November 21, 2022

The Republican activists leading a decades-long assault on affirmative action, which is poised to succeed in the Supreme Court, claim they want to eliminate racism and create a colorblind society.

Their propaganda is so persuasive that 73% of Americans, including most people of color, believe race or ethnicity should not be a factor in college admissions.

But those same activists who’ve stoked the flames of antagonism toward affirmative action have close ties to the architects of this country’s metastasizing white nationalist movement. These links reveal the activists’ ultimate agenda, which has nothing to do with ending racism.

Among them is Ward Connerly, the former University of California regent. In 1996, he spearheaded the first state ban on considering race or gender in public education, hiring and contracting, inspiring other states to pass similar restrictions.

Last month, Connerly, who has formerly protested being labeled a Black man, spoke outside the Supreme Court at a rally for his “dear friend” Edward Blum, who’s leading the high-profile lawsuits against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina that aim to overturn decades of legal precedent. “Dr. King had a dream,” Connerly said. “I have a nightmare. … Diversity and equity and inclusion will be the death of the country that we love.”

Neo-Nazis and other white supremacists share this dread. In 2012, Connerly spoke at an event for the Social Contract Press, a white nationalist publishing house. “The endgame for all of us is vanquishing this whole notion of diversity,” Connerly said at the event, which also featured prominent white nationalist Peter Brimelow, whose racist lies about the “ethnic specialization in crime” include the following: “Hispanics do specialize in rape, particularly of children.”

In his speech, Connerly lamented Latinos’ political empowerment. “The electorate has changed profoundly,” he said, “and I fear that that is permanent.”

Connerly supported the 2021 gubernatorial recall election campaign of right-wing radio host Larry Elder, a longtime mentor of former President Trump’s anti-immigrant advisor, Stephen Miller. In an op-ed in the Orange County Register, Connerly described the Los Angeles Times’ coverage of Elder as “unhinged” and “vile,” focusing on a column I wrote about Elder’s connections to Jared Taylor, a well-known white supremacist.


Blum, Connerly’s successor in the legal assault against affirmative action, has similar affinities. {snip}

Blum’s nonprofit, Students for Fair Admissions, is the plaintiff in both affirmative action lawsuits before the Supreme Court. The organization pretends to value diversity and Asian American students, claiming that admissions policies harm Asian Americans. But the litigation is funded largely by DonorsTrust, which also provides millions to white nationalist groups, including Brimelow’s and Taylor’s. {snip}