Racism is profoundly evil and a clear violation of human exceptionalism by treating inherent equals unequally. Indeed, if we are to become a truly just society, racism must be countered by people of good will whenever it is expressed.
At the same time, slavery is long gone and Jim Crow is dead, never to be mourned. So, the question must be asked: Has the United States finally attained the ideal of becoming a substantially equal society, in which people are judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin, or do we remain—as some insist—a systemically racist culture threatened by white supremacy? To be sure, Martin Luther King’s ideal has not yet been fully achieved. But the white nationalism accusation seems calculatedly overblown and may be a cover for imposing new policies that, if implemented, would divide us more profoundly over race than we have been for decades.
These are fundamental questions. Equality is such an important goal that Wesley wanted to interview someone who has spent decades focusing on how to best promote a truly equal society for everyone, regardless of race. Humanize is honored that Ward Connerly has agreed to share his views on racism, individual rights, the question of affirmative action, and how best to achieve the ideals of the American experiment.
Wardell Anthony “Ward” Connerly is a nationally renowned American political activist, social commentator, and businessman. He served as a University of California Regent between 1993-2005. He is also the founder and the chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute, a national non-profit organization in opposition to racial and gender preferences, and is the president of Californians for Equal Rights, a non-profit organization active in the state of California with a similar mission.
In 1995, Connerly led the drive to get Proposition 209 on the ballot prohibiting race- and gender-based preferences in state hiring, contracting and state university admission. It passed with 54.6% of the vote.In 1997, Connerly supported a similar ballot measure in Washington state, Initiative 200, which would later pass with 58.2% of the vote. For the 2020 election, Connerly organized the coalition opposing Proposition 16, which would have removed the sections added to the California constitution after Proposition 209 was approved by the voters. In the end, 57% of the votes cast in the election opposed Proposition 16. Proposition 209 remains the law of the State of California.