POS334-L: THE RACE AND ETHNICITY BOOK REVIEW DISCUSSION LIST
Lani Guinier. TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY, FUNDAMENTAL FAIRNESS IN REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY, 1994
|marji <email@example.com>||Lani Guinier rough draft|
|Tom Crews <firstname.lastname@example.org>||Lani Guinier, nomination|
|Samuel Winslow <email@example.com>||Re: Lani Guinier, nomination (Winslow)|
|Date:||Mon, 15 Apr 1996 22:13:43 -0500|
|Subject:||Lani Guinier TYRANNY OF THE MA|
review removed per request of student
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|Date:||Wed, 17 Apr 1996 11:44:44 -0500|
|From:||Tom Crews <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|Subject:||Lani Guinier, nomination|
Lani Guiniers nomination to head the Justice Department's civil rights division by President Clinton was withdrawn after her views were attacked by republicans, the press, and even many moderate democrats. Guinier was not even given a hearing to defend her much attacked views. Guinier is a former NAACP Legal Defense Fund lawyer and a voting -rights scholar who has known Bill and Hillary Clinton since their days at Yale Law. But she has staked out a position on minority rights that troubled even some centrists. She is considered outside the mainstream of the civil rights movement by many. Conservative Clint Bolick led the attacks and labled Guinier as the "Quota Queen". Bolick wrote that Guinier "proclaims that antidiscrimination laws mandate a - result oriented inquiry, in which roughly equal outcomes, not merely an apparently fair process, are the goal." Bolick made much of this quote, which appeared in a footnote in her Harvard Civil rights article, as did writers for the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Legal Times, Newsweek, and U.S. News and World Report.
Here is a listing of many of the views that Lani Guinier supposedly holds according to various articles I read on her nomination.
- -She does not share the goal of a colorblind society.
- -She is not an integrationist.
- -She is not much interested in individual rights but rather in "an empowerment agenda" of group rights, group entitlements, and group consciousness.
- -She is dubious about black politicains who get elected with white votes.
- "Authentic black leaders are those elected by black voters," she says, whereas other leaders have to appeal to whites or are handpicked by the establishment.
- -Guinier strongly implies that whites are basically a racist politcal monolith.
- -She says that America's electoral system of majority rule is illegitimate because it is founded on the prejudice of intransigent whites (a "permanent majority hegemony").
- -She favors "proportionate interest representation for self-identified communities of interest.
- -Guinier wants a minority veto over some majority decisions, and she talks of using the Voting Rights Act to ensure equal prospects of political satisfaction. Disadvantaged minorities should have "a voice that dependably produces policy satisfaction through the political process."
- -"Fringe groups with illegitimate preferences would be represneted, but if their preferences prevailed, the resulting legislation would be vulnerable under existing constitutional analysis."
- -To Guinier, it's not enough for blacks to win a certain number of seats in the legislature. In states or cities where there is strong evidence that lawmakers vote along racial lines, she would guarantee the white-dominated council set aside a share of the legislative pie for minorities.
- -"In a racially divided society, majority rule is not a reliable instrument of democracy."
- -She would further strengthn minorities' power by cumulative voting. In anelection for, say, five seats, voters would get five ballots. They could split them among several candidates, or cast them all for one, increasing their power to elect a special-interest or minority representative.
- -Guinier defines health care, job training and housing as "basic entitlements" that should come to citizens as a legal right.
- -She has written that whites are a "hostile, permanent majority"
- -She has written that "racism excludes minorities from ever becoming part of the governing coalition.."
- -The racial gerrymandering amendments in 1982 to the 1965 Voting Rights Act has failed according to Guinier because isolating black representatives in a few "safe districts" where reelection is assured makes them less responsive to their constituents and less effective within the legislature. --
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|Date:||Thu, 18 Apr 1996 10:23:24 -0500|
|From:||Samuel Winslow <email@example.com>|
|Subject:||Re: Lani Guinier, nomination (Winslow)|
I read Tom Crews' list of issues allegedly supported by Lani Guinier and I was struck by how dangerous it is to base your opinion about someone on newspaper reports. For example, to say Lani Guinier is against integration is one of the most poorly researched comments I have heard.
After all, Guinier comes from an integrated family, with an African American father and a white mother, and by all accounts she has loved both of her parents equally. To be against integration she would have to be against her own family which is possible but highly unlikely.
One thing that the newspapers in general did not report about Guinier was that by supporting proportional representation she was in step with the VAST MAJORITY of the western democratic world. It is the U.S., Canada and Great Britain that are behind the times in this area. Even South Africa has adopted PR so as to enable its white and other minorities to be more than just virtually represented in the South African political system. In the United States, people of color are supposed to be seen and not heard.
The United States appears to have taught South Africa how important it was to end de jure segregation. Now hopefully the United States can learn from South Africa how to provide real political rights to its minority groups.
Sam Winslow firstname.lastname@example.org Back to top...