(CNN) — Both John McCain and Barack Obama say equal opportunity should not be based on quotas, but neither side has said how to reach equality without them.
Obama accused McCain on Sunday of flip-flopping on affirmative action after McCain said he supports a measure in Arizona that would dismantle race- and gender-based preference programs. Obama pointed to McCain’s past opposition to similar proposals, like one in Arizona in 1998 that McCain called “divisive.”
[Wait a min…Didn’t McCain oppose the King holiday in AZ????? Are his views a surprise to anyone??? Hello, Negro is not surprised]
But McCain didn’t say at the time that he opposed the measure.
In an interview broadcast Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” host George Stephanopoulos asked McCain if he supports a referendum on the ballot in Arizona “that would do away with affirmative action.” McCain said he backed the measure, which is described by supporters as something that will give “the people of Arizona the opportunity to end preferential treatment based on race, sex, ethnicity or national origin by state or local governments.”
McCain said he had not seen the details of the proposal, “but I’ve always opposed quotas.”
Obama on Sunday said equal opportunity can’t be achieved by quotas alone, but must also factor in other variables.
“I am a strong supporter of affirmative action when properly structured so that it is not just a quota, but it is acknowledging and taking into account some of the hardships and difficulties that communities of color may have experienced, continue to experience, and it also speaks to the value of diversity in all walks of American life,” he said before a conference of minority journalists.
“We are becoming a more diverse culture and it’s something that has to be acknowledged.”
Obama said he does not see affirmative action as a long-term solution to the country’s race problems. [Full Article]