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Will an Obama Win Bring an End to Affirmative Action?

Ward Connerly is the founder of the American Civil Rights Institute, a group opposed to racial and gender preferences. hide caption

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Ward Connerly is described in today's New York Times as a "conservative anti-affirmative-action crusader."

So his initial reaction to Barack Obama's speech, after clinching the Democratic presidential nomination, could be described as surprising ... until you read why (emphasis ours):

Ward Connerly ... watched a replay of the announcement of Mr. Obama's victory on Fox News early Wednesday "and I choked up," he said. "He did it by his own achievement. Nobody gave it to him."

Mr. Connerly expressed hope that Mr. Obama's rise would boost his own efforts to end affirmative action.

"The entire argument for race preferences is that society is institutionally racist and institutionally sexist, and you need affirmative action to level the playing field," Mr. Connerly said. "The historic success of Senator Obama, as well as Senator Clinton, dismantles that argument."

Do you agree? Or is this a rehashing of the "Oprah argument" — that the success of one proves that the others can (and should) succeed on merits alone.

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