[Congressional Record Volume 143, Number 19 (Thursday, February 13, 1997)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E271-E273]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                           HON. NEWT GINGRICH

                               of georgia

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, February 13, 1997

  Mr. GINGRICH. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to submit into the 
Congressional Record the remarks of five citizens given last night in a 
tribute to Ward Connerly, the chairman of the recent campaign for the 
California Civil Rights Initiative. These five people shared with us 
their own personal experiences dealing with racial preferences. I would 
like to recognize them for their courage in speaking out on such a 
divisive issue.

                       Remarks by Janice Camarena

       Good evening ladies and gentlemen. My name is Janice 
     Camarena, and I am glad to be here to honor Ward Connerly.
       The first time I called Ward's office, I wanted to find out 
     how I could get involved in proposition 209, and I was very 
     nervous. Here I was, talking to a man who was not only a 
     University of California regent, but also the chairman of an 
     initiative that would have a great effect on the future of my 
     children. Later, after I met Ward for the first time, I just 
     had to hug him--he probably thought I was crazy, but that was 
     okay with me * * *
       Over the last year and a half, Ward has gone from being 
     someone I was nervous about talking with, to being a great 
     speaker whom I respect, to being my mentor, my friend and a 
       I met Ward at a very difficult time in my life. I was in 
     the middle of a lawsuit I had filed against the State of 
     California, challenging the racially segregated programs in 
     our community college system. I had been kicked out of an 
     English 101 class after meeting every requirement except 
     one--my skin was the wrong color.
       On the first day of class, the teacher told me and one 
     other white female student that there was a problem, that 
     there were a couple of students who did not belong, that the 
     class was for African-American students, and that we would 
     have to leave. I later learned that this class was part of 
     something called the ``Black Bridge Program'' designed for 
     black students only.
       What happened at school affected not only me, but my two 
     daughters as well. My first daughter was born when I was 
     sixteen and her father is white. The following year, I 
     married a Mexican man; he died two weeks after my second 
     daughter was born. From the beginning, I taught my daughters 
     that most people are basically good, that most people will 
     judge them by who they are as individuals, and not by their 
       But when I walked into that federally-funded English class 
     and was ordered to walk out of it, I realized that I had 
     misled my children. I realized that my daughters would not be 
     treated equally--not by their government, their public 
     education system, their teachers or their counselors. And I 
     wondered what kind of future this country held for my multi-
     racial children.

[[Page E272]]

       My daughters had asked me if discrimination is wrong, and I 
     had always said yes, it is always wrong. After I was kicked 
     out of class because of my color, my daughters had new 
     questions--if discrimination is wrong, they asked, how come 
     your school doesn't know that? If discrimination is wrong, 
     they asked, how come our government doesn't know that? I told 
     my daughters that I did not have the answers, but that I 
     would find out.
       The following semester, I enrolled in a non-segregated 
     English class and decided to write my research paper on 
     segregated programs. I found that we had two different 
     segregated programs in our community colleges--the ``Black 
     Bridge Program'' I mentioned before, and the ``Puente 
     Program'' for Mexican-Americans. These programs were closed 
     to everyone except black or Mexican-American students. I 
     thought: About nine years from now, both of my daughters 
     could be going to this same school, but one will be eligible 
     for a special program and one will not--and only because my 
     daughters have different colors.
       I filed my lawsuit, and later I came to meet Ward Connerly 
     and work on the CCRI campaign. On November 6, 1996 I got to 
     tell my children what I had been longing to tell them for two 
     and one-half years. I got to tell them that big people make 
     mistakes, and that race-based policies were a really bad 
     mistake on our government's part * * * but because as 
     Americans we had stood and fought together, I told them, now 
     their government, their public education system, their 
     teachers and counselors had to treat them as they were 
     created, * * * equally.
       I owe a big part of that to Ward. If it were not for his 
     courage and love for the human race as a whole, I would not 
     have been able to tell my children that.
       In the very short time I have known him, I have learned 
     many things from Ward Connerly. I have learned the meaning of 
     dignity and integrity. I have learned the value of freedom 
     and equality. And I have learned never to take life, liberty 
     and justice for granted. Most importantly, I have learned 
     about the kind of person I would like to be someday.
       To a man who has chosen to take up the fight and bear the 
     burden for the sake of our children, for the sake of my 
     children, I say: You have touched our lives and our hearts in 
     a tremendous way. And you will always, always be a hero to 

                        Remarks by David Rogers

       Ward Connerly often speaks with reverence about early civil 
     rights heroes, including Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, 
     Jr., and it is right that he does so. Indeed, it is Mr. 
     Connerly's frequent invocation of Rosa Parks that most 
     captures my imagination, because she has long been a 
     particular hero of mine.
       Like Mrs. Parks, my friend Cheryl Hopwood, I and others 
     were forced to sit in the back of the bus, and forced to sit 
     there by deliberate, malicious and unconstitutional state 
     action. The bus in question was the admissions process at the 
     University of Texas at Austin Law School, and it was on this 
     bus that I--not unlike many others here and all around the 
     country--became a victim of affirmative action in the 
     virulent form of racism.
       In her struggle to integrate the buses of Montgomery, Mrs. 
     Parks had the help of the National Association for the 
     Advancement of Colored People. To its eternal discredit, the 
     NAACP did not see fit to help me. Fortunately I had another, 
     equally tenacious ally. His name is Steve Smith, and he is 
     the determined, idealistic and extraordinarily competent 
     young lawyer who took the place of the NAACP for me and my 
     co-plaintiffs. Steve uncovered the secret machinations at the 
     University of Texas that constituted what I have come to call 
     affirmative racism.
       Unlike the old segregationism, affirmative racism--the 
     selective inclusion or exclusion of people on the basis of 
     assigned race or ethnic group membership--operates behind a 
     veil of secrecy, halftruths and even lies. In the law school 
     admissions case, we plaintiffs were able to expose the race 
     preferences of the Texas system, although we were not able to 
     achieve appropriate monetary redress--or admission to the UT 
     Law School according to individual qualifications based on 
     merit rather than accidents of birth. Sadly, following a 
     ruling in our favor in the fifth circuit, the university's 
     appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court resulted in a vague 
     statement of ``no genuine controversy.'' Meanwhile, the UT 
     Law School replaced its affirmatively racist admissions 
     process with one that has no objective standards whatsoever. 
     So affirmative racism can still proceed under the cloak of 
       Our exposure-without-victory experience demonstrates why 
     initiatives like proposition 209--the California civil rights 
     initiative--are so important to this nation's future. While 
     all of us stand upon the shoulders of the giants who 
     dismantled America's original racism, and are proud to do so, 
     not a few invoke the legacy of Rosa Parks and Martin King to 
     justify a perfidious agenda of deliberate race 
     discrimination. Ward Connerly stands with the giants, and 
     against the corrupt--and we should all stand with him against 
     the corrupt, until even the University of Texas is 

                         Remarks by Valery Pech

       Good evening, I am glad to be with you.
       In August 1989, the small family business that my husband 
     Randy and I started lost yet another Federal highway 
     subcontract on which we had submitted the lowest bid. We 
     didn't like it, and we fought the decision. Six year later, 
     in June 1995, the Supreme Court ruled against the quota-based 
     decision-making used against us.
       We celebrated our victory in Adarand vs. Pena, not least by 
     recalling that above the entrance to the Air Force Academy 
     near our home in Colorado Springs appear the words, ``Bring 
     me men to match my mountains.'' Always blessed, America has 
     been blessed most of all because it has always had men to 
     match her mountains--men like William Pendley at Mountain 
     States Legal Foundation, who argued our case, and men like 
     Ward Connerly, who matches every peak of the majestic 
       Randy and I are so thankful for what Ward Connerly has 
     done--not just because he had the courage to take the 
     discrimination issue to the people of California, but because 
     of the manner in which he did it. I don't know what is the 
     most impressive: The success at the ballot box, the victory 
     over the politics of hatred and division, or Ward Connerly's 
     mastery of the language in explaining it all. I don't know, 
     so you take your pick. I will say only that the Bible teaches 
     that if we speak without love we are only ``a clanging 
     cymbal.'' Ward Connerly's words were always of love, even in 
     an often hateful, vicious campaign.
       Randy and I know what it is like to conduct such a 
     campaign. During our long fight, the most insulting thing was 
     the portrayal of Randy as a ``angry white man''--and not just 
     because Randy is the most gracious, even-tempered and 
     genuinely nice guy I ever met, although that's why I married 
     him! The ``angry white male'' slogan was insulting because 
     this battle was not Randy's alone. It never was and isn't 
     now. It is our battle, all of us.
       When we started our company in 1976, we had more women than 
     men owners, all family except one close friend. We were told 
     many times that we should be certified as a ``WBE'', a women-
     business-enterprise, and so qualify for our piece of the 
     quota pie. We refused to do that because we believe quotas 
     are wrong.
       We didn't and don't want to be judged by the sex or race of 
     the owners or operators of our company. We did and do want to 
     be judged on the basis of the quality and timeliness of our 
     work, and the reasonableness of its cost. A good highway 
     guardrail is a good highway guardrail, regardless of the race 
     or sex of its builder--that's what we believe.
       The battle we fought was Randy's and my battle for yet 
     another reason. Men, being men, bear the injuries and insults 
     of the business world stoically. Women are not so similarly 
     inclined. We women have seen the pain suffered when our sons 
     and husbands are judged not by who they are and what they can 
     do, but instead by their race--and we don't like it one bit.
       If anyone is angry, it is we mothers and wives. As Ward 
     Connerly has explained, the so-called political equation of 
     people-of-color-plus-white-women, versus white-men, just 
     doesn't add up.
       In my heart I believe that the greater sisterhood of women 
     of all colors rejects and repudiates racism, whatever its 
     course, on behalf of husbands, sons, and daughters as well. 
     As a mother, I am grateful to Ward Connerly for another 
     reason. I paraphrase Mr. Connerly in saying that we will not 
     pass racial guilt along like a baton, from our generation to 
     the next. We will not do so because we have the example of 
     how Ward Connerly conducted the CCRI campaign, and its 
     success with the youth of California. Remember, in a mock 
     ballot held before last November's election, California's 
     high school students voted 60-40 in favor of CCRI. What a 
     wonderful message of hope for this great country.
       Mr. Connerly, you fostered that message of hope. Randy and 
     I salute you, and we thank you on behalf of our children, 
     Kendra and Ted. God bless you.

                         Remarks by Stanley Dea

       Mr. Connerly, ladies and gentlemen, good evening.
       My grandfather came to Chinatown, San Francisco, from 
     southern China in the 1890's. Later he moved to Arizona, 
     where he was followed by my father in 1914 and my mother in 
     1939. Those early Chinese immigrants all encountered 
     discrimination and bad treatment. However, my forebears 
     believed that America's bright hope for opportunity and 
     freedom far outweighed any setbacks and they had no thought 
     of expecting--much less relying on--racial preferences or 
     quotas to make their way. Despite ill treatment, in two 
     generations my family caught up with everyone else, due to 
     hard work, sacrifice and perseverance.
       My family did not believe that equal opportunity means 
     equal results. I grew up in a Chinese home, went through 
     university, received a Ph.D. in engineering, and became a 
     professional engineer. In 1977 I accepted an executive 
     position with the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, or 
     WSSC, a public water and wastewater utility in the Maryland 
     suburbs. From 1977 to 1990, I was director of WSSC's bureau 
     of planning and design, where I supervised approximately 250 
     employees. I saw WSSC's personnel and contracting policies 
     escalate into preferences and quotas. I took an 
     uncompromising stand for the principles of merit and equal 
     opportunity for all.

[[Page E273]]

       In 1989, my department offered a promotion to a white 
     female, the highest ranking candidate. She declined, and my 
     superiors denied my request to re-advertise the position, to 
     broaden the pool of candidates. When I then offered the 
     position to the second-highest ranked candidate, a white 
     male, I was suspended without pay for five days for alleged 
     ``gross insubordination'' in not hiring a minority and not 
     supporting the so-called affirmative action plan. After a 
     hearing, the charge was reduced to mere ``insubordination,'' 
     but WSSC did not change any of its discriminatory policies.
       In 1990, I attempted to fill another opening, determining 
     that the three most-qualified candidates were white males. 
     Because I failed to recommend a minority or female, I was 
     demoted. WSSC took away my office, secretary, company car and 
     all supervisory responsibilities. I was moved to a specially 
     created staff position, banished to the equivalent of 
     corporate Siberia, solely because I refused to discriminate 
     by using race and sex as the primary selection criteria.
       In 1993, I filed a civil rights suit against WSSC, 
     represented pro bono by the Institute for Justice and a 
     private attorney, Douglas Herbert. I will always be 
     profoundly grateful to Chip Mellor, the institute's 
     president, to Clint Bolick, its litigation director, and to 
     Douglas Herbert for the magnificent job done in representing 
     my case, not only in Federal court, but also in the court of 
     public opinion. The lawsuit alleges that WSSC's retaliation 
     against me violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 
     infringed upon my first amendment free speech rights. It 
     seeks an end to WSSC's quota system as well as reinstatement 
     and damages. The suit is believed to be the first challenge 
     to Government actions that punish opposition to quotas. The 
     case was tried in September 1995; sixteen months later, a 
     verdict is still pending.
       Tonight we gather to honor an individual who has worked 
     tirelessly to dismantle the machinery spawned by the false 
     premise that we should use discrimination to cure 
     discrimination--a man who knows that spoils systems based on 
     race and sex imply that those favored are inferior and thus 
     stigmatize competent people as incompetent. Ward Connerly 
     knows that affirmative action doesn't work, that it is 
     morally wrong, and that it must be abolished. He stands on 
     the ledge of allegiance to ``liberty and justice for all,'' 
     and on the principle of the Declaration of Independence, that 
     ``all men are created equal.'' Because of his vision, heroic 
     courage and leadership on proposition 209, he has endured and 
     persevered against vicious ad hominem attacks. I am inspired 
     and greatly honored to offer tribute to Ward Connerly 

                       Remarks by Lou Ann Mullen

       Good evening. I want to share the story of our family 
     because it shows how wrong it is when the government uses 
     race to classify individuals.
       My family is a so-called multi-racial family. We are often 
     described that way, but I don't think of us that way. To me, 
     we are just my family. It's government that highlights racial 
     differences to keep families like mine apart. That is wrong.
       In 1992 we are blessed with our little boy Matthew. When he 
     was nine days old, the Department of Protective and 
     Regulatory Services put him in our foster care, and each day 
     we grew to love him more.
       Matthew was, as they say, something else. He would look out 
     the window and smile so big at his beautiful world, as if it 
     were there for him alone to view. He made all our lives 
     matter a little more than they had before. We told the social 
     worker from the department that we wanted Matthew in our 
     lives forever, but she quickly said: ``No, don't even think 
     about it. He is black and he will go to a black home.'' The 
     words still echo in my mind.
       For the two years we had Matthew, the social worker and the 
     department searched for a black home. At that time, Matthew's 
     brother, Joseph, was in another foster home, In 1994 the 
     state finally found a black home for both boys, a family that 
     seemed to come from nowhere.
       I'll never forget the day that Matthew had to leave. He 
     took the world we had come to love with him that day, except 
     for one treasured memory: His soft little handprint, which 
     had graced his window so many times when he'd look out at his 
     world from our home, the world he had come to know. That 
     little handprint was all I had to hold on to, and I wouldn't 
     let anyone wash it away.
       Our family tried to return to our old life, but it wasn't 
     the same without Matthew. After two and one-half months of 
     grieving and wondering what he must be going through, our 
     phone rang. It was the department, calling to say that 
     Matthew's and Joseph's adoptive placement had broken up. The 
     family didn't want Matthew and Joseph anymore, so the 
     department put them back in foster care--but not with us!
       We asked once more, ``Please! Let us adopt! Let us have 
     Joseph, too!'' We were told: ``No, it would be in the best 
     interest of the children to have a same-race home.'' If a 
     same-race home weren't found, they said, they'd put Matthew 
     and Joseph in a group home.
       My pain was greater than any I had ever experienced in my 
     life. I prayed and asked God to please make it stop. God 
     answered, and led us to the Institute for Justice, which 
     helped us stand up to the Department and made them consider 
     us as an adoptive family. The department said they had to 
     quote-review-unquote for application, but hopes grew really 
     dim when we saw the boys on TV and in a newspaper ad stating 
     ``Brothers need a loving home.'' The department advertised 
     even though they knew we could give Matthew and Joseph a 
     loving home.
       The the foster family fell apart. The department needed a 
     place to put the boys, and they called us . . . but they said 
     they would place Matthew and Joseph only as a foster 
     placement, not an adoptive one. We were happy to have the 
     boys, but we knew that department was looking again for a 
     same-race family. We held on to each day with the boys, 
     fearing each would be the last. It was such a harsh 
     punishment for simply wanting to be a family.
       In April 1995, the Institute for Justice filed suit. Only 
     then--finally--did the department agree to let us adopt.
       I thank God every night for giving me the honor to be 
     Matthew's and Joseph's mother, and for the people at the 
     Institute for Justice. They gave a voice to our boys so that 
     other children might one day look through their windows with 
     a smile, secure that they have a family and love in all the 
     colors of the world.
       I am honored to be here tonight, and I am proud to honor a 
     man who sees beyond color and who fights so that all of us 
     can be heard as individuals. God bless you, Ward Connerly.