Fighting Words Spark Affirmative-Action Action

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AUSTIN, Tex.: Remarks by a University of Texas law professor suggesting that African- and Mexican-Americans lack the drive to compete with white students in the classroom have sparked a high-profile protest from black leaders already angry with the federal court's dismantling of Texas affirmative-action admissions policies. TIME Texas Bureau Chief Sam Gwynne reports the Tuesday demonstration, to be attended by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, will likely get support from the majority of the university community, which "detests" the court ruling that outlawed race-based Texas admissions policies. "In a state where minorities, in aggregate, will soon be the majority, no one wants a lily white flagship school, or a lily white law school," says Gwynne.

The constitutional law professor, Lino Graglia, spoke out last week at the announcement of a new organization, Students for Equal Opportunity, which supports the court ruling. He said: "Blacks and Mexican-Americans are not academically competitive with whites in selective institutions. It is the result of primarily cultural effects. They have a culture that seems not to encourage achievement. Failure is not looked upon with disgrace." Fighting words in a university culture that wants to drive up its diversity.