R E S P O N S E S
C L I N T O N
D O L E
I am strongly opposed to quotas, or any kind of preference for someone who
is unqualified. But
because we still have discrimination in our society, I believe that we
should mend affirmative action,
not end it.
I have done more to eliminate unfair and outdated affirmative action programs than any of my predecessors. But I have also worked hard to expand opportunity, and give people a chance to prove that they are qualified. We have nearly quadrupled the number of small business loans to women -- every single one of them qualified. We have opened 260,000 new jobs in the military to women since I've been President, and now our military is stronger and more competent than ever.
I am committed to building an American community where everyone has a place at the table. And I agree with General Colin Powell that we're not there yet, and that we need to continue affirmative action -- not to guarantee equal results, but to ensure equal opportunity -- because we truly do not have a person to waste.
|I believe all Americans should be judged as individuals, on the basis of their own unique talents and abilities, and not on the basis of their skin color, ethnic background, or gender. I support conscientious enforcement of our anti-discrimination laws and efforts to remedy past discrimination against specific individuals. Additionally, I support efforts to recruit qualified women and minorities, so long as these efforts do not result in preferences. I oppose quotas, set-asides, and other government preferences that favor individuals simply because they belong to a particular group. The key is to guarantee the opportunity to compete, not to pit American against American with quotas, set-asides, and other preferences. These reasons are what led me to introduce the Equal Opportunity Act of 1995, which would prohibit the federal government from granting group preferences in three areas: federal contracting, federal employment, and programs wholly administered by the federal government. As president, I will vigorously enforce our nation's anti-discrimination laws.|
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