About the Speech

Ms. Chavez opposes racial preferences not only because she thinks they are unfair—and, when mandated by government, unconstitutional—but also because they do not even achieve their intended purpose of helping minorities. College admissions programs aimed at minorities are a notorious example of good intentions gone awry. Many, if not most, schools admit minority students who do not meet normal university requirements, then do little or nothing to ensure that these poorly prepared students will actually succeed. In 47 studies conducted by Ms. Chavez's organization, the Center for Equal Opportunity, it was demonstrated that affirmative action admitees are far more likely to drop out and perform less well in their studies than other students.

According to Ms. Chavez, improving skills and equality of opportunity are the real keys to Black and Hispanic advancement in society. She adds, "that does not mean we should ignore evidence of discrimination, however, or that we shouldn't do more to help close the skills gap that exists because so many Black and Hispanic children attend poorly performing public schools." Ms. Chavez believes that the way to fix those problems is to address them head-on by imposing higher standards, demanding accountability from teachers and administrators, and offering an alternative to children trapped in failing public schools.