pronounce that. he went to actually the university without walls and then went to harvard law. at imminent fellow. when we went to talk with each other, there was the imminent thing with church and state in italy, france and the united states. he said, i would rather talk about affirmative action beginning with martin luther king and his views. absolutely. we welcome you to mosiac. what are we going to talk about? >> well, the debate about affirmative action today is so important. and the question of how colleges and universities should select their student body. it is so important and there are so -- and there are three
different kinds of admissions. i talked about where doctor king would come out if he were examining each of these approaches to affirmative action. we have mike bruce in our crack crew who will bring it up. our first one is, race-based admissions. this is the traditional form of affirmative action that was approved under limited circumstances back in 1978 and also approved in 2003. it is up infront of the supreme court again in the texas/fisher case. it is also the form of a minute -- of affirmative action that is aimed at admitting minority students to ensure there is diversity among student bodies in terms of race, ethnicity and in terms of particular talents and points of view.
in this regard, that a university or a college can take account of phrase as one of the factors in admitting students to their school. >> okay, so you are going to do that. then the second thing you are going to talk about is? >> class-based affirmative action. that is the school saying that we want diversity in terms of class and income, economic background and socioeconomic status. reaching out and giving a boost to students who apply to poor or middle class families. that is the second of -- the second form. there are some that say it would be better than race-based affirmative action either because it is alienating and causes less social disagreement, or because it is important because of the importance of getting poor
people into these frankly affluent institutions. >> the third category is?>> the third category was implemented in texas and florida and to some extent here in california. it is geography-based. you take the top students from every high school in the state and you say they are eligible to attend the top schools because they are the top students. it is a certain amount of race- based affirmative action because the schools are so segregated that for the most part, this students attend minority. if you take the top students from the state. that's what goes on in texas and that accounts for part of the diversity in texas. when
school. it is important to have diversity among the graduates of our top universities. so that we have diversity across the military leaders and in terms of government leaders and diversity in terms of boardrooms. that racial minorities are not left out.>> it is important for both of those. >> moderator: is race-based admission still a possibility in california.>> for private, yes, but for public universities, no. that is because of proposition 209 passed in 1996.
>> i think it is important to recognize that for private schools across the united states and for public schools and all that it you state -- all but a few states, it becomes important for an overall approach to promoting diversity in the classroom and also promoting diversity in the institution. >> moderator: that is an easy concept to grasp. you have 100 students in a private university. you can set aside 10 for african-american and 10-4 latino and so on. -- and 10 spaces for latino students and so on.>> it is not permitted for private universities.>> what a school can do is say, as we look at the applications, one of the things we can look at is what
will the student add? is the student and musician or athlete or someone with terrific accomplishments? is it somebody that has overcome a great deal of disadvantage? will the student add racial or -- brett -- at diversity. it helps in making the decision about who we will give admission to and who we will not.>> moderator: it has been interesting phase in my own research. where -- doctor king is described as someone who believed in color blindness based on his i have a dream speech. we will talk about a time when his children were -- when children will be judged by their character and not the color of their skin. what did doctor king have to say about these types of
affirmative action? it was not called affirmative action at the time because the word had not come into usage. but what i found, and it took a while to get there was that doctor king's action -- answer was that we needed all three of these things. it is not a matter of choosing one over the other. all of them are beneficial. >> doctor king, back in 1962 started an operation which was ultimately taken over by -- after his death. rather, while he was still alive, he ran it with jesse jackson, one of his chief
aides. then jesse jackson took over the program. one of the key things was to go into minority communities in which there were employees -- employers who were not employing black employees. going to them and saying, we insist that you have a percentage of black employees that is proportional to the black community that you serve, or the community from which you draw your employees. or, if you do that -- don't do that, we will boy cat you -- boycott you and take you out of business. this was a threat to companies who are traditionally not hire black employees.>> it started in atlanta and it was very successful. it created thousands of jobs for black people in atlanta. then jesse jackson took it with doctor king to chicago. there were boycotts of many
businesses in chicago and the result of that was again, thousands of jobs for black workers in chicago. and, boycotts of major businesses there. it was an important part of doctor king's civil right strategy -- writes strategy. -- civil rights approach. he was believing and supporting and advocating for it. he also advocated for the other forms of affirmative action that we started off talking about today. he was also talking about affirmative action based on class and based on geography. it wasn't that he supported only racial quotas in employment, he was supporting all three types of affirmative
action. >> moderator: why are you so interested? >> well, i teach at one of the great universities of the world. i teach at a university that until proposition 209 had a large number of black students and now we have a small number of black students. i think that effects what happens in my classroom and i think it affects what happens in our society. i think it is bad for california that we are not training as many black leaders as we were. that universities like ucla had a very affirmative affirmative action program which we can't have any more. i think it is bad for the learning environment when i am teaching in the classroom and often teaching about race and there are so black and -- so few black and latino students in my classroom.>>
little bit about yourself. are you from the bay area originally?>> know, i grew up here in new york -- i grew up in new york city and i moved here in the 1970s. i went to harvard law and i was a research assistant for the same person that president obama was a research assistant to years later. i participated in what i think of as a foreign exchange program. i spent my last year at berkeley. between harvard and berkeley, it was definitely for exchange, it was a different world. i did undergraduate work in berkeley as well, but coming back as a third-year law student, i realized that this is where i want to settle down. since the 1970s, i have lived here in california, mostly in the bay area.>> moderator: you grew up in new york city?
>> yes, new york city. >> moderator: why the interest in law? >> i grew at a time -- grew up at a time when civil rights leaders were heroes. i just couldn't imagine a greater job than being a lawyer and a civil rights lawyer.>> moderator: why did you go to harvard law? what did they see in you?>> i can imagine. for many years, i thought there must have been some other david oppenheimer that got into penn state, yale and harvard. there is something called the imposter syndrome which is a big issue with our students. many students feel like we made a mistake in admitting them to berkeley. they feel like impostors. this is true for students. it is particularly true for my nudist -- for minority students
and women. it is something we have talked about and combated. i tell the students when they arrive that there are a lot of hard decisions that have to be made on the admissions committee. but the students that we admit, those are the easy decisions. the hard decisions are the students that we had to deny that we would also have liked to have been knitted.>> moderator: -- like to have admitted. >> moderator: so your wife -- >> she is a journalist and has retired. >> moderator: your by -- and your boys. >> one is a restauranteur and another is an advocate in alternative energy. both are doing very interesting work. >> moderator: and neither went into law?>> the one that does policy work went to law school
and then realized that he -- that what he really wanted to do was policy work. he has a legal education and he uses it all the time, but he is not practicing law. >> moderator: let's go back to affirmative action. you talked about race, let's talk about class. >> sure. one of the things that doctor king proposed was a program to eradicate poverty. he worked with president johnson in establishing the war on poverty. he spoke to the commission in 1966 about the importance of eradicating poverty. he said at the time, this will benefit black people in norm's sleep and it will benefit poor white people. that is appropriate. poverty is a disease. under the
common law, there is a principle -- what he said was that under the common law, there is a principle in which people who have had labor stolen are entitled to restitution. that includes restitution to their families, even if they are gone. that justified a program to eliminate poverty in the united states. it was very much a combination of trying to do something important in terms of helping black americans and doing it through an approach that takes it through talent rather than race. he did not believe in that exclusively. he also believed in racial quotas and employment. but he saw that his two prongs of a three-pronged attack to
help to remedy the problem of racism and racial discrimination. >> so you are talking really about economic disparity and class?>> so, this is a way to shrink this sort of thing? you talked about the inequities with diversity, racism and the cost of goods. you said that where people live and where they go to school is a disadvantage. >> it is enormously important in terms of somebody's future. the community in which they grow up in the school that they attend, these have great impact in terms of being able to predict where that person is going to go and what kind of success that person is going to have. you know, everybody that works hard feels like, i did this
because i worked hard. but, the truth is that i, for example, i think i have worked hard and i am proud of what i have accomplished, but it is also my white privilege and my male privilege, economic privilege having grown up in an upper middle class family. all of these things are important.>> moderator: you are dealing -- you are talking about class as the second one. we talked about class and now we are going to talk about economic privilege when we come back. >> i will talk about doctor king's effort to rebuild cities. it was one of the three forms of affirmative action that he advocated during his lifetime. >> moderator: we are talking with professor david oppenheimer on affirmative action in the three ways it is being addressed. when we come back, we will wrap it up in the fourth segment. thanks.
and rolling. we have covered race conscious and class conscious and the third one is -- >> it is geography conscious. in the texas plan, for example, in the public universities in texas, the top 10% of every high school class is eligible to attend the top public universities in texas. similarly, again swinging back to doctor king. he supported a program to rebuild america's inner cities. it was based on geography and it was very much conscious of the fact that this was largely -- this would largely benefit african-americans. it was race blind in the sense that he was saying that it would benefit poor white people and hispanics and let ted knows and anyone -- and latinos and anyone, particularly in the
60s, who were so disadvantaged. they largely remain that way today. despite the rebirth of some of our cities.>> moderator: let me interrupt you. when you say the texas plan, that means all of the counties -->> all of the high schools.>> moderator: the 10% refers to the top 10% and they are granted admission. >> austin is the top 7% and texas tech in some of the others is the top 10%.>> moderator: and so that's why it is called the texas 10. >> the point that i take from all of this is that we should understand that the three forms of affirmative action that we have discussed here are not mutually exclusive. there is no reason that we can't do all three.
they each serves a different purpose and they each give us a somewhat different result. but, when we combine them, we are accomplishing more. >> moderator: there it is on the screen. >> exactly. race conscious admissions, class conscious admissions and geographic-based admissions. all three of them. when i go back and look at doctor king's speeches and i look at his testimony, it is that he would have, if he were alive today, been telling us, don't choose one over the other, choose all three.>> moderator: david oppenheimer , professor of law at cal. thank you. we will be back next week. thank you for watching
(whispering): what are you doing up? (whispering): mom said i could have a midnight snack. (whispering): well, i say it's late, and you need to go to bed. (whispering): why? (whispering): because i am the boss. (whispering): you're not the boss, mom's the boss. (whispering): well, technically, we are co-bosses. (whispering): technically, mom's the boss. mmmm. shhh. mmmm... yoplait. you may be too tired to walk back to your hotel. that's why we have public transportation. ♪
have a show idea......we wod love to hear from you. go to facebook dot com slash bay sunday and comment to the p i recently had the chance tt down with the founder of a retreat meant to provide a holistic heali experience for wounded vete. today i'll also be talking a local musician, and a uniqun francisco theatrical group. up first we have amir solta, one of the directors of dog redemption. amir soltani is director of bush -- a musician and a unique san francisco theatrical group.>> moderator: good morning, tell us about the film