As you know, Ms. Hinkel of the Grand Rapids Board of Education took me to task, because I criticized her opposition to consolidating school board and millage elections with the November general election. In an editorial she authored for the Press, she denounced the campaigning typical of general elections as "ugly politics" which would only dirty the sanctity of school elections. I noted here in response: " What this adds up to is that Ms. Hinkel, a public official, has quite an anti-democratic frame of mind. Since when have school elections become contemplative, ivory tower affairs above the rabble-rousing of the hoi polloi?" Ms. Hinkel then objected in the remarks section: "Contrary to your uninformed opinion, I do support the ideals of democracy, including free speech."
Well, apparently those "ideals" of democracy don't include letting the voters decide an issue. On Monday Ms. Hinkel, along with her fellow board members, approved a resolution supporting the removal of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative referendum from the ballot in November. The MCRI is a proposed law that would end racial preferences in public institutions, such as affirmative action programs in public university admissions. Note that Ms. Hinkel and her cohorts are not calling for Michigan citizens to vote against the referendum. She doesn't want you to even have an opportunity to vote on it. So much for the ideals of democracy.
Of course, there's nothing high-minded about the grandstanding of Ms. Hinkel and the other school board members. It's nothing but a craven sop to a vocal minority of the black community in Grand Rapids that finds a bigot behind every decision that doesn't go their way. The fact that Ms. Hinkel and company are so quick to genuflect to a small faction that is utterly unrepresentative of the majority of voters and taxpayers in Grand Rapids goes to show how unrepresentative she and the other board members are of our community. Just another reason why school board elections should be consolidated with the general election in November so that they get the full attention of the voters.