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Occasional Paper

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If I sound a little bit incoherent it is because I have only been in California for ten hours in the last three weeks, and that was just to change clothes and change bags and hug my little six-year-old tight and spend some time with my wife. I got back in last Tuesday night from a trip to the East Coast by way of Salt Lake City and got up at 2:00 a.m. to be at a local television show to be able to be on the "CBS Morning News." My options were slim-either go to New York and do it or stay in California and do it. Whichever one you take, you have to get up early in the morning so those of you on the East Coast can see what goes on at 7:00 a.m. live. Getting up for five or seven minutes of television is not the most profitable thing in the world. I got back on a plane yesterday afternoon and got to New York this morning at 2:00. I was up at 7:00 and am here now. So ifyou will pardon me, I will do the best that I possibly can under the circumstances.

The reason I am tired, as you know, is that tomorrow morning the Civil Rights Commission will consider a staff recommendation with respect to the Minority Set-Aside Program in the federal government-those three programs that are ongoing. There is a lot of attention on that. I just want to say to you that the commission's concerns are not to put people out of business. The commission's concerns for the most part-the majority of the commission's, I think-are that, if there are going to be small business programs, they should be available to all Americans and not be based on ethnicity or gender and that, if there are going to be remedies for discrimination, they should be given to those who are victims of discrimination; and people should understand that there can be beneficiaries and victims on both sides of the ledger. It is a kind of affirmative action program.


Transcription of presentation made on April 10, 1986, as part of the William Monroe Trotter Distinguished Lecture Series on Affirmative Action. Clarence Pendleton is chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and president of Pendleton and Associates. He is the former president of the Urban League of San Diego.

Occasional Paper No. 18


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