QUEst for Blackness
QUEst #1: I gained national respect as an outspoken advocate of equal opportunity for everyone, regardless of race or sex. My views on preferences, set-asides and quotas have been well documented by the international, national and local press. I’m a former political activist and businessman.
I’ve stated I’m one-fourth black, with the rest a mix of Irish, French, and Choctaw. My father, left the household when I was 2, and my mother died when I was 4. I went to live first with an aunt and uncle and then a grandmother. I attended college, eventually receiving a bachelor of arts with honors in political science. While in college, I was student body president. During my college years, I was active in campaigning against housing discrimination and helped to get a bill passed by the state legislature banning the practice. After college, I worked for a number of state agencies and Assembly committees, the state department of housing and urban development, and State Assembly committee on urban affairs. I stepped away from my government job and started my own consultation and land-use planning company.
Who am I?
ANS: Ward Connerly
QUEst #2: My father abandoned my family when I was a year old, and I ultimately was sent to live with my grandfather. My grandfather instilled in me at an early age an ethic of hard work and self-reliance. I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church and attended parochial school with the intention of becoming a priest. Unfortunately, the reality of American history and race relations smacked me in the face when, while attending seminary college, I was subjected to racist comments following the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This experience dissuaded me from pursuing the priesthood, thereby leaving me to pursue other interests. I ended up attending the College of the Holy Cross, where I earned an undergraduate degree with honors. While at Holy Cross, my commitment to assisting Black students was furthered when I co-founded the Black Student Union. Later, I attended Yale University Law School and earned a Juris Doctorate. I experienced a philosophical epiphany when I read the book Race and Economics by Thomas Sowell. This book provided the intellectual foundation for my philosophy on life and race relations in the United States.
Who am I?
ANS: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
QUEst #3: I was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and grew up as an only child. I experienced firsthand the injustices of Birmingham’s discriminatory laws and attitudes. I was instructed to walk proudly in public and to use the facilities at home rather than subject myself to the indignity of “colored” facilities in town.
However, I recall various times in which I suffered discrimination on account of my race, which included being relegated to a storage room at a department store instead of a regular dressing room, being barred from going to the circus or the local amusement park, being denied hotel rooms, and even being given bad food at restaurants.I missed many days at my segregated school because of the frequent bomb threats.
I started learning French, music, figure skating and ballet at age three.At age 15, I began classes with the goal of becoming a concert pianist. My plans changed when I realized that I did not play well enough to support myself through music alone. At age 19, I earned my B.A. in political science. The following year, I obtained my Master’s Degree in political science. At the age of 26, I received my Ph.D. in Political Science. In addition to English, I speak, with varying degrees of fluency, Russian, German, French, and Spanish. I was the first female, first minority, and youngest Provost at Stanford.
Who am I?
ANS: Condoleezza Rice
QUEst #4: I was approached by several prominent individuals and asked to run for a seat. After defeating several other candidates in the state primary, I won, and was the first African-American elected to statewide office in Oklahoma. Four years later, I was again approached by prominent leaders and asked to consider running for an open seat for Congress. I agreed and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. I garnered attention soon after my election as the first black member of Congress to decline to join the Congressional Black Caucus saying it was “infested” with “Democratic liberals who betray black people in America.” I captured national attention with a speech, when I said, “You see character does count. For too long we have gotten by in a society that says the only thing right is to get by and the only thing wrong is to get caught. Character is doing what’s right when nobody is looking. I stirred controversy when I branded some unnamed black Democrats and civil rights leaders as “race-hustling poverty pimps” whose careers I said depend on keeping blacks dependent on the government.
Who am I?
ANS: Julius Caesar “J. C.” Watts