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I would hazard to guess that there are not that many people who will be very sad to see Mary Frances Berry leave her post, least of whom are those well-meaning liberals who have dealt with her more antagonistic personality over the years.  Though her brand of "gadfly" activism can be effective at times, it would be nice to have some new leadership in the post -- someone who would not make so many enemies around every corner, and who might get things accomplished and bring our nation closer to healing the racial wounds that still so bitterly divide us.

Unfortunately, in true form, Bush has struck a blow once again to the cause of equal rights by appointing Gerald Reynolds to the post.  

Reynolds is to affirmative action as Grover Norquist is to public assistance.  The protest against his nomination to Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights got a lot of media attention in 2001, especially concerning its potential impact on title IX reform.

Some organizations have opposed Reynolds' nomination because of the potential impact it could have on Title IX.

''We're very concerned about the nomination because, while we don't know the nominee's position on all of the issues that are important to Title IX, his very dogged opposition to affirmative action is very problematic for women and girls in education,'' said Marcia Greenberger, founder and co-president of the National Women's Law Center, a non-profit advocacy organization that has had a focus on Title IX since the center's founding in 1972.

''The fact that (Reynolds) comes with stated opposition to such a critical element of civil rights enforcement of the laws he would be charged with overseeing and interpreting is very problematic,'' she said.

Prior to that appointment, Reynolds served as president of the Center for New Black Leadership along with four other future Bush appointees, where he did his best to undermine the fight against socio-racial inequity.  

To top it all off, take a look at the Center for Equal Opportunity, at which he jumpstarted his career as a legal analyst.

Given this turn of events, we are most certain to see some more hard fought battles like the one that Mary Berry in some ways contributed to winning for the University of Michigan.

Originally posted to intrados on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 09:37 PM PST.

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