Group Wants Missouri Ban Against Race-Based Hiring

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - An anti-affirmative-action group wants an initiative on the Missouri ballot aimed at banning state-level race-based ``preferential treatment'' in hiring.

At a news conference yesterday, backers said they want Missouri to join three other states that passed similar measures outlawing racial preferences in state-sponsored programs.

The organization -- the American Civil Rights Institute -- seeks to outlaw preferential treatment in public contracting, education and employment.

The group is led by Ward Connerly, a multi-racial man who created California's 1996 anti-affirmative action ballot measure. Connerly says anti-affirmative-action initiatives are ``liberating people like me from the last legacy of bondage.''

Connerly could not identify any particular ``race preferences'' or ``gender preferences'' the group opposes in Missouri.

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