Skip to comments.Political Fight Is Brewing on Race-Based Preferences
Posted on 03/23/2014 10:58:19 AM PDT by Kaslin
Until this month, supporters of racial preferences in California have enjoyed a cozy narrative. They were able to dismiss the 55 percent of voters who passed Proposition 209, which barred race and gender preferences in university admissions, hiring and public contracts in 1996, as over-entitled fear-obsessed white folks with little understanding of and sympathy for the obstacles that daunt minority students.
That ended Monday when California state Sen. Ed Hernandez was forced to put a hold on a measure to allow voters in November to restore racial preferences in public education. It was a huge about-face. His Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 had won a supermajority of the Senate vote, all from Democrats. Hence, SCA5 should have sailed through the Assembly, but perhaps that was the problem.
Hernandez blamed "scare tactics and misinformation" for his retreat. Same stuff critics said in 1996. But I doubt Hernandez was enjoying himself, because this time he was responding to pressure from fellow Democrats who also are people of color.
There's an emerging Latino-Asian split in the Democratic caucus. In an ugly case of voter remorse, three state senators -- Southern Californians Ted Lieu and Carol Liu and Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, who had voted for SCA5 -- asked Hernandez to halt it.
"As lifelong advocates for the Chinese American and other API communities, we would never support a policy that we believed would negatively impact our children," they wrote. They said they had heard no opposition prior to the vote, but having heard from thousands of unhappy Californians, they were getting wobbly. (OK, maybe they didn't use the word wobbly, but you get the idea.)
They didn't hear any opposition? "That's no defense at all," countered S.B. Woo, a former Democratic lieutenant governor of Delaware waging a campaign to rally Asian-Americans against SCA5. "In the future, don't ever use that argument. You are supposed to find out," said Woo, now in retirement in Florida.
Although, to be fair, there wasn't much of a fuss before the vote.
I mentioned to Woo that in 1996, most Asian voter groups opposed Proposition 209. What happened?
Over the years, Woo told me, many Asian parents complained that their children had to surpass white, Latino and black students to get into good schools. Still, his Asian-American political action committee did not take a position on college admissions until about two years ago. His community thought, "Maybe we should be more noble." But when post-209 research suggested that racial preferences ill-served African-American, Latino and Asian students, Woo said, "We thought there is no sense in being noble."
Gail Heriot, a UC San Diego law professor and Proposition 209 co-chair, argues that racial preferences pushed some underprepared and under-represented minority students into top universities in which they languished toward the bottom half of their class. The results were higher dropout rates for African-American and Latino students and more of those students abandoning science and engineering in favor of other majors.
"Some of the liberals believe in theories but don't look at empirical data," Woo concluded.
Roger Clegg of the pro-Proposition 209 Center for Equal Opportunity believes that universities funded by taxpayers cannot sort out people "according to their skin color" or their parents' country of origin. It's as wrong to tell deserving Asian students that their best work might not count as it is to shortchange white students. It turns out, black and white representation in the University of California system relative to population has dipped since Proposition.209 passed, while Asian participation is up.
With SCA5 on hold, affirmative-action supporters might begin to suggest that Asian opponents are racist and selfish. Sens. Lieu, Liu and Yee, welcome to my world.
Even without an Assembly vote, an Asian-American voter revolt has begun. On his website, Woo urged voters to "register as Republican voters today, they'll really get your message. They'll never touch SCA5 again!"
As a Republican, I would love to see Democrats put SCA5 before California voters. Let the Democratic machine feel what it's like to be branded as racists for standing up for their principles. Will the media consensus spin then be that with their old-school grievances, Democrats are chasing away hard-working Asian and immigrant voters, and the party better change to stay competitive? What do you think?
Proof once more that only white people can be racist.
It’s OK for whites to get screwed on college admissions but now that Asians are a factor the situation is changing
***** There are more Asians than blacks in California. My perception is that Hispanics are not nearly as affirmative action oriented as blacks.
> S.B. Woo, a former Democratic lieutenant governor of Delaware waging a campaign to rally Asian-Americans against SCA5... With SCA5 on hold, affirmative-action supporters might begin to suggest that Asian opponents are racist and selfish. Sens. Lieu, Liu and Yee, welcome to my world... On his website, Woo urged voters to “register as Republican voters today, they’ll really get your message. They’ll never touch SCA5 again!”
Government racism is a great thing unless they start discriminating against you...
Kudos for tactfulness in the extreme!
I think that this is more significant than just this one issue. Now that California no longer has a white majority or even a white minority majority the differences between the other races will now start to come out. Before they were united against the “evil white man” now that (at least in Kalifornia) that’s been taken care of, the fissures between these races will come to the forefront more and more. Things will get ugly rather fast IMHO. Hispanics hate blacks with a passion (and vice versa) so I would expect there to be some real fireworks between those two. Asians are more divided than you would think and you really can’t lump them all together and they also have animosity towards other racial groups that will start coming out.
Expect to see this multicultural nightmare explode in everyone’s face sooner rather than later. Especially if things start to really deteriorate economically and there is no longer any way to pay to keep these groups from rioting.
How do you figure whites in California are not a majority minority?
Never mind, I got tripped up on terminology!
Racism is OK when liberals do it. It’s an inherent part of their ideology.
In a liberals mind racial preferences are for those who are to stupid to make it on their own.
When Reagan was Governor of California, he was told that admitting students to Cal-Berkeley based on merit alone would result in a majority of students being Asian-Americans.
Reagans’s response, “So What?”