Skip to comments.Asians Derail Affirmative Action In California: Repeal ban on racial preferences fails in Senate
Posted on 04/14/2014 7:33:55 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The express train hurtling to return racial preference admissions to California in the form of State Constitutional Amendment 5 , which if placed on the ballot and approved by voters would have overturned Prop. 209 has just been derailed  by an outburst of opposition from Asian Americans.
The eruption of opposition caught SCA 5s Democratic sponsors by surprise and caused a crucial three Asian American senators to withdraw their support, depriving the measure of the two thirds senate majority required to place an initiative on the ballot. Prior to the vote on SCA 5 in the Senate, Senators Ted Lieu of Torrance, Carol Liu of La Canada Flintridge, and Leland Yee of San Francisco wrote  Assembly Speaker and lead sponsor John A. Pérez, we heard no opposition to the bill. However, in the past few weeks, we have heard from thousands of people throughout California voicing their concerns about the potential impacts . As lifelong advocates for the Asian American and other communities, they added, we would never support a policy that we believed would negatively impact our children. (Or at least never again, a skeptic might observe.)
The three changed their minds, the San Francisco Chronicle reports , when they started hearing from Asian American constituents who feared that giving preferences to African American and Latino students would make it harder for their children to get into competitive University of California campuses.
Feared? Thats rather like saying Jewish parents in the early 20th century feared that Jewish quotas would make it harder for their children to be admitted to Ivy League schools. Of course lowering admission standards for some students based on race or ethnicity inevitably raises the barrier for those of unpreferred races and ethnicities. And in fact, not just in logic, the passage of Prop. 209 prohibiting racial and ethnic preferential treatment produced a dramatic surge in the admission of Asians to selective California campuses.
In 1997, the last year preferences were still in effect, Asians were 29.8%  of those admitted to the University of California system. In the fall of 2010, their proportion had increased to 37.5%. At Berkeley, according to a university fact sheet , the percentage of Asian admits increased from 41.7% in 1997 to 47.1% in 2007. In the most recent data available, statements of intent to register for next falls freshman class , Asians will be 46.6% of the entering freshmen at Berkeley, 51.7% at San Diego, and 49% at Irvine (where whites will be only 13.9%).
These numbers should not be surprising. In a major 2005 study  of affirmative action, expanded in a 2009 book , No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal: Race and Class in Elite College Admission and Campus Life, Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade (who supports affirmative action) and his co-authors concluded that if affirmative action were eliminated across the nation “Asian students would fill nearly four out of every five places in the admitted class not taken by African-American and Hispanic students, with an acceptance rate rising from nearly 18 percent to more than 23 percent.” (Quoted here , from the article.) Thus what needs to be explained is not the fear of Asian parents that preferences to blacks and Hispanics discriminate against Asians that fear is entirely rational and based on irrefutable evidence but why it took so long for them to express it, and why they have continued to support Democrats who support policies that discriminate against their own children.
What also cries out even louder for explanation is why civil rights groups such as Chinese for Affirmative Action  (CAA) and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) support affirmative action programs that so demonstrably discriminate against so many Asian Americans. In its statement  on SCA 5, CAA emphasizes its strong opinion that affirmative action must remain a tool for advancing fairness and equality for Asian Americans and others in the foreseeable future, and ought to be embraced in solidarity with all communities that face systemic discrimination. It does, however, call for amendments including an explicit prohibition of quotas, as though that should make the explicit awarding of preferences to others acceptable.
The AALDEF, progressive organization that it is, actually defends the discrimination against Asians and attacks the Asians who protest against it. A blog post  discussing SCA 5 on its site a few days ago, for example, complains that normally:
Asian Americans are trotted out by predominantly white anti-affirmative action groups as the poor “aggrieved victims,” as in Texas and Michigan.
In this new California fight to reverse the ending of affirmative action, some Chinese Americans, most of them new immigrants, have learned their political role and have been quick to speak out first.
Presumably those Chinese American new immigrants are so new they have not yet learned their proper place on the progressive plantation.
The new Chinese immigrants who have not learned that their desire for colorblind equal opportunity must defer to the demands of other groups for preferential treatment are not the only Asian targets of progressive defenders of affirmative action. The rising call for disaggregation in effect eliminating Asian American as a classification so that different sub-groups can be treated differently would introduce a whole new layer of discrimination against long-resident communities of Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans.
A report  issued by The National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education  (CARE) calls for data disaggregation to better understand the variation of the educational experiences and outcomes within the highly diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander student population so that some Asian American groups, but not others, can become beneficiaries rather than victims of diversity. The failure to disaggregate Asian and Asian-American data to reveal its sub-groups, the report claims, has been a key barrier to policy and program development that advances the equitable treatment for the AAPI community.
By equitable treatment, I noted in Disaggregation: Not Enough Hmong Among Us? , what the disaggregators really call for is unequal treatment preferential treatment of the underrepresented sub-groups. That is clearly what AALDEF has in mind when it justifies its support of SCA 5 by pointing out that segments of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, most notably the Filipino, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander groups, remain woefully underrepresented.
The disaggregators may think (or at least hope) that increasing the preferential treatment of underrepresented Asian groups would silence the growing Asian opposition to affirmative action, but it might do the opposite. Ron Unz has demonstrated  that the proportion of Asians accepted to selective, especially Ivy League, colleges has remained unchanged despite the increasing numbers of highly qualified Asian applicants. Whether of not this surprising consistency results from overt or covert quotas or the miracle of massaged holistic criteria, admitting more members of Asian sub-groups would result in the admission of even fewer Chinese, Japanese, Korean and other traditionally high-performing Asian applicants, the very applicants who under the current system suffer the most from the preferences given to blacks and Hispanics.
Another odd aspect of the progressive Asian defense of discrimination against Asians is its anti-white bias, as when AALDEF accuses  Asians of starting to sound like whites.
Asian Americans are the most overrepresented among all students in the UC system. When you look at the overall numbers at all the UCs, ideally, you’d want a public system to mirror the state’s population, wouldn’t you?
Well, no, Id want a public system whole flagship campuses attracted the best students, but maybe thats just me. Not AALDEF; it sees too many Asians. When it looks at the numbers it sees Asian Americans, 40 percent at UC, 14 percent in the state, and concludes Thats why Prop. 209 needs to be reversed.
And why, some of AALDEFs ostensible constituents might ask, is sounding like whites so bad? if what that means is arguing that the state should not distribute benefits or burdens based on race. In any event the complaint that Asian critics of affirmative action sound white is odd, inasmuch as AALDEFs own list of numbers that it invites readers to look at includes Whites, 24 percent at UC, 39 percent in the state.
Similarly odd, from the same blog post, is the charge that Prop. 209 was written by two white academics who were trying to stem the tide of new competition from diverse groups in public education and employment. All 209 did was preserve the overrepresentation of certain groups, while making it impossible to do anything to remedy the underrepresentation of others.
How confusing! Does AALDEF believe that whites passed Prop. 209 to preserve their overrepresentation or that the underrepresentation of whites in the UC system is something it would like to correct by abolishing Prop. 209?
Many people continue to believe, mistakenly, that ending racial preferences benefits whites and progressives like AALDEF even argue that opposition to preferences is rooted in racism. In fact, whites have become a seriously underrepresented minority in the University of California system. In 1996 whites were 44% of the freshman admits; by 2010 their percentage of freshman admits had dropped to 34% .
Perhaps the derailment of SCA 5 will prove to be only temporary. Perhaps some window-dressing amendments favored by CAA such as the explicit prohibition of quotas and increasing the absolute numbers admitted to the selective campuses, which would allow the reintroduction of lower standards for blacks and Hispanics without reducing the current number of Asians, will put it on track again.
But there is a possibility that the sudden expression of fierce opposition to the discrimination against them by so many Asian Americans in California means that the Humpty Dumpty of affirmative action has taken another great fall as damaging to it as the rejection by substantial majorities of voters in California and Michigan and cant be put together again.
Don’t worry, they can always take it to court where ONE judge can overturn any ballot, legislature or referendum.
They’ve done that time and again ( See Proposition 8 ).
No matter who plays the game and how they play it, whites are always “the other team”. If I really wanted to, I could draw a certain conclusion from that.
So, why did it take ASIANs to derail this? Couldn’t WHITES alone do the job?
Asians have no reason to be Democrats.
It’s for the party of leeches.
Wow, he's arguing for affirmative action for whites?? That's pretty radical.
“Repeal ban on Affirmative Action”....bunch of double negatives there sheesh
I found the same prob w/ the headline.
I’m half-Korean and from that perspective I can’t understand for the life of me why any self-respecting Northeast Asian would/could support dictatorial-lite Progressivism after what their families went through in the 20th Century to throw that yoke off.
Also, we have to stop using “Asian” as a catch-all term.
Other than basic desires for freedom and self-determination Turks, Saudis, Afghanis and Sri Lankans have, generally speaking, little in common with Koreans, Japanese and Han Chinese.
Asians are taking this posture because they have something to lose, that’s all. It’s not principled, or any evidence of a conservative value system.
It’s self interest. They fear something they see as theirs is going to be undermined.
Enjoy the fun, that’s all.
Because if WHITES speak up on our own behalf, we are RAYCISS and furthermore made to PAY for it in real ways, like losing jobs. It doesn’t work that way for any other demographic. It is the epitome of PC sainthood to be ANTI-WHITE.
No reason that a little thing like merit should come into play
No. Too many liberal, fell-good, guilt ridden idiot whites.
When the clock strikes midnite for Asian voters
Amen. I am half Filipino. I've never been to Asia....................
No, whites alone couldn’t have done the job of derailing this. It took the efforts of a minority group to fight this. Because, in this politically correct world we live in, whites are considered racist and all that, only minorities were able to make this happen.
Wow, looking at the stats, Asians are over 40% of the UC students. Yet, if they as a group are the most capable students, and all students compete equally for admittance, then it shouldn’t be a problem.
My stupid question is — how long do we have to deal with affirmative action? The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed 50 years ago. That law has been strongly enforced. Nobody under about age 55 or so attended a legally segregated inferior school in this country. These young people coming up today have lived in a world in which they have equal rights, and members of minorities are not discriminated against. If anything, policies such as affirmative action have given a boost to minorities in recent decades.
I’ve always thought that affirmative action should have been a temporary measure, not a permanent racial quota/spoils system.
I don't understand how the white percentage can be so low at UC Irvine unless covert racial preferences are in place--36% of the best-qualified students are black or Latino?
When Reagan was Governor, he was told that unless Cal-Berkeley abandoned merit-based admittance policies, that the student body would become primarily Asian.
Reagan’s response, “So what?”
You’ve never been to Asia, but, these terms have come into popular usage. The vast majority of African-Americans have never been to Africa.
I agree with you, just saying, for whatever reason, it’s become common to lump all of Asian ancestry together. You never hear talk of European-Americans. Instead you hear someone talk of pride in being of Irish descent, Italian descent, etc.
I would love to get away from that altogether. I’m of eastern European descent, but, never think in those terms. I am American and have no affinity for the old country.
Preferences are in place, not so covert. They’ve proudly admitted as much, that there were other ways to make sure “minorities” received preferential treatment. You can bet the farm that as whites become the minority anywhere on the globe, it won’t work that way anymore.
I don’t know about Hmong or Samoans, but Filipinos are pretty much caught up with whites in SAT scores and GPAs. Not up there with the Chinese or Koreans, which partly explains why Filipinos are just as underrepresented as whites are in UCs and the Ivies.
I have always thought of myself as ‘American’, never anything else.
When I was in the Marines Corps, during an inspection, standing on line with my company platoon, I was asked by a captain, an officer no less, what ‘nationality’ I was. I replied, “I’m an AMERICAN, sir.” He laughed and said, “I’ve never heard of that nationality, Marine.” I wanted to kick his fat ass right in the gut....................
FROM : COLLEGE DATA
Ethnicity of Students from U.S.
0.2% American Indian/Alaskan Native
3.9% Multi-race (not Hispanic/Latino)
0.1% Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander
Looks like Whites are the minority in UC Irvine.
The problem with the term “Asian” is its a catch all phrase which tells us little about what country of origin they are from.
How many percent of the 51% or so Asians at UC Irvine are Chinese, Korean, Indian or Filipino? Hard to tell from the data.
All Democrat politics are self-interest.
Asians (and by which I exclude Turks, etc) would be much better suited as Republicans. Culturally, they work hard, make good money, etc. No reason to be in the leech party.
I thought we wanted the best and the brightest?
Irvine is one of the safety schools of the UC system. Its where a lot of the UC qualified (grades/class standing) but otherwise excluded kids end up. Kids with good math but poorer English among them, so higher Asian % than most.
Liberals don’t want the best and brightest.
They want quota systems.
Also, liberals talk of these issues as if it’s still 1950, and that there is rampant legally sanctioned discrimination against certain groups of people.
Liberals tend to take the position that, great progress has been made in civil rights, movement towards equal rights, etc. BUT, that there is still a long way to go.
Such talk was evident at the recent celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I suspect we’ll hear more such talk as the actual anniversary date of that law being signed, July 2nd, approaches.
No matter what the status of groups of people, liberals seem to take the position that we haven’t done enough to help allegedly disadvantaged people, and that there are lingering effects of past discrimination which have to be stamped out. This is part of the liberal playbook.
To keep the conglomerate cult of the D party together it requires the “common enemy” and that would be whites. If whites did not exist they would create whites to make them the “common enemy”, doubt me then go to Kos where you will find the term “common enemy” thruout threads that are dealing with in party squabbles about the loot. Once nonsense like this is labeled “anti-white” its allure will fade because it won’t be seen as sophisticated thought but mere bigotry for the rabble.
Right, and even appealing brings them to the 9th Circuit, which is also stacked against the Asians.
“I have always thought of myself as American...”
I see we have a troublemaker here! /s
Not long after that, my company was transferred to another unit in a re-alignment, so I never had to face that POS again....................
D*mned Chinese have always been a problem for Democrats.
In 2012 Obama got 73% of the Asian-American vote, which was 3% of the electorate along with 71% of the Latino vote which was 10% of the electorate to go along with his 93% of the black vote which was 13% of the electorate.
Whites were 72% of the electorate (the lowest percentage ever) and 39% of whites voted for Obama.
2% of the voters were in other racial categories (ie American Indians, bi-racial, etc.) and Obama got 58% of their votes.
Here’s last year’s incoming freshman data for UC Berkeley. It does not differ significantly from UC Irvine: 46% Asian-Pacific Islander and 26% white with 4 % who refused to state a race/ethnicity. :
They are all in the ballpark, but Berkeley/UCLA (the premium schools) are lower Asian and higher white than Irvine.
UC Merced is the sump school, with much higher Hispanic pop and much lower avg SAT scores then the rest. Several Cal State schools are more competitive.
“What also cries out even louder for explanation is why civil rights groups such as Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) support affirmative action programs that so demonstrably discriminate against so many Asian Americans.”
It doesn’t take much of a brain to answer this - these groups are offshoots of the Democrat Party. They work TOTALLY AGAINST the interests of Asians (which are basically identical to the interests of whites, except that immigration is more important).
Too bad the Republican Party is too busy beating up Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and listing to their IDIOT pollsters telling them that Amnesty is a winning issue, and is TOO STUPID to figure out that they have a natural constituency here, if they would make ANY EFFORT AT ALL.
There are currently nine Asian-Americans in Congress, one US Senator from Hawaii and eight Representatives in the House. All are Democrats.
Representative Bobby Scott of Virginia claims Asian heritage but I don’t count him.
There are also three non-voting House Delegates, all Democrats.
True, this is a missed opportunity.
Partly its a matter of policy preferences. Immigration is a factor, but not quite in the way it has been presented. Reform of immigration along the lines of making it more like a job-application system, promptly and fairly decided, without quotas, probably would be popular. I.e., give exams like the SAT and take the top x%. Fairness would be valued, just like it is in the college app process.
Much of it is a lack of outreach and publicity. Where Asians live Republicans are not well known or well covered, particularly in Asian oriented media.
Part of it is mutual cultural unfamiliarity. The conservative white base of the Republican party generally has little to do with Asians on a personal level, and vice versa. These populations don’t have similar recreational interests for the most part. There has been little reason to talk.
Part of it is a feeling, on the Asian part, that they are resented or that they face hostility from the right. Granted this is generally a consequence of unfamiliarity and lack of personal connections, but it exists. Partly this is the result of the liberal demonization of the right, plus biased teaching in the schools that tend to exaggerate the problems of racism and the character of the country. Asians tend to come from places where there is REAL racism and group solidarity, and tend to think that the US brand is more dangerous to them than it really is.
Part of it is Asian attitudes towards authority. In general Asians will defer to the local consensus and work within it, even if it does not entirely coincide with their interests. They are well practiced with working around such problems, and even if the local politics is not entirely to their liking, better the devil they know.
California Asians just learned that they are white.