On Wednesday, California Democrats voted to reverse the state’s ban on racial preferences, reinstating affirmative action and de-facto racial discrimination by ratifying Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5 (ACA5).
The measure, which “would reintroduce racial preferences for who gets a state job or contract, or who is admitted to a state university,” as The Wall Street Journal editorial board puts it, will be on Californians’ ballots come November.
If it passes, the state’s 24-year old ban on affirmative action will be reversed.
The amendment was ratified in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man who died last month after a troubling arrest captured on viral video. The officer at the center of the arrest, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with second-degree murder.
Democratic CA State Sen. Steve Bradford said he had “seen enough,” and praised the measure.
“It’s time to do the right thing,” he said, according to LAist. “It’s time to end the racism that exists in California.”
However, Republican State Sen. Ling Ling Chang, who was born in Taiwan, slammed the amendment as codifying discrimination to supposedly fight discrimination, comparing it to the Chinese Exclusion Act.
“The problem with ACA5 is that it takes the position that we must fight discrimination with more discrimination,” Chang said.
As noted by The Wall Street Journal, Asian-Americans have been leading efforts to battle measures like ACA5.
The issue of racial discrimination in higher education was at the center of a 2014 lawsuit against Harvard in which Students for Fair Admissions claimed that admissions data shows that Harvard “intentionally discriminates against Asian American applicants,” as NBC News reported. U.S. District Judge Allison D. Burroughs ended up siding with Harvard, stating in her 2019 decision that while the Ivy League school’s admissions process is “not perfect,” it is nonetheless constitutional.
The California measure to reintroduce affirmative action has unsurprisingly been met with criticism. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board wrote a scathing op-ed published Thursday, titled “A Vote for Discrimination,” condemning the amendment as counterproductive to the supposed stated goal of the state’s Democrats.
“We live in strange times, and strange indeed is that, while deploring racism, the Democratic Legislature in California has voted to codify racial discrimination in state law,” the Journal said.
The editorial board posed the question: “[I]f the problem is police singling out African-American young men without cause, how is the answer to sort people by race in other areas of life, sowing resentment and pitting American against American?”
“Judging individuals by the color of their skin is antithetical to equal justice under the law,” the editorial added. “Let’s hope Californians hold on to this American principle of equality that goes back to the Declaration of Independence, the 14th Amendment, and the civil-rights movement.”
“The California senate has voted to delete this from its constitution: ‘The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin,'” he posted via Twitter. “So progressive!”
The California senate has voted to delete this from its constitution:
“The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.”
— andrewdoyle_com (@andrewdoyle_com) June 26, 2020
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