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California's Race-Neutral Government Future

UC - Berkeley
UC – Berkeley

Earlier today we reported on the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold a voter-approved law in Michigan that bars the government from granting preferences to or discriminating against individuals or groups on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in employment, education, and contracting.

California voters approved a similar law back in 1996. Despite challenges and work-arounds known as “holistic” admissions, the law stands. The recent Supreme Court case on Michigan apparently prompted various media outlets to revisit the California preferences issue. Those who oppose race-neutral government in California are meeting unexpected resistance. People of East Asian descent in California have become vocal supporters of the state’s racial preference ban. They lobbied Asian lawmakers to oppose a bill offered by Assembly Speaker John Pérez to undo the will of the voters. Three such lawmakers asked Pérez to stop the measure. He withdrew the bill in March.

The San Jose Mercury News notes that Democrats in California “discovered when a backlash from Chinese-American families last month scuttled legislation to let voters again consider the issue…Asian-Americans voted against California’s ban in 1996, but restoring race-conscious admissions in the increasingly competitive UC system struck a nerve with Chinese-Americans worried it would affect their children, who now have the highest admission rates.”

Racial and ethnic groups fighting for spoils. The only way to end racial discrimination is to end racial discrimination.

Photo credit: John Morgan (Creative Commons) – Some Rights Reserved

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