March 18, 2014

California stands up for equality

By Joshua P. Thompson Senior Attorney

Proposition 209 is not going anywhere.  Efforts by certain lawmakers to repeal California’s landmark constitutional amendment ended yesterday when the the amendment’s sponsors decided to table further voting.  Students graduating in the next couple of years from California’s public high schools can rest assured that California’s public universities will not be making admissions decisions based on skin color.

It seems the primary reason for this switch by the legislators in Sacramento is pressure from California’s Asian-American communities. Discrimination of any sort should be condemned, but discrimination against Asians in California is particularly atrocious.  After all, it was California that excluded Chinese-Americans from business and industry and forbade all Asian-Americans from owning land.   Nevertheless, it is widely known that Asian-Americans are treated most harshly in states that allow race-based preferential treatment.  Take Texas, for example, where Asian-American students had to score nearly 200 points higher on the SAT than an Hispanic student to have a comparable chance of admission.  

Proposition 209 prohibits all discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity, and thanks to the strong voices of California’s Asian-American community, all Californians can continue to enjoy a race-neutral state government.

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