Asian-Americans Decide to Protect 209

For
years, efforts have been made, legal and illegal, to get around the provisions
of California’s Prop 209. That’s the 1996 measure that prevents consideration of
gender, race or ethnicity in public education, employment or contracting. But
for many weeks, it has seemed likely that the overwhelmingly Democratic
California legislature would vote to exempt education from the law. That
would open the door to race, ethnic or gender quotas, which would reduce the
high student percentage of Asians  (and women too, perhaps) at UCLA and
Berkeley, the two flagship state universities. Now a movement is under way by
the 80-20 National Asian American PAC, to persuade Asian-American state
legislators to change their votes on the new measure, known as SCA 5. Yesterday,
the PAC noted that one assemblyman will not vote for SCA 5 with others expected
to follow. “It has been reliably leaked” with others to follow. The PAC site
said the State senate will not proceed without more hearings, presumably
because of the PAC’s opposition. “So the dam has been broken,” said the PAC.

John Leo

John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

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