Proposition 16: Affirmative Action Amendment Repeal Proposition 209
CFRW Executive Committee Recommends:
Vote “NO” to keep Proposition 209 (1996), Section 31 of the California Constitution’s Declaration of Rights which states: “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 in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.”
Education scholar Lance Izumi, of the Pacific Research Institute defines and leads to the real problem in three main points.
First, “Proposition 209 is based on the exact language of the 1964 U.S. Civil Rights Act. “This… is extremely important because of the moral case made by President John F. Kennedy and others for passage of…the Civil Rights Act: ‘We are confronted primarily with a moral issue…The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated..All Americans ‘have a right to expect that the law will be fair, [and] that the Constitution will be color blind…America was ‘founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened’.”
Izumi’s second point is Prop. 16 will reverse equal rights and equal opportunities for some minorities. For example, before passage of Proposition 209, Japanese and Korean students were 13 and 14 times LESS likely to be accepted to UC Davis medical school than those who benefited from race preferences.
His third point, “the current attempt to repeal Prop. 209 ignores the real cause for the difficulty underrepresented minorities face in accessing our top public universities…the failure of California’s public K-12 system to adequately prepare these students for higher education.”
Further, “The UC Academic Senate has found that for underrepresented minorities, the most significant factor preventing UC eligibility was not Prop. 209, but the ‘failure to complete all required A-G [college preparatory] courses with a C or better’.
So, if legislators, policymakers, and educators truly want to improve the chances for success for underrepresented minority children, then they should avoid divisive identity politics and get to the hard work of offering better education alternatives for all children in California.” (California Globe.com, 8/4, 8/28, 2020)