In the 1960s Martin Luther King dreamed of a color blind society in which people would be judged by the content of their character not the color of their skin.
But today liberals are fixated on race and devoted to a racial spoils system even when it is rejected by voters and courts.
Consider how Democrats in the California Assembly are moving full speed ahead with their feverish attempt to circumvent Proposition 209, the 1996 ballot initiative that amended the state constitution to ban racial preferences by state agencies and and universities. Proposition 209 was reaffirmed by voters in 2020 when they rejected a ballot initiative to overturn it.
But now the Assembly Appropriations Committee voted 12-4 last week to approve Assembly Constitutional Amendment 7 which, if approved by voters, would amend the California constitution to allow for discriminatory programs if they are validated by academic research.
In other words discrimination is permissible if an academic somewhere says it is doing good.
ACA 7 says that the “State may use state moneys to fund research-based, or research-informed, and culturally specific programs in any industry, including, but not limited to, public employment, public education, and public contracting, if those programs are established or otherwise implemented by the State for purposes of increasing the life expectancy of, improving educational outcomes for, or lifting out of poverty specific groups based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, or marginalized genders, sexes, or sexual orientations.”
The discriminatory programs would have to be approved by the governor.
All of this directly contradictions Proposition 209, which is now part of the state constitution and says that the “State shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.”
ACA 7 was already approved by the Assembly Judiciary Committee this June. Of the latest vote Wenyuan Wu, executive director of the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, which opposes ACA 7, told the California Globe, “I can’t say I am too surprised that ACA 7 got out of the suspense file at the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Friday, given the hyper-partisanship in Sacramento.”
What happens next?
“We expect to see ACA-7 passing through the Senate Human Services Committee, Judiciary Committee and Appropriations Committee before a floor vote,” she emailed. “The supermajority threshold for constitutional amendments is at the ratio of two-thirds, which means ACA 7 needs at least 54 votes from the assembly and 27 votes from the senate to get out of the legislature.”
Wu added that if approved by the legislature ACA 7 could be placed on the ballot as early as March 2024 when California holds its presidential primary but it would more likely be set for the day of the presidential election next November.
Californians for Equal Rights president Frank Xu said in a statement about the Appropriations Committee vote that “California Assembly Democrats have lost their credibility by approving ACA-7, in spite of warnings of legal troubles from their own legislative staffers” that ACA 7 could run afoul of the Supreme Court ruling this June that banned affirmative action in higher education.
“Knowing that a similar repeal (Proposition 16) was overwhelmingly shot down by California voters in 2020 and that another campaign would cost California taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, they voted for it anyways,” Xu said. “Their partisan support of racial discrimination is devoid of merit and reason.”
Dan Morenoff, executive director of the American Civil Rights Project, which has worked with the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation to oppose ACA 7, told the California Globe that voters will not be fooled by the chicanery of the Legislature and they will resoundingly reject ACA 7 at the ballot box.
“California’s electorate approved Article 31 of the state constitution through Prop 209 in 1996,” he emailed. “ 24 years later in 2020, the Legislature asked voters through Prop 16 to repeal it. 2020 California’s electorate was far more diverse and had a far larger Democratic partisan majority than the state was or did in 1996 — nonetheless, even while delivering landslide partisan victories in the same election, Californians rejected the repeal in 2020 by a larger majority than they had adopted Prop 209 in 2016. They knew what they were doing. They won’t be fooled by the pretenses of ACA 7 — they will understand that the Legislature is again trying (this time, by misdirection) to gut the state’s prohibitions on public discrimination and to authorize public entities to treat people differently because of their demography. If the legislature insists on asking voters — again — whether they want to allow public discrimination, Californians will again say “no,” louder and clearer than they said it in either 1996 or 2020.”
In a written response to questions from the California Globe, Asseemblymember Corey Jackson (D-60), who introduced ACA 7 this February, said he was “thrilled” that it was approved by the Appropriations Committee. He also offered a lengthy defense of the legislation, denying that he was trying to gut Proposition 209 or promote discrimination.
“This bill represents a significant step towards addressing long-standing inequities and promoting social justice,” Jackson said. “ It shows a commitment to using targeted, evidence based programs to uplift marginalized communities while still upholding the principles of non-discrimination.”
Jackson insisted that the 2020 vote reaffirming Proposition 209 does not mean voters would reject ACA 7 if it is placed on the ballot.
“If ACA 7 is placed on the ballot for voters, I believe it presents an opportunity to have an important conversation about equity and the need for culturally specific interventions. While voters rejected the initiative to repeal Proposition 209 in 2020, this bill offers a different approach. It’s essential to effectively communicate its goals and benefits to voters, emphasizing the positive impact it can have on our communities. We have programs that have data and research demonstrating their effectiveness in improving educational outcomes, combating poverty, and improving life expectancy, and we need to be able to implement and fund those programs.”
“ACA 7 is not a repeal of Proposition 209; it’s a new approach to address disparities with proven programs,” he contended. “ We need to engage in constructive dialogue, provide clear information, and build support for the ACA 7 based on its potential to create a more equitable California.”
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