California Liberals Trying Again to Restore, Legalize Discrimination

California Democrats’ incorrigible obsession with racial preferences is the definition of insanity: They keep trying and failing to legalize racial preferences, and yet, they expect a different outcome each time.

When will they learn from their failures?

Not any time soon.

Their futile cycle has restarted with another effort to legalize racial preferences. The California state Assembly passed a proposed constitutional amendment, ACA 7, that would effectively nullify a provision of the California Constitution that prohibits the state from “discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.”

That anti-discrimination provision, known as Proposition 209, affirms the constitutional right to equal protection under the law for all individuals, regardless of race.

Left-wing politicians and activist groups have assailed it relentlessly and continuously since its adoption in 1996. They want to reinstate racial preferences within California’s institutions, but they have failed every time.

Before ACA 7, California legislators had attempted to overturn the anti-discrimination provision in a measure known as Proposition 16, which was decisively rejected by California voters in the November 2020 general election. A comfortable majority of voters voted “No” on the measure, despite the “Yes” proponents outspending the opposition by more than 19 to 1.

Although California voters emphatically rejected racial preferences in education and hiring, the supporters of racial preferences still have not taken “No” for an answer.

This time, they’re hoping to trick the people into changing their minds. Whereas Prop 16 was open and honest about abolishing racial neutrality, ACA 7 is much more deceptive. Rather than repeal race neutrality, ACA 7 creates “exceptions” that look modest, but which would effectively nullify the rule.

Assemblyman Corey Jackson introduced the bill to create a procedure for agencies to appeal to the governor for “exceptions” to Prop 209. The amendment would give the governor power to approve exceptions if a state-funded, “research-informed” program that uses racial preferences “increases the life expectancy of, improves educational outcomes for, or lifts out of poverty specific groups based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, or sexual orientation.”

In other words, this bill is just an attempt to restore racial discrimination under the guise of science.

Find some ideologically driven, low-quality research that appears to support a program that allegedly “increases the life expectancy” or “educational outcomes” of any minority group, and voila, racial discrimination is lawful again.

Jackson insists that Prop 209 is an “unjust law” and a “barrier.” Yes, it’s unjust, he says, not to discriminate on the basis of race. He’s wrong about that, but he’s right about Prop 209 being a barrier. Prop 209 bars the state government from racially discriminating against the state’s residents.

It guarantees one of the fundamental tenets of justice; namely, that all are equal before the law.

Jackson is happy to sacrifice equal justice to “rectify the enduring disparities that have afflicted California for far too long.” But even assuming that racial discrimination would rectify disparities and would do so without causing even worse problems (both faulty assumptions), that doesn’t change the fact that racial discrimination is unjust and immoral.

Most Californians know this. So, thankfully, there’s still hope in the fight against racial preferences.

The resounding defeat of Prop 16 in 2020 pointed to the reality that California voters, despite their infamously deep-blue political leanings, are not in favor of considering race in education or hiring decisions.

According to Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies’ post-2020 election survey of Californians, although 56% of African American voters supported Proposition 16, only 30 percent of Latinos and just 35 percent of Asians did.

If ACA 7 passes the California state Senate, it will appear on the November ballot. If past is prologue, California voters will demonstrate—as if twice wasn’t enough—that racial discrimination is not tolerated in California, no “exceptions.”

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