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California voters weigh in to restore affirmative action



After more than two decades of affirmative action in California, voters will decide whether to resume this practice by voting. Proponents say this will give people more education and job opportunities, but critics warn that it will reintroduce discrimination.

If passed, Proposal 16 would repeal a 1996 measure that prohibits consideration of race and gender in the public sector, including admission to one of the country’s largest university systems.

. Supporters of Proposition 16 include who is the California heavyweight: Senator Kamala Harris, Governor Newsom, the Regent University of California, several major newspapers and dozens of national and local elected leaders.

Proponents believe that California’s public sector should reflect its diverse population, and that affirmative action can help admissions teams and hiring managers measure the overall image of candidates, including how race and gender affect their experiences and opportunities.

An official from the Los Angeles Police Department videotaped a rally to protest the decision of the political parties at the University of California to abolish the affirmative action policy in Los Angeles on October 1
2, 1995.
Chris Pizzello/AP file

“We need to correct our mistakes,” said Monica Lazo, a statewide political organizer who is helping lead the “Proposal 16” campaign. “We need to bring California back to the right side of history-by 2020.”

But opponents liken votes to band-aids. They say that this will not eradicate the larger problem of systemic racism, but will eliminate recruitment and admissions by recruiting surplus groups, and promote candidates with insufficient qualifications to positions they are not prepared to solve, thereby creating More inequality.

Bethany Huang, a first-year student at the University of California, Irvine, said: “Logically, if one population increases, then the other population must decrease.” “The struggle that feels like Asian Americans is often overlooked. This will only intensify. this problem.”

Both positions are deeply rooted in the larger issue of racial discrimination facing the United States, which has caused social unrest and called for the removal of systemic racism.

Proposal No. 209 seeks to repeal Proposal No. 209, which was passed in 1996 under the leadership of Republican Governor Pete Wilson. This was part of a larger anti-immigration wave that surpassed California at the time, and it included a vote-approved law that would deny the provision of health care, education to people living in the United States without authorization. And other services. The law was eventually overturned in federal court.

When Proposal 209 was first passed, Wilson, who recently supported the re-election of President Donald Trump, stated that the measure “is designed to eliminate terrible injustices, which provides opportunities not only for some Californians, but also for all Californians. Opportunity”, Los Angeles Times reported in 1996.

More than 20 years later, a new generation of voters and elected leaders stated that the abolition of the measure will correct the many years of missed opportunities for those who cannot obtain education and vocational training.

The students protested outside the 1995 University of California board meeting, demanding affirmative action.David Butow/Corbis via Getty Images

Nicole Anyanwu, a senior in molecular environmental biology at the University of California, Berkeley, said she immediately noticed that she was one of the few black students on campus.

She said: “This definitely affected my experience of studying at the university.” “I know Berkeley is widely known in academia, but what I don’t know is its lack of diversity, especially in STEM.”

In California, blacks make up 7% of the population, but only 3% of the students at the University of California, Berkeley. In the entire UC system, 4% of all students enrolled in 2019 are black.

For Latino students, the gap is even greater. Last year, Latinos accounted for 22% of students participating in the UC system, but 40% of the state’s total population. At the same time, there are too many Asian students in UC’s 10 campuses. They account for 30% of the student population and 16% of the California population.

Huang Guangis, a political science major, is running for a place on the Irvine Board of Education. He is worried that if Proposal 16 is passed, Asian students like himself will face discrimination.

She said: “I don’t think this is a big consequence.” “For Asian students, reducing their number in the UC system is unfair. They are also people of color.”

Since the coronavirus pandemic has spread globally, Huang said that she and other Asian friends in Southern California have been subject to racist comments and sidelines. She accused the White House of remarks and said she did not have the same kind of support and sympathy for those who support the racial justice movement.

Instead, Mr. Huang worries that he will be more insulted for being a high-achieving student.

She said: “A lot of people will use Asian Americans to further distinguish people of color.” “We are often isolated from people of color because we are considered more successful or older. This is not true. There are many Asian Americans. Struggling.”

The issue of racial prejudice is at the core of recent lawsuits suing Harvard and Yale University for deliberate discrimination against Asian students applying to Ivy League schools. Both lawsuits were supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, and both schools refused to discriminate against any group in the admissions process.

Vivrd Prasanna, a first-year student at the University of California, Berkeley, plans to vote on Proposal 16. He said the unexpected results of Proposal 16 may further exacerbate racial stereotypes. He said that there is an assumption that people of color are low-income and all whites are rich.

He said: “We knew that was wrong.”

But for those who remember the passage of Proposal No. 209 in 1996, the racial color of rejecting affirmative action cannot be ignored.

National Assembly member Miguel Santiago, representing part of the Democratic Party in East Los Angeles, was measured while still in college. In his inspiration, he finally sought the election office to try to unlock the political awakening of some of the most controversial policies of the country. The critical moment of creation.

He said that twenty years later, “we are still fighting.” “You have to give us some educational opportunities. You just need.”

Santiago grew up in the blue-collar Latino community he now represents. His parents were expelled several times, and graduating from high school was a struggle for this young student who had to work while attending classes. His grades were not the best, and SAT scores were not the highest, but he eventually attended the University of California, Los Angeles and graduated with honors.

He said: “We know today that many young people are in very similar situations.” “They are working hard, they are very smart, they just have no chance.”


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