Affirmative Action laws in California were on their way back, thanks to the Democrats. The Republicans killed the law sixteen years ago, thanks to Republicans, White and Black (via Ward Connor). A rebirth was on the way, as I understand it, with a bill/constitutional amendment put forth by Mexican American State Senator, Ed Hernandez. The opposition this time seems to be Asian American legislators, apparently afraid of losing their advantage in California’s Community Colleges and State Universities. They currently make up nearly 40 percent of the student population. Blacks make up only 3.7 percent, down from approximately 16 percent sixteen years ago.
The Latino student population moved from 13 percent to 20 percent. White student population went from 38 percent to 28 percent, according to one set of figures. The obvious winners are the Asian population, if they can defeat a proposition to reinstate Affirmative Action. Blacks can only go up from the lowly 3.7 percent, even though some statistics say the Black population is already below 3 percent.
Locally, Senators Ted Lieu, Carol Liu and Leland Yee have changed their position on the proposed constitutional proposition. They voted in the negative when it was first presented, but Asian community activists are working the system saying that merit should be the only measuring stick. It is noted that Black students at some local colleges are already complaining that there are no seats left in necessary classes because the Asian students have all the seats.
I have heard nothing from Black legislators at this point but I believe that it is critical to speak up now before it is too late.
It seems to me that the logical and least problematic solution to the looming problem is to add more money to the Educational budget to create more seats in the states’ 23 colleges and 10 universities. More seats mean more opportunity for more students, and the whole state benefits. California needs to be concerned that the best and the brightest minds are allowed to learn and provide growth benefits to the overall state for everyone.
I have no bone to pick with Asians wanting their students to grow and benefit from their citizenship. They need to benefit from their early concentration on learning as indicated in the book by Amy Chu about the so-called, “Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother.”
African Americans are the victims of long-time interrupted cultural experience, interrupted language identification, and the victim of long-time enemies like slavery, Jim Crow, and discrimination. If you think we need to forget these experiences, and they have no effect on us, I invite you to drop all relation to your historical connections to the past and join the race we run. Your race is not like our race but given the chance to compete, watch out. I might not have passed the bar exam at the same time as some others, but I will compete against anyone, given the opportunity. We caught up from Shirley Chisholm to Barack Obama, and there is more to come, so don’t close the door.
Black folks, get ready for another fight for our rights.