Yet, a vocal minority of Asian Americans — predominantly Chinese Americans situated in Southern California — managed to get SCA5 tabled through an online petition and thousands of phone calls placed to Asian American elected officials. And, while the political clout it takes to kill a bill and send California Dems scampering back to their war rooms is impressive, the anti-SCA5 rhetoric has been based on some pretty shocking untruths and misinformation, much of it originating out of conservative PACs and ethnic news.
The most misinformed, ahistorical, and flat-out bizarre rhetoric arrives in the form of anti-SCA5 opponents who in the last two weeks compared the bill to bunch of stuff SCA5 are not like. You think you are ready, but you have no idea.
After the jump, here are the top 5 things SCA5 are not like.
Although considering SCA5 did nothing but strike two words — “public education” — from the state constitution, I’m not entirely sure what those amendments might be.
More substantively, Hernandez has vowed to start a state-wide task force to address the issue of affirmative action in higher education, and to combat the profound untruths and misinformation that has characterized the debate over SCA5 in the last few weeks.
Hernandez said he wants to get more positive information out to the public and to dispel what he calls misinformation about SCA 5. To do that, he said he will create a commission of elected officials; experts in constitutional law; community leaders from different ethnic groups; students; parents; and representatives from the UCs, CSUs and community colleges.
The point, he said, is to address concerns opponents have, which might mean amending or even rewriting the proposal.
This turn of events is a positive one, and should provide California voters the tools they need to have the complex, nuanced, and fact-based conversation that the issue of affirmative action deserves. Further, it will permit a conversation that reflects all positions on the topic — particularly, the diverse positions that can be found even within the Asian American community alone.
If you’ve been following my blog over the past week, you’ve seen my writing on SCA5, Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 being advanced in California to attempt to repeal Proposition 209, which passed in the mid 90’s and took effect in 1998 on the UC admissions process.
There continues to be a lot of numbers flying around, and a lot of is being interpreted really bizarrely. The most significant problem with the numbers being quoted back and forth is that most are citing on-campus student demographics as either whole numbers or as fractions of state population. These numbers either completely ignore changes in overall population size (and thus applicant pool size), or are using Census data as proxies for that number.
Yet, the most appropriate numbers to use isn’t enrollment data, or state-wide population numbers: it is admission and application data from the UC school system. Enrollment data is complicated by the additional factor of student choice — which can be influenced by things like scholarship availablity, geographic locale, and major offerings — so it’s largely irrelevant to the debate of affirmative action in college admissions. State-wide population numbers fail to fully address the fact that in regards to college admissions, changes in population size are only relevant insofar as they produce an increase in applicant number.
So, again, to set the record straight, here is the impact of Proposition 209 on UC admissions and campus diversity. All numbers were crunched from this report, which was released by the UC office of the president (UCOP).
I love you more then you’ve ever really understood. When people ask me who I am, I proudly say I am Chinese American. And, while I may not be that great at being Chinese American — I don’t speak Mandarin very well, my Cantonese is worse, and yes technically I am Chinese Canadian — you’ll tease me for it, but you’ve never truly held it against me.
My whole life, I’ve associated you with honour; with respect; with dignity; with discipline; with intelligence; and above all, with love: love for one’s parents, one’s children, one’s elders, one’s friends, one’s community.
And that’s why I’m so disappointed right now. That’s why I just don’t understand why you’re saying the stuff you’re saying.
This post is an ongoing list of Asian American/Pacific Islander groups that have issued statements in support of affirmative action and SCA5, as well as an ongoing list of blog posts and op-eds that support this measure. Since the pro-SCA5 efforts have just started mobilizing, this post will continue to be updated with more information.
If your group has come out in favour of affirmative action in general, and/or SCA5 in particular, please leave a comment or tweet me (@Reappropriate) to add your group to this list.