University of California regents vote strongly in support of affirmative action

The UC regents make a strong statement to reverse a landmark 1996 ruling.

In a “special meeting”, the University of California regents unanimously voted in favor of a measure that would reverse 1996’s California Civil Rights Initiative and reinstitute affirmative action.

The move to undo the California Civil Rights Initiative, or Prop 209, which California voters passed in 1996 with 54.5% of the vote, comes on the heels of weeks of protest and, in some cases, riots that have engulfed American cities. The unrest was triggered by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died at the hands of a white Minneapolis officer who knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Now, the state legislature is moving on a bill that would allow special preferences for race, ethnicity and sex when it comes to state employment and, by extension, admission to California’s prestigious university system.

The passage of Prop 209 is linked to “a decline in minority representation on [University of California] campuses” and the regents have made this decision to correct the “original sin of this country” per regent Eloy Ortiz Oakley and help push the UC system to more closely “represent the rich diversity of our state” per UC President Janet Napolitano.

Photo courtesy of my camera. Not a photographer. FREMULON.

According to these two articles, this decision was supported by Napolitano, “most of the various faculty and student bodies” on the UC campuses, “all 10 campus chancellors and the governing bodies for faculty, undergraduate and graduate students”.

Here’s a quantitative breakdown of California residents vs. the breakdown of the UC campuses:

At present, show (sic) Asian-American still comprise some 33% of the system’s undergraduate and graduate students, while accounting for 15% of state residents. White make up 21% of UC students and 37% of the population, while Latinos appear the most underrepresented as they comprise 22% of UC students but 39% of state residents, the largest single groups.

African-Americans make up 6% of California’s residents but only 4% of the UC student population, according to state and census figures.

The next step for the repeal is to face the state senate; if it passes there, then it will be on the ballot for voters on November 3.

Everyone is entitled to have—and express—an opinion on what is a divisive subject. Please be respectful of one another and don’t be dicks.