Just Contributed to Preserve California Ban on Race, Sex, and National Origin Preferences

in government education, employment, and contracting.

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I helped draft Prop. 209, the 1996 ballot measure generally providing that "The State shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting." The California legislature (and other parts of the California establishment) have put a measure on the ballot, Prop. 16, to repeal Prop. 209; you can see the Arguments and Rebuttals here. (Our own Gail Heriot co-signed one of the arguments, and is Co-Chair of No on Prop. 16.)

I regret that I put off contributing to the ballot measure, but I just remedied that this morning, and I encourage you do the same, if you share my opposition to race-based public university admissions, government hiring, and the like—whether or not you're in California.

To my pleasant surprise, it appears that the No on Prop. 16 side might well prevail (even though the Yes side has raised $22.7 million to the No side's $1.25 million): A UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll, the most recent one in the race, reports that registered voters split 49% No to 38% Yes, up from 41%-33% a month ago.

Indeed, there's broad support among many members of various racial and ethnic groups: Asians are on the No side 50%-39%, non-Hispanic whites 53%-35%, Latinos are essentially tied (42%-40% on the No side, but within the margin of error), and 33% of blacks take the No side, too (33%-58%).

And while of course this is a subject on which conservatives and liberals tend to differ, even many liberals take the No position (28% of the "somewhat liberal," though only 12% of the "very liberal"). And moderates take the No view by a 54%-31% margin. Still, the race is close and uncertain enough that I thought it important to contribute to help the No side.

I don't say much here about my reasons for supporting this position (which, at the most general level, are largely similar to those in the ballot statement that Gail co-signed), because I imagine most of you have heard the arguments on both sides of such questions and have made up your minds about it.

But I think that if race preferences can be defeated in 2020 in now-deep-Blue California, I think that will send the right message more broadly: that further classifying people by race, and setting up different standards (admissions and otherwise) for different racial groups is not the solution to America's or California's problems. That's why supporting the No side here struck me as especially important.

NEXT: Motion to Recuse Justice Barrett Filed, But County Wants It Withdrawn

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  1. You do realize that according to How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, your action is the very definition of racist.

    1. I’m betting if you swapped all references to white & back in that book, it would be clearly viewed as racist.

      1. From what I can tell, that’s what being an antiracist is all about.

    2. Anti-racism is in fact a form of racism.

      1. “Anti-racism” is just white people wearing blackface.

      2. Perhaps “anti-racism” is to racism what “antifa” is to fascism?

        1. On the nose, Prof V.

        2. This is the saltiest I’ve seen Prof. V. in a while.

        3. There is no “anti-racism”, racism is its own anti-particle. You’re either ignoring race, or racist.

          1. Um, no. Recognizing the reality that racism exists and trying to fix it is not racism.

            1. So, in order to “fix” racism, you categorize people according to race and deliberately treat people of different races differently? Assuming people of certain races need to stick with people of their own race?

              Hmm…

              Sounds like trying to fix violence by punching everyone you think is being violent in the face…

              1. If that actually were what I’m advocating you might have a point. But be honest: all this talk that those trying to fix racism are the real racists is nothing more than people who benefit from the status quo not wanting to change it.

                1. Perhaps you should be more eloquent on what you advocate. One might assume you oppose Prop 209 based on your stances. I could be wrong, but perhaps you could inform us further.

                  Personally, I think Prop 209 is entirely appropriate and accurate if one really wants to eliminate racism.

                  1. The only position I had taken is that recognizing that racism exists and trying to fix it is not racism. From that, you somehow managed to extrapolate that I support categorizing people according to race, treating people of different races differently, and that people of the same race need to stick with their own race. While you’re at it, perhaps you could also announce my position on the death penalty, capital gains taxes, free trade, and other issues on which I haven’t taken a position (at least not here).

                    I don’t believe race exists except as a social construct, and therefore the idea that I support categorizing people by race, treating different races differently, and that people should stick with their own race is absurd. I could equally as well claim that you’re a socialist who supports repealing the Second Amendment.

                    Unfortunately, however, there are people who do think that race is a real thing, and who treat people they perceive as being different from them because of the amount of melanin in their skin, and their ignorance and stupidity requires addressing. First, because of the damage it has done in the past, and second, because of the damage it is still causing.

                    In general, I am opposed to affirmative action and reparations for reasons that would require writing an essay rather than a blog comment. However, I also oppose Prop 209 — the one thing you got right — because I think it goes too far in restricting the ability to fix the effects of racism. I don’t support the meat cleaver approach of affirmative action and reparations, but I do think there are occasions when surgical precision can fix specific problems, and Prop 209 would prevent those surgical incisions as well. For example, if a specific municipality has a documented and proven practice of discriminating, it might not be completely outrageous to set goals and quotas for that specific municipality to remedy the racism of the people it put in charge of hiring. Which is not the same thing as goals and quotas for everybody.

                    And those who would claim that it’s racism to recognize such realities and attempt to fix them case by case are, in my experience, mostly people who benefit from the status quo.

                    1. “The only position I had taken is that recognizing that racism exists and trying to fix it is not racism.”

                      This doesn’t make any sense. An attempt to “fix” racism may or may not be racist. A racist policy isn’t magically non-racist just because it’s intent is to fix racism.

                    2. 12”pianist, the issue is of the same category as the following questions:

                      Is the death penalty hypocritical since it kills people to show that killing people is wrong?

                      Is it hypocritical to spank a boy who hits his little sister because the parent is hitting someone smaller to teach him that he shouldn’t hit someone smaller than he is?

                      Is it hypocritical for the police to use violence to arrest someone committing a violent act?

                      Is it hypocritical to do something that negatively impacts a white person because of the color of his skin because you’re trying to remedy past injustices based on the color of someone’s skin?

                      The same principle runs through all four questions.

                    3. “12”pianist, the issue is of the same category as the following questions:
                      Is the death penalty hypocritical since it kills people to show that killing people is wrong?” etc.

                      Nope. You’re suggesting discriminating against some white people because other white people were discriminated in favor of.

                      So a better analogy is, “is it murder to execute a white person because a black person was murdered.” And the answer is unquestionably yes.

                    4. No, not because another white person was discriminated in favor of, but rather because a black person was discriminated against. The goal is not to drag white people down, but to lift black people up. And while that may seem a fine line, it’s simply the reality that anything you do has collateral effects, including doing nothing. So the question is which collateral effects are preferable: Not remedying discrimination, or causing injury to occasional individuals who unfortunately were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

                      Keeping in mind that life is inherently unfair, as a judge reminded me just this afternoon, so whatever you do is going to be unfair to somebody.

                    5. Krycheck_2, the thing that’s conspicuous is that in all your examples, you have somebody who’s actually guilty as the fall guy, while in AA, you settle for somebody who looks like the guilty party.

                    6. Brett, no illustration is 100 percent on all fours, but the point of my exampled is not who is the fall guy. The point is that you can’t just categorize “oh that’s violence” or “oh that’s racism.” Context matters.

                    7. “For example, if a specific municipality has a documented and proven practice of discriminating, it might not be completely outrageous to set goals and quotas for that specific municipality to remedy the racism of the people it put in charge of hiring.”

                      Here’s the thing: The municipality may have a proven record of discrimination, but the people applying for the job don’t.

                      You don’t cure, “You discriminated against group A!” by ordering the offender to discriminate against group B instead.

                      And goals and quotas are going to involve discrimination, it’s by far the easiest way to achieve them, and will often be the ONLY way to achieve them if there are disparities in the pool from which you’re hiring.

                    8. Well, Brett, as I already said, doing anything at all — including doing nothing — will have collateral consequences, so the question is which set of collateral consequences are you most concerned about. There is no such thing as a solution that isn’t going to be unfair to someone. That’s life.

                      I can give you my list of reasons why, on those facts, it’s less unfair to remedy discrimination than it is not to, but the bottom line is you’ve decided white guys are more important.

                    9. One of the effects of the holocaust is that the percentage of Jews in Europe today is significantly lower that it was in 1939. And this is non-trivial, it results even today in reduced political power for Jewish people and makes Europe a less favorable climate for Jews.

                      By your reasoning, a policy designed to “fix” that would involve moral questions similar to those surrounding the death penalty. But the reason that this is obviously wrong is that the “evil” was the murder of 6 million Jews. Remedying the effects of this murder would not “fix” the holocaust.

                      “Remedying” the effects of past harm done to people in this country by inflicting the same harms on other people makes no more sense.

                    10. TwelveInchPianist, if I thought about it long enough, I could probably come up with some ways to partially remedy the holocaust — nothing is going to completely remedy genocide on a massive scale — but none of them is going to involve mass murder. No sane person is going to say: You killed 6 million of ours so we get to kill 6 million of yours. So in terms of practical remedies, it’s not really comparable to things like affirmative action or reparations.

                      So, my analogy holds in the sense that there may be appropriate partial remedies for the holocaust (but I haven’t really thought it through and would like to do so before I commit myself). Obviously if such remedies do exist, they would be very different from the remedies for employment discrimination.

                2. I cannot refute your arguments, so I can only assume that you’re a racist who’s currently enjoying his privilege

        4. “Anti-racism” is to racism what “antifa” is to fascism

          Brilliant!

      3. And I guess justifiable homicide is a kind of homicide…

        1. Indeed it is, just as its name suggests.

  2. There was a time when I would have been surprised that the ACLU was advocating for a law that is explicitly designed to allow the government to discriminate on the basis of race and sex.

    1. If you don’t hold up whatever they do as morally right and good, you are, by Merriam-Webster’s definition, a White Supremacist ™

      1. Or at least privileged.

  3. Being a tenured professor makes it really hard to blacklist you from employment. Must be nice.

    1. Well, it makes it hard to get me fired from my current employment. But note that I publicly supported (and, as I noted, helped draft) Prop. 209 in 1996, when I was not yet tenured.

      1. Totalitarianism has progressed in the last 24 years. Back then they would have agreed that blacklisting is wrong. Now it’s just another tool in the left’s toolbox.

        1. Back then they would have expected to be the ones blacklisted. That’s the only thing that changed.

          1. They are also desperate to fight against a host of bogeymen now. And they’ve more-or-less completely given up on any motive besides hatred and panic.

            Liberals used to talk about helping people. Now they talk about how much they hate Trump and American voters and how the world will end in 10 different ways because people who are not like them exist and can still act and speak freely.

          2. Which is exactly why they went from supporting RFRA to opposing it. Because when they supported it, it was likely to be used by minority religious groups. Once they realized it was going to be used by Christians, they began to hate it.

        2. Colin Kaepernick, Jemele Hill, that guy who harangued the Chik-fil-a employee about SSM, etc., say hello.

          It’s not just the left that calls for people’s firings because of their speech.

          1. If Kap were very talented, teams would have signed him and just shrugged about his antics. His ability was barely adequate for the NFL on a good day. And then he decided there wouldn’t be any good days.

            Congrats on using the everybody does it defense though.

            1. This. The NFL was willing to hire dog-fighter Michael Vick, because he still has talent, even after sitting on the (figurative) bench when he was in the joint. So I don’t think they were clutching their pearls at Kaepernick’s stunt.

            2. barely adequate? Citation please. I’ll wait.

      2. 1996 was another country …

    2. For now, anyway. It’s not like the tenure system is impervious to structural change — it just has a lot more inertia than the private sector.

      1. Historically, the educated, and educators, are among the first up against the wall when the socialists take over.
        (Or, if it’s cheaper, put in a camp with no food)

      2. Haven’t we seen even tenured faculty get cancelled over the new racism?

        1. Yes, through the magic of Congress threatening to pull money for some Title violation.

          Congress isn’t supposed to be able to construct powers, especially ones it is explicitely denied, like censorship, out of other powers, like the power to tax buttloads of money then return it dangling with the requirement to censor.

          But you know. Censorship isn’t wrong depending on who does it, as long as it is the right people.

  4. One of the more interesting bits here is the massive discrepancy in funding and donations. And it’s paralleled, not only in this ballot referendum, but in many other “liberal causes”.

    There does seem to be a lot of “big money” in these social causes. Why?

    1. Because ballot initiatives are a way for “the people” to get stuff done without access to the evil big money of politics as usual?

      1. That doesn’t directly follow on this particular ballot initiative though. The Ballot initiative led by the Yes people has far, far more funding, than the no side. And importantly, the ballot initiative here was put on the ballot by the legislature (IE, big money politics), not “the people”.

  5. Kudos Eugene … it’s ridiculous that we’re reverting back to the 50s racism after so much progress.

  6. It is astounding and shocking, that racism (and sexism) has blatantly and pervasively taken root in the Democrat party, almost all newspapers, TV, Cable news and almost all major corporations.

    And yet they are allowed to disguise and make their racism benign with euphemisms (eg. preferences, affirmative action).

    Prop 209 deserves to win and one hopes it will. But it is also important to call out all the shameless racists who pervade our society and that includes the Democratic party and ALL the major news media.

    1. It never had its roots torn up in the first place. The Democratic party didn’t cease being racist, it just swapped client races.

      What’s happening isn’t a growth of racism, it’s a lowering of the mask now that they think they’re dominant enough that they don’t have to pretend anymore.

      1. It didn’t even do that. A lot of the Democratic elite still were quite racist. They just understood they needed the African American vote, so had a quiet deal with some of the leaders with the African Americans. But the Democratic elite still thought of “them” as not really quite equals. “They” needed help. Because the elite themselves were still pretty racist.

        You know, for example: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” Biden said

        1. Adopting a new client race doesn’t mean liking it, or respecting it. Just means pandering to it.

          1. And if the actions you take look good on the surface, but have the long term effect of racial suppression…. Well…

    2. I’m not a fan of racial preferences but what’s astounding and shocking is that so many conservatives can’t see that there might be a difference between affirmative action programs and the kind of racism and discrimination we had for most of our history. The motives are different, the discriminated against are not similarly situated, the pervasiveness if different, etc.,. I mean, do you think shooting someone in self defense and shooting someone because they honked their horn at you are the same thing because, hey, they’re both shootings?

      1. We can’t see it, because there isn’t actually any relevant difference.

        “I mean, do you think shooting someone in self defense and shooting someone because they honked their horn at you are the same thing because, hey, they’re both shootings?”

        Here we have the exact problem on display.

        When did any affirmative action program anywhere actually bother to make sure that the people on the losing end of the racial discrimination were personally guilty of anything? They never do that, and seldom even lift a finger to try to find out if the beneficiary was ever discriminated against.

        Instead, victim and victimizer status are assigned, on the basis of race, without reference to personal history. You literally get the children of Japanese internment victims denied entry to a school to make room for recent immigrants who happen to have the right skin color! People whose parents WERE discriminated against being disadvantaged to help people who never were, because of race.

        So it’s not somebody shooting their attacker in self defense. It’s somebody who wasn’t attacked, shooting somebody who didn’t attack, on the basis that the shooter looks like somebody who once got attacked, and the guy being shot looks like somebody who was guilty of the attack!

        The reasoning behind these programs is fundamentally racist in nature: You don’t have to treat people according to their actual deeds and history, you can treat them according to their skin color, because they’re just representatives of a race, not individuals in their own right.

      2. There is NO difference. Affirmative action, preferences, etc are all just racism by another name. And its advocates, supporters are all blatantly shameless RACISTS – in logic and in practice.

        If you can’t make a decision about a person without looking at their race, then you ARE a racist. This includes Democrats, all the alphabet TV/Cable channels, newspapers and all major corporations.

        Shame on them.

  7. THE VOLOKH CONSPIRACY

    This White, male, movement
    conservative blog has operated for

    110 DAYS

    without using a vile racial slur
    and also has operated for

    551 DAYS

    without engaging in partisan,
    viewpoint-driven censorship.

    1. RLK has now gone zero days without trolling.

    2. Rev, are you yourself a white male? I suspect you are.

      So, based on what experience do you get the idea that white males are bad?

    3. Projection is one of your strengths, Kirkland. It’s how one can be fairly certain that you are white, male, have a useless degree, and have no viable life skills. Further, you are neither liberal nor libertarian, nor superior to any other human.

      1. I have not censored anyone. This White, male, conservative blog has. I have not engaged in enthusiastic, repetitive use of vile racial slurs. This White, male, conservative blog has.

        May the better ideas win.

        1. “I have not censored anyone.”
          A trivial comment since you have no such ability. So you routinely resort to ad hominem attacks based on your complete ignorance of the person whom you are trying to insult.
          Typical behavior for yellow dogs, which which you have proclaimed yourself a member many times.

          1. How does documenting the intervals since (1) viewpoint-driven censorship and (2) most recent use of a vile racial slur constitute an ad hominem attack?

            Your comment seems intensely stupid, Don Nico. Surely you could find a better way to try to defend your hypocritical hero.

            1. Stupid, speak for yourself. You have NO ability to censor anyone here.
              You routinely insult people you do not know and whose viewpoints you do not know.
              You set up imaginary strawmen and whine about them.
              If you see me defending anyone in my comment, you are blind. I am merely tagging you for what you are. A troll through and through.

    4. I wonder what church he is the Rev of. I’m think The Church of the Holy Trollers.

      1. Congregation Of Exalted Reason.

        When you have outgrown childish superstition, choose reason.

        1. Divinity degree from where, and ordained when, where and by whom, please?

          1. Congregation Of Exalted Reason.

            No superstition involved, if that’s what you’re looking for.

            1. In other words Herb. He is a liar and a fraud with the “Rev.”
              Otherwise, he provide us bona fide evidence that the title is earned.

        2. “Congregation Of Exalted Reason.”

          He says he a lawyer. Lawyers are basically the “Congregation Of Exalted Reason”‘s hooker-banging televangelists.

    5. “110 DAYS without using a vile racial slur…”

      It’s funny what sets people off. Kirkland has no problem condemning mixed marriage, mocking religious views that he disagrees with, claiming that suicide victims “took the coward’s way out”, or making other bigoted comments, but let someone quote “nigger” in a court decision and he calls for his feinting couch.

      1. *fainting.

  8. Which makes you a racist. A sexist. A homophobe. An (gasp) originalist…

    1. An originalist? One thing we know is the same Congress that submitted the 14th Amendment for ratification also passed laws to specifically provide aid to black persons (and on several occasions they referred specifically to black [colored] persons, not slaves or freedmen).

      1. Another thing we know is that those black persons actually were, personally, victims of, if not slavery, at least massive denial of rights. Not just distantly related or cosmetically similar to such long dead victims.

  9. If diversity education is bad… And affirmative action is bad… And “racial preferences” are bad…

    What would be an appropriate way of addressing measurable racial disparities in hiring and education? For the sake of this question, let’s stipulate such disparities actually exist.

    1. For the sake of this question, provide a definition of “disparities.”

    2. Stop paying for, suborning, and encouraging bastardy. Minorities from intact families have no racial disparity.

      1. There’s a simple way to incentivize that. Permanently strip the franchise from any woman who has a baby out of wedlock, and permanently remove her access to any form of welfare benefits, including Social Security and Medicare.

        1. Haha. Organized crime would be happy to help her. People forget about that category. It’s not “government help” or “nothing,” there are additional choices. “Work” is only one of them.

          Welfare reform has to be very careful not to incentivize drug dealing and etc.

        2. So your solution to “bastardy” is to shove anyone that runs afoul of your new anti-bastardy law into a permanent life of living outside the law.

          Also, punishing children for the sins of the mother. But not punishing the father, apparently.

          1. Sorry, but if women want the “choice” they should have the consequences.

    3. Maybe actually fix the reason for the disparities rather than pretend they don’t exist by promoting via AA? And/Or accept in some cases that different groups inherently perform differently in different things and theres nothing wrong with that? The group of 200lb males no matter how you goose the numbers. Likewise there are advantages to being a 200lb male.

    4. Instead of going through the motions to keep up union payrolls, actually offer a good education to kids in poor neighborhoods. That would be a start.

      Everyone knows which schools are the good schools and which schools are the ones to avoid.

    5. What would be an appropriate way of addressing measurable racial disparities in hiring and education?

      If you have a disease do you address it by trying to reduce the symptoms? No, you address the causes. What’s the purpose of addressing the symptoms? When you make available affirmative action then everybody assumes that the achievements of the group eligible for affirmative action were not based on merit. So what is it that you’re trying to accomplish?

  10. Very dark African immigrants outperformed whites in the 2010 Census. They are the new Koreans. Very dark skin is now a stereotype for a top performer. They speak the King’s English. They come from intact patriarchal families, and are Christian. They love America, and prefer the Republican Party.

    Then our American South blacks are all half from the British Isles.

    People who call others racist are called race whores. All race whores must first produce the lineage of the DNA in their maternal mitochondria or STFU. We do not want to be privileging a bunch of British twits.

  11. I’m fairly liberal and would definitely vote No. I just wouldn’t say so out loud.

  12. As of two days ago, early ballots had already passed 50% of 2016’s total ballots.

    So you’re kind of late to the party. If you actually cared about this, you should have said/done something weeks ago, not with less then a week till election day, after a huge chunk of voters have already sent in their choice.

    But hey, it’s your money to waste.

    1. I appreciate that — as I said, “I regret that I put off contributing to the ballot measure.” But right now the main goal is to sway the undecided, and I expect that a substantial share of them haven’t voted yet (at least enough to keep the campaign still live and important).

      1. You expect that “a substantial share” of the undecided haven’t voted yet? Boy, you’re really going out on a limb there. I’ll hazard that if you have already voted on an issue or candidate you are by definition, not “undecided”. (And if you voted as to some issues/candidates, but not others, you don’t get a fresh ballot for the omitted items.)

  13. As the Chief Justice said over a decade ago, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discrimination on the basis of race.”

    This seems easy to me.

  14. I am very open to affirmative action. For three reasons.

    1. The chicken and egg problems. When individuals do not see anyone that looks like them succeeding at tackling certain life paths, that is discouraging. That race has a psychological implications may not fit with our ideals, but it is a fact of life.

    2. I am anti-elitist. I believe many more people are qualified to go to our California universities than currently attend. We should seek to extend opportunities to everyone. I think affirmative action would have a tendency to create pressure to increase opportunities, since a greater awareness of such opportunities will increase demand and ultimately political pressure to increase opportunities.

    3. Affirmative action is not racist. It is more about inclusion than exclusion. I think the thing that gets people upset is the idea of people from some races being excluded to make room for the people who are included. But, the real solution for this is to increase opportunity for everyone. Also, we already know some people are included who really don’t necessarily belong based on academic qualifications alone. That we are so worried about this one potential source of unfairness while overlooking many others is inconsistent.

    Overall, while I support affirmative action, I would never accuse anyone who opposed it of racism. I think that is wrong. People have legitimate concerns about the fairness of affirmative action. Although I think that overall affirmative action increases fairness overall, I do understand that concern.

    1. It does not serve an affirmative action admission to be thrust into an advanced subject, at a university, when their skills are still at the 8th grade level. It does serve them to get them 9th grade skills. Fit to the individual need is the best policy, not affirmative action.

      1. You really are jumping to conclusions if you presume that affirmative action admits only have 9th grade skills.

        1. 1) There are a lot of remedial math classes being taught at university these days. Heck, I helped tutor my nephew in math when he got into trouble in college, and discovered he’d never actually mastered HS level algebra. But he’d graduated and been admitted!

          2) We know from statistics released in AA court cases that, under typical AA regimes, a large fraction of favored minorities are admitted to universities at test levels that would guarantee rejection for a member of a non-favored race.

          1. 1) Yeah, math can be a problem for a lot of ppl. In my view, probably some majors don’t need math. Some people are math-phobic. Which is unfortunate. But, depending on their career choice, shouldn’t matter. I am glad you were able to help your nephew!

            2) I don’t doubt the disparities. But it could be that we should be creating more slots at the university level for more students. Unfortunately, high school does not teach specialized skills at a deep enough level to create salary premiums.

            1. My point was simply that my nephew, who I assure you is NOT a beneficiary of any sort of AA, got admitted with clearly deficient math skills, and we know from the record that AA admits mostly have qualifications which would guarantee a rejection for people like my nephew.

              So I conclude that it is, in fact, quite plausible that a lot of AA admits have 9th grade math skills.

              Or anyway, what SHOULD be 9th grade math skills, because they’ve really degraded the math curriculum from what I can tell. Definitely not being taught from a mastery approach.

          2. Speaking of math, I think the only way to teach math is in a competency-based framework. If someone passes Module A at 90%, they get to go to Module B, and not before.
            I agree that not every career track needs lots of math. But everybody needs the basics plus enough statistics to read a news article.
            I tutored college algebra years ago. People were taking the class three times and still couldn’t pass. Because they fell off the train at fractions (or multiplication) and if you don’t actually master those, everything after that is stumbling.
            Classes “expose” kids to math now, but they are not requiring them to do enough problems to actually master the material. A fourth grade problem set now is three problems. Thirty years ago it was at least ten. And it’s very conceptual, instead of focused on skill use.
            Honestly even the kids with no life hardship and educated parents will not have a good command of math this way.

    2. “When individuals do not see anyone that looks like them succeeding at tackling certain life paths, that is discouraging….

      “Affirmative action is not racist. It is more about inclusion than exclusion.”

      I suppose the supporters of Jim Crow education would have said the same – what better environment than a Jim Crow school to see people of your own race succeed? In fact, IIRC James Kilpatrick made a similar argument in *The Southern Case for School Segregation* – he said segregated schools keep the talented black students in the same schools as other black students, who can be inspired by the talented students.

      1. It is true that some blacks supported segregation based on this sort of reasoning.

        However, I do not believe that most supporters of segregation thought that blacks were equal or engaged in such practices to help blacks.

        1. I’m not entirely sure that supporters of racial preferences are all sweetness and light, either.

          In any case, the deep sincere feeling of righteous do-goodism which is referred to as “good intentions” doesn’t mitigate the fact that the person is supporting racial discrimination.

          1. To discriminate means to make a distinction. Whether it is a good idea or not depends on the motives and consequences of doing so.

            1. It would probably be a safer course to look to the consequences rather than try to guess any individual’s motives…but in the aggregate I’d say the motives for supporting racial preferences run the gamut from a pure and apparently disinterested feeling that it’s in the public good…all the way to a desire for personal benefit from the racial spoils, or the psychological benefit for being on Kirkland’s right side of history.

    3. After more than 50 years of affirmative action, what is the goal of those seeking continued privilege? Reparations!

    4. When individuals do not see anyone that looks like them succeeding at tackling certain life paths, that is discouraging.

      But wait, “succeeding” in one sense refers to adversity and merit. In another sense it refers to arriving at the end without having faced the same adversity as everyone else. I am sure that everyone knows the difference, including individuals who look for people who look like them succeeding. The hollowness of the accomplishments of those in the second group are not a secret to anyone, and can only supply the message, “I can only get there if special rules apply to me.”

      1. If adversity was such a good thing, then why do people who are born to privileged parents tend to be privileged themselves?

        Adversity means obstacles that increase the chances of failure. For example, a disrupted home life. Now, some may celebrate “overcoming” adversity, but what is better is not facing adversity in the first place.

        If I can do my job, who cares if my life was easy? That makes me lucky. Adversity is not good for its own sake, IMO.

        1. That’s like saying, “what’s better than strength is never having to lift anything heavy.” If you’re born to ‘privileged’ (Which is a bit of a lie right off the bat, unless you’re talking royal families.) parents, you normally WILL see a good deal of adversity. It’s just that, like a good weight program, it will be carefully graduated adversity.

          The problem with having an easy life, is that you’re not prepared for the moments when it suddenly isn’t so easy.

        2. Those who were admitted for reasons other than merit (i.e., athletes on scholarship, those whose parents attended, those admitted by affirmative action) are afterwards treated, rightly, as if they are not of the same caliber as the rest. This is especially true if the institution allows an easier path to graduation for such people. Of course, there musts be some way to identify them. The problem with affirmative action is that there is no question just who is a member of the protected group. They’re just too easy to identify. So it robs all members of that group of some portion of the legitimacy to which they might otherwise have been entitled. Clarence Thomas went to Yale law school but he said that he couldn’t get a job afterward because everyone assumed that he was an affirmative action admit and not a “real” Yale law grad.

          1. Clarence Thomas is now a Supreme Court justice.

            So, I guess his job troubles didn’t last forever, did they?

            1. It’s the respect troubles that affirmative action creates.

  15. Eugene owes a great deal to the USSR granting preferential treatment to Jews (like his family) wishing to emigrate in the 1970s.

    1. By preferential treatment, you are referring to “Jewish removal,” the Soviet equivalent of “send them back to Africa.”

      1. Umm . . . no.

        As George Will put it, the Soviet Union was “the legal definition of a prison”. No one could get out. Except, during the 1970s, Jews, including a child named Eugene.

        1. Ask yourself why? The USSR wanted Jews out of the country. They were viewed perpetual trouble makers

          1. The USSR certainly did not want Jews out of the country. Jews were simply another of their many oppressed minorities. In fact they had created a Jewish “republic” within the borders of the USSR.

            Only upon pressure from the US did Jews get preferential treatment allowing them to leave.

            1. What they did not want was they very large number of Jewish scientists to leave. But when Jewish scientists left so did other non-Jewish scientists. You’re twisting history to make an irrelevant point.

    2. Interesting…immigration ought, in my opinion, to allow for greater discrimination than when the government deals with its own citizens. At least this is true as to national origin discrimination.

      A generic assumption that all Soviet Jews were persecuted refugees might have been “a bridge too far,” but the context was of course what many considered a life or death struggle with Soviet power, in which human capital could be a weapon.

    3. captcrisis: That is absolutely right — one of the rare times that the USSR treated Jews better than non-Jews. Obviously, the just rule would have been for the USSR to let everyone emigrate, if they wanted to. But when it let out Jews (and some Armenians, I think), naturally my parents weren’t going to refuse out of solidarity with their non-Jewish friends.

      But what exactly follows from this? That I should also support the U.S. offering preferential treatment to others (in completely different contexts) based on ethnicity? I can’t see why that would make sense.

      1. Thanks for responding.

        The question is: Is this a completely different context? It depends. It is most clear with descendants of slaves, or gay people who have experienced real discrimination in their lives (i.e., those over the age of 40 or so).

        1. Of course it is a different context. Don’t play so dumb for your polemical purposes.

    4. So? The fact that someone benefited from something doesn’t mean they and their progeny are forever obligated to support a continuation of that policy.

      It drives me nuts when liberal Jews think “because we were once strangers in the land of Egypt” that they’re morally obligated to grant citizenship to every worthless Latin American who wants to cross our border.

      1. I think you could have left it as “it drive me nuts when [people] think […] that they’re moral”.

        1. There’s nothing moral about sacrificing one’s children to the idol of “diversity.”

    5. Right, because otherwise the USSR wanted to kill them.

      I fail to see how being kicked out of your country at he threat of death is preferable, but hey, whatever man.

      Are the Jews who were able to get out of Germany similarly privileged?

  16. Nice to see that “with the burgeoning costs of healthcare,” especially in “this time of the pandemic,” both Kaiser and Blue Shield can afford to contribute millions to fostering racism in CA. And, no backtalk about “sequestered funds,” please!

    1. Kaiser could also afford $300M for the Thrive Pavillion in front of the Warriors Chase Center.

  17. What is problematic about racial preferences is that they are, by the commonly accepted definition of racism, racist. The left tries to get around this with a funny little definition of racism whereas all white people are racist so anyone else can’t be racist. But, no one will subscribes to that mentality.

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