In Context: 5 Web Perspectives On A Story In The News

UC and state of California sued over affirmative action ban

(The L.A. Times) Activists are planning to sue the state of California because they believe that Proposition 209, which was passed in 1996, violates equal protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Prop. 209 bans affirmative action in college admissions. Activists maintain that Prop. 209 had made the state's universities accept mostly Caucasian and Asian students. The suit will names Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and UC President Mark G. Yudof as defendants. It is expected to be filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco and is being brought on behalf of California students by the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary. UC defends itself by saying it cannot ignore Prop. 209.


Historicaly Black Colleges and Universities

U.S. Department of the Interior
Historically Black Colleges and Universities were founded primarily in the last two centuries for the education of African-Americans. Sixteen per cent of African-American students attend those universities. Their charters are not exclusionary, which means that students of other ethnicity can attend them. The colleges and universities are represented by the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education. More than 84 percent of them are four-year institutions. They are backed by a White House initiative, which wants to strengthen their capacity to provide excellence in education. The website is maintained by the U.S. Department of Interior and it has links to many government and African-American education websites.


Admission stats at UC

University of California Stat Finder
The University of California is the biggest public university system on the U.S. West Coast, with ten campuses spread over the state and over 190,000 students. It has a budget of more than 2,3 billion dollars and employs about 180,000 people. It has a statistics section in its website. People have the choice between many kinds of statistics tables. In the custom table section, the website mentions that people will have access ethnicity statistics. However, the ethnicity option is only available for persistence and graduation rates, and not for admission, which is a clear lack of transparency. Each campus has its own admission requirements and process.



Proposition 209, racist or not?

Proposition 209 is a California ballot proposition that amended the state constitution to prohibit public institutions from considering race, sex, or ethnicity. It had been supported and funded by the California Civil Rights Initiative Campaign, led by University of California Regent Ward Connerly, and opposed by affirmative action advocates and supporters. Proposition 209 was voted into law on 5 November 1996, with 54 percent of the vote. The U.S. District Court tried blocking its enforcement at the end of November 1996 but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned it. While Prop. 209 may have caused higher graduation rates at UC, the enrollement rates dropped significantly.


American Civil Rights Institute approves of Prop. 209

American Civil Rights Institute
The American Civil Rights Institute believes that race has no place in American life or law. It is a national civil rights organization created to educate the public on the harms of racial and gender preferences.Its initial focus is on three areas: assisting organizations in other states with their efforts to educate the public about racial and gender preferences, assisting federal representatives with public education on the issue, and monitoring implementation and legal action on California's Proposition 209,Washington's I-200, One Florida and Michigan's Proposal 2. It is the institute's avowe goal to convince other states to implement similar affirmative action bans in education.




ACLU doesn't approve of Prop. 209

In a newsletter published in early 1997 and available on its website, the ACLU writes about its lawsuit against Prop. 209, which it will eventually lose. The ACLU is against prop. 209 because it believes that "Prop. 209 unjustly denies women and racial minorities equal protection as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution; Prop. 209 bans constitutionally-permissible affirmative action programs; Prop. 209 touted itself as a civil rights initiative when instead it was based on a belief that civil rights laws have gone too far in protecting women and minorities; and, similar to the way Colorado's Amend- ment 2 attacked the rights of lesbians and gay men, Prop. 209 creates a different political process for the women and people of color in California by placing specific hurdles in their path to seek redress for discrimination - it creates specific disadvantages for groups historically discriminated against."


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