Monday, July 15, 2024

ACA 7 is another cynical attempt to divide Californians by race. It must be defeated.

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On Tuesday, the California Assembly advanced Assembly Constitutional Amendment 7, introduced by Asm. Corey Jackson, D-Moreno Valley.

ACA 7 is the latest attempt by the state’s out-of-touch Democratic lawmakers to undermine equality under the law in favor of racial discrimination by government.

In 1996, 54.55% of California voters approved Proposition 209, which simply states, “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.”

In 2020, state lawmakers sought to overturn Proposition 209, hoping the post-George Floyd political environment would propel voters to approve a measure repealing it. That attempt failed miserably, as 57.23% of California voters voted to uphold Proposition 209.

Now, Asm. Jackson is proposing ACA 7 to allow the state to fund programs for “specific groups based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, or marginalized genders, sexes, or sexual orientations.”

As Wenyuan Wu, executive director of Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, warned state lawmakers this week, “advocating for race/sex-based preferences distorts the principle of equal opportunity into an illiberal, social-engineering tool” that would steer California in the wrong direction. “We should also make sure that every individual has equal access to public resources, and that our government provide institutional support that encourages American virtues of hard-work, initiative, self-discipline and individual merit.”

Echoing this on the Assembly floor was Asm. Bill Essayli, R-Corona, who argued, “We need to be treating each other equally, with dignity and respect and stop the division.”

Wu and Essayli are right.

Contrast that with the  frankly unhinged response from Jackson:  “There is no tolerance for respectfully disagreeing on this issue. There is no room for decorum when it comes to the very existence and atonement of my people.”

This is, to borrow a phrase, nonsense on stilts. It is illiberal gibberish masquerading as a coherent thought. Legislative bodies are places where disagreement and deliberation are vital. Sacramento’s problem, and therefore California’s problem, is that there isn’t enough thoughtful discussion or dissent.

All Californians deserve equal protection under the law. Government should not be picking and choosing where money goes, and by extension doesn’t go, on the basis of antiquated categories like race or mere demographics.

If ACA 7 makes it out of the Legislature, it should be rejected by the people of California. And Corey Jackson’s constituents need to vote more wisely in 2024.

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