California Proposition 16 Defeated at the Ballot Box

Voters drop off their ballots at the Registrar of Voters in San Diego, California, November 3, 2020.
(Mike Blake/Reuters)

I want to second Kevin’s post here and elaborate just a bit on what he says about the defeat of Proposition 16. This was the California ballot initiative that would have repealed the earlier, famous 1996 ballot initiative banning discrimination and preferences on the basis of race, ethnicity, and sex in public contracting, employment, and education. The Associated Press has now called the defeat, and currently the margin is about 56–44 percent.

So we have our most populous, and very blue, state rejecting by a decisive vote — apparently a greater margin than the 1996 vote — a measure that would reinstate politically correct discrimination, a.k.a. “affirmative action.” Not only that, but the extremely diverse people of California did so in the year of the “woke” and they did so despite the fact that the proposition’s supporters vastly outspent its opponents and had overwhelming support from all the usual establishment suspects.

Expect the proponents of racial preferences to make all kinds of excuses, that they just didn’t have enough time to explain to everyone what the measure was all about or whatever. Nonsense. Whenever the question of preferential treatment is fairly presented to the public, it is rejected decisively, and by all racial and ethnic groups. And rightly so: Asian Americans know that they are the frequent victims of university admission preferences, Latinos know that they are frequently the victims of government contracting preferences, and the groups that are ostensibly benefited frequently are hurt by them, too, because of the well-documented “mismatch” effects. It’s simple and should not be hard to understand or appreciate: Americans of all backgrounds oppose discrimination.

Here’s hoping that our politicians and judges will get over their hesitation about forthrightly opposing all racial and ethnic discrimination, politically correct and incorrect alike. And here’s hoping, too, that yesterday is the beginning of the end for the scary but ridiculous woke movement. The vote in California is not the only indication in yesterday’s voting that Americans reject being labeled and pigeonholed because of skin color or what country their ancestors came from, and want and expect and appreciate instead to be treated individually as Americans. E pluribus unum forever.

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