Whenever racial preferences are debated, supporters of preference always decry what they claim was the devastating impact of colorblind racial equality on offers of admission to the University of California. In almost every instance those claims were — and when we hear them in the future in Arizona, Missouri, Colorado, Oklahoma, and South Dakota, or wherever, will be — false.
Here is a table, broken down by race and ethnicity, of the admission of California residents to the University of California from 1997 through 2007. (HatTip to Ed Chin) It shows that in 1997, the last freshman class admitted before the elimination of racial preferences by Prop. 209 in 1996, 18.6% of the admitted freshmen were “underrepresented minorities.” 3.8% of the admitted freshmen were black.
In the freshman class of 2007, “underrepresented minorities” made up 22.9% of those offered admission, and 3.6% were black.
During that same decade the proportion of whites in the freshman classes declined from 40.8% in 1997 to 35.5% in 2007.