[NOTE: This post was UPDATED 15 April]
As I wrote a couple of weeks ago in “Storm Clouds Obstruct The Rainbow Coalition,”
[s]tudents of affirmative action have long known — I have discussed some of the most striking evidence here — that Asians, not whites, are the primary victims of affirmative action college admissions. Indeed, one of the many mysteries surrounding our racial preference policies is why Asian Americans have tolerated for so long groups that ostensibly represent them, and why they have so heavily voted for Democratic candidates, that support policies that so clearly discriminate against their own children.
Recent events in California suggest that Asian Americans, despite the complicity of their leaders and representatives in this discrimination, have withdrawn their consent. The Democrats, with their supermajority in the state senate, were about to put an initiative on the ballot, SCA 5, that if approved by the voters would have overturned Prop. 209′s prohibition of racial preferences in college admissions. A grassroots rebellion of Asian American caused three state senators to withdraw their support, killing the measure for this session and probably beyond.
I also wrote there that “I have a longer piece discussing this issue forthcoming on Pajamas Media. That piece has now appeared and can be found here.
There are now even more storm clouds over the descending rainbow coalition. As the Wall Street Journal has reported (“Sacramento Civil War“), black and Hispanic California legislators are now seeking, and finding, ways to retaliate against Asian-American Democrats. Examples:
… six black and Hispanic state legislators have retracted their endorsements of state Sen. Ted Lieu, who is seeking to replace retiring Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman. Mr. Lieu’s sin was to oppose a ballot referendum that would reinstate racial preferences in college admissions, which Proposition 209 banned in 1996. Now, the legislature’s black and Latino caucuses have tanked a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi that would have doubled the number of carpool-lane permits for electric car-owners.
State Sen. Holly Mitchell, who heads the Legislative Black Caucus, told the Bee that her caucus might continue to blackball their Asian-American colleagues’ legislation as retribution for opposing racial preferences.
Coalitions, and political parties, based on a confederation of racial grievance groups can function only so long as all the aggrieved groups feel victimized by some discriminating Other (read: whites), but when members of the coalition feels victimized or betrayed by their erstwhile partners you have … today’s California Democrats.
The San Jose Mercury News has an excellent article about the conflict in California among Asians, Hispanics, and blacks over affirmative action (as well as among sub-groups of Asians). Perhaps its most dramatic observation is that last year “78 percent of Chinese-American students applying to a UC campus landed a coveted spot in the freshman class.” Other groups:
However, just 57 percent of Filipino-Americans and 48 percent of Pacific Islanders were admitted, rates similar to those of blacks and Latinos.
Fifty-five percent of Latino and 45 percent of African-American applicants were admitted to UC last year, compared with 65 percent of white applicants.