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UCLA Students for Racism By: Garin K. Hovannisian
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, October 07, 2003

On Wednesday, October 1, a group of vivacious students gathered in UCLA's Bruin Plaza to hold a demonstration opposing Proposition 54, which calls for an end to California’s classification of students, contractors, and employees by race. 

The rally began when a student approached the microphone and yelled, “We don’t got the money like Ward Connerly and all the Republicans in Sacramento, but we’ve got the power of our voice.”  Then, one of the leaders of the rally began, with a sizeable audience following, the extended chant, “We are what diversity look like!  This is what diversity look like!”

But the arguments against Prop 54 that the demonstrators presented were not well-articulated and were completely obscured by their emotional rants and by digressions into unrelated topics.  A one-page handout entitled “NO to the Information Ban” that was being distributed by my picketing peers better encapsulates the four main reasons given to reject the Racial Privacy Initiative.

The first reason is “Health”—“Information on healthcare is critical for healthcare professionals to understanding who is most affected by certain diseases”.  True, but we must remember that Prop 54 is only against government’s use of race as a category, not a private hospital’s or a healthcare provider’s.  In any case, the initiative explicitly states, “Otherwise lawful classification of medical research subjects and patients shall be exempt from this section.”  The first argument is grounded in either a misreading or a fabrication of the text of the Initiative.

The second reason is “Education”—“Statistics show that the state falls short of providing a sound, quality education to all children without regard to race, color, or national origin.”  Putting aside the valid case against a state-sponsored education system, this statement is also true.  Nevertheless, its union with the anti-Prop 54 crowd is rooted in a blatant conceptual contradiction.  If a student should be accepted to a college “without regard to race, color, or national origin” (as the flyer puts it) then “race, color, and national origin” should not be a factor in admission board judgments.  Only when the evaluator does not know the applicant’s race will the possibility of racial discrimination be eliminated.

The third reason is “Safety”—“Statistics are essential to law enforcement and community groups in fighting hate crimes.”  Sure, the only way that discrimination by police (I personally don’t believe this is a rampant problem) or criminals can be curbed is by collecting racial data.  That is why Proposition 54 plainly states, “Exemptions include: law enforcement descriptions…” 

And finally, the fourth reason is “Employment”—“In the year 2000 alone, more than 27,000 reports of employment discrimination were filed in California—race being the number one basis of discrimination.”  Here, it is essential to note that the classification of a given person by race will lend no more credibility to the employment discrimination reports than they already have.  The only effect of racial categories is the increase of discrimination in that race can potentially (and is, under affirmative action) a factor of employment.

If the demonstrators were to stick to the factual battle-plan, they would have been dead wrong.  But by turning the demonstration into a disgustingly political issue, the organizers crossed the boundary of civilized taxonomy.  The demonstration, in fact, was the nexus of anti-American, anti-recall, pro-union, and Leftist opinions dressed in the guise of “diversity.”  One of the speakers concluded her speech with, “No on Prop 54 and no on the recall.”  Another led the participants in a song: “We are the union; mighty, mighty union.”  Still another voiced her depleted view of America.  And yet another claimed that “[minority] access to higher education will be impossible”.  And, finally, in an irritated tone, “Prop 54 says that race doesn’t matter!”  At that point, the objective observer would know that this was not a clash between two political groups but rather a debate between two worldviews—a debate between anachronistic victimizers and Americans.

The opponents of Proposition 54 reflect a social vision in which color takes precedence over character; race over intelligence.  It represents a world in which, as one of the speakers would have it, “Race would matter.”  The opponents to Proposition 54 believe that race is important in college admissions and employment. This is what the plantation owners thought.

Thirty minutes into the presentation, I noticed a lone student, standing toward the back of the stage, holding up a sign that read, “Yes on 54.  No to bigotry.”  Then, slowly, two demonstrators, carrying a bigger sign—prettier too, I admit—that read “Vote no on Prop 54” besieged and covered the lone student and his ordinary hand-made banner.  It makes you wonder how they can claim, “This is what diversity looks like.”

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