A proposed amendment to the California constitution has recently triggered public anger across Asian-American communities.
Opponents say that the amendment is discriminatory as it would dramatically decrease the proportion of Asian-American students in public universities, leaving long-lasting, disastrous impacts on education and employment opportunities for these communities. They are urging action to stop it from being approved in the state assembly.
Supporters, however, argue that affirmative action is needed because of a rapid decline in the representation of minorities on campuses.
In tabling the California Senate Constitution Amendment No. 5 (SCA5), which was passed in the state senate on January 30, Ed Hernandez, a Democratic state senator, said that the number of Latino, African American and Native American students in the University of California had declined dramatically.
The amendment would allow the state to give preferential treatment in public education to individuals or groups based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin. It will also apply to public employment and contracting. If SCA5 is passed in the state assembly, it will be presented to the state voters in the November election.
Bob Huff, Republican leader in the state senate, spoke out against SCA5. Huff warned that it is dangerous to pass the amendment as it would restart a new round of racial discrimination. The Declaration of Independence says "All men are created equal," but SCA5 is contrary to this, Huff added.
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