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Vote "NO" on Proposition 54

by Duane J. Roberts Tuesday, Aug. 05, 2003 at 5:17 AM

Since Proposition 54's passage will make it much more difficult to fight and attack all forms of racism, segregation, and discrimination in general, I think we should call it for what it truly is: the Institutionalized Racism Protection Act of 2003.

Recently, in conversations I have been having with

politically progressive friends, I've been alarmed to

discover that many of them were completely unaware of

the fact that the October 7th recall election for

Governor Gray Davis is going to include a ballot

initiative to vote on which will have serious

consequences in the fight against racism, segregation,

and discrimination should it become law.

Proposition 54, otherwise known as the "Racial Privacy

Initiative" by its primary sponsor, Ward Connerly,

will basically make it illegal for schools,

universities, and other public agencies in California

to collect data on the race, color, ethnicity, or

national origin of persons they survey, research, or

become somehow involved with in one way or another.

Although ostensibly touted as a way of making

California truly "colorblind," it is my opinion that

this initiative will have the exact opposite effect:

it will protect and reinforce various forms of

institutionalized racism, segregation and

discrimination practiced by both public and private


Restricting the collection of such data not only will

make it far more difficult to determine if businesses

or other entities are engaging in discriminatory

practices that affect the health and well-being of

persons of various racial or ethnic categories, but it

makes it harder to file civil rights litigation

against them as a remedy.

Since Proposition 54's passage will make it much more

difficult to fight and attack all forms of racism,

segregation, and discrimination in general, I think we

should call it for what it truly is: the

Institutionalized Racism Protection Act of 2003.

Although Secretary of State Kevin Shelley has

scheduled Proposition 54 to be voted on in the October

7th recall election, its still unclear if it will be

on the ballot then. Last week, two lawsuits were filed

in U.S. Federal Courts by civil rights organizations

and other interested parties seeking to stop

Proposition 54 from being included on the October 7th

ballot. And the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting

that attorneys for Governor Gray Davis will soon ask

the California Supreme Court to move the recall

election to next year, arguing that voters will be

"disenfranchised" since counties don't have enough

time to prepare for it.

Since it's too early to tell if any of these litigants

will prevail in their efforts, we need to act under

the assumption that the recall election is going to be

held on October 7th and that Proposition 54 will be on

the ballot at that time. It is imperative that we

immediately start becoming educated about it now so we

can defeat it when the time comes for us to cast our


Right now, I myself am in the process of trying to

organize a forum on Proposition 54, and have

tentatively scheduled it for the afternoon of

Saturday, August 30, 2003 at the Unitarian Church of

Orange County in Anaheim. (I'll send out another

announcement about this later when I get all the

details straightened out)

In the meanwhile, I strongly urge everybody perusing

this message to go to the following URLs and begin

learning more about what Proposition 54 will actually

do if it becomes enacted into law:

Regardless of however you feel about the recall

election, it's very important for all of us do our

part in encouraging as many people as possible to

learn about Proposition 54 and get them out to the

polls to vote "NO" on it.

It can and will be defeated!


Duane J. Roberts

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 4 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
California Ballot Initiative Promotes Racist Agenda lynx-13 Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2003 at 4:27 AM
opposition is overwhelming Ward Connerly's prop. 54.... lynx-13 Tuesday, Sep. 09, 2003 at 8:27 AM
No AA remember Tuesday, Sep. 09, 2003 at 10:03 AM

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