The Supreme Court has ruled that California’s Proposition 209, which banned affirmative action in state hiring and academic admissions, was constitutional. By doing so, it has basically given the green light to 26 other states that are in the process of developing Proposition 209-inspired referenda.
Affirmative action is one of the most emotional and hotly contested issues that faces this country. The simple reality is that a serious social problem smolders in this country, a problem which threatens to create a permanent underclass of Americans. While many argue that affirmative action is not the right solution, at this time it is the only response that exists. Understanding this, voters in Houston, Texas voted to keep their affirmative action programs.
For the thousands of people who will be voting on this issue in the coming months, they should consider the plummeting enrollment of minority law school students at the University of Texas and the University of California systems, and that such an elimination could turn back the clock to a time of nonintegration in the professional workplace – and in the classroom.
Likewise, people should keep in mind that the lives and futures of millions of people will be affected by a rollback of affirmative action. Social equality is far from being attained. The need for both diversity and fairness mandates the necessity for the continuance of affirmative action.