California Prop 16 (reinstating affirmative action) fails

California has rejected affirmative action as it is practiced today.
California legislators tried to ride the wave of anti-trump sentiment to push through a measure repealing a constitutional amendment that prohibits the consideration of race in things like college admissions at its state schools.

The state voted 65% for Biden and 55% against reinstating affirmative action.

I would suggest that the popular support for affirmative action (AS IT IS PRACTICED TODAY) is not popular with the mainstream.

Good. Working to eliminate racism in institutions is defeated by adding more racism in institutions.

The thing is that the UC system as a whole is not unrepresentative of the population. 40% of the UC system is hispanic or black. This is really only targetted at the two UC schools that have overwhelming asian populations Berkeley and UCLA.

Affirmative action is no longer about providing “access” to a higher education. It is about creating the appearance of parity at the most competitive schools.

Fun anecdote: Once a year or so I take online surveys to get airline or hotel points to keep my points from expiring. In early October, I got a survey that showed me a Yes on 16 ad and asked for my opinions. I ended up panning the ad for being a non-sequitur.

The ad spent about 45 seconds detailing how women make 75c for every dollar a man earns for the same work in the corporate world. Yes, I agree that’s fucked up and a serious problem. However, Prop 16 would have done jack shit to address that issue. 16 was about state school admissions and awarding state contracts. Nothing in there about “you have to have pay equity to win a contract” that I could find. They were going for an emotional plea “shitty things happen to minority something something vote yes on 16” without saying anything about how 16 would help the problem. I guess enough other people said the same thing about the ad, because I never saw it outside of that online focus group.

This is their third attempt to reinstate racial discrimination. And their third failure despite an overwhelming advantage in funding and celebrity endorsements.

They keep saying that noone understood the proposition so they voted against it. What they really needed was a way to signal that this proposition was intended to help blacks and hispanics at the expense of asians without actually saying it outright. This language was not forced on them. They got to choose the words. And there is not a combination of words that clearly communicates their purpose without clearly revealing their racism.

At this point they are making whatever excuse they can to explain away their third consecutive failure on this front.
I recently read one supporter blame the trump wave for the failure of prop 16…in a state that biden carried 2::1.

Relevant poll:

Although not surprisingly, asking something a bit different yields different results:

An interesting thing about California is that it has gone without racial quotas in college admissions for so long, and has so many people attending so many different kinds of colleges, that we can observe some interesting trends in the data.

While admissions of blacks and Hispanics to the top tier of the UC system went down, graduations of those groups did not ( et al). People who were able to handle the rigor of Berkeley and UCLA are still getting in and still graduating. People who are not qualified and would have upended their lives to travel to a campus that they didn’t need to attend, hurt their self-esteem by failing out, and possibly never returned to higher education are instead being steered right away to the tier that is appropriate for their capability and graduating there.

What was eliminated in getting rid of AA? Setting people up for failure and self-doubt. The positive outcomes of the UC-Merced or CSU-Long Beach degree are still there and, most likely, are being extended to more black and Hispanic students than they would have been otherwise.

“Affirmative action,” even in widespread use, can mean anything from “offering a tutoring program in a mostly black neighborhood” to “automatically taking 20% off the score used in the admissions formula because an applicant is Asian.” Without being more specific it’s hard to gauge what it is that people are supporting or opposing. (In more esoteric use by some people on this message board, “affirmative action” is deployed so broadly that it means “literally any policy that is in any way related to education,” but even aside from that it’s still a very ambiguous phrase in standard English.)

What do you think the result would be if you asked people “do you support numerical quotas capping the number of Jews and Asians that are allowed to make use of certain government services” or “do you support including a fixed value that increases or decreases your admissions score based on an index of races and numbers”? That’s what was done in California prior to 1996, that’s what is done in the Ivy League now, and that’s what the proposition continues to make illegal.

Indeed, which makes the OP (even with "as practice specified) hard to address. It seems there is a strong “do something” vibe without much agreement on what that something should be. I see this phenomenon in other areas, e.g. healh care.

If you wish to advance an argument, you’ll have to do so without my labor.

As John Roberts once said in one of his Supreme Court opinions - “The way to stop discriminating on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

Admissions of hispanics has been going up. Hispanics have been crowding out asians for years now. But the point is they did it under their own steam.

I’m not sure your cite is enough to judge that. But I noticed something odd. They are comparing their students to the whole population of California, but the age distribution of the students is going to differ considerably from the general population. Comparing the proportion of disabled people in California, which includes plenty of elderly people, to the proportion of mostly young disabled students is nonsensical. And it could mess up the race comparisons too, if some races are more weighted towards typical student ages than others. I’m surprised they didn’t take this into account.

I think what he might be talking about is the matching effect that we saw in California as the overall number of blacks/hispanics being admitted to public 4 year colleges didn’t really change much but:

Their graduation rate increased (in fact the number of degrees earned in the 5 years after the elimination of AA was the same as the 5 years after the elimination of AA);
Their grades improved (they were on the dean’s list more frequently, they were just as likely to be in the top quartile of the class as the bottom quartile of the class (whereas before half the URM kids at the better colleges were in the bottom quartile);
There was better integration of minority students with the white kids so if the point behind this policy is to get whites and blacks to form relationships in college that will break the almost exclusively white alumni network after college, AA is not doing the job.

For me the most important benefits of the prohibition on race based preferences is that:

The non-minority students no longer saw minority as shorthand for “likely to be among the least competitive students in the class”

More importantly, minority students no longer saw themselves as the least competitive students in the class. They were placed in better matched environments and were put in a position to succeed.

That sounds like a convincing argument against AA, and the opposite of what other posters have claimed - that all the students met the standard and exact test scores didn’t matter when deciding who to admit.

Where did you get all this data from?

First, that isn’t the quote. He said the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race.
Minor but important difference.

Second, the case in which he made that statement (Parents Involved) had the effect of striking down Seattle’s attempt at desegregating its schooling system. Segregation, of course, had been identified as a historic wrong; a bad thing. Seattle wanted to integrate its schools. John Roberts wrote a plurality opinion, citing Brown (a case very specifically about how segregation is illegal discrimination, is wrong, and must be ended) as support for the proposition, as you suggest, that the legacy of Brown is that you have to stop noticing what race your students are.

My point here is that it is an easily verifiable claim that Roberts made. Seattle schools wanted to end a form of discrimination. They were told they were only allowed to do that in specific ways; not the ways that they wanted. So, did they end the discrimination? No. Seattle schools are in fact extremely segregated. I have seen claims that they are more segregated than they have ever been, including when segregation was enforced by law, which resulted in desegregation being mandated by law, which then stopped being the case, which then led to it being legally mandated that you aren’t allowed to desegregate on purpose. It’s nonsense. John Roberts was demonstrably incorrect that the mandatory end to race-conscious policies was “the way to stop discrimination.”

Even in general logical terms, the statement is nonsense in context: “The way to stop a fire is to stop setting things on fire.”

If you google mismatch and affirmative action you get a lot of stuff.

I think a lot depends on how the question is phrased.

I think the more analogous phrasing would be to say “the way to stop arson is to stop committing arson”

I don’t agree, but even using your version the flaw in the argument is pretty clear.