The next time you hear that California will support any so-called liberal idea, remember what voters have said about affirmative action.
As the Chronicle of Higher Education reports,
Though California is a progressive state, plenty of residents do not support race-conscious admissions programs. In particular, the debate over Prop. 16 revealed a stark divide among the state’s Asian Americans. Within that large, diverse community, there was plenty of support for the amendment — but also plenty of scorn. Some opponents worried that the reinstatement of race-conscious admissions in the University of California system would harm Asian American applicants, who are overrepresented at UC relative to their share of the state’s population.
In the end, the failure of Prop. 16 just might reflect the nation’s complicated relationship with affirmative action. Most Americans support the broad concept: In a 2019 Gallup poll, 61 percent said they favored affirmative-action programs for racial-minority groups, up from 54 percent in 2016.
Yet a majority opposes the consideration of race in admissions.