“Since I’ve gotten old, I have wondered how I did all the things that I did then,” Ida Louise Jackson reflected in 1984 at the age of 82. Jackson participated in some of the major movements of the 20th century: the Great Migration, school desegregation, the battles for equitable education and health, and the Civil Rights Movement. Some of her earliest activism began at Berkeley when she organized the second Black sorority on the campus (shortly after the founding of AKA’s rival Delta Sigma Theta).
In mid-June, the UC Board of Regents held a historic vote, unanimously endorsing a state proposal to repeal Proposition 209, California’s controversial ballot initiative which banned the consideration of race, sex, or ethnicity in public education, employment, and contracting throughout the state.
Over the past four decades, the issue has simmered under the surface, occasionally boiling over into lawsuits and federal complaints.
That issue is Asian-American enrollment at elite universities.
Almost lost amid the recent flurry of marquee U.S. Supreme Court rulings—including one endorsing same-sex marriage and another upholding Obamacare—was a judicial move that could have a huge impact on who gets into top colleges. The justices, by opting to reconsider a case that challenges the University of Texas’s use of race and ethnicity to select students, signaled that they may be ready to effectively end affirmative action in college admissions nationwide.
Posted on August 20, 2015 - 9:13am
A proposed state constitutional amendment that aimed to diversify California’s public universities—but which some opponents dubbed “the most racist bill in the history of California”—has been put on ice. At least for now.
This week’s news that Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 will not be taken up by the state Assembly marks a dramatic reversal of fortune for the bill, which sailed through the Senate in January on a 27-to-9 vote.
Posted on March 18, 2014 - 3:26pm
Boil the American Dream down to a single maxim and it’s this: “If you work hard and play by the rules, you ought to get what’s yours.” Our mutual commitment to meritocracy is, we’re told, about as central to our national character as baseball. Divvying up gains based on ability and hard work (as oppposed to, say, your family’s social status, race or religion) is not only a workable way to organize an economically productive society—it also seems fundamentally fair.
Posted on August 13, 2013 - 2:52pm
Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Fisher v. UT Austin affirmative action case was surprising more for its silences than its declarations. Although the case was punted back to the district court, it was very much a punt: Left for another day, and maybe another court, was tackling whether race can be considered in admissions policies of public universities.
Posted on June 24, 2013 - 3:22pm