Lost in the groping, the deficit, the child actors and the general mayhem that is the
Proposition 54, also known as Ward Connerly's "Racial Privacy Initiative," would bar California state government from using racial classifications in its official business. Sadly, the measure seems to be losing support in the polls, perhaps in part because even Republican frontrunner Arnold Schwarzenegger hasn't the courage to stand up to California's racial demagogues and publicly support it.
That's too bad. Because
Take a walk through
In a recent Washington Post column, the Davenport Institute's Joel Kotkin and Thomas Tseng write that "Shopping centers in
write that today, 51% of Asians live in the suburbs, as well as 43% of
Latinos and 32% of African-Americans. White Americans, meanwhile, are
rediscovering the allure of urban living in cities such as
On a personal level, Americans are clearly in the process of erasing the boundaries of race. We're intermarrying, we're adopting interracially, and we're absorbing the benefits of a multiethnic society.
This only makes sense, as the scientists who unmasked the human genome found remarkably few differences between the races in the biological stuff that makes us human. In fact, there's likely to be more genetic variation between two random members of the same race than between to random individuals from different races. Dr. J. Craig Venter, who is president of Celera Genomics, the company that first completed the human genome map, has repeatedly expressed his frustration that contrary to the evidentiary biology available, doctors and scientists continue to cling to what is really a social construct.
The problem of course is that for many people, there's still far too much race-based incentive to abandon racial classification. Government still doles out tax dollars guided by race- and ethnic-based demographics -- over $185 billion in race or ethnic-based set asides, by one estimate. Consequently, the interest groups that sell race -- and the nativists who play off of fears of it -- have a vested interest in keeping us thinking about color, language and nationalism.
And so we get the spectacle of an America increasingly oblivious to race, an America looking to leave ethnicity behind -- and an American government hell-bent on preventing that from happening, but under the premise that it's doing just the opposite.
Before the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the
U.S. Census had just five racial classifications in 1970. After thirty
years of kowtowing to identity politics, the 2000 Census had over 60,
120 if you include ethnicity. Ethnic "advocacy" groups then scramble to
"recruit" members to ensure roomy stalls at the public trough. One
example of how this has played out: Despite intermarriage,
assimilation, and the statistics cited above, the
Unfortunate timing has put Proposition 54 on the recall ballot, instead of a traditional election ballot and so it's been buried by the shenanigans of the last few months. That's regrettable, since the only people who are interested in it, then, are those who have the most to lose by its success.
from being the radically conservative undertaking its detractors claim
it to be, the Racial Privacy Initiative is really little more than
asking government to mirror what most of us have already done in our
private lives -- push race to the margins, where it belongs. But
Proposition 54's likeliest proponents --