Wigga What? No on Prop 54
by B.J. Delas Armas
on 10/03/2003 04:50:00 PM
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You get more thorns poked into you talking about race than running through the Exposition Park Rose Garden.
Rush Limbaugh recently re-signed from ESPN because of criticism for saying that one player, Donovan McNabb was overrated (which would have been fine if he just stopped here) because of the "liberal" media's hype of him and their desire to see a black quarterback succeed. The funny thing is that Rush would support Prop 54
Proposition 54 calls for a 'color-blind' society. Ideally that's a great thing but it would work only in a society that did not have such diverse living conditions. Fact of the matter is that race is an issue because people are still segregated. Individual people still segregate themselves because they feel like they don't belong. And being segregated, they have different concerns and interests.
Prop 54 would regress from dealing with specific people's concerns and interests. It's just thinking about one part of society.
The only society these Prop 54 proponents think about in proposing Prop 54 is the segment of society that seeks and thinks they get denied jobs. (In the grand scheme of things, these proponents eventually find jobs and go on to do bigger and better things like yell at poor folk, with blacks and Hispanics in mind, for failing to "work for their money.") There's more to society than those that seek jobs or college admissions.
In the rest of society, there are what you call doctors, educators, and scientists that actually need race to discover and treat trends.
Doctors need race and ethnic information to be able to treat ethnic-specific diseases because fact is that diseases are not color-blind. Sickle-cell disease gets African-Americans. Tay-Sachs gets those of Eastern European descent. Asian women are four to seven times less likely to develop breast cancer than American women; yet when Asian women migrate to the U.S., their risk of breast cancer rises by 80 percent over two decades (Breast Cancer Facts 2001, The Breast Cancer Fund, 2001).
Educators and scientists need race to discover trends of this society. For example, South Central Los Angeles, 90058, which is 59% black and 38% Latino, has five times the level of hazardous materials emissions as the next worst zip code in the state ("California's Endangered Communities of Color," Environmental Justice and Equal Protection, 1994). Or the Bayview Hunters Point section of San Francisco, where 91% of the residents are people of color, has ten times as many contaminated water dischargers on a per capita basis as the rest of San Francisco, four times as many polluted air dischargers, five times as many facilities storing acutely hazardous materials, three times as many leaking underground storage tanks, and four times as many contaminated industrial sites (Hastings West-Northwest Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, Clifford Rechstschaffen, 1996).
People living in such a diverse amount of conditions will not have the same concerns. An accented NO on Prop 54 should help keep focus on what certain groups of people are suffering from and how they are not doing well. Without a No on Prop 54, we'd would be more than just color-blind. We'd actually have to use Braille.
And no, this guy below had zero influence on my supporting of 54. But it was nice to hear him speak on Thursday.
Labels: California Politics, State of Education