In 1996, Sacramento businessman Ward Connerly helped to place a constitutional amendment on the California ballot. “The state,” read Proposition 209, “shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.” If the language sounds familiar, it should. It comes from the U. S. Civil Rights Act of 1964. Proposition 209 won 55 percent of the vote.
This year, Connerly has helped to place anti-preference initiatives on the ballots of two more states, Colorado and Nebraska. In a year when virtually every Republican candidate faces an uphill struggle, polls show that in both states the ballot measures enjoy big leads.
From today’s Uncommon Knowledge:
Peter Robinson: When Nebraskans go to the website of Nebraskans United Together for Opportunity, they’ll learn that your efforts are opposed by, to quote the website, “Nebraska faith groups, business groups like the Omaha Chamber of Commerce, educational institutions like the University of Nebraska, and grassroots organizations like the league of women’s voters.” Why would such mainstream organizations, in the very heartland of America, oppose you?
Ward Connerly: On issues involving race, the establishment is always at odds with the people.