Democrats want California’s universities to resurrect an ugly institution.
Are our boys and girls wrong
In expecting you who make your living
Exclusively off the white race
To stop patronizing Jap laundries.
And thereby assist your fellow men and women
In maintaining the white man’s standard in a white man’s country?
— Placards belonging to the Anti-Jap Laundry League, Calif., 1908
Kevin D. Williamson writes: California has a long and ugly history of discriminating against Asian Americans. From the Anti-Jap Laundry League, the Anti-Chinese League, the Asiatic Exclusion League, the alien land laws, the Anti-Coolie Act . . . the list is long. Much of that discrimination had its origins on the left, with the Ant-Jap Laundry Act, the Asiatic Exclusion Act, and the Anti-Coolie Law being in the main projects of organized labor, which did not like the idea of being made to compete against Asians for work.
New rhetoric, same old bigotry.
And now another group of left-leaning Californians is chafing at the idea of being made to compete with Asian Americans.
The California state legislature was on the verge of approving a referendum to restore the consideration of race and ethnicity in admissions to state universities. The referendum originally had the support of three state senators who have since had a change of heart: Leland Yee of San Francisco, Ted Lieu of Torrance, and Carol Liu of La Cañada, Democrats all. They changed their minds when they were overwhelmed with telephone calls and e-mails — thousands of them — from angry constituents who know exactly what such affirmative-action programs mean in the context of elite universities: Asian quotas. A petition to cancel the referendum has already been endorsed by 100,000 signatories. Subsequently, the senators sent a letter to the speaker, John Pérez (do I need to note that he’s a Democrat?) seeking to have the measure tabled. The letter reads in part: “As lifelong advocates for the Asian American and other communities, we would never support a policy that we believed would negatively impact our children.”
If they mean that, all three of them belong to the wrong political party.