San Diego Soliloquies

Friday, August 01, 2003

The Detritus Swept Up in the Storm

As you probably know, we Californians will be paying millions of dollars in support of a massive snit by people too dumb to realize that yes, we did have budget problems in November of 2002. We are in the process of pulling together an election about recalling our governor. Something you probably didn't know is that the way the initiative process works here, when an initiative qualifies for the ballot, it gets settled in the next election. This means that Ward Connerly's Racial Provacy Initiative will be on the ballot too.

If you live in a state that hasn't been graced by his presence, Ward Connerly has made a third career (first: State beauraucrat, second: Recipient of Pete Wilson's "sound business advice") of eliminating affirmative action in California and other states . Now Ward has set his sights on something bigger. You see, you can't prove discrimination without data, but you can assume everything is the hunkiest of doriness if no data exists. Et voila! The Racial Privacy Initiative.

I'm going to generalize a bit here. During the 2000 census there was a vocal group of conservatives advocating that you give only your address and number of people living at the address on your census form. Their argument was grounded in their interpretation of Article 1, Section 2 of the constitution (Interestingly enough, this section also includes the 3/5's of a person definition of slaves. Ah to be a strict constructionist). Just as there is something in nature that does not love a wall, there is something in conservatism that does not love data

One final note. The Initiative specifically allows police officers to use race to describe suspects, and specifically forbids police from gathering data about the race of people it interacts with. In other words, you can be arrested for DWB, but we can't find out how many people were stopped for DWB. DWB=Driving While Black


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