Repeal Prop 209 If Black Lives Really Matter in California
By Gloria Zuurveen
The passage of Prop 209 has hurt the black community more than any racial group in California since 1996 but it’s beginning was 1995 from public policies built from the minds of the political establishment at the time under the governor Pete Wilson, while Dr. Weber address the atrocities of her experience reference being born and bred in California and even the racism and unequal treatment blacks endured at the hand of America including the state of California, remember all the restrictive covenants, I too, recall the fight to dismantle the last bastion of protection for economic parity in this state as it was at the inception of PACE NEWS. It happened and the record reflects the evils of its passage when it comes to blacks. Since it passage, every other group, colored group, people of color, has improved (see chart), some numbers even doubled after its passage, the Asians, for example, look at their record, it’s documented in the data and the newspapers articles and yet that same data also reflect its sickening truth of how it has decimated the African American communities because of the “Meat and Potato jobs” as I call them, those jobs like the one my third-grade educated Mississippi dad, a black man, held for 45 long years and retired comfortably with benefits as union construction worker from the cotton fields all because of the quality of job and income he was afforded in order to take care of his family in the late 60s and 70s because of affirmative action. California, for Blacks, was like that prior to the passage of Prop 209. Quality and sustainable jobs were the reason many blacks left the south and other places to come to California. Its passage has harm Black people and we see the damage in the lack of economic parity that comes from inequitable distribution of government contracts and educational opportunities in public universities, look at the record since the passage of 209, how it has devastated the chances of accessing public resources like jobs, education and even public notices that are critical to the overall equitable distribution of the wealth in the state of California, the late great anti-lynching activist, Ida B. Wells, said it best when she said “the people must know before they can act” and many times the people don’t know and they can’t act and it’s mainly because there are no public notices published, which are required, by government mandate to be published in all legally adjudicated newspapers including the Black Press in the state of California to inform the black community and to make them aware. Black people, like my dad, who couldn’t read or write, were given a chance under affirmative action with only a third grade education in Mississippi. Now is the time for the California legislature to vote with their conscience, as we are in a pandemic and protest, and I believe, that at the very core of the protest is a because of a lack of economic parity and today, it is imperative that all state legislatures cohesively act to repeal Prop 209 which is a beginning process of truly saying and displaying that in California BLACK LIVES REALLY MATTER.