For Immediate Release
May 2, 2019
Livingston, New Jersey: Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) strongly protests Initiative 1000, which was passed by the Washington Legislature on April 28, 2019 to restore Washington’s divisive, race-based affirmative action policies. Under a false pretext of promoting diversity and equality, I-1000 is unconstitutional, illegal, and ineffective. Passing this problematic measure greatly infringes the equal education rights of Asian-American children in Washington State.
Redefining preferential treatment as “the act of using any of the protected classes designations as the sole qualifying factor”, I-1000 seeks to normalize and legalize the consideration of race in place of merit as long as it is not the only factor. I-1000 violates a series of federal laws and U.S. Supreme Court Rulings, to include: the Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. On the state level, I-1000 breaches key components of the Washington State Law against Discrimination, the Washing Law on Affirmative Action, and court opinions on Smith v. University of Washington (2000). By and large, the aforementioned legal precedents reaffirm the constitutional principle of equal protection of the laws.
Started in summer 2018 to revive a failed Initiative 1644, I-1000 is chiefly aimed at undoing Washington’s voter-approved I-200. Its proponents disguise themselves as tokens of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” to sell a political agenda of discrimination, unjust preferences, and double standards. It is ineffective and immoral because promoting affirmative action by redefining preferential treatment in restricted terms will surely result in racial discrimination against Asian Americans in Washington State without delivering the intended benefits.
AACE president, Mr. Yukong Zhao said: “AACE condemns the Washington State Legislature’s passage of I-1000. For over half a million of Asian Americans who proudly call Washington their home state, their equal education rights are on the line as the I-1000 proposal pits racial groups against each other by replacing merit with racial categorization. For all Washingtonians, I-1000 does nothing to promote true, long-lasting diversity or to address the root cause behind failing public education in many minority communities. This politically expedient yet impractically shortsighted act only exacerbates educational inequalities across the great state of Washington!”
Asian American Coalition for Education
About the AACE: www.asianamericanforeducation.
Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) is a non-political, nonprofit, grassroots national organization, the proven leader in fighting for Asian-American children’s equal educational rights. On May 15, 2015, the founders of AACE united 64 Asian-American organizations and jointly filed a civil rights complaint with the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to request that they conduct investigations into Harvard University’s discriminatory admissions practices against Asian-American applicants. As the largest joint action taken by Asian-American communities over the last few decades, this complaint is now being investigated by the Justice Department. Over the years, we have advanced the cause of equal education rights for the Asian-American community. In July 2018, the federal government adopted our policy recommendations by rescinding Obama era guidance that promoted racial balancing and acquiesced to racial discrimination in college admissions.