Last week, Arizona voters passed Proposition 107, which outlawed the use of affirmative action in state hiring and admissions processes, by a 60-40 margin. The state that brought us SB 1070, the harshest anti-immigrant piece of legislation to come down in recent memory; and HB 2281, the state’s new ethnic-studies ban, reminds everyone that if ain’t white, it ain’t right. Politicians like state Rep. Russell Pearce, who authored SB 1070, and Gov. Jan Brewer, whose winning campaign reflected her fixation on repeating lies about border violence, have fallen in line to make Arizona reminiscent of days rife with racism.
Julie Hing of Colorlines reminds us that what happened last week has roots that go back much further than Brewer alone. According to Hing, Prop 107, misleadingly titled the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative, was a Ward Connerly-backed production. Connerly is a California-based black anti-affirmative action crusader who has successfully spearheaded campaigns to get California, Michigan, Nebraska and Washington to pass similar bans in the last decade. According to Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, Connerly has spent $1.7 million in Arizona to get an affirmative action ban passed in recent years. The new law amended the Arizona Constitution to ban affirmative action programs in state hiring, admissions and contracting processes. Connerly is at it again. Where’s the drop squad when you need them?
Read more at Colorlines.