THE RIGHT THING TO DO!
A generation ago, we did it right. We passed civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination. But special interests hijacked the civil rights movement. Instead of equality, governments imposed quotas, preferences, and set-asides.
Proposition 209 is called the California Civil Rights Initiative because it restates the historic Civil Rights Act and proclaims simply and clearly: ''The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group, on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting."
''REVERSE DISCRIMINATION" BASED ON RACE OR GENDER IS PLAIN WRONG!
And two wrongs don't make a right! Today, students are being rejected from public universities because of their RACE. Job applicants are turned away because their RACE does not meet some ''goal" or ''timetable." Contracts are awarded to high bidders because they are of the preferred RACE.
That's just plain wrong and unjust. Government should not discriminate. It must not give a job, a university admission, or a contract based on race or sex. Government must judge all people equally, without discrimination!
And, remember, Proposition 209 keeps in place all federal and state protections against discrimination!
BRING US TOGETHER!
Government cannot work against discrimination if government itself discriminates. Proposition 209 will stop the terrible programs which are dividing our people and tearing us apart. People naturally feel resentment when the less qualified are preferred. We are all Americans. It's time to bring us together under a single standard of equal treatment under the law.
STOP THE GIVEAWAYS!
Discrimination is costly in other ways. Government agencies throughout California spend millions of your tax dollars for costly bureaucracies to administer racial and gender discrimination that masquerade as ''affirmative action." They waste much more of your money awarding high-bid contracts and sweetheart deals based not on the low bid, but on unfair set-asides and preferences. This money could be used for police and fire protection, better education and other programs--for everyone.
THE BETTER CHOICE: HELP ONLY THOSE WHO NEED HELP!
We are individuals! Not every white person is advantaged. And not every ''minority" is disadvantaged. Real ''affirmative action" originally meant no discrimination and sought to provide opportunity. That's why Proposition 209 prohibits discrimination and preferences and allows any program that does not discriminate, or prefer, because of race or sex, to continue.
The only honest and effective way to address inequality of opportunity is by making sure that all California children are provided with the tools to compete in our society. And then let them succeed on a fair, color-blind, race-blind, gender-blind basis.
Let's not perpetuate the myth that ''minorities" and women cannot compete without special preferences. Let's instead move forward by returning to the fundamentals of our democracy: individual achievement, equal opportunity and zero tolerance for discrimination against--or for--any individual.
Vote for FAIRNESS . . . not favoritism!
Reject preferences by voting YES on Proposition 209.
Chairman, California Civil Rights Initiative
PAMELA A. LEWIS
Co-Chair, California Civil Rights Initiative