Posted on May 8, 2019

Racial Spoils in Washington State

Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2019

Identity politics often yields regressive policy, as Washington state legislators demonstrated last week by voting to restore racial and gender preferences in state government.

This is a setback for equality in Washington. In 1998 more than 58% of voters supported a ballot measure that barred the state from “discriminating or granting preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in public employment, education, and contracting.”

Democrats overturned that ban without a single GOP vote. They replaced it with Initiative 1000, which reinstates race, gender and other identity markers for use in college admissions and government contracting and hiring. {snip}


The new initiative also establishes a Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, made up of gubernatorial appointees, lawmakers and representatives from colleges and identity-based special-interests. {snip}


{snip} The American Coalition for Equality, which represents many Asian-Americans, has launched an effort to put repeal of Initiative 1000 on the November 2019 ballot. Let’s hope this effort succeeds, and meanwhile the U.S. Supreme Court should revisit its cases that allow this racial spoils system.