San Francisco — Chinese for Affirmative Action denounces recent statements made by Assemblymember Kansen Chu as reported by World Journal (San Jose) about Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 5.
Assemblymember Chu’s comments spread misinformation about ACA 5 and create anxiety among Chinese immigrant communities. Though Assemblymember Chu chose to neither vote for or against ACA-5 when he had the chance to, his remarks referenced the lie that ACA-5 would necessarily lead to a decrease in Asian admission college rates, and promoted racist stereotypes about non-Asian People of Color. The divisive narrative pits communities of color against each other rather than promote cross-racial unity to address systemic racism.
“He got the facts wrong. But beyond the policy issue, AAPI elected officials like Mr. Chu must be held to a higher standard on issues surrounding inclusion and diversity in both his words and actions. After all, the civil rights movement led by African Americans led to gains for all people of color including Asian Americans.”, said Hong Mei Pang, Director of Advocacy at CAA.
ACA 5, if passed by the Legislature, will allow voters a chance to repeal an antiquated law called Proposition 209 passed twenty-four years ago. The repeal would make it legal for public programs to enact equal opportunity programs like affirmative action that are designed to fight discrimination. ACA 5 has broad support from education advocates, civil rights groups representing all communities of color, and women rights organizations. ACA-5 does not institute quotas, which are and will remain illegal under federal law.
Vincent Pan, CAA Co-Executive Director expressed, “We are in a moment of history where all of us are needed in the fight against discrimination against women and all communities including Asian Americans. ACA-5 would give voters the chance to say that we can do better to make California work for all people by having policies that acknowledge that race and gender specific programs are needed to solve racism and sexism. What we don’t need are fear-mongering and racist stereotypes against us or any community.”
The California State Senate is deliberating on ACA 5 and must pass it by June 25th for it to qualify on the ballot for November 2020 elections.
Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) is a community-based civil rights organization in San Francisco. Our mission is to protect the civil and political rights of Chinese Americans and to advance multiracial democracy in the United States. We advocate for systemic change that protects immigrant rights, promotes language diversity, and remedies racial injustice.