SCA 5 is a law currently trying to be passed in the state of California and subsequently other U.S. states. SCA 5 states that it is legal, and in fact, MANDATORY, for state colleges (CSUs and UCs, in California) to discriminate based on race during college admissions.
Since Asians, such as Chinese and Indians, usually get good grades, they subsequently make up a large percentage of students admitted to public colleges and private colleges alike. In order to “level the playing field for all races,” SCA 5 seeks to set a limit to the number of Asians admitted to public colleges and state universities.
Therefore, it makes it illegal for colleges to admit more than a set percentage of Asian students. This means that even if there is an all-rounded Asian student with a 5.0 GPA, but the colleges have maxed out on the number of Asian students they can accept, a lesser qualified candidate of another race may jump ahead of the Asian candidate and be admitted to college. This ultimately doesn’t solve any problems, and simply makes it more competitive among Asians trying to get into a good college.
Part of many Asian cultures is working and studying hard. SCA 5 looks to penalize more than one ethnicity simply because of their culture. In the words of S.M., who petitioned against SCA 5, “I believe that studying hard and working towards our educational and career goals is, for many Asians, a big part of our culture. SCA 5 is basically saying that because Asians have this culture of trying hard in order to receive a good education, they should be penalized for it. This is NOT right, and is racial discrimination. A college education should go towards those who deserve it and work hard towards it. Contrary to popular belief, Asians aren’t just ‘born smart,’ we work towards it just as hard as a smart Caucasian or a smart African-American would. Vote NO to SCA 5!”
Other than being financially stable when they immigrate to the U.S., Asians have no inherit advantage over other students. The solution to the problem of too many Asians in colleges is not to ban Asians from being admitted into these colleges, but rather to level the playing field another way, such as by giving financial aid to less well-off families.
Teachers also play a huge role in leveling the playing field. Asian parents are usually financially stable and well-educated, so their children can ask them for help on homework and can concentrate on school. Other ethnicities may not be as financially stable, and a student’s parents may not be as educated; this is where teachers have to step in. For less-privileged students, teachers must help the students, and make sure underprivileged students can do just as well as others.
And this is not yet mentioning that SCA 5 is a racist law, and goes against the freedom our country has worked so long and hard to achieve. As Barbara Sun, who petitioned against SCA 5, says, “[…] it is unfair for me, as an Asian, to receive less of an opportunity to be admitted into a college based on my race. This is backwards and completely unreasonable, and these types of things were thought to be eliminated a century ago, when racism plagued the U.S. I am ashamed to be in a nation, which is supposedly the symbol of freedom, equality, and equal chances, and have these types of things still existing and circulating the governmental system.”
SCA 5 is not actually helping place other ethnicities–such as Caucasian, Hispanic, or African American–at the same level as Asians, but is rather discriminating against Asians to give other ethnicities an advantage. The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which states:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
This, stated in simple terms, means that under no circumstances is a person to be discriminated against based on age, ethnicity, religion, gender, or any other factor. This law, therefore, looks to cancel this part of the Fourteenth Amendment, making it legal to “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” It also looks to delete part of Proposition 209, which, according to a government website, “prohibit[s] the state from granting preferential treatment to individuals or groups on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin, in the operation of public education.”
As Yui-Chi Rockower says, “We want to build the strongest country we can. That means not penalizing good students by making it harder for them to gain admittance to UC or CSU. If some “categories” of students are under-represented in the admissions to our State Universities, isn’t it far better to help them perform better, rather than lowering the standards for admission, for those students?”