By WA Asian for Equality
Asian Americans throughout Washington are alarmed that Gov. Jay Inslee would deny the public a right to vote on Initiative 1000, which qualified earlier this month for the ballot, by pushing for a quick vote on it by the legislature. I-1000 would repeal Washington State’s Civil Rights Initiative (also known as I-200), which was passed with nearly 59 percent of the vote 20 years ago, and protects all people in Washington from discrimination based on race or ethnicity in college admissions as well as government employment and contracting.
“Governor Inslee and other supporters of I-1000 are trying to replace equal opportunity for all with different rules for different races,” stated Linda Yang, head of Washington Asians for Equality. In other words, when you apply for an education at state college or university, your race would once again be a factor in whether you get in. This is immoral and has no place in a society where people should be judged as individuals, not by the color of their skin. We view I-1000 as a serious threat to the Asian American everywhere and the principle of equality under the law.
“Proponents of I-1000 consider the Asian American Community as a group who have benefited from I-200 and have said Asians are not ‘people of color’ because they are doing so well.” Yang further stated that she “immigrated to North America more than 20 years ago, with only $200 in my pocket, and worked hard to prosper and realize the American Dream for myself and my family. I want to be viewed as an American—nothing more and nothing less.”
Not only did I-200 win in 38 of the state’s 39 counties, it passed with bipartisan support. I-200 bans discrimination and preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public hiring and school admission.
Yang added, “The people of Washington deserve the chance to vote on I-1000, just as they did with I-200.”