It looks as if the citizens of Washington State have narrowly rejected a referendum that would have overturned their ban on affirmative action, passed two decades ago. The results won’t be certified until December 5, but a bare majority of Washington’s voters rejected the proposal.
That’s good news. Washington’s elites, as America’s elites everywhere, are still determined to stuff race and sex quotas upon Americans, whatever the law says, so the law can’t stop every end run around its clear intent. The University of Washington will still use “diversity” for admission purposes tomorrow, regardless of the law. But the law makes such shenanigans harder. If the people of Washington had voted to get rid of it, there would have been nothing to prevent the use of quotas.
This latest attempt to remove legislative barriers to race quotas underlines the importance of making bans to race quotas part of the state constitution—as happened in California. Legislation can be overturned more easily than a constitutional amendment.
NAS is glad—I’m glad—that Washington state’s voters stood up for America’s fundamental principles of equality of opportunity and individual merit. But they, and we, must be prepared for constant efforts to overturn them.
As the great abolitionist Wendell Phillips said in 1852, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty … Only by continued oversight can the democrat in office be prevented from hardening into a despot.”