University of California and state officials sued for making race-based payments to blacks

University of California and state officials sued for making race-based payments to blacks
(Image: QuinceCreative / Pixabay)

The University of California, the San Francisco school district, and California’s health agency are violating state and federal discrimination law, according to a court complaint in a lawsuit challenging San Francisco programs that give money to individuals on the basis of their race.

“We are still waiting for the co-defendants to respond to the lawsuit,” says Wenyuan Wu, executive director of the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation.

The lawsuit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court. It  challenges “four unconstitutional guaranteed-income programs that violate the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the California State Constitution’s Equal Protection Guarantee, as well as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” notes the plaintiffs’ press release.

The University of California San Francisco is being sued for its complicity in two race-based guaranteed income programs – the Abundant Birth Project and the Black Economic Equity Movement. The Abundant Birth Project gives $1000 monthly to 150 black and Pacific Islander pregnant women for about one year. The Black Economic Equity program gives $600 monthly to 300 black adults between the ages of 18-24 for one year.

“We warned San Francisco and its co-conspirators that distributing public resources based on race was cartoonishly unconstitutional,” said Dan Morenoff, the director of the American Civil Rights Project.

Wu says “the progressive establishment believes that the law doesn’t apply to them,” and college and state officials think “they can choose which standards/rules/procedures to follow or break.”

She chided them for violating the “letter and the spirit of the Civil Rights Act to push for their ‘feel-good, do-bad.’”

Expecting Justice is a non-profit involved in a challenged program. Its website claims that “structural interventions that reduce the racial-wealth gap are urgently needed and have the promise to narrow longstanding inequities,” which is the reason why the Abundant Birth Project is targeted to “communities experiencing disproportionately high rates of adverse outcomes.”

The Black Economic Equity Movement claims that “[s]tructural racism has limited the opportunities for Black Americans for generations.” The funding for both ABP and BEEM comes from government grants and they in turn are funding politically-slanted research by UCSF researchers.

Morenoff says the challenged programs are clearly illegal: “America has enshrined very specific prohibitions against governments’… pursuit of race-based policies,” and it is required that these programs are “narrowly tailored to serve a ‘compelling’ state interest.” He says “none of these programs is remotely close to fitting into any of these categories. To date, no defendant has even pretended that they do. The 14th Amendment was ratified in the 1860s — it is very hard to believe that anyone, today, remains unaware that our laws have forbidden this kind of overt racial discrimination.”

Wu notes that California’s state constitution banned “preferential treatment” by race in education under Proposition 209, a ballot initiative approved in 1996, and that “in 2020, the UC system and other prominent California entities endorsed Proposition 16, which sought to repeal California’s constitutional ban on racial preferences unsuccessfully.” Wu said the challengers hope “to send a warning to other California state and local public entities that they are not above the law.”

LU Staff

LU Staff

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