December 18, 2020
SAN DIEGO, CA – December 18, 2020- Dr. Shirley Weber, member of the California State Assembly and Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus, signed a letter to Governor Newsom to exert pressure on the governor to nominate a Black woman to the Senate seat held by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Californians for Equal Rights (CFER) criticizes such action and divisive rhetoric as steeped in a regressive system of racial spoils, threatening the very fabric of our democracy and its entailed social solidarity.
Weber’s statement and sponsorship of racial politics disregard the public’s demands for unity and non-discrimination by perpetuating divisiveness and political tribalism. In the official letter to Governor Newsom from the group Let’s Keep the Seat, Weber argued for racial spoils as part of a narrow identity-politics agenda. Faced with Prop 16’s overwhelming loss, Assemblywoman Weber and other proponents of race preferences have continued to instigate racial tensions in defiance of public interests. Weber’s statement harbors a racist element as she advocates for making public office nominations based on one’s race or skin color, instead of merit or capabilities.
In this past election, with a record-high turnout, 57.2% of California voters (over 9.65 million votes) rejected Proposition 16 and opposed race-based public decision-making. The latest post-election poll—the California Community Poll, commissioned by the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE), the Los Angeles Urban League and the Hispanas Organized for Political Equality, confirmed that the majority of Californians across all racial groups opposed Prop 16. Voters understood exactly what the measure would have done—to legalize racial discrimination and revive an insidious regime of racial rivalries and said no.
CFER, a nonprofit organization with a mission to defend and educate the public on the important principle of equality under the law, calls upon all our supporters and concerned Californians to unite together and end divisive racial politics. “Candidacy for public employment, education or contracting should be considered on the primary basis of merit, without regard to one’s ‘race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.’ Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, with her outrageous demand that a black woman must be appointed to the Senate seat of Kamala Harris, does not represent the vast majority of Californians who reject this divisive racial polarization,” said Mr. Frank Xu, President of CFER.
About Californians for Equal Rights (CFER): CFER is a non-political and non-profit organization established following the defeat of Proposition 16 in 2020, with a mission to defend and advance the cause of equal rights through public education, civic engagement and community outreach. In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to amend its constitution by passing Proposition 209 to ban racial discrimination and preferences. Prop 209 requires that “the state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.” CFER is dedicated to educating the public on this important constitutional principle of equal treatment.