ACRI Ballot Initiative (Arizona): Student Columnist Defends Initiative Proposal

A student opinion columnist for the Arizona Daily Wildcat favors the American Civil Rights Institute’s (ACRI) initiative proposal to end affirmative action in Arizona (column titled “Racism by Any Other Name“). [Note: For my previous posts on Arizona’s anti-affirmative action initiative proposal, search on Arizona in the search box on the left column.]

The writer writes his column as if social minorities in the United States are in control of social institutions in Arizona. If this were the case, his column would be persuasive.

Reality, though, vehemently contradicts the writer’s assertions. Contrary to the opinion of student writer, power is not measured by wealth alone. The social group that has the most people possesses the most power. As a result, there is no question that Whites have the most power in Arizona and the United States. Whites are, by far, the largest racial group.

Arizona (population: 5,130,632 (2000 Census) [NOTE: high number of “some other race”])

Race Percentage of population Number
White 75.5% 3,873,611
Black 3.1 158,873
Native American 5.0 255,879
Asian 1.8 92,236


United States (population: 281,421,906 (2000 Census)

Race Percentage of population Number
White 75.1% 211,460,626
Black 12.3 34,658,190
Native American 0.9 2,475,956
Asian 3.6 10,242,998


Thus, neither situation in Zimbabwe nor in Malaysia is equivalent to the United States’ obligation to correct the damage done by its slavery institution. For more information on Zimbabwe, see an article by Dr. Chika A. Onyeani in The Black Commentator.

For Malaysia, see a Reuters article. The purpose of affirmative action in Malaysia is to help the impoverished majority population, the opposite of the goal of the United States, which is to help those who are not part of the powerful majority.

While Bumiputera [ethnic Malays and indigenous people] wealth went from just over 2 percent in 1970 to about 19 percent in 2004, Malays, who make up more than half of the population of 26 million, are still the poorest racial group — well behind the minority ethnic Chinese, who hold about 40 percent of the nation’s wealth.

ACRI’s anti-affirmative action proposal is not needed in Arizona. The small non-White population needs assurances that their ability to live will be respected.