Archive for category race

New #SCOTUS ruling on affirmative action passes the buck and says let voters decide

The best possible spin on the Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action in Michigan is that it doesn’t end affirmative action.

The decision did not say affirmative action was unconstitutional.

It merely narrowly decided that Prop.2, the Michigan initiative that voters passed to end race-based affirmative action in that state could be applied and that the equal protection clause was not violated.

It even sounds good. Let the voters decide, right?

OK, but why do we leave it to the voters to decide on that issue and that issue alone, and not on every single item that the University officials oversee?

Why take that power away from the professional educators?

As I went through the 6-2 opinion, I wasn’t that surprised that someone liberal like Breyer would vote with Kennedy, Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas.

Breyer stated he was for some forms of affirmative action, but didn’t see why the voters shouldn’t be allowed to weigh in.

But then there was Sotomayor’s lengthy dissent, which took the hardline, that this ruling indeed was setting up the situation where down the line we might  see the tyranny of the majority, and see the violation of minority rights under the equal protection clause.

That’s what was at stake here.

The majority of justices seemed happy enough to see the voters figure out where they stand on affirmative action.

After reading Sotomayor’s minority dissent, I’m not sure if that’s such a great thing.

We know how fair elections are now, with money driving everything.

That means we’ll probably see  a lot more SCA-5 style battles–until the court makes yet another ruling on the constitutionality of race based methods in university admissions.

UPDATE: 4/23/2014

It’s not surprising that the courts want to get out of the race business. Just like the legislatures have gotten out of legislating by relinquishing their role to the initiative process for the tough issues.

So if the elections are so important, why do electoral rights seem to be under attack? From the Voting Rights Act provisions, to campaign finance, has there been a more activist Supreme Court to reverse  the rights of minorities?

And now elections are the preferred way to settle racial fights? Sounds like SCOTUS just gave itself cover for its horrendous decisions, putting it all on the electorate.

 

 

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SF Giants’ Lincecum still has homer-itis, but keeps team in game till it decides it wants to win in 12th; After nearly five hours, Giants beat Dodgers 3-2 on Jackie Robinson Day

 

On the night when all the heroes wore No. 42, it was too bad the San Francisco Giants’ Tim Lincecum couldn’t get the win.

On Jackie Robinson Night, the Giants sent Lincecum, the premier Filipino American player in baseball to the mound. The Filipino fan favorite pitched well enough to win. In a 93 pitch performance in 5 innings, he struck out 5 and had zero walks. The Dodgers managed just five hits, but that included a solo home run in the 2nd inning to former teammate Juan Uribe. On a full-count, Lincecum challenged with a slider, and Uribe pounded it half-way up the left field bleachers.  The Dodgers coasted on that run most of the night. By the time the Giants tied it on a Brandon Crawford sac fly that scored Hunter Pence, Lincecum was out of the game–but off the hook.  He’s still looking for his first win, but so far he’s got 17 Ks and 1 walk in 15 innings pitched, indicative that the mustachioed Lincecum isn’t plagued by some of the control issues he had last year. Indeed, this year, he’s not wild, just prone to the fat pitch and the homerun ball—he’s given up 5 in 15 innings.  Uribe got him on this night. After the Dodgers took a2-1 lead, the Giants tied the score again  in the bottom of the 9th, but left the bases loaded ( as they did three times in the game). The game went into extras, past midnight. Nearly five hours after the start, the Giants finally pushed through a winning run when Hector Sanchez singled in Brandon Crawford for the 3-2 final. The walk-off win gives the Giants a first place tie with LA in the NL West.

 

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Pacquiao Bradley II: That’s not your prep school classmate, that’s the boxing match HBO can’t seem to hype enough

When I saw Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley fight for the first time on June 9, 2012, I was like most of the free world: Dumbfounded by the results.

Pacquiao clearly dominated the fight, though Bradley seemed to finish strong. Still, it wasn’t enough for a rally that actually could win the fight. How do you say: “Peex.”

Who needs an undercover camera? It was there for all to see. We knew who won the fight two years ago.

And now Pac Bradley 2 is back before Easter. For redemption?

Jim Lampley, the HBO announcer/sportscaster, on one radio show recently said the fight  wasn’t about a fix, but more about “bad judging.”

Lampley’s a good guy, but he has his biases working for the network that has a monopoly on the live fight.

There was something smelly about that fight, and two years doesn’t sufficiently deodorize the matter.

But we’re going to have to wait for someone’s deathbed confession before we get the real truth.

In the meantime, Pacquiao needs money. He’s motivated by taxes, and the peso/dollar exchange rate. And he has a whole barangay for an entourage.

ESPN has both fighters getting $6 million, but Pacquiao gets a guaranteed $20 million according to a report last week.

We also don’t have much time left to admire Pacquiao, in all honesty.

I’ve been saying he should retire now. But he’s on record saying “two more years.”

So for curiosity sake, I will lift my moratorium.

Pacquiao is the Filipinos’ alter ego, and I’m willing to suspend my disdain for pro boxing to watch him—just to see if he has anything left. The fight might be closer with two years for Bradley to get better and Pacquiao to get older.

Consider a graph with two lines:  If P is at a high level but  arcing down, and B is at a lower level but still rising, if the fight is taking place where the lines intersect it could be a toss up. If the  lines are close but not intersecting, then P should still have enough of an edge. That’s where I think we are.  Based on the last fights of both, Bradley gave Provodnikov a good fight. P gave Rios a beating. Based on that Freddie Roach puts Bradley as similar to Rios. But that Provodnikov fight of Bradley was better than that.  And let me not forget that Bradley/Marquez fight, where Bradley fought a completely different style. It all points to Bradley getting better, whereas Pacquiao is getting older. So we may be close to that P/B intersection, but not quite to make it a toss-up.

Prediction? Lots of rounds 10-9 Pacquiao, with Pac the ultimate winner.

(Live tweeting here at www.amok.com and on twitter@emilamok

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“Asian American Hustle”? With California State Senator Leland Yee’s arrest, Asian American political empowerment in the Bay Area takes a huge hit

Here’s when I last saw Sen. Leland Yee. He’s not a particularly warm guy. But maybe I should have sensed, he was just going through the motions, and that at age 65, he was looking for an exit plan.

I was the emcee of a community event in the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco last October, and he was the featured speaker. The event honored the day the  U.S. landed on Leyte during WWII,  whereby General Douglas MacArthur and Filipinos retook the Philippines and changed the course of the war. Yee was there to present a Senate  resolution honoring the day.

I remember Yee to be all business that day, and not any different from normal. He was there for the community, as always.

And yet, after losing the SF’s mayoral race and gaining a new $70,000 debt, and with the pressure of being term limited and being forced to seek a new job (was Secretary of State, the overseer of elections, really all that appealing?), I should have sensed the musical chairs game of politics was beginning to get old.

If I had, then maybe Wednesday’s sordid tale of a bizarre and surreal FBI sting that includes drugs, convicted gang members nicknamed “Shrimp Boy,” and talk of illegal firearms from Muslim groups in the Philippines would not have been such big a surprise.

But with the key figure in all of that being Yee, I have to admit to being flabbergasted.

This is a case that rocks the Bay Area’s Asian American political scene hard…

Continue reading this piece at  http://www.aaldef.org/blog

 

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