Ward Connerly, author of the divisive Proposition 209 banning affirmative action in California, is at it again. Connerly has authored a new initiative that will be on the ballot in a special election called for October 7, 2003. The official title is the "Classification ofby Race, Ethnicity, Color, or National Origin Initiative" (CRECNO), although voters may have also heard it referred to by the misleading title, "Racial Privacy Initiative." More accurately, as California Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante has stated, it should be called the "Information Ban Initiative."
The initiative would prevent state and local government agencies from collecting or maintaining any racial or ethnic data in their operations. It is premised on the flawed logic that ignorance is better-that not knowing about societal inequities will make them go away. In reality, however, the measure would do nothing to enhance privacy, since virtually all racial or ethnic data is collected anonymously by government agencies. The measure would, however, have far-reaching impacts on the state's ability to identify racial and ethnic disparities and discrimination in public health, health care, education, contracting, racial profiling and other areas.
Rechtschaffen, Clifford, "Appearing on the Next California Ballot:An Initiative to Ban Information" (2002). Publications. 686.