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American Sociological Association: 2003 Press Release
ASA Press Releases
Contact: Jackie Cooper or Lee Herring
Phone: (202) 247-9871
October 08, 2003
Statement by Sally T. Hillsman, Executive Officer
American Sociological Association
On the Defeat of California's Proposition 54
With data on race no longer at risk for being deemed “illegal,” California citizens can expect continuing openness and accountability in the public and private sectors regarding prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, and/or national origin. Policymakers also can celebrate the defeat of this “head-in-the-sand” proposition that would have blinded our society instead of rendering it colorblind. Proposition 54 would have robbed scientists and policymakers alike of critical research data in studies of great importance to the health and social well-being of Californians and all Americans.
A large body of social science research documents the impact of race in American society, including health, justice, education, employment, and where people live. These studies illustrate how racial hierarchies are embedded in daily life—from racial profiling in law enforcement and “red-lining” communities of color in mortgage lending to the delivery of medical care.
sociologists, we believe that race still matters in America and to
Americans and that until we achieve a world in which this is no longer
the case, scientists and policymakers need continued access to public
data collected on race, ethnicity, and national origin.
In 2003, the ASA issued a formal statement, The Importance of Collecting Data and Doing Social Scientific Research on Race, which details ASA’s arguments that underlie its position against Proposition 54. The complete 12-page statement is accessible on the web in PDF format.
ASA's September 22 press release describing ASA's position against Proposition 54 can be found here.
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About the American Sociological Association
The American Sociological Association (www.asanet.org), founded in 1905, is a non-profit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society.