The University of California (UC) system is set to implement new guidelines that will force all potential applicants to first take an ethnic studies or “anti-racist” course in high school prior to applying.
As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, the UC Academic Senate met on March 30th to consider new “course content guidelines” relating to ethnic studies classes that any future students would first have to take in high school. The guidelines dictate that students first learn about “the impact of systems of power and oppression,” including “empire,” “white supremacy,” “anti-blackness,” “xenophobia,” and “patriarchy” prior to submitting an application to any of the ten UC campuses throughout the state.
Previous efforts to mandate diversity education in California public schools had already been taken up by the state legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.). In 2020, Newsom vetoed a bill that would have implemented a broad ethnic studies curriculum throughout the state, after conservatives pointed out that the bill would allow for the leading of ancient Aztec chants, but did not include Jews as among the minorities who have been oppressed throughout history. Newsom eventually signed an updated bill in late 2021 forcing all public high schools to teach ethnic studies courses by 2025.
The UC Academic Senate previously adopted a measure in November of 2020 mandating one semester of ethnic studies as a requirement for public high school students set to graduate in 2030. The new proposal would force private and charter schools to adopt the same requirement for any students seeking acceptance to the UC system, which is considered the most prestigious level of education in the state.
The new demands call for high school students to “honor anti-colonial and liberatory movements that struggle for social justice” and “critique histories of imperialism, dehumanization, and genocide to expose how they are connected to present-day ideologies, systems, and dominant cultures that perpetuate racial violence, white supremacy, and other forms of oppressions.”
Despite the overwhelmingly far-left lean of the UC system, an open letter was signed by over 1,200 UC students, alumni, and faculty opposing the new changes, declaring that a radical “activist” wing is seeking to “unleash hatred and bigotry, especially anti-Semitism, into California’s public, charter, and private schools.”
The UC system already mandates a requirement that current undergraduate college students take at least one “diversity” course as a General Education (GE) requirement prior to graduating and receiving a diploma. The state’s other major public university system, California State University (CSU), recently implemented a similar GE requirement for its over 30 campuses after Newsom signed a bill ordering as such in 2020.