It appears from this article that I first read about on Balloon Juice, that perhaps there's a reason it seemed racist. As the article reads, one of the main proponents of the law is a man named Kris Kobach, who according to the article linked above, is "a Birther who’s running for Kansas secretary of state. But his Birtherism is the least offensive thing about Kobach. His campaign Website brags, 'Kobach wins one in Arizona.' He’s also an attorney for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legal arm of an immigration group called FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform."
To continue, the article reads:
For nine of the first years of FAIR’s existence, the group reportedly received more than $1 million in funding from something called the Pioneer Fund. The Pioneer Fund describes itself as based “in the Darwinian-Galtonian evolutionary tradition and eugenics movement.” For the last 70 years, the Pioneer Fund has funded controversial research about race and intelligence, essentially aimed at proving the racial superiority of white people.As disagreeable as this sounds, it's not exactly surprising to hear a birther is also a believer in racial superiority.
What I find interesting, though, is that as this law is being pushed into effect and supported by an apparent white-supremacist, there is currently a Supreme Court hearing regarding whether a school may deny funding and official recognition to a student organization that violates the school's "all comers" policy - namely that all students must be allowed full access to the organization. Over at the Powerline Blog John wrote on this case a few days ago:
As is often the case in Supreme Court arguments, the justices pelted both lawyers with hypothetical questions, sometimes involving rather far-fetched scenarios. At one point Justice Stevens asked this question:
JUSTICE STEVENS: What if the belief is that African Americans are inferior?
MR. McCONNELL: Again, I think they can discriminate on the basis of belief, but not on the basis of status.
Given the information at the top of this post, I would argue that this scenario is not "far fetched," rather, it's a matter of fact that there are individuals, even lawyers, who believe that one race is superior to another. Personally, I agree with the concept of "who pays the piper calls the tunes," and that the school isn't denying the CLS the right to discriminate if it chooses, rather it's saying "If you want to discriminate, that's fine, but you won't be recognized as an Official Student Organization," i.e. "we won't subsidize your discrimination." I would hate to see schools be forced to subsidize outright racism like Arizona is.