‘Our country has never been colorblind’, by Dr. E. Faye Williams
7/6/2023, 6 p.m.
Elections always have con- sequences and this week we experienced Part Two of the Pro-Republican/Pro-Conservative Supreme Court. When we connect the dots, we realize the connection between Donald Trump and three of the six justices who voted to terminate Rowe AND eliminate affirmative action in college admissions.
When folks surrender, the consequences are usually unpleasant. When they surrender their right to vote, the consequences can be disastrous. Failing to vote when one can is the ultimate surrender!
I join the legion of those who will analyze and critique this latest act of social violence by the U.S. Supreme Court. Much of what I write will echo what you already have seen on television or read online or in a publication. For that I apologize, but the truth of this matter is voluminous and must be told and heard.
Using the language of the 14th Amendment, which was written to remedy the injuries of enslavement and bring a full measure of citizenship to formerlyenslavedpersons, the majority dismissed the history and continuing injury of systemic racism. In their dissent against this travesty, Justices Ketanji Brown Jackson and Sonia Sotomayor gave the nation a complete and concise
primer on the beneficial impact of affirmative action and the short-sightedness demonstrated by orchestrating its demise.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, one of the three liberal justices on the Supreme Court, said in her dissenting opinion, “Today, this court stands in the way and rolls back decades of precedent and momentous progress.”
She added that this decision “subverts the constitutional guarantee of equal protection by further entrenching racial inequality in education, the very foundation of our democratic government and pluralistic society.” Justice Sotomayor argued that the race neutrality envisioned by the majority “will entrench racial segregation in higher education because racial inequality will persist so long as it is ignored.”
In a blistering rebuke of her colleagues in the majority, Justice Brown Jackson stated that “six unelected members of today’s majority upend the status quo based on their policy preferences about what race in America should be like, but is not, and their preferences for a veneer of colorblindness in a societywhereracehasalways mattered and continues to matter in fact and in law.”
Justice Brown Jackson added, “Our country has never been colorblind. Given the lengthy history of state-sponsored race-based preferences in America, to say that anyone is now victimized if a college considers whether that legacy of discrimination has unequally advantaged its applicants fails to acknowledge the well documented “intergenerational transmission of inequality” that still plagues our citizenry.” She asserts, “History speaks.”
Since its adoption, affirmative action has been labeled by those who oppose it as a crutch for the unqualified and unworthy. The acceptance of this label is the stated reason for its pathological rejection by Justice Clarence Thomas.
My experience in the federal sector has shown me that the removal of artificial impediments by affirmative action has produced a level of competition which is unacceptable to many whites who have grown accustomed to a lack of substantive professional opposition.
The “guilt” of watching Black civil rights youths being brutalized is long gone. Instead of encouraging reconciliation, ignoring the physical and psychological brutality inflicted upon Black people and other persons of color has replaced it.
When allowed to occur, diversity, equity, and inclusion have been shown to benefit all who participate and a remedy to all who understand its purpose. Instead,thecourthas opened the back door to our past social ills and pre-civil rights status quo.
The writer is president of the Dick Gregory Society and author of “Wake Up and Stay Woke”— a tribute to Dick Gregory.