The recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the state of Michigan’s ban on including race in college admissions is causing a firestorm across the nation.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a strong dissent to the court’s decision. “In my colleagues’ view, examining the racial impact of legislation only perpetuates racial discrimination. This refusal to accept the stark reality that race matters is regrettable. As members of the judiciary tasked with intervening to carry out the guarantee of equal protection, we ought not sit back and wish away, rather than confront, the racial inequality that exists in our society,” Sotomayor wrote.
The vote passed 6-2 and will now make it illegal for colleges and universities to consider race when admitting minority students. But it goes deeper than just college, by allowing this attack on affirmative action to succeed, it opens the door for other legislation to go forward.
“I think this decision will open the way for more state ballot initiatives, signaling the end of Affirmative Action. And we have to perhaps reconcile ourselves to that fact. Just another reason to reimagine political struggle against white supremacy,” said Eddie Glaude, a professor at Princeton University.
“This decision is unfortunate. America offers its citizens many great opportunities, but we must always take into consideration, historical factors that have shaped our legacy and educational institutions.The Supreme Court can look as recently as February 2014 and see the inequities in punishment for minorities in our public school system. This is just one of the factors that historically and currently impact the success of outcomes in our educational system,” wrote Otha Thornton, president of the National PTA.
The decision will have a wide-ranging impact. Already the cry of “states’ rights” is rearing its racist head again when it comes to righting historical wrongs. Diversity in higher education will surely be gutted.