AFRICANGLOBE – In its decision last Monday on affirmative action, the Supreme Court punted. It reviewed the University of Texas affirmative action program — in which race is admittedly “a factor of a factor of a factor” in admission, one of many factors used with a university committed to the educational benefits of a diverse student body — and said the lower court had to give it even stricter scrutiny. Or in essence, take another, harsher look and come back next year.
100 Years of Apartheid
In making the decision, the court once more revealed how out of touch it is with reality. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution was passed to provide equal protection of the laws to African-Americans emerging from slavery. But 150 years of slavery was followed by 100 years of apartheid, as the courts and the Congress perverted the purpose of the Reconstruction Amendments (13-15).
Finally, under Chief Justice Earl Warren, the court, driven in part by the civil rights movement and in part by Cold War concerns that legalized discrimination might discredit the U.S. in the nations emerging from colonialism, ruled that segregation was unconstitutional and accepted affirmative action to bring equality of opportunity to all Americans. And that revolution in civil rights for Blacks led directly to the women’s movement, the homosexual movement, and the Latino movement.
In red states across the country, conservatives pushed various measures to limit their right to vote. The pattern of continuing discrimination is pervasive and inescapable for all who care to look.
That’s why Justice Ruth Ginsberg dissented from the opinion, arguing that more scrutiny is not needed. After a yearlong review, the university, she writes, reached a “reasonable, good faith judgment that supposedly race-neutral initiatives were insufficient to achieve the educational benefits of student-body diversity.” The purpose is constitutional; the means appropriate. Nothing else should be required.
Keep up with Rev. Jackson and the work of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition at www.rainbowpush.org.