Jaylon, who teaches at a northern university has contributed the first of three pieces on the topic of affirmative action; I will voice my support for AA more in my next piece on the state of Texas 10% rule and the demise of AA. Jaylon has drafted or sent pieces to The Proletarian in the past.
I cannot help but express my frustration with the Court’s ability to draw a moral equivalence between historic and contemporary discrimination against blacks, and the so-called “discrimination” against whites in order to secure racial balance in schools or to promote the inclusion of minorities in the name of diversity.
In its recent decision in Seattle and Louisville case, the Court suggests that efforts to achieve racial balance in primary and secondary schools is tantamount to efforts undertaken in the 1950s to exclude blacks from attending white schools.
I’m sick and tired of having to respond to this silly argument. Given the prevailing disparities in health, wealth and society between blacks and whites, you have to be an idiot or a sophisticated bigot not to appreciate the difference between state action that excludes minorities and subordinates people on the basis or race, and state action designed to bring together people of all races. The voluntary – yes, voluntary – efforts by the local school boards in Seattle and Louisville fall into the latter category, and ought not be confused with the former. Whatever you may think about the virtues of diversity, it is abundantly clear that the motivation behind such a policy is light-years removed from the motivations of segregationists of years past.
The plurality of the Court – despite reserving its opinion on affirmative action in higher education – nevertheless views race based decision-making designed to benefit minorities as presumptively unconstitutional in much the same way as it would view de jure segregation laws against blacks as presumptively unconstitutional. This is the 21st century, for god’s sake. Most Americans acknowledge the difference. Why can’t the highest court in the land? Shame of Chief Justice Roberts and Associate Justices Thomas, Kennedy, Scalia, and Alito for trying to pull a fast one on the American public.
The Court also relied upon the falsely nostalgic interpretation of the Constitution as color-blind. As I’ve often argued in the past, a colorblind constitution has never existed for either whites or blacks – the Constitution has always been color conscious – conscious in favor of white privilege. And isn’t it curious that the rhetoric of colorblindness always seems to strike against progressive efforts to improve the lives of everyday people of color?
This group of judges, in a single opinion, has done the most – at least in recent memory – to set back the progress of American race relations than any cohort I can think of. I suspect I’ll return to this topic in the future. In the meantime, what to you think of the Court’s decision to equate efforts to promote diversity with crass racists practices of the past?