Statement Condemning SCOTUS Ruling on Affirmative Action
Monday, July 3, 2023 – Last Thursday, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled 6-3 against race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, rolling back decades of legal precedent for affirmative action. In a country that continues to be plagued by systemic racism, the Center for Family Representation (CFR) stands firmly against SCOTUS’s abhorrent decision.
SCOTUS deemed that higher education – which lifts up communities – must be colorblind, while race still disadvantages Black and Brown people in every institutional setting (including education). Educational barriers, such as an inequitable school system (the wealthiest 10% of U.S. school districts spend nearly 10 times more than the poorest 10%), state-sponsored surveillance, policing, and incarceration are disproportionately inflicted upon low-income Black and Brown communities.
Although the opposition and public discourse about affirmative action focuses almost exclusively on achieving fairness by eliminating race as a consideration in college admissions, the group that has and continues to benefit the most from affirmative action is white women. This speaks to America’s obsession with policing and creating barriers for Black and Brown communities that have been deemed “unworthy.”
As an organization, CFR works primarily with low-income Black and Brown parents and youth who are disproportionately targeted by the family regulation and criminal systems. We have witnessed how often these systems shatter Black and Brown families and communities over issues that white parents and youth are not penalized for.
All of our staff have benefited from affirmative action, because diversity enriches education for Black, indigenous, people of color, and white people. This decision ensures that future student bodies and faculties at America’s colleges, universities, graduate schools, and law schools will be less diverse. Diversity adds a richness to CFR, is meaningful to staff, and allows us to better reflect the communities we serve.
In the words of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, “The 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 society where race has always mattered and continues to matter in fact and in law…racial inequality will persist so long as it is ignored.”
Race-conscious admissions programs were a path (albeit an imperfect one) to higher education for Black and Brown students who navigate playing fields rigged against them from birth. With great anger and sadness over this ruling, we dissent.
Photo credit: Shuran Huang / The New York Times via Redux