The Supreme Court ruled June 29 six to three against affirmative action in college admissions. This decision can be deciphered as a victory for many White conservatives who believe it had met its purpose. But it also serves as a devastating blow for minorities and women who have yet to feel its objective as being met.
The truth is this ruling sets the clock back for many minorities, especially African Americans who felt that the doors of opportunity were finally opening, making amends for centuries of legalized discrimination and segregations—denying them access to education and job opportunities attributing to unequal, biased economic mobility. With the removal of affirmative action in colleges and universities, African Americans are set up to remain at the very bottom of the economic scale compared to their Whites counterparts—with very little hope or possibility of catching up.
We have been taught that a college degree opens the doors for better paying jobs, offering its recipients a road to attain economic independence and a better quality of life. We all know that, historically, White colleges wouldn’t admit Blacks or at best limited admission to a select few. If it wasn’t for affirmative action, African Americans would be at even greater economic disadvantage compared to Whites.
Blacks, for the most part, felt affirmative action was a step in the right direction for America—starting to right a wrong that put Whites at an economic advantage benefiting for centuries from free labor off the backs of the enslaved. The intentional denial of Blacks from opportunities to improve their financial growth exponentially helped proliferate Whites’ generational growth. The playing field is so disproportionate that it seems almost impossible for the descendants of those enslaved to catch up. But you can see how affirmative action at least served as a gesture or effort in the right direction.
The argument of many of those against affirmative action is that they feel enough time has elapsed and that the playing field has been leveled. Other opponents within the dominant race in this country have always argued that affirmative action was reversed discrimination, saying it punished Whites by favoring unqualified minorities over more qualified Whites. That argument may have some merit to some, but the intent of affirmative action was to offer a helping hand to those who had been unduly discriminated against. The purpose was to help right a wrong that had historically caused the rise of a privileged select group being able to reap the abundance of financial wealth in this country.
Some are quick to make sly remarks alluding to affirmative action as amounting to ‘handouts’ for minorities, specifically Blacks. But facts dictate that White women have capitalized from affirmative action more than any other group. But the economic gap continues to widen for African Americans.
This country has a lot of catching up to make amends for its historic, negative treatment of Blacks, who have been denied access to financial independence. They have been used as free labor for centuries, as well as being denied opportunities to improve their financial status. These same Whites against affirmative action glow in the benefits attained through generational wealth off the backs of Blacks.
I guess you can say your view about doing away with affirmative action in colleges depends on your side of the spectrum. But if you have eyes and are open to the truth and what is right, you know we have a ways to go to balance the playing field. This is not the time to abruptly stop what was working.
The Supreme Court has decided to turn its back on some of our country’s most deserving citizens.