Friday, June 30, 2023

With affirmative-action ruling, SCOTUS seems set for a return to 1954, and the days before Brown v. Board of Education made segregated schools unlawful

If you are a minority, affirmative action in college admissions effectively is no longer available to you after the U.S. Supreme Court's (SCOTUS) decision yesterday in Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. the University of North Carolina, et al. If you are not a minority, however, various types of affirmative action still are available. That sounds like a peculiar outcome, but longtime Alabama attorney and civil-rights advocate Donald Watkins says, in the current American environment, it was pretty much expected.

The essence of yesterday's affirmative-action ruling, Watkins says, is this: The nation's highest court seems determined to take us back to 1954 -- and the days before Brown v. Board of Education, outlawed racial segregation in public schools.

Under the headline "Affirmative Action for Black College Students is Dead; Affirmative Action For Whites is Thriving," Watkins shows how whites have benefited from a nation that historically has granted them favorable treatment, even in states (such as Alabama) with a heavy Black population.Writes Watkins:

When it comes to matters of race, some things never change. Consider these poignant observations.

First, affirmative action that INCLUDES racial minorities in the socioeconomic progress of this nation is now outlawed. The U.S. Supreme Court killed this type of affirmative action yesterday on a 6-3 vote in a college and university admissions case involving Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.

Second, affirmative action that EXCLUDES racial minorities is still fashionable. This is why the overwhelming majority of the 5,996 publicly traded companies in America have all-white boards of directors.

This is also why the 19-judge Alabama appellate- court system is all white today in a state that is 26 percent black. Since 2000, every vacancy on the state supreme court has been filled by the gubernatorial appointment of a white lawyer or white lower-court judge.

Race, of course, long has been a hot-button topic, but matters of race do not always play out in a straightforward fashion. In some cases, the impact of race can be present in plain sight, with many Americans not even noticing. Watkins provides examples:

Third, the relatively small number of black athletes in colleges and universities across America who can run, catch, and/or dribble a ball in an outstanding manner can get into any school, college, or university regardless of their academic qualifications.

Academic standards do not seem to matter very much in cases where black athletes are used to produce hundreds of millions of dollars each year for major university athletics programs.

Fourth, legacy admissions programs at prestigious white colleges and universities have always been available to underachieving white students, and they remain available today. The Supreme Court did not touch this category of affirmative action that has overwhelmingly white beneficiaries.

Simply put, predominantly white graduates of these colleges and universities can always get their children and close relatives admitted to these fine educational institutions under a legacy admission program, regardless of how low their academic qualifications are.

What really is going on with SCOTUS? Watkins spells it out in stark terms:

Fifth, this Supreme Court is now functioning much like an Old South, "Redemption Era" court. A majority of the justices is on a judicial "holy mission" to take America back to the pre-Brown v. Board of Education era -- with all deliberate speed. Brown was the 1954 landmark case that outlawed state law mandated racial segregation in public schools.

One justice stands out in this discussion because his hypocrisy on the subject is hard to ignore. That justice, of course, is Clarence Thomas. Writes Watkins:

Sixth, Clarence Thomas has always been the nation's best known and greatest beneficiary of affirmative action. Thomas has never made it in life on his own merit. Admissions standards for educational institutions always had to be lowered for him.

Thomas has never had the intellectual acumen to be a great lawyer, appellate-court judge, or Supreme Court Justice. In fact, Thomas is ranked as one of the five worst Justices in Supreme Court history.

Thomas' professional ascent within the federal judiciary has been based on his political philosophy and not his intelligence.

Clarence Thomas is viewed by many Americans as an unabashed political "whore." Today, Thomas has the highest unfavorability rating on the Court.

As far as I can determine, Thomas has never ruled in favor of any black civil-rights litigant's legal claims in his 31 years on the Supreme Court.

What is worse, Clarence Thomas has shown that he hates Black people. Thomas also hates the fact that he is Black. Experts say there is no known cure for Thomas' self-hatred psychological condition. 

What is more, Clarence Thomas' vote on the Court has always been "for sale" for the right price, in the right case, for the right billionaire. Harlan Crow owns him. 

Yesterday's Supreme Court decision in the college and university admissions case was one more milestone along the Court's journey to a place in time when blacks had no legal rights that white men were bound to respect. The final destination for this journey is the Court's affirmation of its infamous 1857 Dred Scott v. Sandford decision.

African-Americans refer to this dreaded journey as a "Trip to the Land of Misery."

Note: Rex Chapman, a former (White) University of Kentucky basketball star, who played 12 years in the NBA and now is a well-known social-media influencer, shared this on Twitter:

Some folks keep saying America has made so much racial progress that affirmative action is unnecessary. This happened two-and-half years ago in the United States Capitol.



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