- You Can't Blame White People - 2013-10-07
- University Of Texas Holds ‘Affirmative Action’ Bake Sale - 2013-10-02
- NCAA Football And Universities Are Modern-Day Plantations - 2013-09-13
- North Carolina’s Tea Party nightmares - 2013-07-30
- Holder Addresses Voting Rights At National Urban League Conference - 2013-07-26
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The nation's highest court urged the lower court to apply a measure that shows universities can achieve affirmative action without racial classifications, following a challenge by Abigail Fisher who claimed in 2008 that she was denied admission at UT-Austin because she is White.
"In light of the Supreme Court's decision, America's educational institutions should recommit to fair and thoughtful ways to foster diversity. In the coming months, the NAACP will work with universities, policymakers and the business community to see that qualified students from a diversity of backgrounds get a close look and a fair shot at admission to top schools," NAACP President Ben Jealous wrote in a nationwide editorial.
"We will be stronger as a nation if we embrace our growing diversity and ensure that the pathways to leadership remain wide open. Numerous studies reveal that mere interaction is the best way to avoid intergroup conflict. Sociologists have even found that diversity increases opportunities for creativity."
But the court is not convinced on achieving diversity through racial classification and in a 7-1 rule handed down a tentative decision that sends the case back to the lower court.
The high court said the lower court should reopen the case "under a correct analysis" because colleges, as Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion, must show "available, workable race-neutral alternatives do not suffice" before considering race in admissions.
Marc Morial, CEO of the National Urban League, said, "Because the court did not overturn the central premise of affirmative action, universities may still consider racial and ethnic diversity as one factor among others in their admissions policies. However, this case is not over, and its merits and future implications cannot be overestimated on either side. The bottom line is we can't stand idly by, waiting for judges and politicians to decide our fate. It's up to us to do something about it."
Jennifer Gratz, CEO of the XIV Foundation and former lead plaintiff in the University of Michigan affirmative action case, said the Supreme Court ruling is "a great reminder that the Grutter decision, especially when taken with the Gratz decision, was not an open ticket to use race preferences."
Gratz will join a panel of speakers July 11, 10 am, at an open forum at the downtown campus of Wayne County Community College District to debate the latest ruling. The other speakers including Wayne State University constitutional law professor, attorney Godfrey Dillard who represented the University of Michigan before the Supreme Court and Detroit News conservative columnist Henry Payne.
"The court once again confirmed that universities must be moving to end these policies and that they must first attempt to achieve diversity through race-neutral means," Gratz said. "Since the University of Texas had shown they could achieve diversity through race-neutral means when adjusting to the Hopwood decision in the 1990s, they should not reintroduce race preferences."
However, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who dissented, wrote in her opinion that the court missed the mark.
"I have several times explained why government actors, including state universities, need not blind themselves to the still lingering, everyday evident, effects of centuries of law-sanctioned inequality," Ginsburg said. "Among constitutionally permissible options, I remain convinced, those that candidly disclose their consideration of race are preferable to those that conceal or obscure what drives them."
National studies have shown that Whites are twice as likely to enroll in institutions of higher learning than their Black, Latino and Native American counterparts. Most recently, the Census showed that 65 percent of Blacks and 80 percent of Latinos did not complete post-secondary education compared to 50 percent of Whites.
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