Black Americans, Asian Americans, and White Americans: Supreme Court and The Fall out over Affirmative Action in College Admissions.



( The United States Supreme Court’s affirmative action decision is a disappointing and unnecessary blow to equal education for all.

The extremist majority of this current Court ignored the reality of most Americans: Our country is not yet colorblind, and the playing field is far from level for those who have suffered from centuries of legalized segregation and systemic discrimination.

Affirmative action, as approved by earlier, more moderate justices of the Supreme Court, provided a constitutional tool to affirmatively address the damage done by terrible cases like Plessy v. Ferguson and Dred Scott, which sanctioned separate but unequal. By law, Black people were barred from schools, land ownership, and mortgages, and locked out of opportunities for education and jobs until just a few short decades ago.

Justice Jackson’s dissent eloquently points out that gulf-sized race-based gaps exist and persist in health, wealth accumulation, and the well-being of American citizens. These gaps were created in the past, but they have indisputably been passed down to our present time. “Every moment these gaps persist is a moment in which this great country falls short of actualizing one of its foundational principles—the ‘self-evident’ truth that all of us are created equal.” Unfortunately, ideologues on the Court ignored the facts and the reality most of us experience.

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Justice Jackson said, “Our country has never been colorblind. Given the lengthy history of state-sponsored race-based preferences in America, to say that anyone is now victimized if a college considers whether that legacy of discrimination has unequally advantaged its applicants fails to acknowledge the well-documented intergenerational transmission of inequality that still plagues our citizenry…. For present purposes, it is significant that, in so excluding Black people, government policies affirmatively operated—one could say, affirmatively acted—to dole out preferences to those who, if nothing else, were not Black. Those past preferences carried forward and are reinforced today…. The only way out of this morass—for all of us—is to stare at racial disparity unblinkingly, and then do what evidence and experts tell us is required to level the playing field and march forward together, collectively striving to achieve true equality for all Americans. It is no small irony that the judgment the majority hands down today will forestall the end of race-based disparities in this country, making the colorblind world the majority wistfully touts much more dif­ficult to accomplish.”

Unfortunately, this decision ended affirmative action in college admissions for people of color. Yet it did not end affirmative action for white, affluent families, who are still permitted to give their children a boost in the admissions process with programs like legacy admissions.

In Indiana, nine colleges consider race as one factor of many in admissions – including the University of Notre Dame and the main campuses for Indiana University and Purdue. In these schools, students of color still make up a minority of enrollment and are not reflective of Indiana’s population or the country’s population.

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While this decision hurts equal access to higher education, it’s only strengthened my resolve: we must invest in education at all levels, and in all ways.

Programs like Head Start, which I was blessed to participate in,  supports children’s growth from birth to age 5 with early learning and development, health, and family well-being. Nationwide, 37% of Head Start families identified as Hispanic or Latino, and 27% identified as Black or African-American, non-Hispanic or Latino in the 2021-2022 school year. Early education provides the building blocks for social and academic development.

Food access and good nutrition is also essential to a child’s education. Black children are almost three times more likely to experience hunger than children of other races. In Indianapolis, thousands of my constituents struggle to find the food they need without access to healthy and affordable grocery stores, which is why I introduced my Food Deserts Act to support the development of grocery stores in underserved areas. In the world’s wealthiest country, nutritious food should be a right, not a luxury – and it’s certainly essential for any student to focus in the classroom and get the most out of their education.

Achievement Gaps – or white students consistently outperforming students of different races – can be attributed to many factors, like home and neighborhood environments. But research shows that achievement gaps are also caused by teachers and school administrators treating Black students differently. Black K-12 students are nearly 4 times as likely to receive one or more out-of-school suspensions and are punished disproportionately. By the time Black students apply for college, they have already had drastically different educational experiences from their white peers.

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Programs like 21st Century Scholars have helped increase opportunities for higher education, paying 100% of tuition at public Indiana colleges as long as families apply when a student is in 7th or 8th grade. This program helps to offset income inequalities that prevent students from affording the increasingly high cost of college.

Even with these programs, starting higher education on equal ground is virtually impossible. The vestiges of racism and discrimination are present at every stage and every age.



Finish story here; Black Americans, Asian Americans, and White Americans: Supreme Court and The Fall out over Affirmative Action in College Admissions.