Michelle Obama's thoughts on the Supreme Court decision on Affirmative Action:
Back in college, I was one of the few Black students on my campus, and I was proud of getting into such a respected school. I knew I'd worked hard for it. But still, I sometimes wondered if people thought I got there because of affirmative action. It was a shadow that students like me couldn’t shake, whether those doubts came from the outside or inside our own minds.
But the fact is this: I belonged. And semester after semester, decade after decade, for more than half a century, countless students like me showed they belonged, too. It wasn't just the kids of color who benefitted, either, every student who heard a perspective they might not have encountered, who had an assumption challenged, who had their minds and their hearts opened gained a lot as well. It wasn't perfect, but there's no doubt that it helped offer new ladders of opportunity for those who, throughout our history, have too often been denied a chance to show how fast they can climb.
Of course, students on my campus and countless others across the country were – and continue to be – granted special consideration for admissions. Some have parents who graduated from the same school. Others have families who can afford coaches to help them run faster or hit a ball harder. Others go to high schools with lavish resources for tutors and extensive standardized test prep that help them score higher on college entrance exams. We don't usually question if those students belong. So often, we just accept that money, power, and privilege are perfectly justifiable forms of affirmative action, while kids growing up like I did are expected to compete when the ground is anything but level.
So today, my heart breaks for any young person out there who’s wondering what their future holds – and what kinds of chances will be open to them. And while I know the strength and grit that lies inside kids who have always had to sweat a little more to climb the same ladders, I hope and I pray that the rest of us are willing to sweat a little, too. Today is a reminder that we’ve got to do the work not just to enact policies that reflect our values of equity and fairness, but to truly make those values real in all of our schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods.
If you are interested in supporting organizations who have long been advocating for this cause, check out:
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund
- American Indian College Fund
- Thurgood Marshall College Fund
FORMER U.S. FIRST LADY
My own thoughts and feelings about the Supreme Court decision.
I whole heartedly agree with Michelle Obama, but at the same time, Affirmative Action is NOT about taking the attitude that Black people are being given an hand-out. Affirmative Action is just a foot-in-the-door for people who previously were only allowed through the backdoor (that was mostly closed). As mentions my Michelle Obama, there is is still many "acceptable" forms of Affirmative Action open to melanon-deficient people.
Those people of privledge (mostly white, well off financialy and politically connected) are still able to bypass "normal" admission processes without anyone's attention or concern. This is what can be referred to (still) as Systemic Racism. The system is only concerned with holding Black people back. By discrediting our successes when we succeed by trying to taint our successes because we did get some help. The truth is that white people have been successful for this very reason.
The court has only ruling that Affirmative Action based on Race is illegal while ignoring the other (White based) forms of Affirmative Action. The Supreme Court once again proves (to me) that our Nation is no longer a Nation that is dedicated for "Liberty and Justice for All".
For those who like to claim that this country was founded on the premis that "All men are created equal", let me remind you that most of the signers owned slaves, and during negotiations a compromise was decided that set the legal standing that Black people were counted as 3/5 of a person.
Does that sound equal?