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Rolling Back Affirmative Action: A Setback for Progress and Equality in College Admissions

Updated: Jun 30, 2023


Affirmative action has long been debated, with proponents arguing its necessity in addressing historical inequalities and providing opportunities for underrepresented groups. However, critics have raised concerns about potential reverse discrimination or the effectiveness of achieving its intended goals.


Yesterday, the Supreme Court made a significant decision by rolling back the precedent of several decades of affirmative action in race-based college admissions Read Key Sections of the Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Ruling - The New York Times (nytimes.com). I respectfully believe that the Supreme Court got this decision wrong. This shift in the legal landscape has the potential to impact societal progress, leading to varying interpretations and opinions. Rolling back the precedent of affirmative action raises concerns about the lack of uniformity in uplifting and empowering communities whose ancestors’ endured slavery and Jim Crow laws and whose descendants still face discrimination today.


Acknowledging that affirmative action discussions are complex and emotionally charged is essential. Critics argue that it can result in reverse discrimination or have failed to achieve its goals effectively. However, many of us believe that affirmative action is necessary for rectifying historical injustices and promoting diversity.


Affirmative action has been instrumental in promoting diversity and inclusion in educational institutions, aiming to level the playing field for marginalized communities facing historical discrimination. Given the provisions in the constitution that can be seen as guaranteeing the protection of marginalized groups and considering the current need to build upon the progress made through affirmative action, it is perplexing to see this decision by the Supreme Court.


The United States has made progress in encouraging and empowering individuals from underrepresented groups to pursue higher education through affirmative action. Without such policies and landmark cases like "Brown v. Board of Education,"Brown v. Board of Education - Supreme Court decision and aftermath | Britannica, the situation for underrepresented groups would have been even more challenging. Affirmative action statutes have effectively discouraged disenfranchisement and provide a level ground for historically marginalized populations. However, this Supreme Court decision threatens to hinder our progress and disrupt the goal of creating equal opportunities. Despite the progress made, it is vital to acknowledge the lasting effects of 200 years of slavery and 100 years of Jim Crow laws, which necessitate continued efforts to provide educational opportunities to address historical discrimination.


While it is encouraging to see that the same verdict did not apply to the military, it raises questions about the potential for future reversals and whether progress in creating diversity and inclusivity within the military could be affected. This decision holds significant implications for the progress our country has been making in providing equal opportunities for underrepresented groups in college admissions. I believe the Supreme Court made an erroneous decision, representing a setback in our ongoing pursuit of a level playing field. Kweisi Mfume, a Maryland congressman, and former NAACP president, Congressman Mfume calls SCOTUS affirmative action decision ‘shamefully disrespectful’ (weaa.org), eloquently stated, "The effects of 200 years of slavery and 100 years of Jim Crow laws cannot be erased or overcome without first attempting to provide educational opportunities to balance the scale of historical discrimination."


Authored by Dr. Ayo Olufade, Ph.D.


Think STEM Careers! You Have the Opportunity to Create the Future and the Privilege of Deciding What’s in It! ~ Dr. Ayo Olufade, PhD

Excel in Learning. Excel in Life.



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