Jewish World Review June 25, 2003 / 25 Sivan, 5763
Will institutional and, now, governmemt-endorsed racism ever end?
The Supreme Court has spoken. And affirmative action's on life support.
Now, thanks to Sandra Day O'Connor, the United States has once again validated the concept of affirmative action. By a 5-4 vote, the Supremes allowed the University of Michigan to consider racial diversity when looking at law school applicants. Justice O'Connor's vote will now forever brand her, among conservatives at least, as the justice who upheld affirmative action and, almost 10 years ago, upheld Roe v. Wade.
It's just another reminder how just one Supreme Court justice can radically change the way Americans live their lives. And while neither side is cheering the decision, conservatives actually have a reason to smile. The Michigan plan that allows points to be awarded to candidates based solely on their race was struck down as unconstitutional. Now, that in itself is a dramatic change in American law.
But liberals can also smile, knowing that the last vestiges of racial quotas survived today's rulings. Now, America still has a very, very long way to go when it comes to racial equality. But quotas and set-asides just strike too many as unfair. Still, tonight, like it or not, we still live in a country where a kid with better grades, better scores, and better outside activities could lose out on an educational opportunity because he's the wrong color.
You can call it whatever pretty name you like, but, to many Americans, that sounds like discrimination. And, hopefully, sometime soon, we can all live in a country where, in the words of Dr. King, our children will be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.
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© 2003, MSNBC
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