Dear Supreme Court,
Tuesday you upheld Michigan’s decision to end affirmative action at public universities in a 6-2 ruling. The ruling bolsters a 2006 ballot initiative where voters ended race-based preferences in admissions to state schools. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg where the lone decenters and filed a 58-page document that highlighted strong disagreement with the majority. Sotomayor wrote that voters "changed the basic rules of the political process in that state in a manner that uniquely disadvantaged racial minorities." She added “In my colleagues’ view, examining the racial impact of legislation only perpetuates racial discrimination.” “This refusal to accept the stark reality that race matters is regrettable. As members of the judiciary tasked with intervening to carry out the guarantee of equal protection, we ought not sit back and wish away, rather than confront, the racial inequality that exists in our society,” she added.
The ruling sounds incredibly conservative and appears to discount the millions of minorities (African-American, Hispanic and others) who toil under the umbrella of a seemingly callous majority on a daily basis. I have a problem with those who interpret conservative ideology through a soiled lens.
Every morning, I wake up and turn on the most conservative cable news station that I can find - Fox News. I do so, not because I am a conservative or that I even remotely identify with their interpretation of conservative ideas, but my journalism professor in college once advised me to practice listening to viewpoints that were opposite of what I believed so that I can at least hear both sides of any matter that I might be too emotionally connected to properly assess otherwise.
Truth has no political affiliation. Unfortunately, many people in America don’t want to hear opposing views and are left to stew in their own philosophical juices until their faux righteousness cause them to do something rational and logical individuals would never do.
To Chief Justice John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Elena Kagan, all of whom ruled in favor of this:
I would ask you to live a day in the shoes of a minority who is struggling to overcome the lingering effects of four centuries of institutionalized racism in America. So, we don’t deserve an olive branch anymore? Racism in America is no longer an issue worthy of legislating against? Sadly, there are millions of in this country who would lean on this ruling as proof positive that their methods are righteous.
Are you not watching the news? A week ago, a 73-year-old white supremacist and anti-Semite named Frazier Glenn Cross shot and killed three people in Overland Park, Kansas. He even reportedly shouted “Hail Hitler” before being taken into custody. The funny thing about neo-Nazi idiots is they claim to be fighting for America but espouse the ideology of the single greatest military threat the United States has ever faced is a testament to the dearth of logic inherent in their wobbly dissertation.
But maybe you were watching Fox News where claims of reverse racism, neo-racism and racial polarization are common place these days. Back in January, Fox News Contributor Sandy Rios came out her face in the typically reckless fashion we have all become accustomed to seeing at Fox News.
"I think the racist garbage coming from ... a lot of blacks right now who are just filled with bitterness and rage is just amazing to me," Rios said. "It is racism. I am seeing it constantly here in D.C. ... and it’s causing white citizens to become more racist than they ever were.
"I think, for the most part, the American Anglo-Saxon crew really has moved past racism; they did it quite a long time ago," she added. According to Rios, racism ended during segregation and the only true racists are African-Americans. Spoken like an educated fool, like you and your vote to end affirmative action.
Today, after decades of toil by thousands of activists, organizers, protestors, lawyers and concerned citizens, racism in America remains as the most denied yet tangible attribute of American democracy. Some citizens believe racism is a thing of the distant past while others believe it and the American democracy are kindred spirits.
Back when President Barack Hussein Obama was elected president of the United States for the first time in 2008, there was an outburst of optimism from the liberal left. Many believed the election of a man of African descent to the presidency harkened the dawn of a new post-racial age in the United States. Six years later, the idea is laughable to even contemplate. Yet, right-wing pundits continually harp on Obama's election as their primary indicator to the death of racism.
"Democracy does not presume that some subjects are either too divisive or too profound for public debate," said Justice Anthony Kennedy in support of the ruling. However, with racism there is very little reason to debate anything. The numbers are around us. It would be irresponsible to assume that every Michigan voter who voted in favor of the ending Affirmative Action did so based upon misguided ideas of race, but it is a matter of fact in America that a significant number did.
An Associated Press Poll released in 2012 highlighted how America really feels about black folks. The survey, which was first reported in USA Today, said 56% of all Americans expressed “explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48% in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56%, up from 49% during the last presidential election. In both tests, the share of Americans expressing pro-black attitudes fell.” The implicit tests used keywords like “hard working,” “violent,” “lazy” and ironically “friendly” to gauge the attitudes of participants toward African-Americans. Judging from the results, historically stereotypical assumptions about African-Americans have not only persisted throughout time but have become more virulent since 2008.
On the flip side of things, another survey conducted by Rasmussen Polls in 2013 says 24 percent of white people believe African-Americans are more likely to be seen as racist than white people. 37 percent of all respondents felt that “most black Americans” are racist compared to 15 percent of who believed whites were and 18 percent who believed most Hispanics were racist. To top it all off, black respondents believed African-Americans were more likely to be racist by a tune of 31 percent.
"There is a huge ideological difference on this topic," Rasmussen noted in a release accompanying the poll. "Among conservative Americans, 49 [percent] consider most blacks racist, and only 12 [percent] see most whites that way. Among liberal voters, 27 [percent] see most white Americans as racist, and 21 [percent] say the same about black Americans."
The responses on Rasmussen Poll are telling because it does not take into consideration what the literal definition of racism is as it pertains to the American rendition of it. Here’s the actual definition.
1. the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, esp. so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.
2. Involves the belief in racial differences, which acts as a justification for non-equal treatment
If a group of people harbors long-held racist beliefs about another ethnic group then what makes you think the former group will be fair in passing a law that could positively or negatively affect the former?
It would appear, again, your ruling wreaks of a massively blind complex that constantly haunts a nation whose majority does not wish to acknowledge its own role in the subjugation and oppression of its own citizens solely because of their race. And that, ladies and gentlemen of the Supreme Court, is racism in the modern age. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not. It does exist, and based on your vote, will be buried deeper into the “soil” of this nation with no redeeming or cleaning in sight anytime soon.