Anyone with even a modicum of intelligence and understanding of how groups have historically been able to ‘lift themselves up by their bootstraps’ understands that the most reliable tool in this process is education. Considering that increased understanding of political activism and economic collectivism naturally flows from educational achievement for any racial/ethnic group, it stands to reason that groups will not only fight to access, if not monopolize, educational resources, but also strategically attempt to prevent others from occupying similar places. Put simply, more powerful groups will do their best to prevent lesser groups from gaining entrée to educational institutions.
The above realities are the greatest explanation for why more powerful groups have historically used measures such as racial segregation to block African-Americans from increasing their educational level. Yesterday it was blatant racist policies such as racial segregation that barred African-American students from enrolling in predominantly white educational institutions, today it is a series of unbridled attacks upon Affirmative Action that are seeking to achieve a similar result.
There is quite possibly no more divisive and misunderstood issue on the American political landscape than that of Affirmative Action. Opponents of the legislative measure aimed at providing some semblance of access to African-Americans to jobs, educational institutions, and business opportunities.
Of all the areas that Affirmative Action has touched, it is in the realm of education that whites have been most public regarding their repudiation of Affirmative Action and all that flows from it. Indicative of such has been the lawsuit filed by Abigail Fisher nearly a decade ago. Fisher v. University of Texas-Austin stems from this young white woman feeling that she was not admitted to UT-Austin because of her race. The University of Texas-Austin refuted that claim and stated that Fisher was not academically qualified to gain admission.
Within Fisher’s claim that she should have been admitted over African-American students who were granted admission is an unbelievable, yet relatively common, arrogance that offers shocking commentary regarding race, intelligence, and white privilege. Fisher, and likeminded individuals, will never fathom the reality that white skin does not endow them with a super power that automatically makes them smarter than any member of another race; brilliance runs in every race.
Make no mistake about it, these attacks aimed at preventing African-Americans access to higher education will not end anytime soon. Consider for a moment that eight U.S. states (Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Washington) have standing laws that bar the consideration of race in regards to admissions at public colleges.
Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to not limit the use of race in college admissions as it is often one of the only means of achieving ‘diversity’ in American classrooms. Although there is a natural inclination to celebrate this decision, the truth of the matter is that any joy flowing from this moment is tenuous at best as there are several other cases seeking to ban the use of race in collegiate admissions working their way through the court system at this present moment regarding higher education institutions such as Harvard University and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.
The Affirmative Action issue is one that will not be decided anytime soon and there is quite simply not much that we can do about it either. We have to wait with great anticipation for the courts to speak.
Dr. James Thomas Jones III
©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016
Please support Independent Black Scholarship; it’s the only way that we are going to free our minds.
Author, Creating Revolution as They Advance: A Historical Narrative of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense
Author, ‘Foolish’ Floyd: The Life & Times of an African-American Contrarian
Author, O’Bruni: An African-American Odyssey Home?
The above books can be purchased at Amazon or you can request them at your favorite local bookstore.