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The United States Supreme Court is scheduled to rule sometime in 2023 on two cases that threaten the very existence of affirmative action in higher education. Oral arguments were held before the upper court on October 31 in these two cases based on “public” admissions at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. The cases, both initiated by Students for Fair Admissions, claim highly segregated quotas for Black and Latinx applicants violate the law against white and Asian students.

Black and Asian activists are supporting affirmative action in Washington, DC, during the October 31 oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court.

If SCOTUS rules against the plaintiffs in these two cases, the right of students who are forced to get an education at accredited colleges and universities across the country will be in jeopardy. It had the same political impact as the reversal of Roe v. Wade — the denial of access to abortion at the state level — in June. Not since the previous decision to ban Bakke in 1978 has the process been so problematic.

Allan Bakke, a 34-year-old white engineer, has twice applied to medical school at the University of California at Davis. He was rejected twice. There were only 100 medical school openings each year, but in 1972 there were over 3,700 applicants. The special admissions program reserved 16 of its openings for students from “disadvantaged” backgrounds. These special recruiting positions were filled each year by people of color.

Bakke sued the university, calling it “backward harassment.” The California Supreme Court ruled against Bakke, stating that it is illegal to favor students of color, and that special admissions programs that use race as a factor constitute “differential discrimination.”

SCOTUS, despite being dominated by Republican appointees, overturned the California Supreme Court’s decision on June 28, 1978, in a 5-4 decision upholding the right to abortion. in colleges and payment methods. This historic anti-racist decision was followed by a mass mobilization two months before 35,000 mostly Black students took to the streets of Washington, DC, on April 15, 1978, to say no to the racist.

The following year in 1979, SCOTUS ruled 5-2 in favor of a strike campaign established by the United Steelworkers and a 50% quota for Black workers in Kaiser Aluminum’s craft project. Brian Weber, a white steel worker, sued the USW, calling it “another accusation.” Black workers were limited only in union jobs.

The 1978 Bakke decision was constitutionally based on the 1954 SCOTUS decision in Brown v. Board of Education that struck down the law. public schools were segregated because they denied black students under the 14th amendment.

The 1979 Weber decision was based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in all aspects of employment based on race.

Erosion of the sharpening process

There have been numerous legal challenges to regional and national efforts in the decades since 1979 under various US administrations. None of these cases should be viewed in isolation.

Affirmative action is not about love, nor is it a moral question. The first is to recognize that national racism and oppression, which kills people of color, includes all aspects of the capitalist system in the areas of employment, education, health care, housing and others. away. Second, quotas are a necessary remedy to provide for those historically locked out of opportunities by white supremacy, but in a small way.

White supremacy stems from a legacy of the brutal theft of Native lands, the enslavement of African peoples and the oppression of Latinx people — that’s it., and many indigenous peoples such as the Puebloan people, lost a large part of Mexico, now known as the US Southwest, in a bloody, murderous war with the US in 1848.

The rise of civil rights struggles in the South and Black civil rights protests against poverty and unemployment in Northern cities, especially in the West in 1965 during the Los Angeles Watts, the US government was forced to send more than just lips. to the idea of ​​consent.

The Nixon administration in 1969 established the Federal Employment Agency, which, in consultation with Philadelphia contractors, was authorized to establish credit limits for hiring African Americans. For example, contractors had to pay Black steelworkers 5% to 9%, with additional increases every year after 1970 — until Nixon reversed this policy.

Unity is key

The Committee of 100, a Chinese American group, issued a statement on October 31 in defense of the concessions, saying in part: “We will not allow the current trial before the the Court to segregate Chinese Americans and minority communities in general.We must stand with each other on issues such as hatred and violence against Asians.

“While we understand the frustrations and concerns of many Chinese students and American parents, who are pursuing educational opportunities as a way for them to achieve the American dream, the policies social inclusion allows students of all backgrounds, including poor students and the Chinese American community, to access higher education and ultimately contribute to a strong union more, more diverse and more inclusive.

The only forces that would benefit from a complete reduction in corporate governance are the racist billionaires and their puppet politicians, who will use every dirty trick in the book to divide the working class to keep the the power of the ruling party.

In the face of a growing global economic crisis that is causing so much pain, suffering and uncertainty for billions of people, global solidarity is the key to safeguarding solidarity and other initiatives in victory in the great war.

As the executive director of the April 15 March in Washington, now the First Secretary of International Labor, Larry Holmes said in a New York city. meeting in 1978: “What is important is that this anti-Bakke march inspired thousands throughout the country and may have provided the impetus for the renewal of the anti-racist movement and anti-imperialist.” (WW, April 14, 1978)

Fast forward 44 years later, and his words are just as profound now, about uniting and fighting not only to defend but to expand affirmative action.


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