For Release: June 23, 2016
Contact: Judy Kent at (703) 759-7476 or cell (703) 477-7476 or [email protected]
Affirmative Action Ruling by U.S. Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas Today Disappoints Black Conservatives
Washington, D.C. - Leaders of the Project 21 black leadership network are expressing disappointment over the decision handed down this morning by the U.S. Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas, a key affirmative action case.
The high court ruled that the race-conscious admissions program at the time of Abigail Fisher's application to the University of Texas is lawful under the Equal Protection Clause.
With the Pacific Legal Foundation and others, Project 21 submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the case in September, and has twice before submitted friend of the court briefs in Fisher (here and here).
"I am very disappointed," said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper, an attorney, constitutional law commentator and former member of the faculty at the George Mason University School of Law. "Once again the Supreme Court had the chance to banish the role of race in school admissions. In this case with no showing of bias or race-based hostility and with the option of a very workable race-neutral admissions alternative, the Supreme Court chose to allow schools to use the race of a college applicant as a relevant selection criteria. In the 21st century we should be able to move past the shibboleth that the race of the other students in the classroom is relevant to your ability to learn."
"Instead of these constant arguments about affirmative action I'd like to see as many resources and as much attention paid to properly educating black students regardless of socioeconomic status as is being paid to preserving racial preferences. Academic set asides actually diminish a black student's chance of graduating from college, by placing them in environments that they are ill-prepared to be a part of. Instead of looking at forcing students into elite universities, let's address the root issue: low academic performance," said Project 21's Stacy Washington, host of the "Stacy on the Right Show," broadcast on 97.1 FM News Talk KFTK out of St. Louis, Missouri.
"Black students come into kindergarten with fewer words spoken to them over the beginning of their lives. They know fewer sight words and cannot count as high as their white counterparts. This deficiency widens over time, resulting in a lower probability that they can compete in extremely competitive academic environments. This is easily rectified. End these set asides and place the focus on teaching parents how to prepare their children for school," Washington continued.
"Reading 20 minutes a day. Limiting TV viewing to the weekends only. Placing academics at the top of the priority list. Asking your children questions, listening to their thoughts. Eating dinner together. These things provide an environment that produces children that can compete with others regardless of race."
"Let's spend some capital on teaching parents that," Washington concluded.
"I cannot say that I know all the details of the case, which will be forthcoming," said Project 21's Niger Innis of the Congress of Racial Equality. "But in this day and age, when we are several decades away from segregation, and a country where the definition of what it means to be a minority, African-American and/or black is not as simple nor as one-dimensional as it once was; we need a reimagining and redefinition of Affirmative Action. A program that should be character-based, socio-economically-based vs. race- or gender-based."
"A poor person of any color, a socio-economically deprived individual who demonstrates a 'character quotient' to overcome and do extraordinary academic work has earned special consideration and benefit of affirmative action," Innis added.
"One is not born with virtue because one's gender happens to be female, as opposed to male; nor black, as opposed to white, nor because a surname is Hispanic as opposed to Anglo."
"Virtue comes with acts, not birth," Innis concluded.
"By upholding the use of race in college admissions, the United States Supreme Court has once again made it impossible for aspiring non-white students to succeed on their own academic merits without there being a 'question mark' attached to them," said Project 21's Darryn "Dutch" Martin. "Racial preferences will forever represent a dark cloud over the heads of every minority student, no matter how academically conscientious and hard-working, who wants to be taken seriously based on his or her individual accomplishments and work ethic alone.
Video and audio recordings of very many Project 21 leaders discussing affirmative action on television and radio can be found on the National Center for Public Policy Research YouTube page. A Project 21 policy luncheon on the Schuette affirmative action case, featuring Jennifer Gratz, can also be viewed on the National Center YouTube page.
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org). Its volunteer members come from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.
Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.
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