For Release: December 9, 2015
Contact: Judy Kent at (703) 759-7476 or cell (703) 477-7476 or [email protected]
Today's Contentious Supreme Court Debate on Affirmative Action Draws Comments from Black Conservative Leaders
Ending Affirmative Action is Important Because It Does Four Negative Things, Says Derryck Green
There is Still a Very Real Concern About Academic Mismatches, Says Bishop Council Nedd II
Washington, D.C. - Leaders of the Project 21 black leadership network are commenting on today's oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court over Fisher v. University of Texas, a key affirmative action case.
With the Pacific Legal Foundation and others, Project 21 submitted in September an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the case, and has twice before submitted friend of the court briefs in Fisher (here and here).
It's Sad the U.S. Government Might Still Be Operating on the Premise of Legal Segregation
"On the eve of 2016, it is sad that during the waning moments of America's first black president, we are still having legitimate debates about the virtues and values of race-based preferences," said Project 21's Council Nedd II, an Anglican bishop and elected Pennsylvania State Constable. "It's a sad commentary on the devolution of racial harmony in this country, and the policies of Barack Obama, that the U.S. government might still be operating on a premise of legal segregation. Having seen the capricious way in which SCOTUS has interpreted the Constitution, ignored the Constitution and redefined its role, I have very little confidence in its ability to make a just decision."
The Focus Should Be on Merit
"The Supreme Court now has the opportunity - and obligation - to prove the country has moved beyond the need for race-based favoritism in our colleges and universities. Ending racial preferences for academic institutions would be a clear message rooted in the true nature of equality that puts the focus back upon merit, where it should be," said Project 21's Derryck Green, a doctoral divinity student who is well-known for his 2014 lecture for Prager University, "Who Are the Racists: Liberals or Conservatives?," which addresses affirmative action and which has been viewed over half a million times on several sites.
Affirmative Action Does Four Negative Things
"Ending affirmative action is important because this policy does four things," added Green. "It reinforces the taboo that blacks are still not first-class citizens capable of merit-based competition because of our overreliance on white interventionism in lieu of achievement; it justifies race-based theft from higher-achieving Asian and white students under the guise of social and racial justice; it reinforces inferiority and legitimizes mediocrity because blacks are exempted from meeting and/or exceeding rigid academic standards expected from our racial counterparts; and it increases the college dropout rate by placing black and Hispanic students at colleges and universities that exceed their academic preparation, merit and scholastic aptitude. The stigma of affirmative action follows black students by undermining academic accomplishments, particularly of those who didn't benefit from the policy, which sustains self-doubt and feelings of inferiority among blacks regarding their capabilities.
"Supporters of affirmative action should ask themselves what good is a diversified student body in front-end admissions, when the black dropout rate undermines it at back-end graduation rates?
"If defenders of affirmative action truly want a racially-diversified student body where minority students from underperforming schools are represented," Green added, "affirmative action isn't the best policy. Increasing the quality and performance of education in the nation's primary and secondary schools through education reform - in addition to giving parents of minority children the ability to choose the school their children attend - is the best place to start."
There is a Very Real Concern About Academic Mismatches
"As sad as it is for me to admit," added Bishop Nedd, "there is still a very real concern about academic mismatches. I taught at a charter school for underserved youth. The school administration billed itself as a college preparatory school. They sought 100% college admission. All of the first senior class, except one, got admitted to college. A decade later only one of the students had actually graduated. The remainder will happily tell you a story about universities that they were ill-prepared to enter and the student loan debt that still haunts their credit reports.
"However, this issue of academic mismatch isn't limited to race-based preferences in university admission. We see the consequences of this with a lot of the for-profit and online universities, which seemingly exist to target the VA benefits of America's veterans without any regard for their academic success," Nedd concluded.
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 members have logged tens of thousands of interviews and media citations, including over 4,000 instances in 2015 alone. Media that recently sought out Project 21 insight includes Fox News, TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, the Orlando Sentinel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and 50,000-watt talk radio stations such as WHO-Des Moines, KOA-Denver, WGN-Chicago, WBZ-Boston and KDKA-Pittsburgh. Topics included civil rights, entitlement programs, the economy, voter ID, race preferences, education, illegal immigration and corporate social responsibility. Project 21 members provided substantial commentary regarding the Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Freddie Gray incidents, among others. Project 21 has also defended voter ID laws at the United Nations.
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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