With a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court overruled the landmark precedent for affirmative action, supporting the narrative that Black prospective students unfairly benefit from “race-based discrimination.” Generations will remember this ruling for reversing progress. But let's unpack it further.
Justices claimed this ruling would level the playing field, but it was never level in the first place. White women already benefit the most from affirmative action. And this ruling still allows legacy admissions, which notoriously benefit white students.
This ruling also allows affirmative action at military academies, which, considering recent efforts from the military, CIA, and police to recruit Black youth, sends a clear message. They need “diversity” to brutalize Black communities here and abroad, but not in classrooms.
We are witnessing a consistent political movement to restrict access to knowledge, from book bans in schools and prisons, to defunding libraries. It’s intentional disempowerment, especially since many educational institutions already devalue Black students and Black-focused curriculums.
But will that disempowerment work?
We’re told to have respect for the Supreme Court. To aspire to attend elite universities like Harvard. To fight for racial equality in militaries and police departments. All institutions with vast histories of anti-Blackness and injustice.
But while these institutions debate whether we’re worthy of them, are they even worthy of us? And, in our liberated future, will we leave them behind?