Things That Matter

This Is What You Need To Know About Affirmative Action

Since the birth of affirmative action, a set of procedures intended to correct the effects of historical discriminations, in the 1960s, there have been many cases aimed at weakening the policy. Most recently: an ongoing lawsuit arguing that Harvard’s admissions office discriminates against Asian-Americans.

The case, which follows years of conservatives casting Asians as victims of the policy with the goal of having it outlawed, is currently being weighed by a federal judge in Massachusetts.

Students for Fair Admissions, a group founded by conservative Edward Blum, is suing Harvard for allegedly discriminating against Asian-American applicants, particularly through its use of “personal ratings,” which takes into account traits like kindness, leadership and courage.

A decision in the case by federal Judge Allison Burroughs is expected in the next few months.

Regardless of the decision, however, those who have historically been opposed to the policy hope the case will make it to the conservative-majority Supreme Court, where affirmative action could be killed.

With the policy in the spotlight, again, we wanted to demystify what affirmative action is and what you need to know about its history and potential fate.

The Birth of Affirmative Action:

Even after the US Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that the “separate but equal” doctrine violated the Constitution, communities of color continued to face discrimination in education and the workplace. To undo this historic inequity, President Kennedy created the Council on Equal Opportunity in an Executive Order in 1961. This required government employers to “not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, or national origin.”

Racial Quotas:

Since its inception, affirmative action has received pushback from conservatives who claim the policy is a form of reverse discrimination against whites. Opponents’ first big win came in 1978, when the Supreme Court ruled in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke that colleges could not use racial quotas, as doing so violates the Equal Protection Clause. This means employers can’t hire “less qualified” applicants to fill an identity quota.

Diversity:

In 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that, while admissions officials can’t consider race as a way to undo the effects of historical discrimination, schools could consider race as one factor among many to ensure a diverse student body in the case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.

Affirmative Action Bans:

Despite affirmative action, people of color remain a disproportionate minority in higher education. In fact, while the percentage of Black and Latinx college student increased between 2000 and 2014, they still just account for 14.5 percent and 16.5 percent of college students, respectively. College diversity shrinks even more in states that ban race-based affirmative action. Currently, states like California, Washington, Michigan, Nebraska, Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma and New Hampshire have bans. In some, like California, Florida and Texas, there are percentage plans that guarantee the top 10 percent of high school graduates a spot in any state university.

A Future Without Affirmative Action:

With colleges no longer allowed to consider race in applications as a way to undo the effects of historical discrimination, many, like Harvard, now argue that diversity is good for everyone. However, if Students for Fair Admissions’ case makes it to the Conservative-majority Supreme Court, they may soon no longer be able to make even that justification, regardless of its accuracy. This could lead to elite schools like it, where Blacks and Latinxs already account for just 1 in 4 students, to have even fewer scholars of color, leading to less career and financial opportunities for Black and brown folk.

Read: The SATs Have A History Of Racism, But The ‘Adversity Rating’ Should Help

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A Black Student From Louisiana State Accused Three Police Offers Of Unzipping His Pants To ‘Look’ For Drugs

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A Black Student From Louisiana State Accused Three Police Offers Of Unzipping His Pants To ‘Look’ For Drugs

Anadolu Agency / Getty

Abuse of power by police is alive and well in Baton Rouge and in urgent need of being stopped.

Three police officers from the Louisiana capital have been put on paid administrative leave after accusations of harassment were issued by a local Black college football freshman. According to the student, Koy Moore a freshman who plays a wide receiver at Louisiana State University, the three police officers unzipped his pants and confiscated his phone to prevent him from recording the incident.

In a post shared to Twitter on Saturday, Moore claimed that the officers “violated” him in an attempt to search him for drugs and weapons while screaming “Where’s your gun?”

Koy Moore claims that he was violated by three Baton Rouge police officers.

“I was violated numerous times even going as far as trying to unzip my pants in search of a weapon that I repeatedly told them I did not have,” Moore wrote in the post. “As I tried to go live for video documentation of the harassment, they snatched my phone. I could have lost my life, and I know for a fact nothing would’ve happened to the guys who did it.” 

In his post, More questioned what could have actually happened to him if he hadn’t told the officers that he was a student at LSU.

In response to his tweet, LSU faculty and staff have supported him. Ed Orgeron, LSU’s football coach even commented on the incident in a post to Twitter.“While I cannot comment on the investigation, what I can say is that we must work collectively to embrace our differences,” Orgeron he wrote. “We have to listen, learn, and come together to combat social injustice and racism if we are to create a safer and more equitable society for all.”

The official LSU Twitter account retweeted the coach’s post writing that they shared in “the sentiment shared by Coach Ed Orgeron.”

The three officers, who have been placed on paid leave, have yet to be identified to the public. Still, Chief Murphy Paul of the Baton Rouge Police Department said his department had been in contact with Moore and that an investigation is currently underway.

“We appreciate Mr. Moore bringing this incident to our attention,” Paul said in a statement. “As in every case, we will be collecting all available evidence and conducting interviews. Accountability and transparency are critical in building trust with the community. I pledge a thorough investigation into this complaint.”

The incident in Baton Rouge underlines that major issue in modern American politics. 

During the summer, after Breonna Taylor and George Floyd were murdered by police, Baton Rouge took part in the nationwide protests.

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Rep. Ruben Gallego Broke Down Jared Kushner’s White Privilege In A Twitter Thread About Their Paths To Harvard

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Rep. Ruben Gallego Broke Down Jared Kushner’s White Privilege In A Twitter Thread About Their Paths To Harvard

Greg Nash / Pool / AFP via Getty Images

Jared Kushner recently made headlines for saying that Black Americans have to “want to be successful.” Kushner continued in the Fox & Friends interview saying that Trump policies are trying to help them with issues that “they’re complaining about.” Congressman Ruben Gallego of Arizona took to Twitter to call out Kushner and his easy, money-paved path in life after the interview aired.

Rep. Ruben Gallego has a few words about Jared Kushner’s claim that Black Americans don’t “want to be successful.”

Kushner, Ivanka Trump’s husband, was being interviewed by Fox & Friends when he suggested that Black Americans don’t want to successful. He added that the Trump administration has created policies to help Black Americans. Specifically, the Trump administration has created policies to help Black Americans overcome things that “they’re complaining about.”

The interview was immediately slammed by Democrats and activists as being tone deaf. Furthermore, the rhetoric is reminiscent of language used against the Black community for decades to justify policies that disenfranchised and injured the Black community.

Rep. Gallego was one of Kushner’s classmates at Harvard and the two had very different paths to the prestigious school.

Rep. Gallego created a Twitter thread to show the hoops he had to jump through in order to make it to Harvard. As a Latino from a middle class family, Rep. Gallego didn’t have a lot of the same luxuries afford to him like someone of Kushner’s background. The congressman’s story about his way to the Ivy League school is something a lot of people of color can relate to.

The story is an extension and deeper dive into the college admission scandal narrative.

Rep. Gallego detailed his four years in high school with the mission of making it to Harvard. For him, that meant studying for his exams for years with free and used test preps he could get his hands on. There was a community support to make it possible for him to get materials he needed.

According to Data USA, Harvard’s student body is heavily white. The data shows that 41 percent of students are white, 13.5 percent are Asian, 8.19 percent are Hispanic or Latino, and 5.35 percent Black or African-American.

Even the interviewing process was something so many other students didn’t have to contend with.

Some universities, especially ivy league schools, require prospective students to interview with alums and administrators. These interviews weigh heavily in the process and for Rep. Gallego, they were not easy to get to. He had to rely on public transportation to make it to his various interviews around Chicago.

Rep. Gallego spent four years getting ready to go to Harvard.

After four years of hard work and sacrifice, Rep. Gallego was accepted to Harvard. His path to Harvard was filled with friends and family helping him along the way, which is common in Latino communities. It is a story that many of us are familiar with but it isn’t a truly universal story, as Rep. Gallego points out about Kushner.

Kushner’s easy path to Harvard is why the congressman took issue with Kushner’s comments.

Documents show that Kushner got into Harvard after his father pledged a $2.5 million gift to be paid in annual installments of $250,000. Both of Kushner’s parents were also members of Harvard’s Committee of University Resources and donated to the school. In an interview with ProPublica, a former administrator at Kushner’s high school admitted that no one at the school believed that he got admitted on his own merit. The official said that neither his grades nor SAT scores warranted his admission into Harvard.

Rep. Gallego ended his thread asking people to donate to the Biden campaign and the United Negro College Fund.

Rep. Gallego is clearly not letting this story go by without weighing in. Kushner’s comments have set off a firestorm of frustration with people across the nation.

READ: College Admissions Scandal Mastermind Reportedly Told Parents To Lie About Ethnicity To Further Advantage Their White Children

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