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This Is What You Need To Know About Affirmative Action

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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

Jeannie Mai’s Comments About Dating Black Men Are A Reminder That Some People Might Date Us But Don’t Value Us

Entertainment

Jeannie Mai’s Comments About Dating Black Men Are A Reminder That Some People Might Date Us But Don’t Value Us

In 2019, it is a truth universally acknowledged, that any problematic thing you have said on the internet will come back to bite you.

Host of “The Real” and TV personality Jeannie Mai is learning that lesson the hard way after her relationship with African American rapper Jeezy, Jay Wayne Jenkins, went public on Instagram. In response to the couple’s great news, the internet was quick to resurface an old clip of the television host proudly and enthusiastically claiming that she might date Black men but prefers to marry men who are white.

By the way, this “old” clip aired in 2014, a time when anyone dating a Black person who had access to the internet and friends ought to know better

The clip from 2014 of Mai saying that she prefers her “dark meat on the side” is making the rounds once again.

During a segment on “The Real” in which Mai and her co-hosts spoke about their “types,” Mai made a comment in front of her three Black co-hosts (Loni Love, Lamar Braxton, and Tamera Mowry-Housley) and all things holy that she “loved Black guys!”

And ayayay because that’s already a risky thing to enthuse but she didn’t stop there. “I did, I did,” she went on to say. “But for me, dark meat on the side. White keeps me mean and lean, you know? That’s why I married white. That’s what I like.”

The comments shocked her co-hosts at the time and at one point, Tamar Braxton, replied. “Before I get offended, I’m going to just hush.” When Mai realized she had upset her co-workers she immediately demanded to know what they thought she meant and Mowry-Housley countered that she ought to explain herself.

“What I’m saying is I really do think Black men are attractive,” Mai said again. “When I think about men, I like dark men. I used to date Black men. I think they’re attractive. But when I decided to stick to – because it just kept me happiest – was my man Freddy, who just happens to be White.”

Mai’s sentiment highlights a common sentiment from women outside of the Black the community that Black men are fine to play with but not hang with.

The comments implied that Black men are fine to date but never good enough to settle down with. A Black man could offer a non-Black woman the world but he’d be too “lowly” in their eyes for them to hitch their wagon too. Comments like these not only fetishize Black men and Black people, they dehumanize them as well.

Truth be told, when it comes to race, no one’s being quick to put Jeannie Mai at the helm of the racial conversation.

Mai has made a point on her show of stating her belief that race is not an issue. During various segments of the show she has asserted that Black women are more or more distinctly disparaged in our country.

In actuality, studies have proven time and again that when it comes to domestic abuse, sexual assault, and abuse when it comes to obtaining jobs, education and higher salaries, even proper healthcare Black women are particularly disenfranchised against.

During a conversation about R Kelly and the way his Black victims have been overlooked Mai protested the notion that white victims would have been treated differently. While discussing the issue Mai’s co-host Adrian Bailon asserted that if the girls had been white, the national guard would have been involved. Mai was quick to reply that “women of ALL color” are not being taken care of.

Of course, we’re not mad that Mai is dating Black men. We wish them well and for Jeezy’s sake she’s not sticking to her 2014 ways.

We’re Pretty Dang Sure That When It Comes To Black Culture Kendall Jenner Does Not Care If You Think She’s Stealing It

Entertainment

We’re Pretty Dang Sure That When It Comes To Black Culture Kendall Jenner Does Not Care If You Think She’s Stealing It

It’s nothing new that the Kardashian’s love to appropriate Black culture.

From hairstyles to fashion choices, white women have always benefited from ripping off black culture and while they keep getting called out — maybe even canceled — it still doesn’t stop anyone who isn’t non-black to keep on appropriating. From Kary Perry rocking her “baby hairs” dubbing it a “new trend,” to Kylie Jenner wearing her hair in dreadlocks then in cornrows, to Miley Cyrus also wearing dreadlocks, and to magazine’s giving white women afro tutorials, the list of misses are endless. 

And the Kardashian-Jenner clan is no stranger to being called out for cultural appropriation. Every other week or month or so, the Kardashian-Jenner sisters make headlines for yet again another case of cultural appropriation. The latest? Kendall Jenner was spotted wearing cornrow braids (again) and people weren’t happy about it.

According to PEOPLE magazine, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star and model was photographed wearing cornrow braids on August 23 in Los Angeles.

“She was also seen wearing the style, traditionally tied to black culture, in several Instagram Stories that next day, shared both to her page and sister Kylie Jenner’s page,” reports PEOPLE.

This isn’t the first time Kendall Jenner has made headlines when it comes to making problematic and questionable choices. Remember that Pepsi commercial? 

People on social media have taken to Twitter to share their thoughts about Jenner wearing braids. 

A Twitter user said she was exhausted of white people, women specifically, constantly appropriating black culture and wearing hairstyles “that we are always ridiculed/chastised for having and just doing it because they want to ‘look different’ or ‘stand out.'” User @tinaallamm went on to say that black women wear these types of hairstyles to “PROTECT our natural hair from damages” meanwhile white women simply wear them to look cool and aren’t scrutinized in the same ways. 

(Photo Credit by US Magazine

Another Twitter user said the Kardashian family just “loves to use black culture to their benefit it’s disgusting.” 

The Keeping Up with the Kardashian’s family has constantly been criticized for thriving off of black culture and rarely giving credit where credit is due. 

PEOPLE reached out to Jenner’s rep but they did not immediately respond to the publication’s request for comment. As aforementioned, this also isn’t the first time the Kardashian-Jenner sisters have faced backlash after wearing cornrows or other protective hairstyles for black women. 

Last year, Kim Kardashian West was under fire for wearing cornrow braids, referred by the Kardashian-West sister as “boxer braids,” at the MTV Movie and TV Awards.

(Photo Credit: Allure)

However, this wasn’t the first or the last time she would be caught rocking cornrow braids. She then dyed her hair/braids blonde and posted numerous Instagram Stories flaunting the hairstyle even amid the social media backlash. First, she made it clear she didn’t care about the negative feedback but as always, Kim caved and somewhat apologized. 

I’ve definitely had my fair share of backlash when I’ve worn braids,” the KUWTK star said at BeautyCon in Los Angeles last year. “I’ve been fortunate to be able to travel around the world and see so many different cultures that have so many different beauty trends.” 

Kim Kardashian-West has also recently been criticized for her decision to trademark and name her new line of shapewear, “Kimono.” After the social media backlash, she opted for “the less culturally inappropriate Skims instead,” AdAge reports

Back in 2016, the “self-made billionaire” Kylie Jenner also took to Instagram to show off her cornrow braids and once she even wore her hair in dreadlocks.

(Photo Credit: Kylie Jenner Instagram)

After donning the hairstyle, actor Amandla Stenberg made sure to comment on her photo and make her opinion known. Stenberg commented on Kylie’s photo back in 2015-16 that “when you appropriate black features and culture but fail to use ur position of power to help black Americans by directing attention towards your wigs instead of police brutality or racism #whitegirlsdobetter.” 

While it seems as though Kylie Jenner never addressed the backlash then, she’s perhaps learned from that mistake since she hasn’t been seen wearing that hairstyle again. But the same cannot be said for her sisters. 

Ultimately, it’s important for women as powerful and influential as the Kardashian-Jenner clan to learn from their mistakes and address the backlash head-on. It’s irresponsible and hurtful to the black community to go around parading themselves in hairstyles inclusive to black women. Culture isn’t something you can put on and then take off whenever it feels convenient to you, and this family has the privilege of being able to pick and choose when they can try on someone else’s culture.