SACRAMENTO, Calif. (June 29, 2023) --- Today, the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action, undermining the progress made toward achieving true equality and social justice in our country. Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson) strongly condemns this ruling and expresses deep concerns for its consequences on historically marginalized communities.
“Affirmative Action in its modern-day form established its roots during the Civil Rights Movement,” said Assemblymember Mike Gipson. “Since that time, it’s been a critical tool to help mitigate generations of discrimination and segregation. Affirmative action is often misunderstood and mischaracterized. By considering race, ethnicity, and other factors in college admissions, affirmative action seeks to create a level playing field and provide equal opportunities to all individuals, regardless of their background. Its demise is at the behest of a Supreme Court that clearly does not believe that more representation in schools (as well as businesses, the military, and other institutions) is important to a just society. This decision erodes civil rights and takes us, societally, back to a time when inclusivity was merely an afterthought. It also robs the dreams and aspirations of those who have been historically discriminated against seeking higher education to improve their lives. I am absolutely disgusted, and I am damn angry.”
“The Supreme Court's decision to strike down affirmative action fails to acknowledge the persistent disparities in our educational institutions. It undermines the ongoing efforts to promote diversity, inclusion, and representation, perpetuating the cycle of inequality that countless individuals have fought tirelessly to overcome. It disregards the value of diversity and the benefits it brings to educational environments, which I believe is one of our country’s greatest strengths. I call upon lawmakers, educational institutions, and concerned citizens to rally together and advocate for the reinstatement of affirmative action. We must work collectively to protect and promote equal opportunities for all, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or background.”
The rulings handed down this morning were 6-3 in the University of North Carolina case and 6-2 in the Harvard case, with Justice Kentaji Brown Jackson being recused. In his opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts concluded that students must be evaluated based on their experiences "as an individual — not on the basis of race," but this one-sided perspective comes from a lack of understanding for those who have been historically underrepresented and even barred in areas of education, workforce, government, etc., who are involuntary casualties in the unequal playing field the nation has presented them.