WASHINGTON — Today, Hip Hop Caucus Executive Vice President and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Education Tanya Clay House issued the following statement in response to the United States Supreme Court 6-3 decision in the Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina and Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard cases on affirmative action:
“Justice Jackson said it best, Our country has never been colorblind. Today’s decision on affirmative action has not only overturned decades of precedent, but signals The United States Supreme Court’s hostility toward proven policies that have provided equitable opportunities for underrepresented minority students in higher education. Structural racism continues to exist in this nation, despite those who would like to create revisionist history and ignore the impacts of racism upon communities of color in our society. For nearly 50 years, affirmative action in higher education has expanded racial equity and diversity – fostering an immediate benefit to each and every one of us that also echoes and extends for generations. Students of color, particularly Black students, continue to face systemic barriers in the higher education system, and scaling back affirmative action not only impacts their educational opportunities but also socioeconomic mobility for generations.
“As a graduate of both the University of Michigan and the University of Texas School of Law who’s affirmative action programs have been at the center of legal challenges for decades, I know that these programs at these institutions had a significant and positive impact upon my professional and personal trajectory. The diversity at these institutions was minimal even with the affirmative action programs during my attendance, and while at the University of Texas, the number of Black students in the class entering after me dropped from over 30 to 4. As a Black woman who has had to work twice as hard to reaffirm my professional worth in this society that is based on a legacy of discrimination, it is astounding that this Court is attempting to turn a blind eye to the continued institutional racism that exists in this society.”
Our democracy demands that we work together to tear down barriers of opportunity in education and ensure that pathways in higher education and leadership are open and accessible to all, especially for communities of color and other historically marginalized communities. When everyone has fair access to higher education, we all benefit. Unfortunately, that day is still not here. Despite the constant attacks on civil rights, we are stronger than ever in our collective power, and we remain committed to racial justice and equal opportunity.”
About Hip Hop Caucus
Formed in 2004, the Hip Hop Caucus (HHC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that leverages Hip Hop culture to encourage young people to participate in the democratic process. Through a collaborative leadership network, HHC addresses core issues affecting underserved communities. HHC programs and campaigns support solution-driven community organizing led by today’s young leaders.