The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday to end Affirmative Action in colleges.

The precedent that advances equality and equity among our country’s higher education institutions is set back nearly 45 years.  However, the systemic inequalities orchestrated on Black communities by the institution of slavery and Jim Crow Laws, and to Latinos and Native Americans by a long legacy of discrimination and oppression, has not scratched the surface of justice and reparations.

Students from underrepresented and underserved communities have for centuries been denied a higher education based solely on the color of their skin — preventing security and economic growth for future generations. 

Affirmative Action admissions practices is a critical step toward creating educational environments that are equally representative of our nations diversity, while reckoning the injustice of our past.

The court’s conservative majority overturned admissions plans at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, the nation’s oldest private and public colleges, respectively.  The vote was 6-3 in the North Carolina case and 6-2 in the Harvard case.

Justice Clarence Thomas — the nation’s second Black justice, and conservative, who had long called for an end to affirmative action — wrote separately that the decision “sees the universities’ admissions policies for what they are: rudderless, race-based preferences designed to ensure a particular racial mix in their entering classes.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in dissent that the decision “rolls back decades of precedent and momentous progress.”

In a separate dissent, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson — the court’s first Black female justice — called the decision “truly a tragedy for us all.”

Both Thomas and Sotomayor, the two justices who have acknowledged affirmative action played a role in their admissions to college and law school, read a summary of their opinions aloud in the courtroom.

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