The Robert's Court got it wrong again. And history will bear that out sooner or later.
Just because a majority of voters cast their ballot to maintain the status quo of "white" supremacy doesn't make that a desirable public policy. What do I mean? Well even though "race" as has come to be defined and practiced in the United States is and always has been a fiction, a social and political construction, "racism" the structural, institutional variety remains extant, even as the interpersonal variety may be on the decline.
That is really what is at the heart of the issue of whether voters, as in the case of the State of Michigan, can ban a public University from practicing "affirmative action" in admissions.
According to an article in the New York Times summarizing the decision the court's two dissenters put it this way:
“The Constitution does not protect racial minorities from political defeat,” she wrote. “But neither does it give the majority free rein to erect selective barriers against racial minorities.” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined the dissent.
Justice Sotomayor recast the line. “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race,” she wrote, “is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination.”
But the language of "race" remains central to both the sides of the argument.
And Justice Kennedy in his opinion joined by Alito and Roberts: “This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved,” he wrote, “It is about who may resolve it. There is no authority in the Constitution of the United States or in this court’s precedents for the judiciary to set aside Michigan laws that commit this policy determination to the voters.”
The problem is that as stated in the first installment of Gavin Media NU World's podcast (available on this blog) "We The People Are Racists." We do not yet live in a "post-racial" environment despite what voters might wistfully believe. Voter ID laws which are are designed to disenfranchise citizens, denial of voting rights to convicted felons who have paid their debt to society, re-segregation of public schools to levels pre-1954, segregated housing patterns and more prove the point. Justice as practiced in the United States has yet to be blind to color.
A college or university education isn't just about math and science, arts and letters, given the still highly segregated, "white-privileged" culture in which we all reside, a college campus is the first real exposure to the ever growing diversity of America for many students. The campus must be a place not only of diverse ideas, but cultures and people. The University of Michigan along with employers with an eye toward the future realize that America will soon be a "majority-minority" country.
And despite a rear guard action by voters who haven't come to grips with their own and the society's "racism" we are heading toward a Brave NU World. As my friend Rhona Post, The Healer Coach says, "change your thinking, change your beliefs, change your outcomes." It's high time time for some NU World thinking.