Skip to main content

Affirmative action is more than a black and white issue

Jul 18, 2023


In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court has ruled that race-conscious admissions to colleges and universities violate the Constitution. The decision overturns a decades-long practice that allowed colleges to use affirmative action to achieve diverse student bodies.

This latest installment of America Speaks, an hourlong discussion moderated by political analyst and pollster Dr. Frank Luntz, takes a look at where Americans stand on the issue today. How important is diversity to the overall objectives of higher learning? Are there effective alternatives to affirmative action?

What will change higher education as we know it, the United States Supreme Court has decided that colleges and universities can no longer take race into consideration as a specific basis for granting admission. It is a landmark decision overturning a policy that has been employed for decades, that has at least on the surface benefit of black Latino students in higher education at the expense of Asian and white students. All across the country. debates between and among students, faculty, administrators, and the general public have raged. And that’s exactly why we’re bringing that debate to you. I’m Dr. Frank Luntz. And this is America speaks here at straight arrow news. Any
Affirmative Action Good or bad?
anymore? I think it’s bad. I think it was very important when it was started. But I think that it’s run its course. Why do you feel that way?
I just think that you can look around at society and see people of all colors and races and all positions from top to bottom. And I don’t think that anybody needs the extra protection now that they may have used needed before.
I believe you feel that way.
100% people are, it’s almost like taking the training wheels. When you’re teaching your son or daughter how to ride a bike and you’re afraid to let go. This is how I feel. The majority of progressives treat black people as if we are toddlers trying to ride our bicycles, we are going to be fine. Black people can make it on a merit based system. This is the 1965 anymore. And I think this is a crutch, a mental crutch. More than anything else, I don’t think it deserves to still be in place. Jason doesn’t deserve to be in place.
I think so I think we can get to a place where we might not need it anymore. I’m not sure we’re at that time. Now. I think there’s a real value in university student populations reflecting the community that they’re in. And a lot of universities don’t hit those marks right now.
Alec, you agree with Jason or disagree? I agree with him.
Tell me why.
Because the new generation as as time goes by, the new generation is more educated about equality and other races. So we’re going through a progression, sometimes it goes slow, sometimes it goes a little faster. But the good news is that
the newer generation generation now in this country are less prejudiced. And they have learned to accept other races.
And so how does that impact affirmative action?
Well, affirmative action, it’s about equality, for all races and all religions and all that. So it is going to affect it in a positive way. Derek, do we need
admit students based on their race?
Derek, I’m mildly conflicted about this particular opinion from the United States Supreme Court. But I do think that the decisions from the United Supreme Court are generational base. And I do think that we need to revise some considerations to allow other
groups, other racial groups the opportunity to be able to compete for those admissions, because you have a whole different group of people that are they feel like they’re not even at the table, they don’t even have, you know, an opportunity. So I do think that, to some extent, we do need to consider revising, you know, college admissions, to accommodate other groups of, you know, I don’t even like the word minority, but other groups of individuals who have been left out the opportunities to pursue higher education, Rick here from Arizona, what they do with affirmative action.
It outlived its purpose. I believe in a merit based system,
a photo of action to me. I mean, I’m 57.
My mom instilled in me to go to school, get an education, she strive to be the best in us in society. And when we get older in life, to succeed, and I did on my own, through my grades through my schooling, and through education, I have my degree. And a photo of action to me as outlived as like I said, is purpose. It should be a merit based system. Your best qualified get into the schools. That’s the way I look at it, David, I see you nodding your head in the other direction. Tell me why. I don’t. I think it’s a fallacy that our country is based on merit anymore. When when we got five
I’ve percent of the country controlling half the nation’s wealth, and the other half of the country can’t put $400 together it in an emergency, it’s not merit based anymore. Guess probably less than four fortune 500 companies led and owned by African Americans. My great grandmother was alive during slavery, and we forget slavery, slavery, what was was a minute ago. Basically, our nation is incredibly young. And we have a lot to get over. Now what I am for is Sunset provisions on affirmative action. And I also think with, with with with education, it’s not just about raising certain people up for the opportunity of education, it’s to make sure that not everyone in our school is the same.
I don’t want my daughter to go to a school, that’s all white people, and does a benefit to diversity for all of us. Hopefully, he makes a good point about diversity doesn’t.
You know, I think I don’t think so. I think that what people are missing here is this. What type of society are we aspiring to be? You say, But I have a merit based system. Okay. Well, would you like to have one? And also at what point in what year? And what century? Are we going to say, enough of these past policies that don’t appear to really help anybody? I think what helps us is if we get rid of this race, conscious race obsession that we had the fundamentals of the Supreme Court decision where Asians were not being awarded admissions based on their applications and their merit, that was the issue. So the school wasn’t practicing merit based policies when they should have been, and the court says you’re not doing it. So we were losing focus on what this decision actually meant. So let’s get back to discipline,
structure and respect for people’s abilities. Not crippling people with race base, I feel sorry for you type of policies coming from from my community. We’ve seen this movie, we know what it’s done to us. I’m 54 years old, I say enough of it will be fine. Just like Frederick Douglass said,
in the 1800s, give the Negro equal opportunity and leave him alone. If he falls, let them fall
out today, they’d be in big trouble. See, I think that as, as a white privilege person, I don’t get to make those decisions, necessarily, but until the offices and until the schools and until everything else has the same makeup of whoever and people aren’t treated fairly. And I know that this has been discussed ad nauseam until, like black people aren’t getting pulled over by the cops for no reason that I think that
I think that our country does have a long way to go. And I know that a lot of people will be fine. But a lot of people may not have the chance to be fine, because
being dead, or various other things. So I think that
leaves your reaction to Melissa.
Well, I’ll say this, I always ask people if now, if not now, when
I’ve been all over working in various communities, luckily, over the last several years, talking to 1000s of people. And I can tell you, every community I go in, people claim they get pulled over by the cops for no reason. I think when you when you’re looking at an issue like that, as opposed to what we’re talking about now with race based policies, whether or not they’re even they even are needed, or whether they make sense, or whether or not people believe that white people are the source of all opportunity that I can get opportunity from nowhere else but a white person, then yes, let’s keep these policies in place because white people control all the opportunity, and I’m impossibly
chained to getting no opportunity from a white institution because nobody can think clearly on race. Let’s just stop with this. And demand that we respect people on their abilities respective as human beings, and not think that we’re going to keep leaving these policies, which are nothing more than crippling, and I’ve seen what they’ve done in my community. So with respect to anyone’s opinion, I respect everyone’s opinion here. If not now, when?
Well, I mean, with all due respect, what luckily I disagree with you. I’m a big fan of Frederick Douglass. You know what I pride myself on being a Radical Republican. However, I disagree with you. I think that if you let the negro community if you let the black community fall or just let us fall, America essentially will fall because we built this country. We survived off the side the white you know, white white people have survived off of our work and our dedication to this and our love and our commitment to this country. I’m more
I’m concerned about performance. Because I know a lot of people who are at heart right now and they’re struggling to pay their bills, and they got an error because we’re from a faction. So I’m more concerned with revising these policies to make sure that not only are students capable, grade wise, but they’re capable of performing while they’re there so that they’re not graduating depressed or suicidal, or are those things while they’re there, we need to really revise these policies.
We, Lonnie, what’s your reaction to this. And I’ve always been sort of against the front of affirmative action, it came out right before I started applying to colleges. And I’ve always sort of been torn, I don’t want to be admitted into a university based off of me being black or Mexican. Because I’m actually both. So I’ve always been torn. And I was glad to hear when they did away with affirmative action. Finally, after all these years, and if I had a kid, I want my child to go to college, based off of their intellect, not based off of skin color first, that’s just not fair. And it is, I feel like it’s racist. And I don’t agree with David’s saying, I don’t want my kid to go to all white school, it shouldn’t be about race, it should be about wanting your child to compete with the best of the best, you know, to lift them up, so that it brings up their
it brings up their competitiveness, Stephanie is affirmative action, racism.
it didn’t affect me, I am white, I’m from pretty affluent area, I had access to all types of education.
It was also teacher in the projects of New York City. And I’ve seen the resources that my students had versus the resources that I had as a child growing up. And those are completely different.
And while I was lucky enough, privileged enough to have a private education and go to the colleges that I wanted to and have tutors growing up, I know that that wasn’t the case for my elementary school age students. And when they go to high school, I’m imagining that it’s not the same for them either.
And I always thought of it, like I said, as leveling the playing field, because a lot of people like me, were given opportunities that a lot of people like them were not many is affirmative action.
Needed action racism. What is it to you? So I do think that affirmative action is racism? Because, you know, people that benefit from affirmative action, they never know if it’s them, or because, you know, they got that special push to go ahead in life. And, you know, I think it’s been so many years since affirmative action was implemented, I think it’s run its course. So I think, you know, at this point in the conversation really shouldn’t be about affirmative action, but about socio economic status of students. Because I feel like that’s a better indicator than affirmative action because affirmative action concentrates usually on minorities, whereas I feel that if you look at socio economic status, which I believe who was it? Who mentioned it, Stephanie, and I think that’s a better indicator of who might need some help.
Okay, should we stop doing it by race? When should we stop emitting people with with under racial considerations? I see this not as a binary thing. It’s, it’s not an all or nothing. But when we talk about racism, what do we mean, if we’re talking about racism against black people, which is a popular way of putting it? Yeah, that’s wrong. But what about Asian students that are being denied access to schools because they have excellent scores? That’s racism. In California, years ago, we had the Bachar decision about an older white person with excellent grades and want to go to medical school, but he couldn’t go because of quotas. That’s racism to racism can happen against any race.
You’re about affirmative action. I’m glad. I’m glad the Supreme Court came down with a decision last week. Very happy about time. It should be merit based not race based. And that’s, to me, that’s the what makes America great.
Stephanie, your reaction to Renzo?
I just don’t
I don’t know if this is an unpopular opinion, but I don’t really think it’s fair to say that it
merit based because not everyone is, you know, afforded the same education, not everyone, you know, the the public schools that they’re able to go to are created equally. We all know that. I mean, I lived in New York City for 15 years, I know the public school system there, the kids who live on the Upper East Side of the New York City get to go there for free to these, you know, top of the country schools and the people who went in my neighborhood where I was teaching, because they lived in the projects. Were not afforded, you know, the opportunities that kids in the same city as them were. So I don’t think it’s fair to say that it’s merit based, when we’re not all on the same playing field. We’re just not like, I don’t know how anyone could think otherwise. But
it’s just not. It’s not.
Kelly, you’re nodding your head, no.
Camera, you know, why do you feel this way? Because I think it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s fantasy to ever think we will, quote, be on the same playing field. First of all, I grew up in the inner city, to two parents homes, father was an entrepreneurial entrepreneur, mom was a stay at home mom for a little while, to apple trees, pear tree, grew up with kids down the street, who went to private school.
My neighborhood was very mixed, in terms of income, background, and everything else. LeBron James agent is from my neighborhood, and he probably makes more money than all of us for the next 10 years. This playing field, I know a lot of rich kids who flunked out of college. So this whole level playing field, I know a lot of suburban kids who are mopping floors. Okay, my point is this playing field that we talk about, it’s totally
naive to think there is a such thing in many cases, when in fact, you can be given all the privilege, you can go to the nicest schools, and you can still end up, you know, locked up. And by the way, I know this because I worked in corrections. So I saw a lot of people who had more than idea locked up in that jail. So I don’t like this whole materialistic view of privileged and privileged. I’m gonna tell you something, I think I was very privileged. Even though I didn’t grow up in a mansion, I grew up in a very decent neighborhood. So I want to look at the individual more, instead of these arbitrary circumstances that we call privilege. David, they don’t want this. They don’t want the playing field lowered. Us. I think, if I got it correctly, you don’t share their point of view?
No, I don’t. Also, I think it’s
it’s also I know a lot about race base. But I think it’s a needed program for people like me who have disabilities. So, I mean, there are level playing fields and our unlevel playing fields in different ways.
I think that,
that we’re also oversimplifying affirmative action, these guys in, in college on the College Boards are not going, Oh, she’s black. So she’s in, it’s a totality of these people’s stories. And the race is just one part of it.
So and, I mean, the military is the finest example of the longest affirmative action program that this country has had. And it’s turned out greats like Colin Powell. Let me when I say when I, when I hear when I hear people say things like,
I don’t want to be, you know, admitted into a higher institution of education because because I’m black or Mexican. that offends me. Because my question is, have you ever been discriminated against because you are black or Mexican? Have you ever been pulled over late at night? It that’s, that’s the root of affirmative action. Affirmative action is a response to institutionalized racism
that existed to level the playing field for a generation, Supreme Court opinions and rulings, essentially, are four generations. And those, those things can be revised later at a later time. So my question is, for those who think that affirmative action is so bad, have you ever been discriminated because of the color of your skin? And most people who respond say absolutely not, Rick? Yes, you are. You’re Hispanic, aren’t you? Correct? Okay. You just heard Derek’s argument he’s offended by
by people who say that
there is discrimination now.
Why does everything have to be about race now?
I don’t look at people that way. At all. Either a big discriminate. I know he’s, I know, Derek’s not going to agree with that. But in my opinion, I’ve never been discriminated against, okay.
Through my upbringing, I’ve done to my heart hard work. I grew up in the inner city, okay, as well. Okay. My mom brought up eight of us by herself.
We’ve all succeeded in life, go into public schools
Some of us went to college. I did agree, not by my race I did on my own. I got my own school loans. I paid them off in full.
I succeeded in life
because of my mom. But that brings me to today.
Why does everything have to come about race? Race should never be a topic. Ever. I see someone I see Wayne. I see. Becca, Alex, Jason, Dave.
Frank, while Americans in the end, well just should never come to be a factor to decide to let someone into the school because that would offend me if I got into a college, in the end because of my race, my total offensive to me offensive. Sorry, I just know like I’ve never been, no one has ever called the police on me for walking down the street and said that there was a sketchy person walking down the street. Like I’ve even walked around in boonies in the cold in the middle of the night, three in the morning. No one has ever called this cops on me. Somebody on in my town just a few weeks ago, had the cops called on them because they were sketchy looking in the middle of the day on a Sunday when we had somebody just like walking down the street and going to look at some free stuff in front of someone’s house. So
you can’t say we don’t see that stuff. Because we all it’s all part of us. Like we’re all like white, black magic. Whatever it is. We just it’s a fact like, you can’t say that. You don’t see that you have to see that. It’s just, you know,
you might I don’t
just because you don’t see it. Rick doesn’t mean
a black man, I find it very sketchy for somebody from the Hispanic community say, Oh, I grew up in my mother raised my mother raised eight you have six children to my mother was a single in a single parent home. My My father was around but he was not you know, he wasn’t he wasn’t in there. But that’s those are those are just, you know, casualties of existing. But you are the beneficiary of those who were discriminated against because of their race. The reason why you’re not going through the sting of being bitten by dogs or holes down in the street, or being hung and lynched is because of black people. When you go when you put Frederick Douglass It’s powerful. It’s profound. But Martin Luther King also said that history will judge us not by those who did us wrong, but also by those who stood by the sidelines and watch. So your assumption that don’t hurt me or don’t help me if, if a black man falls, I’m not comfortable using the N word. But if a black man falls, let them fall and let him but what if somebody stuck their neck out? Okay, Tim up, you’re taking this way too far. We talked about too big to fail. Those are your words.
I think I think I think I’m not talking about someone being intentionally tripped up by someone I’m saying you fail to succeed on your own doesn’t intentionally trip up those incubator Exactly. Like those who don’t even have the money to apply to these schools aren’t even being represented in law.
School, let me just say this, that’s a lot of money for family life and life. And we’re talking about a general sense.
People, you fail and succeed, by and large on your own merits a decision, right? We talk about merit systems like legacy programs, or getting into school about because your parents don’t eat a lot of money, or because you’re good athletics. None of those have to do with educational merits. But I don’t hear anybody complaining about that. And there’s diversity of all different things. So there should be financial diversity, racial diversity, all these and affirmative actions. One of the things that guarantees just about every politician has weighed in on this Supreme Court decision, some in favor, and some opposed. We picked out three that were particularly relevant. We’ll show them to you and then we’ll get the reaction of the American people. I want you to react to some of Americans talk about this Supreme Court decision, don’t react to their politics, just react to what they have to say. The court has effectively ended affirmative action in college admissions. And I strongly, strongly disagree with the court’s decision. Because affirmative action is so misunderstood. I want to be clear and make sure everybody’s clear about what the law has been, and what it has not been until today. Many people wrongly believe that affirmative action allows unqualified students, unqualified students to be admitted ahead of qualified students. This is not this is not how college admissions work. Rather, colleges set out standards for admission and every student every student has to meet those standards. Then and only then, after first meeting the qualifications required by the school to college get other things
actors in addition to their grades such as race, okay.
That’s that’s the case that President Biden and those who support affirmative action, making many, your reaction to what the President said.
Well, I understand where the precedent is coming from. But I think, you know, the time for affirmative action is over.
Because one of the things the Supreme Court said was that, when they when you practice affirmative action, it’s at, like, it’s not really fair to all minorities. So I think it’s really better to go to a merit based system versus using affirmative action. Because just because, because because it is demeaning, I think, to people who benefit from affirmative action, because they don’t know that they received their place in a university or college because of their merit. Because they’ll always wonder, Oh, was it because of affirmative action? So I feel that the time has just passed. I mean, you know, when it first began, it was needed and necessary. And I realized that we don’t live in a failed world. But I just think that affirmative action doesn’t make it any fairer in my opinion. Amy? Yeah, I agree with that. I don’t think this is necessarily making anything more fair for for anyone. I live in South Carolina now. But I grew up in Chicago. And I remember when I lived there, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the way they auditioned players, is they came in behind a screen, the judges never saw the person they came in, they played their piece, whatever the judges selected. And at the end of the day, whether it was three or 30, they said, we’d like to number seven, and we liked number 14,
whoever it ended up being they they picked them based on their skill level, not what they looked like, or what how expensive of a horn they had, because you can hear how expensive of a horn of an instrument someone is playing on. So not musician, that’s not true.
That’s always an excuse.
And then the other thing is, you know, I think a rising tide raises all boats. So if we tried to set something aside for one group versus another group,
even though we might think that it’s helping one group, if it’s hindering another, I don’t think that that’s worth it in the end. Look, Joe Biden is full, full. All right. What he was doing was sensationalizing the court’s decision, and pretty much was trying to romanticize liberals attempt to make America great again. And the the issue with affirmative action has it has not been what he described has been more so people have been getting admitted who are disqualified. They get in there, they can’t, they can’t perform, they can’t keep up with their coursework, they can’t afford the college and they get, you know, they become disgruntled at the institution because they didn’t they weren’t able to perform. You build all these these these these kids up to you’re going to harm or you’re going to yell at a very young age and they get there they can’t even perform. So what I’m you know, sensationalizing what he describes, as you know, an apology for affirmative action is ineffective. You know, it’s ineffective, it’s ineffective, and he knows it. And he cannot even give us a straight answer without admitting that racist one of the major factors in decisions. And colleges are also doing it because they’re fear they fear litigation. So in order to prevent litigation, they will admit some people they will admit some blacks or some some some brown folk just to prevent the the idea or the PR, bad PR that they did not do it for that particular class. So there is some Hanky Panky in the President’s you know, romanticizing what affirmative action has been over the last 5060 years.
These focus groups always include every point of view. So let’s hear what Republicans have to say about affirmative action. And that I want to know what you all think. And this week, those justices ruled to move our country forward with a merit based system of education. How big is that?
In that big isn’t that great? In other words, if you are a worker and you work very hard in school, you got fantastic marks somebody that hasn’t done nearly as well, who perhaps has not worked nearly as hard, will not be taking your place on a school, college or at a university. They’re not gonna be going by merit went back to the old merit system that built our country. That was a big one. Okay. Don’t react to Donald Trump. react to what he had to say.
Don’t merit system built our country. I think slavery built our country and people who benefited from it rather than this meritocracy or this like notion that people with who merited its people who are wealthy who can afford access to tutors and access to better schools access to better libraries that are going to persevere rather than those who don’t have those resources. And he absolutely did not get into where he got into because of merit. Pretty sure everyone knows that.
His life yeah.
The crowd behind him, there’s one black person, all white people, and I’m pretty sure that black person was dragged there. So I mean, well, way, way way, I find out that that he is ignorant and insulting. With respect to listen, I’m a Republican. I’m sure there are many Republicans who are black. No one drags us anywhere. We actually have a brain and we can actually think for ourselves. I made it I made a decision to be a Republican about 15 years ago, I didn’t do it at gunpoint. I didn’t do it it threat of physical harm. I know 1000s, or hundreds of black people around the country who are Republican, they made a decision. They may not have started out that way. But through their own study, through their own education through their own conscience and heart. They decided to support the Republican Party. It is not our genetic makeup and birthright to be a liberal Democrat. So I’m offended by all dies. I apologize. I apologize, because I completely, but it’s typical.
That I’m sure I except for college. But
the one thing I went away from I went away from thinking about the statement and side and actually thinking about the person who was doing the speaking and I shouldn’t have done that. And why I said that. And I shouldn’t have said that. I’m sorry. I appreciate it. But so Can I comment on the statement? I think for ourselves, and I think we all are intelligent up to make our own decision. Thank you. Right it Donald Trump was responsible for it for for recruiting over one point million black people into the Republican Party, unlike Joe Biden, who said that if you’re black, if you’re black, and I vote for him, you’re not black. And if you want certain people in your school, give them scholarships, give them tuition, give the poor kids from Appalachia, tuition, give inner city kids to give them tuition, if you if you will, you can affect diversity at your school with your $40 billion. If you really were serious about it, and the legacy people are politicians whose kids go to the schools, you don’t you won’t ever see them stand up, while one side of their mouth, they’re speaking about an unlevel playing field, but the other side of the mouth will never say well, you know what we should do away with these legacy programs, because they benefited from it. So they’ll never talk about it. That’s that’s the main problem I have with these big schools, billions of dollars. They could affect any kind of diversity that they want without doing race based hiring. I
want to ask, I you just raised Kelly, you just last question that I did not plan on and I’m going to be really curious for the answer.
I’m appointing all of you as the admissions directors. For an every university you love the most. You have two students. One of them is an African American female,
middle class, from a suburban area of the Northeast, parents both went to college. They don’t have much excess money, but they’re middle class. And she wants to go to the school of her choice. The other students is male, from the most rural part of Kentucky.
None of his family has gone to college before. They simply could never afford it. He’d be the first person ever white.
Who should get that slot?
They both have the same scores. They both have the same recommendations. They both have the same activities, and the same grade point average. Do you put the middle class African American woman into that into your university? Or do you put the poor white male into your university? You have to choose? How many of you choose the poor white male? Raise your hands?
How many of you choose the middle class? African American woman? Raise your hands?
Okay, I want to know why. And I’m gonna start with those who choose her first Abdl then Dave, and then Derek. So this is really relevant to me because this is what I do. Frank. I actually am a Program Director for an allied health programs. I do this I interview all the time. And the one thing I learned is something I think Derek alluded to earlier on in the conversation
My main rationale there would be simply the chances of success are much greater for that individual with verb background than they would be for that. So and I am almost disagreeing with myself or contradicting myself in terms of affirmative action.
Yes, I chose the middle class black woman because they have people of
color and female at the university and question I’m thinking of have less representation. So I want more diversity at that school. And I believe that would be a positive step towards it.
And so you have no problem losing
somebody who economically is not disadvantaged. So you’re choosing her actually because of her race.
In this case, if it’s everything else is completely equal, yes.
again, because of, of representation, there are less black females at the University I’m thinking of, then there are white men, regardless of economic condition.
We want your reaction.
I was leaning towards the rural area, Kentucky, before I heard, I wasn’t basing it on gender or race. And I lean towards this young guy, because I feel like he has something more to prove. I feel like he would probably appreciate it more work harder
than the other person
can lead.
I find it interesting that the people who seem to pity black people for not having cool resources,
still favor black people when they do have resources and someone White doesn’t. That’s what I find interesting. So here’s here’s what I think about pity it’s about dressing past wrongs. Well, you basing it on what you don’t know this girl’s background, you don’t know whether her family has been wealthy for a very long time. There are black people who have been working no
less. She’s an immigrant. She’s a she comes from slavery.
I’m sorry. I know that as an immigrant last season, as a recent immigrant, she comes from a history of slavery.
Oh, wow. Interesting. Well, I’ll say this, Denzel Washington son got a scholarship to play football at the get what school and then they’ll told the admissions people, he said, Look, you know, we have a few dollars, we can take care of him, you can give that scholarship to someone else. And the admissions person said, well, was respect to you, Mr. Washington. This isn’t about you. This is about what your son has earned on his own. And I thought that was very profound. Because if his parents just paid his way, yeah, they could have done it. But the admissions person said, he’s earned a scholarship. This is his. So we’re awarding it to him. And he thought about it and said, you know, you’re right. And I think that if you want to look at these two individual students, all of us don’t come from slavery of Sir, whether we are immigrants or not. So this is what I mean about this liberal view of black people which which, which I find it nauseating. That we are we are all from very different backgrounds, you’ll be shocked half of my family. What
is your recent immigrant, you are a descendant of slaves. And I’m telling you, that’s not true. It is true. It’s history. It’s that No.
I just want to put for the record, you know, black history better than most of us who’ve lived it. I’m telling you, that is not true. That is not true. Some of us do. And some of us don’t. That is just a fact. No one has one background in one group. We all have different backgrounds. Some of us come from slavery. Half of my family does my father’s side does not.
So this is what I find to be nauseating. You look at these two. Father’s side is probably real reason immigrants know there.
Yeah, 1874. That’s how we said.
The fact that not your father’s ancestors were slaves. I know for a fact. That’s the case. Go go go. Derek. I’m sorry. Go ahead. Alright, so so no, so I think you know, we’re reading too much of that question very soon as some it’s very simple equation. First of all, you have an African American Do you have a black female that her both her parents are graduates of college?
Both her parents worked to be in the middle class, so been her child, their children can have a legacy and have a pathway to success. And her grades are exceptional. They have they have the same grades and the chances of her performing well,
along with her grades and she’s bringing into the institution as well. As you know, she’s females. Well, she’s black. It does add to the numbers and the value of the institution.
Mission of the white student white students deserve to be in white poor students of Kentucky deserve to be admitted into higher education in this country, especially with those those types of grades. But Kentucky could definitely use somebody with those types of acumen to stay in the state and go to some of their wonderful institutions. Right. There are a couple of things. I think about that. First of all, I think a lot of the Asian applicants that were the root of this case, would make your exact argument that we have worked hard, and we deserve to go into the school of our choice, and we shouldn’t be shut, shuttled aside to a different school, that might not be our choice, just because somebody else wants a spot at that particular school. One thing, though, that I that I’ve noticed, I think, is amongst all of us.
We’ve highlighted on socio economic ability. And so maybe that’s what schools need to focus on more than the color of the skin. I picked the, the, the man from Kentucky,
not because of race or gender, but because he didn’t have a background. So since college education can be a generational change and a family. I think it would make more of an impact on his family. And of course, his descendants, if he was able to get into a good school doesn’t matter what school you’re talking about whether you’re talking to local school, or one of the ivy League’s
where as the young woman, she already has some advantages, because like you said, she she’s a generational, and that’s nothing bad. It’s not reflected poorly on her that her parents worked hard to get to where they are to give her those advantages.
Jason? Yeah, you know, I think I voted for the lower income. Male as well. And I think, you know, we think about what’s the purpose of affirmative action, historically, I think it’s about raising up sort of disadvantaged applicants to give them additional opportunity. And I think maybe what the court is forcing here is potentially to create a next iteration that does focus on socioeconomic status and more of that historical lens, to be able to provide those opportunities, even if it’s not specifically looking at skin color or something like that.
Would you that this is a good day for America. Honestly, this is the day where we understand that being judged by the content of our character, not the color of our skin, is what our constitution wants, we are continuing to work on forming this more perfect union, today is better than yesterday, this year better than last year, this decade better than last decade, the progress that we’re seeing in this nation is palpable. That’s good news for every single quarter of this nation, and one that we should celebrate. I think God Almighty, that America continues to work towards that concept of a more perfect union. Okay, I want three of you to respond to it. Angela, how what’s your reaction to what Senator Scott had to say? I agree with, with what he said, I was in the Marine Corps, and it was 100%, merit based. And if you couldn’t cut the mustard, everyone could see it. So that would make you raise your standard. So I can do more push ups, or I can walk farther than one of these walks or runs. And it helped made me a stronger person that a person after I got the military, so he’s always right about that. Makes it that’s not true at all, that the military is the most entrenched affirmative action system that we have.
That’s why
it’s known. I mean, it felt like there everyone knows it. Have you
got the muscle? You don’t customers. Colin Powell has talked about it. I mean, it’s it’s everyone knows that it’s historically No, it’s used as the prototype prototype for what our founder of action should be like. It’s always wait, is that?
So you’re mistaken? No, you’re missing do you serve in the military? My dad did. Did you serve in the military? No, I’m just saying,
but I’m educated and I read, okay, well, I’ve run behind other men five miles running with 50 packs on doing push ups and stuff. And no one cares if there’s a black female governor bashing his merit base to its merit base to is just making sure it’s it’s diverse. It’s like I said earlier, you don’t just get into college because you’re black. They they look at the merits, and then they make sure it’s diverse. So sure, everyone to read has to do certain amount of push ups. But as far as getting promotions, and things like that, it’s affirmative action. That’s that’s it’s not
Not on the package, when you put your package in for promotion, it’s not on the that’s not one of the boxes this check at all.
It might not be one of the
standard of affirmative action, your package goes up digitally to the promotion board, no one sees.
stop when we do the military debate, I’ll invite both you want to do it, Becca, your reaction? I think that he spoke about us going towards a more perfect union. And that progress is palpable. I haven’t felt that progress in my own life or in my own environment. And it hasn’t felt like that’s been my experience. So he’s a little bit more optimistic than I am. Many you weren’t born here. When Senator Scott talks about trying to achieve a more perfect union,
your reaction?
I think he had good intentions, but I didn’t, you know, I didn’t really like I didn’t really believe him.
I mean, I mean, I was kind of sad that the Republicans were on the same page as me, like, you know, about abolishing affirmative action, but I think the reasoning was different. So I do think, you know, when you brought up the case of the two candidates to school, I mean, I wanted to vote for the one, the female candidate, but I felt that the male candidate needed
the leg up to the school. So I do feel that
you know, I guess affirmative action is not as cut and dried, as I would like to think it is. You said something? You were sad that you have the same point of view as the Republicans. Yes, I was very sad and depressed about that. Wow. I mean, why?
Well, I mean, you know, usually I don’t really,
you know, approve of, of their viewpoints. And, you know, like, when I listened to Donald Trump, I was like, oh, yeah, you know, I’m, I’m feeling I kind of know what he’s saying. I am. And I just felt very sad about that. That, you know, I was like, like, like he said, something that I could approve off, that was just very unpleasant, to be honest.
Anyone want to respond to that? Yeah.
I respond and respond. I think we’ll go back 60 years to 1953, things have gotten a lot better. And we’re not living in the cities anymore. So when Senator Scott said that we’re moving towards a more perfect union, and somebody made the comment, no, it’s not perfect. But it’s a whole heck of a lot better than has been over the last six years. I think we’re moving in the right direction. We may not be moving as fast as people may want to move or in an equitable way, but we are moving in the right direction.
Well, one of the reasons we’re moving in the right direction is we’ve had affirmative action. Yeah.
The case and now we’re going to take it away, because I guess it’s good enough, no more Middlemarch? Well, that was that was a step in the right direction, then people said we might want to sunset it. I like to say like an 8020 rule that we have still some form of affirmative action, but not horrible as it’s done. If everyone is even honest about affirmative action, we know that white women have benefited probably more than anybody over the last four years from it. And I think what has happened is, I do believe, I do believe that there’s a lot of people in this society, thankfully, who are out there seeking out people for a variety of reasons. Some people are really sincere and wanting to help other people, that there are their coaches out there who break their neck to get every kid in college, if they can play just a little bit of football, because they’re trying to get kids somewhere in some school, I don’t care if it’s Division One, two, or three. There are lots of people out there trying to give their fellow citizens a leg up. I think some people who have such a negative view of people in society, this might as well be 1923. Because lots of people who still have this viewpoint, and I’m sorry, they’re mostly white liberals, who think that most of their fellow white citizens are still virtual Klansmen who work every day and night to keep black people out of college and out of a job. But if you look at the progress of this country, we have we had about 1500 black politicians nationally in 1970. Now we have upwards of about 10,000 at any given time. That was it doesn’t coincide with the end of the Civil Rights Movement. And if you look at Illinois, there was a magazine article 2018 They were bragging about them being the black police
Local Mecca and how they have all the levers of power in Illinois, governors of the lieutenant governor, mayor, legislators, aldermen, senators, producing the first black president, blah, blah, blah. They’re bragging about it. So that told me Well, wait a minute, if this still failing, then who’s responsible? If you’re boasting about you have all the levers of power, I think that we have come a quite a long way. I don’t think we’ll ever be as idealistic as some people want us to be. But I think right now, at this particular time, if people are worth their salt, they can succeed
in life, they can get into a college if they want, and they can make something out of themselves. And I don’t think again, this is 1923, where people have a foot on their neck. I think this this room right here that we’re talking in, proves that. I think Lady made my point, things have gotten better. And I agree with you, Dave, of the affirmative action has been part of that. But we are better off now than we were 67 years ago. That’s that’s a fact that lead you made a good point. We look at the number of black politicians today. We didn’t have that back in the south. We didn’t have black governors and black mayors and black congressmen and senators. We do have that today. So we are moving in the right direction. It’s a question of how we’re going to equate this going forward. Well, I want to jump in here. But Senator Scott and say resonates with me as a Republican once again, hard work pays off, that in this country, that you are rewarded by merit, and that if you work hard, you can get somewhere in this country, it may not be the one of the Ivy League, but you can get somewhere in this country. If you put if you perform well, and you apply yourself.
This is now a moment where the court has
not fully understand the importance of equal opportunity for the people of our country.
And it is in so very many ways a denial of opportunity.
the it is a complete misnomer to suggest this is about colorblind
when in fact, it is about being blind to history.
Being blind to data, being blind to empirical evidence about disparities, being blind to the strength that diversity brings to classrooms to boardrooms. Diversity is fine. Absolutely. But people make a decision every day to go to a college that’s not diverse. For instance, I went to Tuskegee University in the 80s. There was two white people on campus when I got there. Second semester, there was one and he was my roommate. For the next three years. He was the only white guy on campus. Now they started to recruit white athletes. I think Jackson state’s entire golf team is white. Grambling State has white football players, Hispanics are now being led into black universities and ours. Well, they have been over the past decade or so. Schools will diversify on their own. And I don’t think that the government once they start getting involved in this issue, just like everything else, they will make a mess of it. I think that this whole dramatic speech she just gave about people not getting opportunity and not getting listen. I’m sorry, these people want to keep us in a 1950s mentality in this I don’t care how many speeches they give and how much they seem to cry on stage. We’re not there.
Right the immigrants here I want to hear from the three immigrants Abdul
Yeah, I’m on this one I am with solid actually. I think her words a lot of platitudes a lot of words, but they don’t inspire much confidence. I didn’t really agree with the I don’t even know what she said to be honest. She really just kind of speaking around. And this is gonna be coming from somebody who was very loquacious himself. Oh, come on here on a nice suit. You okay, thank you from a from an immigrants mentality. Frank, you’re exactly right. We are kind of the poster children for anti affirmative action. Because we come in here, my father was a high school dropout, my brother’s a physician, my cousins, everybody in the family physician besides me, they all went to private schools, because you can get into state schools. If you’re an international student, they’re allocated for state because they’re state funded. So we understand that but but I can also be oblivious, naive or ignorant, especially to one minority again, and this one I think, other than I gotta be on, we have a lot of polarity on this. I just can’t understand how we ignore what’s been going on. And I’ve been in the room. I kind of grew up in the Carolinas where I went to college. And I’ve heard I’ve heard white people speak in a manner that is just not it’s almost inhumane thinking that because I’m not black that they could speak of black people that way. And I know I know they they have their finger on on the weighing scale when it comes to decisions, like admission. So for affirmative action, I’m probably leaning towards you. It’s not we’re not there yet.

Video Library

Latest Commentary

We know it is important to hear from a diverse range of observers on the complex topics we face and believe our commentary partners will help you reach your own conclusions.

The commentaries published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.

Latest Opinions

In addition to the facts, we believe it’s vital to hear perspectives from all sides of the political spectrum. We hope these different voices will help you reach your own conclusions.

The opinions published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.

Weekly Voices

Left Opinion Right Opinion


Left Opinion Right Opinion


Left Opinion Right Opinion


Left Opinion Right Opinion