racial preferences

Black Activists Tell Supreme Court: Race Preferences Have “Disastrous Consequences”

Project 21 Joins Legal Brief Asking Justices to Overturn Higher Education Admissions Ruling

Washington, D.C. – The Project 21 black leadership network joined with six other organizations and one parent to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider a previous decision that has resulted in racial discrimination in college and university admissions.

In an amici curiae (“friends of the court”) legal brief asking the justices to accept the case of Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina, et. al., Project 21 and the others pointed out that the Court’s 2003 decision in the case of Grutter v. Bollinger has had “disastrous consequences” because it allowed schools to use the ruling “as an unqualified endorsement of racial preferences” in admissions.

Horace Cooper

Horace Cooper

“The U.S. Constitution is color-blind and consequently protects all races. The Supreme Court failed to uphold this view in the Grutter case; it now has a chance to get it right,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper. “As Chief Justice Roberts has previously noted, ‘The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.’ No classroom experience is made better by discrimination. The time for race-based exceptions has come and gone.”

Calling Grutter “an outlier in equal protection jurisprudence,” the brief – written by the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) – argued that equality under the law offers no exception for education, that the diversity goals created in the Grutter decision rely on arbitrary racial classifications and that such classifications perpetuate harmful stereotypes.

Melanie Collette

Melanie Collette

“Race is not an indicator of one’s academic success in college,” said Project 21 member Melanie Collette. “Like many race-based initiatives touted by leftists, UNC’s admissions policy seems to suggest that white students are smarter than blacks. Constant messaging to blacks that they lack the intellect, discipline and fortitude to succeed under race-neutral criteria is the real white supremacy we ought to be opposing.”

Derryck Green

Derryck Green

“Racial preferences are an admission, by all who defend them, that blacks are still separate and unequal. Despite the false narrative that blacks need intervention for success, we are more than capable of exceeding the minimum expectations if the government and self-righteous progressives got out of our way!” added Project 21 member Derryck Green. “This is the hard bigotry of no expectations. It is self-destructively permitted by blacks, and validated by far too many whites – including members of the Supreme Court of the United States.”

The brief also called the Grutter decision “unworkable,” noting that racial preferences create a “mismatch” of students and institutions which is harmful to all applicants, especially those who are unable to succeed once accepted. The brief cited a study showing that students who received racial preferences were less likely to pass the bar exam.

To read the entire Project 21 brief – as written by PLF – click here. Project 21 and PLF were joined on the brief by the Center for Equal Opportunity, Reason Foundation, Chinese American Citizens Alliance – Greater New York, Coalition for TJ and Yi Fang Chen. There is no timeframe for the justices to announce a decision about taking up the case of Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina.

To schedule an interview with a member of Project 21 on this or other issues, contact Judy Kent at (703) 477-7476.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.

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