A retrograde US Supreme Court with its house negro Clarence Thomas 

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By Carlton Joseph

Carlton Joseph

The conservative, US Supreme Court has again decided to break with precedent, and declared that race-conscious admissions policies at colleges and universities across the country are unlawful, effectively ending affirmative action in education.  It also ruled that President Biden administration overstepped its authority in trying to implement a one-time student debt relief plan, that would have forgiven between $10,000 and $20,000 of federal student debt, citing that the administration used the incorrect law to carry out the relief.  These decisions will have significant impacts, for generations to come, especially in Afro American, Latino and Hispanic communities.

Chief Justice John Roberts assailed race-conscious admissions as “elusive,” “imponderable” and “opaque,” ruling they violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.  The Equal Protection Clause took effect in 1868, and was intended to validate the equality provisions contained in the Civil Rights Act of 1866.

Is Roberts suffering from amnesia? Did he forget that Jim Crow Laws, that mandated racial segregation in all public facilities in the former Confederate states around 1884, remained in force until the 1960’s?  Does he understand that Jim Crow was enacted to disenfranchise and remove political and economic gains made by African Americans during the Reconstruction era?  Does he understand the meaning of the words he used to write his opinion? 

Roberts seem to think that because something cannot be evaluated with exactness (imponderable), and is hard to understand or explain(opaque), or difficult to achieve (elusive) that it should not be law.  Roberts is not qualified to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman appointed to the court, wrote in her dissent: the decision “is truly a tragedy for us all.” She added, “With let-them-eat-cake obliviousness, today, the majority pulls the ripcord and announces ‘colorblindness for all’ by legal fiat.” 

Ungrateful, “house negro,” Clarence Thomas, who claimed that he decided not to become a priest, because he was frustrated over the Catholic Church insufficient attempts to combat racism, voted with the majority white supremacists court in ending affirmative action in education.  He forgot that The Civil Rights Act of 1964 created the need for a Secretary of Civil Rights at the Department of Education, primarily focused on enforcing civil rights laws prohibiting schools from engaging in discrimination on the basis of race color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or membership in patriotic youth organizations.  And, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) a federal agency charged with enforcing laws prohibiting job discrimination.  Clarence Thomas, one of the major beneficiaries of the Departments generated by the Civil Rights movement, who was admitted to Yale Law School, as part of the affirmative action practice, through which the school wanted 10% of its incoming class to be students of color.  Thomas was pppointed Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the US department of Education 1981, and Secretary of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 1982.

This “success” of affirmative action voted to end it, because he claimed that that affirmative action can undermine the “self-esteem and self-respect” of the people it’s supposedly helping.  He is dismantling a program that gave him the opportunity to be a student at Yale Law School, and propelled him to the Supreme Court.  He is a justice in the Supreme Court, but still lacks self-confidence, because he, an English major, who has been appointed to every job position, who knows he is not qualified to be a justice, is always fighting his educational shortcomings, and wants to believe that he entered Yale because he was educationally qualified, and not part of a quota system. 

People of color should probably return to Black Law schools, especially if these “Ivy League” schools, graduate brain-dead people like Thomas, who hate being black, and would accept gifts from billionaires, adopt children and allow rich white people to pay their tuition, and do not think its unethical.  This illiterate was appointed to fill the vacancy, created by the death of Justice Thurgood Marshall, a graduate of Howard University Law School, who led the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, who won 29 of the 32 cases civil rights cases he argued before the Supreme Court, including Brown vs Board of Education, which rejected the separate but equal doctrine and held segregation in public education to be unconstitutional.  This self-hating n**, is reversing all the gains Marshall fought for, and his rulings are antithetical to every ruling Justice Marshall made.

Interestingly, the decision did not affect affirmative action in the military academies.  One would think that the court would place the same value for diversity in higher education, as they are in making sure that we have diversity in our military.  Does the court believe that the only avenue for upward mobility for minorities is the military?  They must also believe that upward mobility should be limited to the highest enlisted rank, because if minorities are denied access to college education, they will never be officers and therefore never gain top positions in the military.  Do they believe that minorities should be pawns or cannon fodder in America’s global power game?   

Also, attending these Ivy League colleges is not only about education because if you are denied access to the Ivy League Universities you will not have access to the elite social networks, to corporate and the political connections; your chances of reaching   your full potential would be somewhat diminished.  Does the court believe that minorities should not have access to the boardrooms, or the political halls of power of America?

Martin L King (MLK) in one of his speeches said: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” MLK would be flabbergasted that a Black man, who benefitted from the Civil Rights Movement, would be a party to lengthening the arc, and pushing the arc toward injustice.  

(Trinidad-born Carlton Joseph who lives in Washington D.C., is a close observer of political developments in the United States.)