FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 29, 2023
PHOENIX – House Democrats spoke out against today's "misguided" United States Supreme Court ruling gutting affirmative action in college admissions.
Assistant Democratic Leader Oscar De Los Santos said:
"Talent is equally distributed in our communities and in our society, but opportunity is not. That is a historic fact and a generational wrong that affirmative action has sought for decades to correct in our country, with many success -- Justice Clarence Thomas among them. Now, a rightward ideological shift that has occurred in the Supreme Court (but not in our country) seeks to undo that progress. It is simply wrong for this Court to deliberately hamstring successful and impactful efforts by colleges and universities to create opportunities for qualified, but disadvantaged, students of color while leaving legacy and donor-influenced admissions intact. That only widens the disparity. As a child of immigrants, my life has been immeasurably impacted for the better by education. We cannot let this decision be used to deny that same opportunity to the next generation. Democrats are as committed as ever to ending discrimination and providing equal opportunity for all Americans, and this misguided decision only deepens our resolve."
Rep. Quantá Crews, who chairs the Legislature's Black Caucus, added:
"I find it disheartening that 59 years after the ratification of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 we find ourselves revisiting affirmative action. One generation is simply not enough to rectify the many injustices that institutional racism has wrought against black and brown communities worldwide. Yes, our communities have made progress; a major player in those successes is affirmative action. American institutions didn’t wake up and choose to do the right thing by admitting qualified students of color. They were forced to by the very policy the Supreme Court has overturned. Those ideologies and ignorant ways of thinking are still informing education admissions and employment decisions. Racism has yet to die. This is evidenced by the recent viral video released of a teacher calling a high school student the n-word. That is just one, we have countless recent examples. Discrimination runs rampant in every corner of American life. Progress doesn’t mean racism is eradicated and we won’t stop fighting until justice for all is a reality. The dream was great but it simply won’t do."