In a stark reminder that elections have real-life consequences, the three justices named to the Supreme Court by Donald Trump have joined three other Republican-nominated justices to issue a ruling that strikes down Affirmative Action, which was a key achievement of the Civil Rights Movement. The monumental implications of this decision are broad, deep, and devastating. After more than 400 years of racial terrorism and stratification of human worth, the Supreme Court has determined that just 40 years of Affirmative Action initiatives have been sufficient to remediate the systemic racism that has acted as shackles on the potential of our people for generations. This ruling will likely impact efforts in not only colleges and universities, but the composition of corporate boards, private and public employment, and others that seek to create fairer, more diverse opportunities.
The sad, yet unsurprising irony is that this rightwing Supreme Court majority leaves intact legacy admissions which are aggressive forms of Affirmative Action for those already benefiting from the legacy of white privilege. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson in her brilliant dissent writes; “With let-them-eat-cake obliviousness, today, the majority pulls the ripcord and announces ‘ colorblindness for all’ by legal fiat. But deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life.”
We issue an urgent call for greater support for our own Livingstone College, Clinton College, Hood Theological Seminary, and other HBCUs. Our leaders, churches, and communities, as well as all who are allies in justice, must recommit to financial and political support for our educational institutions. Additionally, we must intensify efforts to improve educational outcomes for our children and youth. Strengthening our public schools and sponsoring church and community-based After School or Saturday Schools are an important part of building a comprehensive response to this temporary, albeit severe, setback.
As President Biden stated; “We cannot allow this decision to be the last word.” As we’ve done repeatedly over the course of our history, the AME Zion Church will respond with determination, not despair. We will mobilize, educate, and vote in greater numbers. Though the struggle continues, and it seems we are facing obstacles we thought were dismantled, yet, with prayer and perseverance, as Justice Brown Jackson quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in her dissent; “We shall overcome!”
Bishop W. Darin Moore, President of the Board of Bishops
Bishop Kenneth Monroe, Senior Bishop Bishop Darryl B. Starnes, Sr., Bishop Dennis V. Proctor Bishop Mildred B. Hines (Deceased)
Bishop Seth O. Lartey Bishop Michael A. Frencher, Sr.
Bishop George D. Crenshaw Bishop Hilliard Dogbe Bishop Uduak Effiong Bishop Brian R. Thompson, Sr. Bishop Eric Leake Bishop Joseph Johnson, Retired Bishop Marshall H. Strickland, Retired
Bishop Nathaniel Jarrett, Jr., Retired Bishop George W.C. Walker, Sr., Retired
Bishop Samuel Chuka Ekemam, Sr., Retired
Bishop Warren Matthew Brown, Retired
Bishop George Edward Battle, Jr., Retired
Done this the 29th Day of June 2023
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