INDIANAPOLIS–On Thursday, the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action policies at UNC and Harvard, signaling the fall of affirmative action. State Senator Andrea Hunley (D-Indianapolis) issued the following response:
“Today’s ruling on affirmative action is a travesty. Affirmative action and the Equal Protections Clause were instituted to guarantee all citizens—regardless of race, gender or belief system—fair and equal access to public services like K-12 and higher education that minorities had long been denied. Today, the Supreme Court put their thumb on the scale and created a field heavily tilted against Black, minority and poor students.
As a Black woman, a longtime educator and principal in urban public school systems, and a higher ed advocate, I am acutely aware of the consequences this ruling will have. Six justices have undone history, unraveling the progress that has been made in institutions of higher learning. Whatever improvements the U.S. has seen in regard to diversity in college attendance, enrollment, and workforce participation have been due, in part, to affirmative action policies. I’m reminded of Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg’s metaphor: ending affirmative action is ‘like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.’
“Race blind admission policies are disingenuous and, frankly, a misnomer: anyone who looks at me can see the color of my skin—there is literally no such thing as race blindness. Race and racism remain powerful, real forces in America—to be blinded to it is to be blinded to reality. The end of affirmative action will be disastrous not only for minority students, but for the whole country’s future: young generations are more racially and ethnically diverse than ever, and our economy desperately needs those people in our colleges and workforce. Our future depends on embracing diversity and equity in all areas of life, including higher ed. I’ll continue to fight for educational policies that uplift all students and ensure every Hoosier is guaranteed opportunity.”