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The former president of the United States, Barack Obama (2009-2017), the only black president the country has ever had, asked this Thursday to “redouble efforts” against discrimination after the Supreme Court ruling that put an end to positive discrimination based on race in universities.
In a message on Twitter, Obama acknowledged that affirmative action was “never a complete answer” in the fight for a fairer society.
But he pointed out that this policy did allow many students who had been “systematically excluded” from the main educational institutions of the country, among which he included himself, to have the opportunity to demonstrate that they “deserved a place at the table” for several generations.
“In mourning the recent decision of the Supreme Court, It’s time to redouble our efforts“Said the former president, who also posted the message that his wife published hours before criticizing the ruling as soon as they met.
The country’s vice president, Kamala Harris, spoke along the same lines, calling for work “with more urgency than ever” to ensure that “all young people have the opportunity to prosper.”
Harris said the Supreme Court decision is a “step back” for the country that “restores” a precedent that will make it much “more difficult” for minority students to access “opportunities that would allow them to develop their full potential.”
He added that “all” students benefit when campuses “reflect incredible diversity” from United States and making universities less diverse will harm all of their students.
The conservative majority of the US Supreme Court ruled against affirmative action in universities, saying that Harvard and the University of North Carolina violated the Constitution by using race as a factor in the admissions process.
“Many universities have (…) concluded, wrongly, that the cornerstone of an individual’s identity is not challenges overcome, the skills built or the lessons learned, but the color of their skin. Our constitutional history does not tolerate that decision”, can be read in the sentence.
A ruling that was criticized by US President Joe Biden, who said he “totally disagreed with the decision” of the Supreme Court, which has “misunderstood positive discrimination.”
Biden called on universities to continue to guarantee racial diversity among his students despite the decision of the Supreme Court.
With information from Efe.
• Sessions says that Harvard discriminates against Asian students
• More educational opportunities for Latino youth
• Current affirmative action