(Los Angeles, CA) – Statement from Cecily Myart-Cruz, President United Teachers Los Angeles

Today the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action for public and private universities to benefit admission preferences for legacies, donors, employee families, and special recommendations. This ruling bends to right-wing extremists and upholds white supremacy. This egregious decision is a direct attack on racial justice, and widens inequality for working class communities of color across the country.

This decision is particularly heartbreaking for Los Angeles educators who work directly with Black, Indigenous, brown, and other students of color. Educators, activists, and racial justice leaders fought tooth-and-nail to pass affirmative action to ensure future generations would have equal opportunities in education.

Racial economic disparity – caused by factors such as racism, socioeconomic status, and lack of resources is prevalent in our schools, communities and even more pronounced in higher education. Gutting another legal right Americans have had for nearly 50 years is just another example of how low this court is willing to go to legalize discrimination and target marginalized communities. 

For the past three years, America has been facing a reckoning over racial, gender, and economic injustice. By denying people of color a fair opportunity to get ahead in their education and careers, SCOTUS has chosen to promote the racist, sexist, and hateful rhetoric spewed by the right wing. This repeal is a backlash to our collective movements to ensure there is equal opportunity for all.

We strongly reject today’s decision and vow to continue to organize alongside the communities we serve to collectively defend our right to dignified lives. All of us—teachers, counselors, students and families—deserve a government that will level the playing field, create diverse institutions, and help close the racial and ethnic achievement gap. Despite this move, we are building our power and we will stand with marginalized communities and fight back.