CELEBRATING THE FREEDOM OF AMERICANS IN AMERICA: Good Enough for the Barracks, But Not the Boardrooms
“In a 6-3 decision issued on Thursday, the United States Supreme Court struck down Affirmative Action in college admissions, preventing higher educational institutions from considering race in admissions decisions. But one key exception is the nation’s military academies” (Metzger, 2023). Interestingly enough, while race can no longer play a role in the enrollment of Black and Brown students seeking admission to the nation’s educational institutions, that limitation is not placed on military academies or the military.
So, we are good enough for the Barracks, but not the Boardrooms.
The Air Force, Coast Guard, Navel Academics, and West Point military schools can all look at race as a factor in admitting Black and Brown people. Once there, these students will be taught that they bleed the same red, white, and blue as their non-POC peers, while simultaneously facing a unique discrimination within the system. As someone whose life, family, and friends are deeply entrenched in military academies and enlisted military life, I see the racism and discrimination that many Black and Brown people face in this role, even while wearing this nation’s colors and uniform. Many people of color find themselves drawn to the military due to promises of good benefits, pay, and healthcare. Though it can be a smart choice for some, in funneling Black people into the military-industrial complex, the government is paving the way towards a future in which higher education is reserved for the white and/or ultra wealthy.
Affirmative Action in education has played a crucial role in expanding access to higher education for historically marginalized groups, and just like every other political posturing, like abortion rights and feminism, white and low-income white immigrants have always been the beneficiaries. Black people are getting too educated. Heck, the nerve to run for and win two terms of the presidency (Asante, 2016), has ruined the color pattern of the American history presidential palate, and we will always pay for that. Removing affirmative action policies in education undermines efforts to create equal opportunities, hindering social mobility for marginalized communities. This perpetuates the cycle of inequality and limits their access to quality education and its associated benefits.
While the military’s use of Affirmative Action is vital for ensuring a diverse and capable armed force, the absence of similar educational considerations raises concerns about the broader implications for national security and defense readiness. A diverse and inclusive society is better equipped to address complex challenges, foster innovation, and enhance problem-solving capabilities. By limiting access to education for marginalized communities, the U.S. hampers its ability to effectively cultivate a diverse talent pool capable of addressing national security concerns. But that’s okay, because even Abraham Lincoln, who is given so much praise for abolishing slavery, not only held over six hundred enslaved people of his own but never believed in equity and diversity for Black people. “I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people, and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality … I will add to this that I have never seen, to my knowledge, a man, woman, or child who was in favor of producing a perfect equality, social and political, between negroes and white men,” (Singer, 2013). This is the premise of the right-wing effectively implemented business plan since 1772, which is still their mission today.
It’s a free for all.
It appears that in the current political environment, right-wing and ultraconservative politicians are free to pass harmful legislation that reverses the protections that progressives have been working towards. Additionally, left-wing elected officials continuously make unfulfilled promises to their constituents. Something that comes to mind is Biden’s political play for student loan debt relief. This was probably an inside discussion between the left wing and the right wing on the same bird. In fact, the Biden administration seems to have given up entirely on fighting for policies that right-wing politicians have been working to dismantle for decades.
For example, the recent SCOTUS ruling to turn back the clock on gay rights, allowing discrimination by enabling business owners to deny service to same-sex couples or anyone in the LGBTQ community. “The court’s decision represents a devastating blow to LGBTQ protections, which have in recent years been bolstered by landmark decisions at the nation’s highest court, in which the majority expanded protections for LGBTQ workers, and the 2015 case legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.” (Ariane de Vogue and Devan Cole, 2023)
And, though the police system has been brutally criticized following the Black Lives Matter Movement (Campbell, 2021) and the murder of George Floyd (McKelvey, 2021), the Georgia government allowed funding for “COP CITY” (Sager, 2021) in Atlanta. In a country in which people need affordable housing, healthcare, and well-maintained infrastructure, our government has proven that the needs of the people come last.
Removing Affirmative Action in education while supporting it in the military highlights a glaring injustice within societal systems. Education is a gateway to opportunities and socioeconomic mobility, and denying marginalized communities equal access perpetuates systemic inequalities. It is crucial to recognize the importance of Affirmative Action in both realms, fostering diversity, inclusion, and social progress. By addressing this disparity, society can take significant steps toward creating a more just and equitable future for all. The loophole was in the fear of critical race theory, wholly misunderstood, and a scapegoat. This led to the banning of books, Black books, and Black history. This is not about education or the individual process. We are all scratching our heads in confusion, knowing that none of this makes sense. But they have to start with the cracks, and we have to mend them quickly and unapologetically. Because the truth is, it has never been about banning books, education, CRT, banning abortion, LBGTQ, affirmative action, or police brutality. This is about one thing and one thing only. There is only one free America, WHITE AMERICA, and all members are enlisted to protect that free America for the privileged.
Ariane de Vogue and Devan Cole. (2023, July 1). Supreme Court limits LGBTQ protections with ruling in favor of Christian web designer. Retrieved from CNN Politics: https://www.cnn.com/2023/06/30/politics/supreme-court-303-creative-lgbtq-rights-colorado/index.html.
Asante, M. K. (2016). Lynching Barack Obama: How Whites Tried to String Up the President. New York: Universal Write Publications.
Campbell, A. (2021, June 13). What is Black Lives Matter and what are the aims? Retrieved from BBC News: https://www.bbc.com/news/explainers-53337780.
Hurley, L. (2023, June 29). Supreme Court strikes down college affirmative action programs. Retrieved from NBC News: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/supreme-court-strikes-affirmative-action-programs-harvard-unc-rcna66770.
Loving v. Virginia. (1967, June 12). Retrieved from History: https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/loving-v-virginia.
McKelvey, T. (2021, April 21). George Floyd: The murder that drove America to the brink. Retrieved from BBC News: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-56825822.
Metzger, B. (2023, June 29). Supreme Court allows military academies to continue race-based admissions, citing ‘potentially distinct interests’. Retrieved from Business Insider: https://www.businessinsider.com/supreme-court-military-academies-exempt-affirmative-action-ban-2023-6.
Roos, D. (2023, June 30). Black Loyalists Fought for Their Freedom During the American Revolution. Retrieved from How Stuff Works: https://history.howstuffworks.com/revolutionary-war/black-loyalists-fought-american-revolution.html.
Sager, R. (2021, December 27). Atlanta approves $90 million for ‘Cop City’ sitting on over 300 acres of forested land. Retrieved from Daily Kos: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/12/27/2071361/-Atlanta-city-council-secretly-approved-an-90-million-militarized-police-training-facility.
Singer, A. J. (2013, November 11). Abraham Lincoln Never Believed in Racial Equality. Retrieved from History News Network: https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/153860. Tucker, A. (2021, July 3).
Blacks — both free and enslaved — fought for nation’s independence. Retrieved from The Philadelphia Tribune: https://www.phillytrib.com/news/local_news/blacks-both-free-and-enslaved-fought-for-nations-independence/article_62636b24-64e4-557c-ba9d-4b5467d20e59.html