1 year ago • Jun 29, 2023

Response To The Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Ruling

Rabbi Sharon Brous

The Supreme Court’s twin decisions, today—which overturn decades of precedent and render consideration of race unconstitutional in university admissions– deny the reality of systemic racism in our society and deprive us of one of our strongest tools to respond to the ongoing legacy of slavery, segregation, and systemic discrimination against people of color. This not only violates nearly half a century of American jurisprudence, but it undermines our core Jewish values, as a community rooted in a commitment to tzedek—building a just society—and teshuvah—the possibility of healing though a rigorous process of accountability.

What we need is not racial blindness. We need racial justice. Our nation yearns for a teshuvah that addresses not only the tangible impact of generations of systemic injustice, but that dares to reckon honestly with our history, and in so doing, to reimagine our entire society.

This fight is not over. As Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her dissent: “Equal educational opportunity is a prerequisite to achieving racial equality in our Nation…” Even as this Court races to undermine the rights and dignities previously protected by the law, we will never give up the fight for America to becomes a truly just, equitable society.

Listen to Rabbi Sharon Brous’s sermon on Affirmative Action and Racial Reckoning from earlier this month: https://ikar.org/events/the-terrible-cost-of-zero-sum-thinking-rabbi-sharon-brous/.