Tags: Steve Malzberg Show | affirmative action | racism | university of Michigan

The Root's Swerdlick: US Still Needs Affirmative Action

Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 07:52 PM

By Bill Hoffmann


Despite a Supreme Court ruling that upholds the right of states to ban racial preferences in university admissions, the nation still needs affirmative action, according to David Swerdlick, a columnist and contributing editor for TheRoot.com.

"It’s only been 60 years since the end of legal segregation. Before segregation, you had even worse circumstances certainly for African-Americans and for other minorities in this country going all the way back to slavery," Swerdlick told Steve Malzberg and Shannon Moore on Newsmax TV's "The Steve Malzberg Show."

"If the idea now is that 60 years is the time frame for which African-Americans have had to essentially catch up with the rest of the country in terms of economics, education, health, etc., then I guess that's the direction that the court is going in.

"I would say that there is still a need for affirmative action programs and I think Justice Sotomayor articulated exactly why. Race still matters in our society."

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The justices' 6-2 decision was spurred by a Michigan case in which a voter-approved initiative banning affirmative action was challenged.

Swerdlick, whose website focuses on African American issues, said despite many changes involving the perception of race in America, some things are still the same.

"Even though we have a black president [and] a black attorney general, most of the judges in the country are white," he said.

"Most of the college presidents, most of the corporate CEO's, most of the generals in the military, most teachers in universities and prestigious schools are white and not black, Latino, and Asian-American.

"There still is an imbalance and we are still dealing with the historical effects of slavery. I still think that we're in a section of our history where we do need affirmative action."


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