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Obamas respond to the Supreme Court’s shredding of affirmative action by sharing personal stories

According to the former president, “Affirmative action was not perfect.” it enabled generations of students, including Michelle and myself, to establish that we belonged.”

“Affirmative action was never a complete answer in the drive towards a more just society,” Barack Obama tweeted.

“However, for generations of students who had been systematically excluded from most of America’s key institutions, it provided an opportunity to demonstrate that we more than deserved a seat at the table.” It is necessary to redouble our efforts in light of the latest Supreme Court judgment.”

“So today, my heart breaks for any young person out there who’s wondering what their future holds — and what kinds of opportunities will be available to them,” Michelle Obama said in a statement.

The Obamas attended prestigious schools. Both hold law degrees from Harvard. Michelle Obama attended Princeton University while Barack Obama attended Columbia University.

Michelle Obama has long expressed her doubts about whether she really “belonged” at Princeton in her writings and public pronouncements, referring to affirmative action, and she reiterated this in her statement.

“It was a shadow that students like me couldn’t shake, whether those doubts came from the outside or from inside our own minds,” she wrote.

The Obamas seldom comment on current events, so their reactions to the case between Harvard and the University of North Carolina highlight — from their viewpoint — the historic significance of the 6-3 judgment.

In a statement, Barack Obama remarked, “Like any policy, affirmative action was not perfect.” However, it enabled generations of students, including Michelle and myself, to establish that we belonged.

It is now up to all of us to provide young people with the chances they deserve — and to assist students worldwide in benefiting from fresh viewpoints.”

Obama advocated support for eight groups that give scholarships and other aid to kids from different backgrounds, including Hope Chicago, which is managed by former Chicago Public Schools superintendent Janice Jackson and assists students pursuing post-secondary education.

Michelle Obama discusses affirmative action and her admission to Princeton.

Michelle Obama describes her sentiments about getting accepted to Princeton, where her brother, Craig Robinson, a talented basketball player, also attended.

Michelle Obama graduated from Whitney Young High School and has said on several occasions that school advisors hindered her ambition to attend Princeton.

“In college, I was one of the few Black students on my campus, and I was proud to have gotten into such a prestigious institution.” I knew I’d put in the effort. Still, I worried whether others assumed I got there because of affirmative action.

“It was a shadow that students like me couldn’t get rid of, whether those doubts came from the outside or from within our own minds.”

“But here’s the thing: I belonged. And, semester after semester, decade after decade, for more than a half-century, countless students like myself demonstrated that they, too, belonged. It wasn’t simply children of color who benefited.

Every kid who heard a point of view they would not have heard before, who had an assumption questioned, and who had their brains and hearts opened gained a lot.

“It wasn’t perfect, but there’s no doubt that it helped open up new doors of opportunity for those who, throughout our history, have been denied the opportunity to demonstrate how quickly they can climb.”

“Of course, students on my campus and numerous others around the nation were — and continue to be — given preferential admissions treatment.

Some have parents that went to the same high school. Others come from wealthy households who can hire instructors to help them run faster or smash the ball further.

“Others attend high schools that have lavish resources for tutors and extensive standardized test prep, allowing them to score higher on college entrance exams.” We don’t generally question whether or not such students belong.

So frequently, we simply accept that money, power, and privilege are perfectly justified types of affirmative action, while kids my age are expected to compete in situations where the playing field is anything from even.

“Today, my heart breaks for any young person wondering what their future holds — and what kinds of opportunities await them.”

“And, while I know the strength and grit that lies within children who have always had to work a little harder to climb the same ladders, I hope and pray that the rest of us are willing to work a little harder, too.”

Today serves as a reminder that we must strive not only to pass legislation representing our principles of justice and fairness, but also to make those values a reality in all our schools, businesses, and neighborhoods.”

Senator Dick Durbin said the decision “just upended nearly 50 years of established precedent.”

“I’m disappointed in the Supreme Court’s ruling effectively prohibiting the use of race as a factor in college admissions,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., head of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Court’s conservative majority has just overturned over 50 years of established precedent, undermining our country’s progress toward racial fairness.

“America’s ever-changing commitment to the fundamental right to live free from discrimination necessitates the recognition of historical wrongs.” Dismantling assistance for historically oppressed groups makes our society less equal, not more.”

‘In the Land of Lincoln and Obama, we will continue to raise our children of color,’ says Pritzker.

“The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Affirmative Action is a travesty, reversing nearly 45 years of precedent that promotes equity in our nation’s higher education institutions.”

“The harm done to Black communities by slavery and Jim Crow laws, as well as to Hispanics and Native Americans by a legacy of discrimination and oppression, has not been undone.”

Historically underrepresented and underprivileged students have been barred from higher education for decades, impeding upward mobility and stagnating economic growth for future generations.

Affirmative action admissions procedures were vital in creating educational environments that reflect our diverse society while righting historical wrongs.

“This choice only serves to put us back.

“However, here in the Land of Lincoln and Obama, we will continue to uplift our students of color by promoting inclusion and expanding access through record-level funding for higher education institutions and our MAP Grant Program, to ensure that every student has the opportunity to earn a degree.”

“To all students of color in the Land of Lincoln and throughout the United States: you belong in our institutions.” And no antiquated rule will ever alter that.”

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Written by Anthony Peters