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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Affirmative Action In Michigan

The Guardian:

US supreme court upholds Michigan law that bans affirmative action
Justices say Michigan voters have the right to change their state constitution to stop colleges using race as a factor in admissions


Six justices ruled on Tuesday in favour of a ballot initiative narrowly passed by Michigan voters in 2006 that banned the state's public universities from using race as a factor when deciding which students to admit, arguing that doing so discriminated against white students.

The ban had been ruled unconstitutional by a lower appeals court, but the supreme court overturned the earlier decision and upheld the Michigan law on the grounds that it was up to voters in each state to decide whether to allow affirmative action.

The majority argued the case was not about the merits of the policy itself, but whether states should be left free to decide on this vexed political issue rather than the courts.

The court’s conservatives – and swing vote Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the decision – were joined in the ruling by liberal justice Stephen Breyer, who emphasised in a concurring opinion that he believes “the constitution permits, though it does not require, the use of the kind of race-conscious programs that are now barred by the Michigan constitution,” but added, “the constitution foresees the ballot box, not the courts, as the normal instrument for resolving differences and debates about the merits of these programs.” ...

It is hard to see how a majority can willingly give up a preferential benefit.

My friend and I were talking about the grow in inequity in the USA, and the rise of a wealthy oligarchy. But it is not in our make up to practice a form of Distributism; we see life as a zero-sum, and what I have, you do not. Winner take all, or at least the lion's share.

We shall cycle through inequity, radicalism, uprisings, and recessions.
Our system is an oscillating system of ups and downs, which we think we are rationally in control of, but are not. What we are in control of is mostly irrational, such as our inability to have a more equitable society.

Let us engorge ourselves while the sun is out, and let the masses starve when it rains.

We are an all or nothing society. That is why important changes only occur in the deeps of distress. Only when there is so much inequity and suffering and fear is it possible to institute meaningful change - and make it stick.

All or nothing is related to our religious outlook. We believe in all or nothing. We have read it. On the day of judgement, there will be great division, according to the story of the zero-sum winnings of the just and the damnation of the evil.

Yet it is also said that God's rain falls upon the just and unjust alike.

Another tale for another day. I think when we can understand that infinite mercy is actually infinite, we might have learned an important lesson: give no thought to the damnation of anyone, for the evil of the day - or the man - is sufficient unto itself.
Live in God's sun or His rain, which are distributed to all.


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