Al Sharpton said Thursday on MSNBC that the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down affirmative action programs was “a dagger in our back” that should be ignored.
“I think that this is tantamount to sticking a dagger in our back, because what they have said now is that it is unconstitutional to even consider race and given the racial history of the country, let’s not act like it was blacks are behind because of something in our genes that made us behind,” Sharpton told MSNBC guest host Alicia Witt. “It was against the law for us to read and write until 160 years ago. We were enslaved 246 years. So it is to completely throw to the wind the history of why we needed affirmative action in the first place.”
The Supreme Court struck down admission policies at the University of North Carolina and Harvard that took race into account, with a 6-3 ruling in the case of North Carolina and a 6-2 ruling in the case of Harvard (Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson recused herself from the Harvard case).
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“You have a right-wing Trump court,” Sharpton said. “Cause let’s not forget Trump nominate a third of the sitting court, nine members, three of which Trump put on there, that is saying well, we’ll protect the voting rights on Thursday, Friday and Monday and then we’re going to pull the rug from under you in terms of you being able to have an even consideration.”
The Supreme Court ruled against Republicans in the North Carolina state legislature in a dispute with the state’s supreme court following a February 2022 ruling on congressional districts, claiming the Constitution reserved that power to state legislatures.
Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh voted with Chief Justice John Roberts and the three more liberal justices in that case.
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“My last point that really is frightening to me is now in the private sector, corporations, many of whom made pledges around the George Floyd movement, that didn’t live up to them, can now say, well, we can’t consider race in terms of contracts and employment and board members and what we do in the community because the court now is saying it is unconstitutional,” Sharpton said. “This is a tremendous setback that must be resisted by every corner, including the Department of Justice and including states because what they have said is that it is unconstitutional to even consider race and I think it is unimaginable not to consider race.”
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