Carol Platt Liebau: The Court Speaks

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Court Speaks

Here is a summary of yesterday's Supreme Court decision, Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School Dist. No. 1, which held that the schools cannot use measures that take race explicitly into account in an effort to maintain integration in schools.

Obviously, liberals are bouncing off the walls about this one -- and liberals and conservatives alike are claiming that their interpretation stems from the correct understanding of Brown vs. Board of Education. In a sense, the question is: Did Brown require color-blindness when it comes to offering children an education, as conservatives believe, or did it impose some new requirement of "inclusion," as liberals insist?

Of course, it could be argued that Brown did both. The difference, back then, however, was that "inclusion" was necessary in order to work toward the goal of a color-blind educational system, given that schools were officially segregated. Color-blindness was the universally agreed upon good that was supposed to be attained.

Today, conservatives are the ones who still hold to the dream of a society where children are judged on the content of their characters (or the quality of their school work, or whatever), not on the color of their skin. In contrast, liberals are the ones who have essentially abandoned Dr. King's dream of a color-blind society, and replaced the ultimate aim of color-blindness with achieving the new goal of "diversity" -- based on skin color alone, mind you, and as defined by whatever government bureaucrat.

Liberals are upset about this court case not because it undermines the goal of color-blindness in American society -- but because at least four justices in the majority are affirming that it's constitutionally impermissible for a government to make decisions and distinctions among its citizens based on race. Liberals, apparently, are willing to trust government to make "benign" racial distinctions among Americans.

Conservatives are not, understanding that racial distinctions even with the best of intentions are never benign -- and what's more, that it violates the Constitution. And they are right.


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