FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - June 29, 2023
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JANM Decries the Supreme Court’s Decision to Strike Down Affirmative Action
LOS ANGELES, CA – The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) decries the US Supreme Court’s decision to strike down affirmative action in college admissions, eliminating the use of race as a factor in the admissions process. In particular, the Supreme Court ruled that race-conscious admission policies of Harvard and the University of North Carolina violate the US Constitution. The court referenced Hirabayashi v. United States to establish the nation’s disapproval for discrimination based on race but that case asserted that discrimination against a minority was legal. Given the pervasiveness of state-sponsored racism throughout history, programs like affirmative action were needed to address systemic discrimination and racism.
“We are deeply troubled by the Supreme Court’s decision which will only hurt future generations of college-bound Asian Americans and other communities of color. By striking down affirmative action, the court is taking away the opportunity for colleges and universities to diversify their student population, create equity on campus, and foster an inclusive environment in higher education. By denying students the opportunity to attend those colleges and universities, the court is fragmenting and dividing our neighborhoods, towns, and cities. The fallout from this decision not only comes at a great cost to those who would benefit the most from affirmative action but also does a grave disservice to the future diversity of the nation’s workforce. The World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans was rooted in the same discrimination and prejudice that drives anti-affirmative action. Therefore, JANM has a moral obligation to stand with communities of color who are confronting discrimination today and into the future,” said Ann Burroughs, President and CEO of JANM.