Month: June 2023

Background Briefing: June 29, 2023

Another Right Wing Front Group Gets SCOTUS to Rule With a Predetermined Outcome, This Time Against Affirmative Action

We begin with the Supreme Court’s decisions on ending affirmative action in college admission in cases brought by a right wing front group SFFA, Students For Fair Admissions and look into yet another case of Supreme Court shopping to get rulings that the right wing majority on the court are itching to take up with a predetermined outcome. We note the powerful dissents from Justice Sotomayor and Ketanji Brown Jackson who accused the majority of “let them eat cake obliviousness” and discuss a court that President Biden said today in response to a question from a reporter asking whether the court was rogue that, “This is not a normal court.” Joining us is Katherine Franke, a Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law at Columbia University. Among the nation’s leading scholars writing on law, sexuality, race, and religion, she is the author of Repair: Redeeming the Promise of Slavery’s Abolition.


How Asian Students Were Used to Perpetuate the Myth of Colorblindness

Then we speak with Kevin Kumashiro who feels that Asian students were used by right wing activists in a decision he sees as perpetuating the myth of colorblindness that race no longer matters and that democracy is somehow advanced when we refuse to attend to long-standing and pervasive issues of racial injustices. Moreover, the decision furthers a narrowed vision for higher education, focusing on individual merit rather than the common good. An internationally recognized expert on educational policy, school reform, teacher preparation, educational equity and social justice and the former dean at University of San Francisco’s School of Education, Kevin’s books include Troubling Education and Teaching toward Democracy.


The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author of American Whitelash: A Changing Nation and the Cost of Progress

Then finally we speak with Wesley Lowery, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author and on-air correspondent. He currently works as a contributing editor at The Marshall Project and a Journalist-in-Residence at the The City University of New York Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. He led the Washington Post team that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2016 for the creation and analysis of a real-time database to track fatal police shootings in the United States, and his project, “Murder with Impunity,” a look at unsolved homicides in major American cities, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2019. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement, and his latest book, just out, is American Whitelash: A Changing Nation and the Cost of Progress.