Supreme Court and Conservative America at War With Blacks

 Supreme Court Justices (source: The Supreme Court)

by Vernon Williams

Forget the war in Ukraine. The Supreme Court and those anxious to turn back the hands on the clock of progress have openly declared war against Black America with a string of state legislative setbacks and high court decisions that set human rights back to the infamous Jim Crow Era.

Maybe it’s what should be expected from a body of jurists unapologetically partisan in their political views, willing to disrupt precedence and rock foundations of the Constitution to force their agenda into law.

Maybe we’re being totally unreasonable to expect ethical thinking, standards, practices and judgments from a body that blinks at the ethical discord of its own members who accept fortunes in gifts and accommodations from individuals whose causes they adjudicate.

It’s not that all nine should be held accountable individually for the gross indiscretions and lack of forthrightness of a few. But the lack of collective outrage, rebuke, retribution or even constructive dialogue to discuss the ethics of those on the highest court is repugnant in its absence.

The courts prior to this week took a position on Roe v Wade that not only put male-dominated lawmakers in charge of decisions governing female health and prerogatives. It doesn’t matter if you are “anti” or “pro.” To render the most impacted population mute is a travesty. Women should be the prevailing voice.

Then to gut affirmative action at the college level became one of those actions that ignores the adage, “if it ain’t broke…don’t fix it.” The decision will inevitably thwart dreams of untold numbers of higher education aspirants. Of course the hope is institutions will create clever and effective alternatives and that enrollment will increase significantly at HBCUs. But nothing is certain.

No matter your feelings on the explosion of LGBTQ+ rights, the Supreme Court greased a potentially slippery slope in supporting the right of a public business to refuse service to those to whom they had objections. Who can’t see the exercise of that option spreading well beyond same-sex patrons. How far away is the refusal to serve interracial couples or people of color? The guardrails have been removed.

And how do we rationalize to our young scholars that Congress allocated $45 billion more than requested for the military but turned a deaf ear to the prospects of student loan forgiveness. This concession is denied even as Ukrainians are pledged billions of American tax dollars to a war with Russia that has no end in sight. Black females bear the highest per capita burden of student debts.

Black Americans are in a hostile environment. Before these most recent aggressions, there was already our elimination from history in the schools, banning of books that even touch on race, flagrantly violent attacks from citizens, as well as law enforcement, unconscionable levels of voter suppression and concerted efforts to deny systemic racism and ignore or marginalize those who point it out.

But all these factors withstanding, the nation is about to learn AGAIN that there is NO QUIT in Black America. This mounting turmoil may be the perfect prescription of avoiding Black voter apathy that enabled the 2016 presidential race debacle. These abhorrent developments might provide the wake-up call necessary to mobilize Black activism now through 2024.

In the final analysis, this will also give us an opportunity to determine at every level of our existence, in no uncertain certain terms, who are the genuine friends of the Black community; who we can count on in our most grueling struggle of the past century. Time and action will reveal.

Vernon A. Williams
Vernon A. Williams

CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference-makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to:


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