“We don’t want resegregation, equal quality education!” chanted students gathered on the steps of the Michigan Union yesterday at a press conference shortly after the Supreme Court announced its decision to take both the Law School and undergraduate cases challenging the use of race in admissions.
About 20 students stood in the cold with snow falling around them as they held up signs supporting affirmative action.
Luke Massie, a member of the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action and Integration and Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary, implored students to get involved in the movement and expressed confidence about the Court’s future ruling.
“Every single person supporting equal rights and equality must take a stand at this time. This is the key turning point,” he said. “We will win (Grutter v. Bollinger).”
But LSA sophomore Karl Sowislo, a staffer of the Michigan Review who attended the press conference, had a different prediction.
“First of all, I think it’s unconstitutional because in the public sector, as in colleges and universities, admissions policies should be looked at with a blind eye,” he said. “I think justice will prevail, meaning affirmative action will be overturned.”
Education senior Agnes Aleobua announced BAMN’s plans to hold a national Civil Rights march with 1 million attendees in Washington when the Court hears the case in March or April.
“We will not turn back the hands of time. I implore everyone in this community to join us and march in (Washington),” Aleobua said.
“Brown v. Board of Education means as much today as the declaration that all men are created equal meant during slavery.
“We will be marching on the Supreme Court when they hear our case,” she added.
Miranda Massie, lead attorney for the student intervenors in the Law School case, said the Supreme Court’s ruling on the admissions lawsuits could either uphold or re-define the precedent for integration set by Brown v. Board of Education.
“Affirmative action plans are desegregation plans for higher education. The student intervenors will argue before the U.S. Supreme Court that integration is this nation’s most compelling interest,” she said in a written statement.
One of the lawyers for the intervenors, Jodi Masley, said the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the University’s cases will have a deep impact on the Civil Rights movement started by Martin Luther King Jr. four decades ago.
“This case will determine whether Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of progress and equality will be realized in this society,” Masley said.
Masley also announced that BAMN will host a National Civil Rights Summit and Conference at the University from Jan. 20-26, which will commence on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.