The Long, Long Road to Defeating Racism

There are no "good" reasons for being racist. Let us celebrate our latest judicial win against this evil practice.

"Freedom" by Clearly Ambiguous is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

With the passing of the 14th Amendment 155 years ago, the US Constitution made every State in the country officially color-blind. In fact, it made the states blind to any human attribute or trait, without exception: "No State shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law".

No exceptions. No carve-outs. No discrimination, not for any reason, not even a very good one – period, the end!

Well. Almost.

The country has been fighting wack-a-mole against race-based practices ever since. We had Reconstruction. We had Jim Crow. We had Black Codes. We had separate-but-equal. We had red lining. We had the Great Society. We had affirmative action. We had DEI.

155 years of squeezing race in and around every possible loophole and crack that could be found.

But here's the thing about racial discrimination. It is "invidious in all contexts", as Edmonson v. Leesville Concrete Co. puts it. "Invidious" is the perfect word. It means to cause discontent, animosity, and envy. Racism does this in all contexts for any reason, good or bad.

Racial discrimination is evil. Pure evil. There is no "good" reason to be racist.

So nothing makes me more proud of my American heritage than to witness yet another example of the judiciary wacking racism back into its hole. My only complaint is that it took 45 years for us to do it!

Hopefully this time it will be a more permanent win for equality. Compare the rules for racial discrimination in employment law to those for university admissions, for example. The laws in employment are way more strict. All the Court has really done here is to bring university admissions into line with other laws that have been on the books for decades.

But, a win's a win! Even 45 years late, I'll take it.

This July 4th, may we all continue to say together, "May God bless America, and may she continue to wave the flag of freedom!"


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