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Fusion
06-29-2007, 08:52 AM
Supreme Court race decision tops Dems’ debate
Issues of opportunity, equality dominate third meeting of 2008 hopefuls

Link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19487919/

WASHINGTON - A historically diverse field of Democratic presidential candidates — a woman, a black, a Hispanic and five whites — denounced an hours-old Supreme Court desegregation ruling Thursday night and said the nation’s slow march to racial unity is far from over.

“We have made enormous progress, but the progress we have made is not good enough,” said Sen. Barack Obama, the son of a man from Kenya and a woman from Kansas.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the first female candidate with a serious shot at the presidency, challenged those who would suggest otherwise. “There is so much left to be done and for anyone to assert that race is not a problem in America today is to deny the reality in front of our very eyes.”

In their third primary debate, the two leading candidates and their fellow Democrats played to the emotions of a predominantly black audience, fighting for a voting bloc that is crucial in the party's nomination process. They stood united against the Supreme Court and its historic ruling rolling back a half-century of school desegregation laws.

Clinton said the decision "turned the clock back" on history.

Unifying theme: Racial divide persists
Questions about AIDS, criminal justice, education, taxes, outsourcing jobs, poverty and the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina all led to the same point: The racial divide still exists.

Clinton drew a huge cheer when she suggested there was a hint of racism in the way AIDS is addressed in this country. "Let me just put this in perspective: If HIV-AIDS were the leading cause of death of white women between the ages of 25 and 34 there would be an outraged, outcry in this country."

Delaware Sen. Joe Biden urged people to be tested for the virus, noting that he and Obama had done so. Cracked the Illinois senator: "I just want to make clear I got tested with Michelle," his wife, Obama said drawing laughter from the predominantly black audience.

While the first two debates focused on their narrow differences on Iraq, moderator Tavis Smiley promised to steer the candidates to other issues that matter to black America, including health care, education, police accountability, housing and voting rights.

The debate was held at Howard University, a historically black college in the nation’s capital.

Black voters are a large and critical part of the Democratic primary electorate, making the debate a must-attend for candidates seeking the party's presidential nomination. Civil rights activist Al Sharpton and Princeton University scholar Cornel West were among those in the audience.

A half century of desegregation law — and racial tension — was laid bare for the Democrats hours before they met. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court clamped historic new limits on school desegregation plans.

The conservative majority cited the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case to bolster its precedent-shattering decision, an act termed a "cruel irony" by Justice John Paul Stevens in his dissent. The 1954 ruling led to the end of state-sponsored school segregation in the United States.

Obama, the only black candidate in the eight-person field, spoke of civil rights leaders who fought for Brown v. Board of Education and other precedents curbed by the high court. "If it were not for them," he said, "I would not be standing here."

Biden noted that he voted against confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the majority opinion. He said he was tough on Roberts. "The problem is the rest of us were not tough enough," he said, seeming to take a jab at fellow Democrats. "They have turned the court upside down."

All the Democratic candidates in the Senate opposed the confirmation of conservative Justice Samuel Alito, another of President Bush's nominees. Clinton, Biden and Obama voted against Roberts; Sen. Chris Dodd voted for his nomination.

The debate was an opportunity for Obama, who got mixed reviews from his first two debate performances, to stand out and share a bond with the audience. He is in a tight contest for the black vote with Clinton, who benefits from goodwill for her husband among blacks.

Poverty, AIDS, colorblind justice
Segregation was not the only issue. In turn, the candidates discussed their hopes to stem poverty, close the economic gap between the rich and poor, fight AIDS and overhaul a judicial system that doesn't always seem colorblind.

"This issue of poverty is the cause of my life," said John Edwards, the 2004 vice presidential nominee.

Said Obama: "It starts with birth."

Obama criticized Bush's No Child Left Behind program. "You can't leave the money behind and that's what's been done," he said.

Clinton spoke of her efforts in Arkansas to raise school standards, "most especially for minority children."

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, the country's only black governor, introduced the candidates with a warning that a dispirited GOP "is not enough to elect a Democratic president nor should it be. We need to offer a more positive and hopeful vision ... to run on what we are for and not just what we are against."

Shouts of "Obama!" rang out amid the cheers for the eight candidates.

RebootedCorpse
06-29-2007, 08:54 AM
This is why who we elect president matters.
They're not all the same.

WillieLee
06-29-2007, 08:56 AM
Clinton drew a huge cheer when she suggested there was a hint of racism in the way AIDS is addressed in this country. "Let me just put this in perspective: If HIV-AIDS were the leading cause of death of white women between the ages of 25 and 34 there would be an outraged, outcry in this country."


What the hell?

Fusion
06-29-2007, 09:21 AM
What the hell?

I wonder if she always felt that way or only when speaking to an African American audience?

WillieLee
06-29-2007, 09:33 AM
I wonder if she always felt that way or only when speaking to an African American audience?

Well, some of it is pandering and some of it is lunacy. When the AIDS virus was discovered the response was a major campaign of awareness. If the infection rate is higher in one segment of society then maybe people should focus on the reasons it is higher. Not blame the 'white man'. Her statement is really idiotic.

Bill!
06-29-2007, 09:33 AM
What the hell?

Its actually very very true.

RebootedCorpse
06-29-2007, 09:34 AM
Its actually very very true.

Seconded.

WillieLee
06-29-2007, 09:35 AM
Its actually very very true.

How so?

MIKE D
06-29-2007, 09:37 AM
Actually, Hilary is completely wrong. The outrage would only come if it was the leading cause of death of heterosexual white MEN.

WillieLee
06-29-2007, 09:39 AM
The cancer deaths in the black community are eight times the AIDS deaths. Does this mean that white people don't care about cancer because it's a 'black problem'?

JoeE
06-29-2007, 09:41 AM
Is there any other disease that the US pledged $15 billion dollars to give to other countries to fight in 2003?

I know liberals aren't going to be satisfied with what we spend on AIDS until we're dumping 50% of the GDP into HIV research and prevention, but the AIDS demogogery is played out.

Kirblar
06-29-2007, 09:42 AM
This decision is the one that I think the court actually got right. Kids should go to their neighborhood schools, unless they need to be somewhere else for a GT/disabilities program. It's a different scenario now than it was 50 years ago. Then, you needed to do it because the schools were segregated and needed to be brought together. Now you're just trying to meet quota %s.

JoeE
06-29-2007, 09:43 AM
This decision is the one that I think the court actually got right. Kids should go to their neighborhood schools, unless they need to be somewhere else for a GT/disabilities program. It's a different scenario now than it was 50 years ago. Then, you needed to do it because the schools were segregated and needed to be brought together. Now you're just trying to meet quota %s.

Incidentally, racial quotas have a long history of having an adverse effect on Asians.

Fusion
06-29-2007, 09:53 AM
Its actually very very true.

It is, but I don't think she would have ever admited this unless it was to pander to African Americans for a cheap pop and votes.

Ray G.
06-29-2007, 11:50 AM
The reason AIDS isn't treated like the mass plague some people believe it is is because it's a preventable disease. Most people know how to avoid it, and think it'll never touch them. And they're probably right. The days of little boys getting AIDS through blood transfusions are over, so it's lower on everyone's minds.

Could someone give me a nutshell of what the Supreme Court decided? This issue is important to me, but it's funny, no matter how many articles I read on it, they're all written in a way that I can't seem to get what the Supreme Court actually decided. They all talk in big, lofty terms without giving many practical comments.

Foolish Mortal
06-29-2007, 12:09 PM
How so?
When we first started hearing about and discussing AIDS, it was just generally seen as gay men's disease and wasn't seen as an important issue for heterosexual people.

Hell, there are still people in 2007 that still think it's just a gay men's disease.

Ray G.
06-29-2007, 12:11 PM
When we first started hearing about and discussing AIDS, it was just generally seen as gay men's disease and wasn't seen as an important issue for heterosexual people.

Hell, there are still people in 2007 that still think it's just a gay men's disease.

I'd like to think that most people are smarter than that now, but you're probably right.

I really think most of the blase attitude comes from the fact that, unlike Cancer and Diabetes, it doesn't just sneak up on ordinary people. There are risk factors that lead to contracting it, and most people don't think it's their problem.

Ryan F
06-29-2007, 12:30 PM
The reason AIDS isn't treated like the mass plague some people believe it is is because it's a preventable disease. Most people know how to avoid it, and think it'll never touch them. And they're probably right. The days of little boys getting AIDS through blood transfusions are over, so it's lower on everyone's minds.

Could someone give me a nutshell of what the Supreme Court decided? This issue is important to me, but it's funny, no matter how many articles I read on it, they're all written in a way that I can't seem to get what the Supreme Court actually decided. They all talk in big, lofty terms without giving many practical comments.

It's actually not entirely clear what the Supreme Court decided as there were multiple opinions. Desegregation plans in two cities that used race as one of the deciding factors in school assignments were overturned 5-4. The conservative core (Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts) said that race can never be used as a factor in school assignments - the liberals said that's a clear violation of the spirit of Brown.
Kennedy broke the tie by saying race could be used sometimes, but not on these cases. He did not define when it would be okay...most scholars are saying his decision made no sense.

My opinion:
I don't see how you can call for color-blindness when we clearly don't live in a color-blind society. African-Americans have never had access to the same levels of education as whites (Brown wasn't until 1954 and took decades to implement by which time white flight had already made Brown desegregation moot in many cases). If society is fundamentally unfair, as ours is, then color-blindness just hides that fact.

A lot of people are saying the way to get around this decision is for school systems to mandate income diversity - I think that is a good solution, and I hope it happens.

Ray G.
06-29-2007, 12:38 PM
It's actually not entirely clear what the Supreme Court decided as there were multiple opinions. Desegregation plans in two cities that used race as one of the deciding factors in school assignments were overturned 5-4. The conservative core (Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts) said that race can never be used as a factor in school assignments - the liberals said that's a clear violation of the spirit of Brown.
Kennedy broke the tie by saying race could be used sometimes, but not on these cases. He did not define when it would be okay...most scholars are saying his decision made no sense.

My opinion:
I don't see how you can call for color-blindness when we clearly don't live in a color-blind society. African-Americans have never had access to the same levels of education as whites (Brown wasn't until 1954 and took decades to implement by which time white flight had already made Brown desegregation moot in many cases). If society is fundamentally unfair, as ours is, then color-blindness just hides that fact.

A lot of people are saying the way to get around this decision is for school systems to mandate income diversity - I think that is a good solution, and I hope it happens.

Yeah, that fucking sounds like a mess. I really don't like Anthony Kennedy. He seems to flip a coin on rulings, and is on the opposite side from me 99% of the time. He's like the short-bus Sandra Day O'Connor.

I strongly oppose forced diversity in schools that are segregated not by law but by population, and wish Affirmative Action would be done away with entirely, so I like the direction they went in here, but wish it was clearer. Thanks.

Fusion
06-29-2007, 12:43 PM
Yeah, that fucking sounds like a mess. I really don't like Anthony Kennedy. He seems to flip a coin on rulings, and is on the opposite side from me 99% of the time. He's like the short-bus Sandra Day O'Connor.

I strongly oppose forced diversity in schools that are segregated not by law but by population, and wish Affirmative Action would be done away with entirely, so I like the direction they went in here, but wish it was clearer. Thanks.

:surrend:

RebootedCorpse
06-29-2007, 12:44 PM
So anyhoo...
The basic result of this most recent decision is to basically hollow out Brown V. Board of Education.
Assholes.

Ryan F
06-29-2007, 12:49 PM
Yeah, that fucking sounds like a mess. I really don't like Anthony Kennedy. He seems to flip a coin on rulings, and is on the opposite side from me 99% of the time. He's like the short-bus Sandra Day O'Connor.

I strongly oppose forced diversity in schools that are segregated not by law but by population, and wish Affirmative Action would be done away with entirely, so I like the direction they went in here, but wish it was clearer. Thanks.

In both cases school attendance was not determined by geography anyway. Students applied for their top choices, and acceptance was determined by merit first and minimal diversity requirements second (I believe in Seattle the rule was that no race could be more than 85% of a school's population).

I don't see how we can ignore the fact that we do not grant the same opportunities to children of different races. That's the key to the continued income inequality in our country and it needs to be corrected. The average white student has a clear-cut socio-economic advantage over the average black student because of the legacy of legal racism in this country.

Fusion
06-29-2007, 01:03 PM
In both cases school attendance was not determined by geography anyway. Students applied for their top choices, and acceptance was determined by merit first and minimal diversity requirements second (I believe in Seattle the rule was that no race could be more than 85% of a school's population).

I don't see how we can ignore the fact that we do not grant the same opportunities to children of different races. That's the key to the continued income inequality in our country and it needs to be corrected. The average white student has a clear-cut socio-economic advantage over the average black student because of the legacy of legal racism in this country.

THANK YOOOOOOOOOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kirblar
06-29-2007, 01:06 PM
In both cases school attendance was not determined by geography anyway. Students applied for their top choices, and acceptance was determined by merit first and minimal diversity requirements second (I believe in Seattle the rule was that no race could be more than 85% of a school's population).

I don't see how we can ignore the fact that we do not grant the same opportunities to children of different races. That's the key to the continued income inequality in our country and it needs to be corrected. The average white student has a clear-cut socio-economic advantage over the average black student because of the legacy of legal racism in this country.
Poor kids in Appalachia are also fucked.

If you want to assign slots based on a certain % of low-income kids, I'm all for it. Just don't say "We need more black kids"!

Ryan F
06-29-2007, 01:11 PM
Poor kids in Appalachia are also fucked.

If you want to assign slots based on a certain % of low-income kids, I'm all for it. Just don't say "We need more black kids"!

Poor white kids in Appalahia aren't the result of 350+ years of racists laws. I think if you target a race negatively for a few centuries, you ought to try to give them a leg up for a few generations in order to level the playing field. Segregation and racism didn't end in 1865. They didn't even end in 1965. As I said before, African-Americans have never had the same educational opportunities as whites in the United States.

I would be okay with focusing on income diversity though, as I mentioned before.

Mister Mets
06-29-2007, 01:30 PM
I'm personally opposed to racial quotas in public schools, as I believe that individual merit/ potential is the only thing that should count in these applications. I think the proper solution is improving the overall quality of schools (how to do that would be an entirely different debate.)



It's actually not entirely clear what the Supreme Court decided as there were multiple opinions. Desegregation plans in two cities that used race as one of the deciding factors in school assignments were overturned 5-4. The conservative core (Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts) said that race can never be used as a factor in school assignments - the liberals said that's a clear violation of the spirit of Brown.
Kennedy broke the tie by saying race could be used sometimes, but not on these cases. He did not define when it would be okay...most scholars are saying his decision made no sense.

The big thing Kennedy did was establish that racial quotas shouldn't be used (and that's a slightly different thing than affirmative action.)

Mister Mets
06-29-2007, 01:33 PM
Poor white kids in Appalahia aren't the result of 350+ years of racists laws. I think if you target a race negatively for a few centuries, you ought to try to give them a leg up for a few generations in order to level the playing field. Segregation and racism didn't end in 1865. They didn't even end in 1965. As I said before, African-Americans have never had the same educational opportunities as whites in the United States.

I would be okay with focusing on income diversity though, as I mentioned before.
But is it fair to favor one underprivileged group over another?

Especially when the individuals involved (say poor black kids, and poor white kids in the Appalachians) are usually not responsible for their crappy situation. Should it matter morally whether it was racist laws fifty years ago, or the stupid decisions of their grandparents 50 years ago, that lead to them having limited potential today?

Ryan F
06-29-2007, 01:43 PM
But is it fair to favor one underprivileged group over another?

Especially when the individuals involved (say poor black kids, and poor white kids in the Appalachians) are usually not responsible for their crappy situation. Should it matter morally whether it was racist laws fifty years ago, or the stupid decisions of their grandparents 50 years ago, that lead to them having limited potential today?

I'm not saying that we should ignore poor white children - I wholeheartedly agree that the US educational system as a whole needs serious reform - it's a crime that some kids go to shit schools whether they're in Appalachia or East St. Louis. However, we also need to redress the wrongs that have led to persistent racial inequality - it's not that poor African-Americans are more important than poor whites, it's that poverty is a great deal more common among African-Americans. There are more poor blacks because of racists policies, so we need to take more steps to address the situation.

When the statistics show such a clear divergence, it speaks to a systematic problem - color blindness really just means turning a blind eye to that evident fact.

Mister Mets
06-29-2007, 01:52 PM
There are more poor blacks because of racists policies, so we need to take more steps to address the situation.


Given that there are 5 to 6 more times as many white people than black people in the US, I think it's easy to prove a statement like "there are more poor black people than white people in the US" wrong. A statement like "a greater percentage of black people within the United States and the world are poor" is probably correct, and shameful. But I don't see racial quotas in schools as the solution.