If Samuel Alito, President Bush’s recent Supreme Court nominee is confirmed in January, the court will noticeably move to the right, meaning votes would more than likely shift in favor of conservatives.
If confirmed, Alito will join fellow judges, Clarence Thomas and John Roberts, who have openly spoken out against issues like affirmative action as well as fellow conservatives Antonin Scalia and Anthony M. Kennedy. This would tip the Supreme court votes in favor of conservatives five-four.
But what could this mean for blacks and college students?
In the past, many conservatives in government and on the court have sought to reduce welfare programs, eliminate affirmative action, cut federal grants to terminate programs that would help poor families and cut funds toward public housing and the re-development of inner cities.
Some students, like Khalilah Licorish, believe present day conservatives have the same intentions.
“Neo-Conservatives want a color-blind society,” said Khalilah Licorish, 19, a political science student from Gathersburg, Md. “Conservatives are not for programs that can help African Americans, especially with getting into institutions like college.”
If Samuel Alito is confirmed and the Supreme Court shifts its votes in favor of conservatives, a case presented to them that deals with affirmative action has a high chance of being undermined, Licorish said. Licorish said this could also affect the number of minority students getting into colleges of their choice, and current college students entering the business world.
According to David H. Jackson Jr., chairman of the department of history and political science, “right now we don’t know” what is going to happen.
None of those nominated to sit on the Supreme Court have to speak on how they will rule on a case, therefore we don’t know what their rulings will be, Jackson said.
Sometimes judges “use the court to promote their own agendas,” Jackson said. If this happens he said there could be problems for blacks, as well as the poor, and the funding for public schools.
“If he follows the patterns that conservatives want him to follow it won’t be good,” Jackson said. “As things start to deteriorate, hopefully, we can turn to ourselves to try and help each other.”
While a number of blacks believe conservative thinking negatively impacts the black community, Desmond Seymour says this viewpoint is not completely true.
“The conservative outlook is beneficial to those who have capital,” said Seymour, 21, a political science student from Fort Lauderdale.
Unfortunately, blacks are a minority when it comes to citizens with a lot of capital (money).
And “in the economic game,” he said those with the most capital win.
“Blacks make up the majority of the work force. They have the lowest incomes, but spend the most money, aaand the money they spend goes back to the businesses they work for and not to their own communities and businesses,” Seymour said.
This is why conservative thinking is detrimental to blacks because “slaves never benefit from the master’s slaves’ work,” Seymour added.
If blacks decided to put money back into their own businesses, then a conservative like Alito being put into the Supreme Court would not be such a huge concern, Seymour said.
Jackson agreed by saying “we should be learning how to secure our future.”
Contact Anthony Anamelechi at firstname.lastname@example.org