For Immediate Release
Thursday, June 29, 2023
Patriotic Millionaires Denounce Supreme Court Ruling on Affirmative Action
“Doing away with affirmative action will only put the American Dream more out of reach for disadvantaged minorities than it already is.”
Washington, DC – Today, by a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court struck down race-conscious “affirmative action” admissions policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.
In response, Morris Pearl, the Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires and a former managing director at BlackRock, Inc., released the following statement:
“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court is a profound mistake. By striking down affirmative action and effectively mandating “color blind” admissions policies at our nation’s colleges, the Court’s decision will further cement the divide in America between the haves and the have nots — that often cuts along racial lines. It will entrench economic inequality and expand the already humongous racial wealth gap in America.
Most students that attend top-tier colleges like Harvard and UNC come from wealthy backgrounds. More than half of students at Harvard come from families in the top 10% of earners alone. This is not an accident. Wealthy parents have the means to enroll their children in the best, most well-resourced schools. They can hire private tutors for standardized testing. They can afford to sign their kids up for extracurricular activities. In short, wealthy parents have the financial means to develop in their children the skills and attributes that colleges look for in their applicants.
As things stand in America today, Black and Brown youth don’t have the same economic opportunities as their white counterparts. This makes it harder for them to build the sort of resumes that traditionally impress college admissions officers. While not a perfect policy, affirmative action helped bridge the gap here by recognizing that the gap is, in many cases, more of a reflection of the gap in wealth of their parents and grandparents who lived through Jim Crow than a reflection of their intrinsic personal value.
I am a white man that achieved extraordinary financial success after graduating from The Wharton School at Penn. But I didn’t get into Penn and do the things that I did afterwards solely because I worked hard and was talented. My white parents were able to save money from having relatively low mortgage payments due to the FHA, which was only available for white people when I was growing up. Throughout my youth, I never really had to think about money. The only time it came up was my father telling me to throw away the college financial aid forms, because they weren’t meant for us.
The Justices that ruled in the majority today seem to be laboring under the false idea that, if our colleges are color blind, America will get one step closer to being a true meritocracy. But they’re wrong. Doing away with affirmative action will only put the American Dream more out of reach for disadvantaged minorities than it already is.”
For additional information or interview requests, please contact Emily McCloskey at emily@patrioticmillionaires.