Tonawanda News


June 26, 2013

DUVALL: High Court's split decision on race

Tonawanda News — In issuing two major rulings on race relations and public policy in America, the Supreme Court seems more or less where most of us are in what was a naive declaration we’ve entered a post-racial America. The court is conflicted.

On Monday it issued a narrow opinion upholding a 2006 ruling that colleges can use an applicant’s race as part of its admissions decision, though race alone cannot be a determining factor.

Essentially, it upheld affirmative action in a 7-1 decision.

On Tuesday, the court struck down the linchpin provision in the landmark Voting Rights Act, permitting Southern states with a history of black voter suppression to alter voting laws without getting approval from the federal government.

Essentially, it ended the Civil Rights Era in America in a 5-4 decision along ideological lines.

So we’re admitting that blacks and other minorities still must overcome systemic bias in our nation’s schools but their political influence isn’t at risk if we put Southern conservative statehouses in charge of making voter laws?

The intricacies of the two cases should be given their due, but taken as a whole — and made for easy comparison by the timing of the whole thing — the court’s position on race relations in America is as muddled as ever.

Let’s start with affirmative action.

I was an average student in high school. I went to a decent public school (Sweet Home) that was far better funded than many schools kids my age who lived in Buffalo call their alma mater.

An honest accounting of my academic career requires me to admit I could have been a much better student if I tried harder. I carried a pedestrian B/B+ average through almost all of high school and college. I could have gotten As (and sometimes did) but goofing around was more fun than doing math homework so too frequently — and to my parents’ and teachers’ consternation — I simply didn’t do it.

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    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

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    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

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    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014