On Affirmative Action, Media Once Again Prove They Have No Idea What Black People Think

July 12, 2023

The mainstream media portray the Supreme Court's recent ruling against race-based university admissions as a devastating blow to black Americans. But black Americans are actually fine with the decision, polling shows.

It's hardly the first time the overwhelmingly white press corps have misrepresented black opinion, and the error always seems to point in one direction.

Since the Supreme Court's June 29 ruling, headlines have blared dire predictions about the future of black students in American higher education—many by black college students and activists.

ABC News: "Students React to Landmark Supreme Court Affirmative Action Decision"

For Bunmi Omisore, a student attending Duke University, addressing in an essay how race has impacted her as an African American woman would be difficult. "If I were applying to college today, I would have to write about those traumas in my Common App essay. I would have to write about those traumas and those very hard experiences for admissions officers to accept the overwhelming truth that we all know—which is that it is hard to be a Black person in America. And I don't think that's fair," Omisore told David Muir in an ABC News Special Report.

For students applying under the new standard, it is "going to be hard to see themselves as someone outside of their race" if they can only address it through an essay, as opposed to simply disclosing it as one factor among many considered in the admissions process, Omisore said.

NBC News: "Without Affirmative Action, Advocates Fear Students of Color at Elite Colleges May Feel Disenfranchised"

That's why leaders Friday concurred that it's more important than ever for colleges to ensure all students feel like they belong on campus. They said they intend to do so by publicly embracing diversity and inclusion, as well as rejecting and condemning racism.

While leaders were reassuring students like Agustín León-Sáenz, a sophomore at Harvard, that they belong on campus, many students on the school's campus Thursday were expressing concern about how the ruling will affect aspiring college students of color.

"This is literally high stakes for my family," León-Sáenz told MSNBC. He said he thinks about how it will affect his little brother, who will apply for college in a few years, and his cousin, who will apply for college in the fall. It makes him think about "the people from my community, specifically from the state of New Mexico, where I am one of two students from New Mexico in my school year. So this has immediate impacts."

CNN: "The Gutting of Affirmative Action is a ‘Clear and Present Danger’ to Equal Education, Critics Say"

Wisdom Cole, national director of the NAACP Youth & College Division, called the rollback of affirmative action a "dark day in America." "Affirmative action has been a beacon of hope for generations of Black students," Cole said in a statement Thursday. "It stood as a powerful force against the insidious poison of racism and sexism, aiming to level the playing field and provide a fair shot at a high-quality education for all. Students across the country are wide-awake to the clear and present danger encroaching on their classrooms."... 

Apparently, however, elite college students and racial justice activists are not representative of black America. An Economist-YouGov poll published last week finds more black Americans than not approve of the Supreme Court's ruling against affirmative action.

Just 19 percent of black Americans feel affirmative action impacts them, and only 11 percent of those feel the policy affects them "positively," according to the survey. The poll is not an outlier, as political reporter Aaron Blake details in the Washington Post.

Journalists similarly stretch when they try to make black Americans avatars of progressive views on crime, abortion, and transgender rights.

Opposition to policing is often portrayed as a grassroots movement by and for black Americans.

But polls show again and again that black Americans overwhelmingly support maintaining or increasing police funding.

Abortion is regularly covered as a black "civil rights" issue.

But black Americans are less supportive of abortion rights than most Democrats, surveys show.

Black Americans are increasingly at the center of LGBT advocacy coverage, particularly on transgender issues.

But a large majority of black Democrats—like Americans in general—reject progressive ideas about gender identity.

With the media so out of touch with black America, it's no wonder some leading Democrats have lost the plot, too.