Mayor Pam Hemminger welcomed civil rights leaders the Rev. Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III to Chapel Hill on June 13 as a part of the Just Majority campaign’s national bus tour.
Just Majority is a coalition of groups that support Supreme Court expansion — including the Rev. Sharpton’s National Action Network. The group spoke outside the Chapel Hill Nine commemorative marker on West Franklin Street.
The speakers discussed Supreme Court reforms and current issues impacting the Court.
The Supreme Court is currently considering Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina — a case that could potentially end the consideration of race in college admissions.
At the event, the Rev. Sharpton said that if the Court rules against race being a factor in admissions decisions, it will have consequences elsewhere, including in the private sector.
“They will have undermined the entire movement of diversity in this country, so it’s not limited to academia,” he said.
“Affirmative action is an attempt to make good on the promise that we won’t have a society built on racial class,” Kermit Roosevelt, a former member of the Biden Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States, said.
He brought up the case Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, which ended affirmative action in the state of California.
“It was catastrophic what happened in California,” the Rev. Sharpton said.