Bid Whist, Tonk, and United States v. Fordice: Why Integrationism Fails African-Americans Again
UVA Law Faculty Affiliations
The seminal race relations issue in U.S. society today is how to promote successful integration while respecting the differences that still separate the races. The author examines this problem through the lens of United States v. Fordice. In Fordice, the Supreme Court found discrimination in Mississippi's post-secondary educational system. While the Court required the integration of the state's predominantly white colleges, it refused to mandate equalfunding for publicly supported historically black colleges and universities. The author argues that Fordice was wrong because Brown v. Board of Education was wrong: both cases failed to distinguish between the final goal of integration in an ideal society and the process of integration. The process by which the final goal is achieved requires voluntary rather than forced integration. It requires protection of the unique African-American culture or nomos, particularly in the context of education. Being able to choose whether or when to integrate depends 'upon the freedom to choose a predominantly or historically black college or a predominantly white college. The ideal integrated society can only be achieved through a transitional stage in which racial differences are truly respected, a stage which requires the public maintenance of and support for predominantly black colleges.