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Certainly there are examples in which the high court has upheld the rights of the marginalized and disadvantaged. However, as Vinay Harpalani, associate professor of law at the University of New Mexico, has noted, “even when the U.S. Supreme Court makes rulings that seem to favor people of color, those rulings usually serve the interests of wealthy, elite White Americans.”

Harpalani cited how the Brown decision stemmed in part from Cold War strategy and the need for the United States to appeal to people in African, Asian and Latin American countries. “Racial segregation at home did not bode well in this context, especially when contrasted with communism’s emphasis on equality,” Harpalani said. “So civil rights advances like Brown also had the effect of increasing America’s global economic and military reach, which of course benefits elite White Americans the most.”

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The Washington Post



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