Statement from NAACP Providence Branch President Gerard C. Catala
PROVIDENCE (June 29, 2023) – The NAACP Providence Branch echoes the sentiments of our National President & CEO Derrick Johnson and Director Wisdom Cole as we stand firmly with our National Office in a collective effort to make clear, affirmative action exists to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion, and shall not be overlooked during the admissions and hiring processes. The NAACP Providence Branch will not be discouraged by this decision, we will continue to speak out against the racial injustices brought upon the majority of kind hearted citizens of this country by the insensitive cowardly beliefs by the extremist minority who aim to set our great nation back decades. Both leading locally and in support nationally, the Providence Branch will hold all institutions and employers accountable to their respective roles in embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and to using all the tools possible to address historical atrocities that have hampered the progress of African Americans and other people of color in this country.
The 1952 Brown v. Board of Education case in which the Court decided that the “separate but equal” standards of racial segregation were unconstitutional, paved the way for the Civil Rights Act 1964, equal education under the law, and affirmative action of 1978 . Brown v. Board of Ed. was the case that overturned the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case in which the court ruled separate but equal was constitutional. We present this abridgment of history because we feel today’s decision by the SCOTUS has the potential to set a precedent that could overturn the Brown v. Board of Education setting our nation back decades.
The opinion of Justice Thomas, who claims Historically Black Colleges and Universities do not embrace diversity, is unfounded, appalling, and highly inappropriate to suggest. Justice Thomas’ rationale has the potential to undo decades of precedent and set our country back to a time where racial inequity ruled the day. Evidence of these extremist Conservative Republican ideals can be found in Florida under the watchful eye of Governor DeSantis who’s slowly trying to reintroduce practices that will deny black people access to advanced studies of our history.
The NAACP Providence Branch condemns the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States and all action that go against the vision and mission of the NAACP, our Partner, and entities that share in our endeavor to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.