Gong Lum vs Rice is a 1927 case that the Supreme Court refused to order an order of Mandamus against the school board

Gong Lum vs Rice is a 1927 case that the Supreme Court refused to order an order of Mandamus against the school board that the plaintiff’s daughter had been discontinued form due to her race. The case is among the other court rulings that condoned racial segregation in schools and encouraged an equal but separate policy citing that although the plaintiff was had equal rights to the white children but there were laws in place that advocated for separation of races in schools and thus worth to be adhered to. This ruling is said to have been erroneous as it encouraged racial segregation. There was therefore need to correct the wrongs that the ruling had advanced. The solutions were thus to be advanced and the courts to change their position on the equal but separate policy.

To solve the racial segregation menace the Waring dissenting in the case of Briggs vs Elliot (1955) seems to be proposing a number of solutions to be resorted to. This was inspired by the reversion of the earlier decisions in the case of Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka (1951) that stated that the courts there was need for quick action I seeing that there is admission of students to schools on a non-discriminatory basis (Briggs v Elliot).

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The deal with the racial segregation in schools the school authorities had to elucidate, assess and solve the racial issue by proving that their actions had to be guided by good faith. The courts were to be further guided by equitable principles which would call for elimination of obstacles in joining the schools what has been termed as affirmative action against segregation. Further the discriminatory laws were to be revised so as to reflect the non racial admission base to schools. (Briggs v Elliot)

Affirmative action in the U.S against racial segregation was aimed at seeing that individuals of all races had equal opportunity to education and other services and to abolish the equal but separated policy that had been seen in the Lum vs Rice Case. As a policy, affirmative action sets up steps that will see the discriminated race is protected by the executive, the judiciary, the legislature and its agents by providing avenues and eliminating any obstacles that would have facilitated the discrimination. This has been seen by the increased lobby by the Civil Rights groups like the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) whose research shows the great success that affirmative action has brought to the discriminated races.(Robyn Kurland)

Affirmative action will necessitate the change in law example in the U.S there became a need to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that made discrimination illegal and called for equal access to the facilities and services. Affirmative action further calls for executive orders to promote the policy. As a result of affirmative action, many civil rights lobby groups are birthed that work to promote the equal access to services and facilities and sensitize the individuals of their rights to equal opportunities. In the long run the citizens of both races are keen to see that none of their rights is curtailed by reason of being in the minority race and thus increased civil rights cases where one feels there is any form of racial discrimination possibility or one had been victim of such. (Chuang,2001)

Affirmative action equates the minority and the majority races placing them at the same base and having the same rights. This gives the racial groups an equal and fair chance to access the opportunities that have been set forth without feeling that had they been in a better position they would have had the opportunity they missed. Although affirmative action may not be absolute in fighting racial discrimination but it is a policy that corrects the racial injustices that the minority races face and creates a more unified state.


Robyn Kurland .Americans for a Fair Chance. (n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2015, from http://www.civilrights.org/equal-opportunity/fact-sheets/fact_sheet_packet.pdf

BRIGGS v. ELLIOTT | Leagle.com. (n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2015, from http://www.leagle.com/decision/1955908132FSupp776_1722.xml/BRIGGS v. ELLIOTT

Chuang, D. K. (2001). Power, Merit, and the Imitations of the Black and White Binary in the Affirmative Action Debate: The Case of Asian Americans at Whitney High School.&nbsp.Asian LJ,&nbsp.8, 31.

Sutherland, A. E. (1955). Segregation by Race in Public Schools Retrospect and Prospect.&nbsp.Law and Contemporary Problems, 169-183.

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