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Western Mass. residents weigh in on Supreme Court college admissions decision

As the Supreme Court prepares to release a decision on whether race can be considered in college admissions, some western Massachusetts residents think the current system should be left in place.

For decades, colleges and universities have been able to use race, not as a determining factor in who gets admitted, but as one of many factors that are considered. The Supreme Court is deciding whether race should be eliminated from the process entirely.

John Christopher, who lives in Florence, Massachusetts, said he hopes the court doesn't do that.

"It's a hand up," he said. "Otherwise you've just got oppression going from generation to generation to generation."

Alyse Bynum of Pelham said she believes that race should continue to be considered, "as they consider legacy, as they consider geographic region of the country, whether you're on a sports team or you play the oboe, there are many factors that are considered, so to carve this out as an unjust factor, I think, just points to the racist origins of it."

The Supreme Court's decision could come later this week.

Christopher and Bynum made their comments after a slide show in celebration of Juneteenth at the David Ruggles Center for History and Education in Florence. Ruggles was a prominent African-American abolitionist.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.