Every day this White House tries it with the American people—and today is no different.
According to the New York Times, the Trump administration has plans for the Justice Department’s civil rights division to investigate and sue colleges and universities for their affirmative action admissions policies. Apparently, this White House believes that focusing on diversity and inclusion in academic settings translates into “intentional race-based discrimination.”
However, the document’s language is murky and doesn’t specifically state who they believe is at risk of being discriminated against; but critics and supporters of affirmative action told the Times that they believe the Trump administration believes white students are the ones getting the short end of the stick.
Obviously if this is true, this could devastate African-Americans, Latinos, other groups of color and women (especially white women) who largely benefit from these programs.
Kristen Clarke, the president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, blasted this new project as going against what the civil rights division was essentially created for, which was “to deal with the unique problem of discrimination faced by our nation’s most oppressed minority groups.”
“This is deeply disturbing,” Clarke said.
“It would be a dog whistle that could invite a lot of chaos and unnecessarily create hysteria among colleges and universities who may fear that the government may come down on them for their efforts to maintain diversity on their campuses.”
Folks on Twitter shared this same sentiment:
The newspaper says a source handed over internal documents that stated the DOJ was looking to hire lawyers interested in working on a project that included “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”
In the meantime, the Justice Department declined to provide any further details.
“The Department of Justice does not discuss personnel matters, so we’ll decline comment,” said Devin O’Malley, a department spokesman.
So what does this mean for our young people?
As the Times noted: “The Supreme Court has ruled that the educational benefits that flow from having a diverse student body can justify using race as one factor among many in a ‘holistic’ evaluation, while rejecting blunt racial quotas or race-based point systems.”
But that hasn’t stopped white students from suing their schools for these legal policies.
In 2016, the Supreme Court ruled in a 4 to 3 decision to uphold a “race-conscious program” at the University of Texas at Austin. But there are several pending lawsuits from institutions such as Harvard University and the University of North Carolina challenging these policies.
As of now, the Justice Department has not taken a position in those particular cases, the Times reported. But that could easily change as this new project launches.
Remember when Trump asked Black voters, “What do you have to lose?”