The Trump administration has an internal document circulating within the Justice Department seeking to defend white people who have been supposedly discriminated against by universities who give preference to minority applicants. The New York Times received a copy of the memo and verified its authenticity.
The memo reflects a desire by the Trump administration to conduct the project, and is looking for lawyers to hold “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”
While the language of the document doesn’t specify ‘white people’ as particularly being at risk of discrimination, it does use phrasing such as “intentional race-based discrimination,” which is, in essence, pointing out programs previously put in place to ensure more minorities gain acceptance on college programs across the country.
From the New York Times:
Supporters and critics of the project said it was clearly targeting admissions programs that can give members of generally disadvantaged groups, like black and Latino students, an edge over other applicants with comparable or higher test scores.
The project is another sign that the civil rights division is taking on a conservative tilt under President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. It follows other changes in Justice Department policy on voting rights, gay rights and police reforms.
Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court held that it was constitutional for colleges to consider race in college admissions, saying that diversity was an important value in society as long as it was considered as just one factor as part of a “holistic” evaluation. That ruling ended an eight-year legal challenge from conservatives who fought hard to get rid of affirmative action.
Kristen Clarke, the president of the liberal Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, thinks that the Trump administration is running afoul of this decision and would only be creating “chaos” for universities by seeking to upend things.
“This is deeply disturbing,” she 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.”
Trump, in part, won his bid for the presidency by talking down about immigrants and people of color. There are numerous examples of him making racist comments on multiple occasions. In the past, before he was even president, the Justice Department sued his company twice for not renting to black people. And, when white supremacists such as former KKK leader David Duke campaigned for him, he refused to denounce them.