Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The End Of The Affirmative Action Era

Donald Trump famously told black voters like me a year ago "What do you have to lose?" by voting for him.  Turns out besides the rollback of federal sentencing reforms for an Attorney General who wants to stuff as many black bodies in private prisons as possible and the virtual elimination of oversight of police departments who regularly engage in brutal, deadly racism, black folks now get to lose affirmative action in US colleges and universities.

The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants, according to a document obtained by The New York Times.

The document, an internal announcement to the civil rights division, seeks current lawyers interested in working for a new project on “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”

The announcement suggests that the project will be run out of the division’s front office, where the Trump administration’s political appointees work, rather than its Educational Opportunities Section, which is run by career civil servants and normally handles work involving schools and universities.

The document does not explicitly identify whom the Justice Department considers at risk of discrimination because of affirmative action admissions policies. But the phrasing it uses, “intentional race-based discrimination,” cuts to the heart of programs designed to bring more minority students to university campuses.

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.

Not enough white people in colleges.  Time to bring the full power of the Justice Department to bear, right?  Here's the excuse they're using though:

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.

Roger Clegg, a former top official in the civil rights division during the Reagan administration and the first Bush administration who is now the president of the conservative Center for Equal Opportunity, called the project a “welcome” and “long overdue” development as the United States becomes increasingly multiracial.

“The civil rights laws were deliberately written to protect everyone from discrimination, and it is frequently the case that not only are whites discriminated against now, but frequently Asian-Americans are as well,” he said.

Got that?  Republicans are claiming that affirmative action discriminates against white and Asian students so it has to end, never mind that the number of black and Latino college students has actually gone down considerably at the nation's top 100 universities over the last two decades.

Ever since the Supreme Court spared affirmative action last year, the GOP has been itching for a chance to dismantle it on the grounds of "reverse discrimination" and it looks like those efforts will start getting under way soon.

But, they told me there wasn't any difference between corporate shill Hillary and Trump, so why bother voting, ya know?

Turns out that difference is pretty gigantic if your black and/or Latino, which maybe explains why so any of us voted for her.

White folks?  Not so much.

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