by G. Brown
The Trump administration is said to finally be ready to tackle a touchy topic-discrimination. Oh save that applause–it is so not what you think. According to CNN, the White House is “readying resources in the Justice Department’s civil rights division for the purpose of investigating and litigating “race-based discrimination” in US higher education...” It sounds good until you read the fine print. CNN continues saying the potential purpose is to protect “white applicants from discrimination through affirmative action“.
The story actually broke with a New York Times article which claims the newspaper got its hands on an internal document looking to get lawyers in the civil rights division to sign on to work ” for a new project on “investigations ad possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”
The Times says the document didn’t directly identify those considered to be the victims of “race-based discrimination“, but the paper says “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…”
The White House got one thing right, discrimination is still a huge problem in education. According to an article from U.S. News & World Report in 2013, Georgetown University researchers concluded that more African-Americans and Hispanics are enrolling in college, but “whites are over-represented in the nation’s 468 most selective and well-funded colleges” and that students are not treated “equally, regardless of their qualifications. Although many minorities are unprepared for college whites who are just as unprepared are still presented with opportunities and more likely to receive a bachelor’s degree.”
Now if that’s still the state of affairs after the implementation of Affirmative Action, why target it? Because from day one, opponents considered a program designed to make employment, housing and education fair to all as unfair to them. Affirmative action guidelines and policies were put in place to deal with long histories of discrimination facing minorities who were being denied jobs, home mortgages and college admission based on their race.
Racism is rooted not just on the premise of skin color, but on the idea of power and privilege. A White owned company that refuses to hire qualified Blacks or minorities is practicing discrimination. It has the power to choose who works there.
The privilege part is people adhering to a stereotype that Blacks are not as smart or women can’t do the job as well. It’s the idea that ‘I’m smarter than you because of my skin color or I’m better than you because I’m a man. There is no scientific proof to it, but you believe that you’re better. Racism is a system whereby the majority race abuses the minority race or races and benefits off of that oppression. Given that understanding, there is no such thing as reverse racism. Heard the expression “Black Power”…never heard the expression “Black Privilege”.
The very idea that Affirmative Action is reversed discrimination is kind of like the notion of reverse racism. It’s not a thing, but blow that dog whistle and people will run to it. Smart Black students have as much of a right to get into college as smart White students. Legally going after colleges and universities for reverse discrimination forces higher ed to stop diversifying and revert to the days when smart Black students weren’t given a chance to compete—even if the White students aren’t as smart, but their skin color gives them privilege.
Affirmative Action didn’t take anything from one race and give it to another. The policies changed the playing field to allow minorities in the game. To try and remove those rules is going backwards. Apparently back to the days when some thought America was great.
What do you think…is this just Trump pandering to the racist, White supremacist who helped put him in the White House? Or is Affirmative Action a concept that’s no longer needed?