Jeff Sessions’ rare warning about the dangers of racially-tinged police misconduct notwithstanding, the embattled Attorney General’s Justice Department reportedly wants to take a new approach to matters of race in America. Specifically, as detailed by an internal document obtained by the New York Times, President Donald Trump’s administration wants to begin investigating (and possibly suing) colleges across the country whose affirmative action practices prove harmful to white applicants and students.
Per the Times, the internal document serves as an announcement of the new endeavor to the Justice Department’s civil rights division, whose funds will reportedly be reallocated for the matter. The announcement calls for department lawyers and other current staff who may be interested in “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.” The department’s Educational Opportunities Section, a division charged with handling cases regarding schools and run by career civil servants, will not manage the endeavor. That responsibility will instead belong to the Trump political appointees who hold court in the civil rights division’s front office.
While the document doesn’t specifically identify white college applicants or students as its chief concern, it does target “intentional race-based discrimination” in admissions processes modified by affirmative action. Seeing as how these augmented admissions are designed to include more minority students in American universities, critics have therefore suggested that the Trump administration means to combat supposed instances of affirmative action discriminating against whites. Calling it a “dog whistle,” Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law President Kristen Clarke told the Times it “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.”
(Via New York Times)