An internal announcement from the Justice Department to its Civil Rights division states that it will begin to look for lawyers who are interested in “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”
Social Media and activist groups are already declaring this a “sign of the racist administration.” However, when the facts are looked at objectively, there is a clear discrimination at work in the college application process.
“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,” says Roger Clegg, a former Civil Rights Division worker under the Bush and Reagan administrations. He says that the project is not only “welcome”, but also “long overdue”
The work of encouraging more young minorities to enter higher education has always been considered worthy. Yet, the bias created in college admissions has opened up a new arena of discrimination. Adversely affecting white and Asian students with higher qualifications.
Children from black or Hispanic backgrounds are admitted with a lower GPA than white children, and for Asian children, it is even worse. Studies show that Asian Americans need to score 140 points higher in SATs (out of 1600) than a white applicant. Yet a black applicant gains admission with lower scores than both. It is a very real problem that unfairly discriminates based on nothing other than race. Even with income inequality, geography and other aggravating factors accounted for, the disparity is still shockingly high.
Opponents of the proposed investigation of collegiate race-based disparities are already making their feelings known. Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, described the project as “misaligned with the division’s longstanding priorities.”
She said the Civil Rights Division was “created and launched to deal with the unique problem of discrimination faced by our nation’s most oppressed minority groups,” She added:
“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.”
The reality is that children are being discriminated against in a systematic and endemic way. It has never been possible to solve discrimination by using other discrimination; anything that gives children an equal opportunity is valuable, but not at a cost and detriment to others.