Black conservative activists with Project 21 praised the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Monday for its criticism of Yale University’s discriminatory admissions policies against white and Asian-American students.
Derryck Green, a member of Project 21 Black Leadership Network, which is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, said about the DOJ’s confrontation of Yale:
For so long, complaints against racial preferences in admissions fell on deaf ears because the complaints came from white students. The justification was that current discrimination in favor of blacks is necessary recompense for historical discrimination against blacks. In recent history, however, complaints are coming from Asian students — largely seen as a silent minority — who can’t be so easily discounted. It is now clear that academic achievement should be rewarded without racial contingencies.
As Project 21 noted, the DOJ conducted a two-year investigation of Yale’s admissions practices following a complaint by an Asian-American civil rights activist.
In a letter Thursday to Yale attorneys, Eric Dreiband, assistant attorney general, wrote:
Yale uses race at multiple points in its admissions process. Yale uses race when it initially rates applicants, when it again rates those previously rated applicants, and again when it considers applicants at subsequent stages of the admissions process. Yale discriminates based on race among comparable applicants to whom Yale’s own admissions staff gave identical ratings earlier in the admissions process. Yale’s use of race at multiple steps of its admissions process results in a multiplied effect of race on an applicant’s likelihood of admission.
“Kudos to the Trump Administration for standing up for the colorblind principle in America,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper. “Our schools absolutely must live up to this commitment. No Americans — black, white or brown — should find it harder to get a good education merely because of their color. Ultimately, policies that favor some racial groups over others harm us all.”
As Breitbart News observed, a report at the New York Times indicated the DOJ accused Yale of violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“There is no such thing as a nice form of race discrimination,” Dreiband said in a statement. “Unlawfully dividing Americans into racial and ethnic blocs fosters stereotypes, bitterness, and division.”
Dreiband wrote to Yale attorneys about the results of the DOJ’s investigation into the school’s so-called “diversity” practices:
[T]he likelihood of admission for Asian American and White applicants who have similar academic credentials is significantly lower than for African-American and Hispanic applicants to Yale College. For the great majority of applicants, Asian American and White applicants have only one-tenth to one-fourth of the likelihood of admission as African-American applicants with comparable academic credentials.
Yale University President Peter Salovey denounced the DOJ’s findings, arguing the school remains committed to “diversity.”
“The department’s allegation is baseless,” he shot back. “At this unique moment in our history, when so much attention properly is being paid to issues of race, Yale will not waver in its commitment to educating a student body whose diversity is a mark of its excellence.”
“Racial balancing at an institution of higher learning? Say it isn’t so,” remarked Project 21 member Martin Baker. “The fact that Yale, otherwise a bastion of educational excellence, stands being accused of discrimination against non-minority students is very disturbing. At what point does the phrase ‘merit-based admissions’ return to the selection process?”
Last year, a lawsuit was filed against Harvard University, claiming the school used discriminatory admissions practices. While a district court judge rejected the argument that Harvard’s policies were discriminatory, in February a group known as Students for Fair Admissions, which opposes affirmative action practices, filed a notice of appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.