President Donald Trump’s administration has withdrawn legal policies developed by former President Barack Obama which encouraged the use of racial categories to grant or deny university slots.
The “affirmative action” racial policies were discarded on Tuesday, just before Independence Day.
“Such [racial] policies are outrageously wrong,” says Roger Clegg, president and general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity (CEO), a nonprofit think tank which studies civil rights, immigration, and integration. He continued:
Trump is frequently accused of being divisive, but the only civil rights policy that can make sense in a country that is as increasingly multi-ethnic and multi-racial as the United States, is one in which we aren’t treating people differently, according to skin color and what country their ancestors came from.
The new Trump policies are “good news,” Clegg told Breitbart News in an interview July 3. “The Obama guidance [on affirmative-action policies] pushed schools to engage in race-based decision-making, which is unfair as a matter of policy and inconsistent with what the Supreme Court has said.”
The Justice Department should also weigh in on and support the lawsuit Asian Americans have brought against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill regarding discrimination in college admissions, he added. “I hope when it gets to the Supreme Court, we’ll have a five-justice majority to put an end to this practice altogether,” he asserts.
“Too many Asian Americans applying to elite schools are discriminated against on account of their race,” said Linda Chavez, who co-founded the CEO think-tank. “That is the message of our new study, and it is past time that schools quit the morally dubious means of using race or ethnicity as ‘a factor’ in selecting their student bodies.”
In May, Clegg’s CEO highlighted the issue of elite schools discriminating against Asian-Americans. According to a CEO study, “at Harvard University, which also uses race in admissions, Asian Americans as a percentage of all undergraduates sharply increased to 21 percent and then significantly dropped,” remaining at about 17 percent since then.
In New York City, Asian-Americans have condemned a proposal by Mayor Bill de Blasio to end admission testing to the city’s top high schools to increase black and Hispanic enrollment.
Currently, Asian American students predominate at the city’s elite schools, a situation de Blasio hopes to change by allowing some 45 percent of students in the elite schools be black or Latino.
De Blasio defended his plan, writing at Chalkbeat, “Anyone who tells you this is somehow going to lower the standard at these schools is buying into a false and damaging narrative. It’s a narrative that traps students in a grossly unfair environment, asks them to live with the consequences, and actually blames them for it.”
Clegg, however, says when skin color and national origin are factors in deciding where a student can attend school – a policy based on discrimination is, in fact, in effect.
To people such as de Blasio and other progressives embracing race-based policies, Clegg says:
Such policies are outrageously wrong. What the Trump administration is doing is the opposite of racist. Trump is frequently accused of being divisive, but the only civil rights policy that can make sense in a country that is as increasingly multi-ethnic and multi-racial as the United States, is one in which we aren’t treating people differently, according to skin color and what country their ancestors came from. Whether or not you’re a fan of President Trump in other areas, I think all of us should welcome this initiative.
Clegg says the Asian American lawsuit against Harvard and the anger over de Blasio’s plan in New York City show it is not just white people who are discriminated against via politically correct preferences:
We have a confluence of events here that makes this an important moment in the way the country is going to move forward on this issue of racial and ethnic preferences in education. I think many non-conservatives who may have sympathy for the use of affirmative action are growing increasingly uncomfortable with the fact that Asian Americans are being discriminated against in addition to whites. It’s wrong to discriminate against anybody – including whites.
“The only policy that makes sense going forward is one that reflects E Pluribus Unum,” Clegg says.