US set to tackle ‘re­verse racism’ poli­cies at col­leges

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

IN THE lat­est sign that US At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions is steer­ing the US Jus­tice Depart­ment to­wards a more con­ser­va­tive agenda, The New York Times has ob­tained a doc­u­ment lay­ing out plans for the depart­ment’s civil rights di­vi­sion to ad­dress “af­fir­ma­tive action ad­mis­sions poli­cies deemed to dis­crim­i­nate against white ap­pli­cants” at col­leges.

The move to ad­dress “re­verse racism” comes on the heels of other Depart­ment of Jus­tice (DOJ) pol­icy changes re­lat­ing to po­lice re­forms, LGBTQ rights and vot­ing rights that have been panned as “re­gres­sive” by so­cial rights cam­paign­ers.

The in­ter­nal doc­u­ment notes the DOJ’s need for lawyers who would be as­signed to work on “in­ves­ti­ga­tions and pos­si­ble lit­i­ga­tion re­lated to in­ten­tional race-based dis­crim­i­na­tion in col­lege and univer­sity ad­mis­sions”.

The project would be run from the di­vi­sion’s front of­fice – a strong­hold for Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion po­lit­i­cal ap­pointees – rather than from the Ed­u­ca­tional Op­por­tu­ni­ties sec­tion, the tra­di­tional do­main of pub­lic ser­vice pro­fes­sion­als who nor­mally deal with is­sues re­lat­ing to schools.

Lawyers’ Com­mit­tee for Civil Rights Un­der Law pres­i­dent Kris­ten Clarke crit­i­cised the project as an in­ver­sion of the civil rights di­vi­sion’s orig­i­nal pur­pose and “long­stand­ing pri­or­i­ties,” not­ing that the di­vi­sion’s cre­ation and in­cep­tion was aimed at ad­dress­ing “the unique prob­lem of dis­crim­i­na­tion faced by our na­tion’s most op­pressed mi­nor­ity groups”. teleSUR

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