[August 15, 2020] There is much to be said about the evils of racial discrimination. It helps very few and hurts many, it generates animosity, and it fosters hate. Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Justice notified Yale University of results from a two-year-long investigation. The DOJ findings were that Yale illegally discriminates against Asian American and white applicants in its undergraduate admissions process.
It is noteworthy that any university receiving taxpayer funding must comply fully with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a cornerstone civil-rights law. The law is clear; discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance is forbidden.
“There is no such thing as a nice form of race discrimination … Unlawfully dividing Americans into racial and ethnic blocs fosters stereotypes, bitterness, and division. It is past time for American institutions to recognize that all people should be treated with decency and respect and without unlawful regard to the color of their skin.” – Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Civil Rights Division
It is unclear to me at this point whether the DOJ has brought a lawsuit against Yale University. It has, however, issued a formal notice of violation and invited Yale’s voluntary compliance. My prediction is that they will not comply. Yale’s leadership has fought this action for years. Yale has continued their policy of blatant racial discrimination for decades and often bragged about their efforts publically.
The U.S. Supreme Court has muddied the waters regarding applicable constitutional and statutory provisions and thus left institutions like Yale free to flout the law. At Yale and many institutions of higher learning, racial discrimination goes under the name of affirmative action.
A copy of the DOJ letter to Yale is posted here (see link).
Nonetheless, we can expect Yale to suffer no severe backlash from the American public over the next few years as they waste money fighting to continue racial discrimination. I further predict that Yale will play the race and victimization card, and neither changes their admissions practices nor their stance on discrimination. I bring this up because Yale’s leadership has been given an excellent opportunity to do something good.
The question for Yale’s leadership is whether they will accept the challenge to do the right thing and follow civil-rights law or will they fight it. My firm belief is that they will fight it.