Should the DOJ investigate affirmative action?

WHAT IT IS

  • On August 1st, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced an investigation on a number of universities and a potential law suit over affirmative action discriminating against white applicants. The announcement was sent as a document to The New York Times.
  • Investigation would redirect funds and resources of the DOJ’s civil rights division.
  • The DOJ did not specify what universities would undergo federal investigation.

WHY IT MATTERS

This is not the first time the DOJ civil rights policies under the Trump Administration are being called into question by some of the public. Last month the department stated that Title VII does not protect discrimination based on sexual orientation.

  • THE SLEUTHS- “Investigate affirmative action”

    • Fake news:   After the announcement, the DOJ’s Director of Public Affairs Sarah Isgur Flores denounced the statement, saying they received no such directive.
    • Equal for all:   Roger Clegg, who works in the civil rights division, noted that affirmative action should provide equality to all Americans, and that both white and Asian-Americans are being discriminated.
    • Unfair advantage:   Families worry that affirmative action gives university admission to minorities while hardly acknowledging seemingly more qualified white students.
  • THE SUPPORTERS- “Leave affirmative action be”

    • A helping hand:   Affirmative action is meant to help minority students who already have a difficult time with racially bias standardized testing.
    • Against the principle:   To launch an investigation in advocacy with white applicants undermines the mission of affirmative action policies.
    • No such thing:   White applicants cannot be discriminated against if they have not been systematically oppressed by education and admission systems that affect minorities and women.

WHERE WE ARE NOW

  • A set of complaints from the Asian-American Coalition for Education regarding Harvard University in 2015 may be reviewed again by the DOJ during this investigation.
  • The group claims that affirmative action’s policies limits the number of Asian Americans admitted to favor African Americans and Hispanics.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • Watch a video on the history of affirmative action policies in the United States.
  • Is affirmative action’s discrimination against white people an example of reverse racism?
  • Does reverse racism exist in the United States?