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The Trump Administration is About to Go After Affirmative Action in Colleges

The Trump administration reportedly wants to investigate universities over affirmative action admissions rules that could discriminate against white applicants, the New York Times reported.

Citing an unpublished internal document, the Times reported that President Donald Trump’s Justice Department could divert resources to jumpstart “investigations and possible litigations related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”

The New York Times has more details:

The announcement suggests that the project will be run out of the division’s front office, where the Trump administration’s political appointees work, rather than its Educational Opportunities Section, which is run by career civil servants and normally handles work involving schools and universities.

The document does not explicitly identify whom the Justice Department considers at risk of discrimination because of affirmative action admissions policies. But the phrasing it uses, “intentional race-based discrimination,” cuts to the heart of programs designed to bring more minorities to university campuses.

Trump’s critics were furious over the report.

But Roger Clegg, who worked for the DOJ’s civil rights division in the Reagan and George Bush administrations, told the Times that whites and Asian-Americans are routinely discriminated against in present day.

“The civil rights laws were deliberately written to protect everyone from discrimination, and it is frequently the case that not only are whites discriminated against now, but frequently Asian-Americans are as well.”

Of course, not everyone agrees. In the same article, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law President Kristin Clarke called the development “deeply disturbing” and said it “would be a dog whistle that could invite a lot of chaos and unnecessarily create hysteria among colleges and universities.”