Martin Luther King Jr. famously dreamed of a day when Americans would be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Well, keep dreaming, MLK, because segregation and open race discrimination are making a comeback—this time, in progressive bastions like our higher education system and in the name of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.”
The University of Minnesota just got hit with a federal civil rights complaint because it’s openly conditioning a paid internship program on the basis of race. Their “Multicultural Summer Research Opportunities Program” is “an intensive 10 week summer program in which undergraduate students of color work full-time with a faculty mentor on a research project.” It aims to help in “preparing students for graduate school and developing research skills,” and pays students a $6,000 stipend. A condition of the program is that it is only open to students who “identify” as “a student of color or Native American.”
This program’s legality is being challenged by the Legal Insurrection Foundation’s Equal Protection Project (EPP), which “seeks to ensure equal protection under the law and non-discrimination by the government” and “opposes racial discrimination in any form.” They just filed a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education arguing that this internship program violates the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution.
“The U. Minnesota segregated summer program is inexcusable, and it’s shocking that a major university would so openly make educational opportunities open only to students of a certain skin color,” EPP President Bill told Fox News Digital. “There is no good form of racial discrimination. Depriving white students of educational opportunities does not promote racial or any other form of justice.”
This is exactly right.
It’s always wrong to racially discriminate, but it’s particularly egregious for a governmental institution funded by taxpayers to do so. What’s more, while these kinds of initiatives are intended to promote racial diversity, in reality they only exacerbate divides along racial lines.
Unfortunately, this is not just one outlier example. At college campuses across the country and even in state and federal government programs we are seeing example after example of this kind of explicitly racially discriminatory policymaking that’s being advanced in the name of racial justice. Here’s hoping all programs embracing this toxic and unlawful approach meet their end soon.