Biden Admin Sends Message That Some Racism Is Okay With Dropped Yale Lawsuit

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The Department of Justice made a shocking reversal on Wednesday when it notified a federal judge that it is dropping a discrimination lawsuit against Yale University that was brought by the Trump administration last October.

The lawsuit alleged that Yale “discriminates based on race and national origin in its undergraduate admissions process, and that race is the determinative factor in hundreds of admissions decisions each year.” This determination came following a two-year investigation that found that Asian-American and white students have “only one-tenth to one-fourth of the likelihood of admission as African American applicants with comparable academic credentials.”

“Although the Supreme Court has held that colleges receiving federal funds may consider applicants’ race in certain limited circumstances as one of a number of factors, the Department of Justice found Yale’s use of race is anything but limited,” the Justice Department said in a press release when the investigation’s conclusions were announced.

“There is no such thing as a nice form of race discrimination,” former Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Eric Dreiband said at the time. “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. In 1890, Frederick Douglass explained that the ‘business of government is to hold its broad shield overall and to see that every American citizen is alike and equally protected in his civil and personal rights.’”

The Ivy League school called the lawsuit baseless and refused to alter its admissions practices. “As our country grapples with urgent questions about race and social justice, I have never been more certain that Yale’s approach to undergraduate admissions helps us to fulfill our mission to improve the world today and for future generations,” president Peter Salovey wrote at the time.

Yale spokeswoman Karen Peart reacted to DOJ’s dropping of the lawsuit in a statement. “Our admissions process has allowed Yale College to assemble an unparalleled student body, which is distinguished by its academic excellence and diversity,” she said.

The issue of affirmative action and racial quotas in admissions remains controversial. But the apparent discrimination by universities against Asian-American and white students is hard to ignore. The Biden administration’s dropping of this case sends a signal that some racism is okay—as long as it’s directed at Asian and white students.

The dropping of the lawsuit likely won’t end Yale’s legal battles on this issue, but now they’ll have the Biden administration as an ally. In fact, the move echoes a similar action made by the Obama administration in May 2009, when Attorney General Eric Holder dropped a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party that had been initiated by the Bush administration. The NBPP had stood guard at a polling place in Philadelphia on Election Day in 2008, intimidating voters with weapons and wearing paramilitary gear. The NBPP didn’t show up to defend themselves in court, and the government’s case had effectively been won. After that, whistleblowers revealed that Obama/Holder Justice Department would not pursue voting rights cases against white victims. Is this unequal justice under the law what we can expect from the Biden administration?