George Floyd Scholarship Sparks Discrimination Complaints For Shutting Out Non-Blacks

A federal complaint has been filed against a George Floyd memorial scholarship based on its exclusivity to Black or African Americans.

The memorial scholarship has been offered by the North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota since June, 2020. According to its website, the scholarship “is a four-year, full-tuition scholarship awarded to one student each year based on two community recommendations and a written essay.”

The website also categorically states that the scholarship is only open to a “Black or African American, that is, a person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.”

Whoever is selected for the scholarship gets a four-year scholarship covering their entire tuition.

The complaint, filed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in Chicago, alleges that the scholarship is in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars schools from discriminating based on race.

The move against the scholarship was spearheaded by William Jacobson, a Cornell Law professor who runs Legal Insurrection, a conservative website, and founded the Equal Protection Project.

In the complaint, Jacobson argued that the scholarship is not only a violation of the federal Civil Rights Act, but is also a violation of Minnesota’s Human Rights Act.

“Similarly, the [scholarship] defies the civil rights protections of Minnesota’s Human Rights Act, which makes it a criminal offense for an educational institution to limit access to any educational program on the basis of race,” a footnote included in the complaint reads.

Speaking to The College Fix, Jacobson said, “The George Floyd Scholarship eligibility requirements are openly racially discriminatory. Regardless of the purpose of the racial discrimination, it is wrong and unlawful.”

“NCU needs to come up with a remedial plan to compensate students shut out of the George Floyd Scholarship due to discrimination,” he added.

Jacobson also pointed out the Supreme Court’s affirmative action ruling last year, a decision which he says establishes the illegality of discrimination based on race.

“As Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the majority opinion, ‘[e]liminating racial discrimination means eliminating all of it,’” Jacobson emphasized.

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