Trump Administration revokes Obama rules pressuring college to consider race as admission criterion

By Dan Calabrese

I realize that in this brave new world, it makes you a racist when you don’t take race into consideration. Of course, if you’re Donald Trump and you’ve already been convicted of being a racist just for being Donald Trump, what do you care?

Might as well do what you think is right and let your critics say what you know they’re going to say anyway.

Race-conscious college admission has long been a thorny issue in higher education. The otherwise-qualified white student who gets turned down solely on the basis of race will get little sympathy because of his or her “privilege,” of course, but the broader problem is that admitting people on the basis of race a) makes official that admissions are about factors other than merit; and b) implies that the schools don’t think minorities by and large can qualify on merit alone, which seems to me to be racist in and of itself.

Or it was. Colleges may still cling to some form of the practice, but that Trump Administration has now reversed the guidance that pressures them to do so:

The Trump administration is planning to rescind Tuesday a set of Obama-era policies that encourage the use of race in college admissions to promote diverse educational settings, according to two people familiar with the plans.

The move comes as the Justice Department is investigating whether Harvard University is illegally discriminating against Asian-American students by holding them to a higher standard in its admissions process. The administration revived the probe last year after Obama civil rights officials dismissed a similar complaint.

The guidelines, issued jointly by the Obama Justice and Education departments, laid out legal recommendations for schools looking to use race as an admissions factor to boost diversity at their schools.

Trump administration officials plan to argue that the documents, published in 2011 and 2016, go beyond Supreme Court precedent on the issue and mislead schools to believe that legal forms of affirmative action are simpler to achieve than what the law allows.

If admission practices are merely fair and evenly applied, colleges should get a reasonable cross-section of students from different racial backgrounds, without the need to micro-engineer the numbers and achieve quotas. And when you’re admitting students just because they’re minorities – students who otherwise might not get in – you are really not doing those students any favors.

College is a useful experience if you’re well prepared for it, and if you have a plan for how you’re going to use the four years you spend there to prepare for a career. If you’re not well-prepared for it and you don’t have such a plan, college could end up being a usurper of years of your life and tens of thousands of dollars that you could have spent doing something else, and earning at least some money instead of paying just about everything you can make in tuition, or worse, taking on mounds of debt.

It’s well and good for colleges to wax on about having “diverse educational settings,” but if you’re doing that at the expense of some of the students you let in, then are you doing it to help the minorities or are you doing it to give yourself something to crow about?

As happens no matter what Trump does, he’ll get skewered for this as an example of how he’s out to screw minorities. He’s after no such thing. He just wants the rules applied evenly to everyone. That used to be what we considered the cure for racism. Then we mostly got it, and for the race-mongering left, it was no longer good enough.

Because for them, nothing ever is.

Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!