A Department of Justice investigation has found that Yale University is discriminating against white and Asian applicants, in violation of federal civil rights law, but the school calls the accusation “meritless.”
“Yale’s race discrimination imposes undue and unlawful penalties on racially-disfavored applicants, including in particular Asian-American and White applicants,” Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband wrote to Yale’s attorneys on Thursday.
The two-year investigation found that the Ivy League school “rejects scores of Asian American and white applicants each year based on their race, whom it otherwise would admit.”
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White and Asian-American students have “only one-tenth to one-fourth of the likelihood of admission as African American applicants with comparable academic credentials,” according to the DOJ.
The letter blasted Yale, located in Connecticut, saying that “unlawfully dividing Americans into racial and ethnic blocs fosters stereotypes, bitterness, and division.”
There is no such thing as a nice form of race discrimination.
The DOJ is now demanding Yale not use race or national origin as factors in its upcoming application process. The only way they can weigh those factors is if they submit a proposal to the Justice Department first showing that it is “narrowly tailored as required by law, including by identifying a date for the end of race discrimination.”
Yale has responded to the Justice Department by calling their conclusion “meritless.”
If Yale continues its practices, the Justice Department has threatened to file a lawsuit.
Yale President Peter Salovey defended his school’s application process when the investigation was first announced in 2018 by saying race is “one of a multitude” of factors weighed when deciding whether to accept someone or not.
The Supreme Court has technically ruled race can be a factor for colleges when they are deciding if they will accept a student, but it must be “narrowly tailored” and only a “plus factor” on top of other requirements.
The DOJ says Yale is not abiding by federal law because their “use of race is anything but limited” as they use race as a factor in multiple parts of their admissions process.
This affirmative action, however, has long been criticized as it gives very general guidelines for schools.
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Yale is far from the only school to be accused of discrimination in the name of inclusivity. The DOJ’s investigation into Yale was kicked off by a complaint from the civil rights group Asian-American Coalition for Education that cited not only Yale, but also Brown and Dartmouth.
The Yale investigation is part of a larger effort by the Trump administration against affirmative action as it is the second such investigation. The DOJ accused Harvard of similar racial discrimination in 2019 saying, “Harvard’s race-based admissions process significantly disadvantages Asian-American applicants compared to applicants of other racial groups — including both white applicants and applicants from other racial minority groups.”
Though a federal judge ruled in Harvard’s favor, an appeal has been filed against the decision.
The Justice Department also previously scrapped multiple federal guidance documents on education, including several from the Obama administration encouraging school superintendents to consider race in their application processes in order to better diversify campuses.
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