Justice Department plans new project to sue universities over affirmative action policies
It was U.S. President John F. Kennedy who first used the term ‘affirmative action’ in an executive order to describe a policy intended to combat the historic practice of racial discrimination against African-Americans. He meant it to authorize the government to hire ‘without regard to race.’
Most people still affirm that general principle, precisely because racial discrimination denies the equal humanity of each person by judging him on the dehumanizing basis of his superficial identity with a group.
However, as with all policy, the devil is in the detail. And the way in which that general principle has been applied has become more and more problematic over time.
As the influence of Cultural Marxism has grown in academia, affirmative action policies have been applied to matters such as admissions criteria for colleges. Worse still, they degenerated to being a tool for discriminating against whole groups of students in accordance with identity politics – as if the role of the university were to be a tool for implementing social policy. Not only is this wholly against the principle of an inclusive society, it is against the principle of affirmative action that President Kennedy articulated.
Policies that announce institutional commitments to diversity can be supported if they are interpreted to mean what Kennedy articulated, that the institution will take no consideration of identity group characteristics.
People committed to rectifying social justice, however, as many universities now are, are committed to the precise opposite goal. They want discrimination on the basis of (self-identifying) identity group characteristics.
Not only this change in ‘affirmative action’ to insure ‘diversity’ undermine any commitment to a common humanity, it replaces the university’s pursuit of truth with a Marxist ideological agenda.
The U.S. Justice Department’s policy deserves support, and ought to be emulated by governments elsewhere.
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