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Trump to Reverse Obama-Era Guidelines on Considering Race in College Admissions

Trump's efforts to rescind the affirmative action guidelines just add to the trend to erase landmark accomplishments of the Obama legacy.

The Trump administration plans to toss an Obama-era guideline that encourages colleges and universities to consider race as a way of promoting diversity.


The Department of Justice (DOJ) is reversing 2011 and 2016 legal guidelines set during the Obama administration to "avoid racial isolation" as administration officials contend the guidelines "mislead schools to believe that legal forms of affirmative action are simpler to achieve than the law allows," according to The Wall Journal.

The new plan, according the New York Times, would remove the existing policies and encourage schools not to consider race in the admissions process.

"The executive branch cannot circumvent Congress or the courts by creating guidance that goes beyond the law and — in some instances — stays on the books for decades," Justice Department spokesperson Devin O'Malley told CNN in a statement.

O'Malley said U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III's review of the guidance documents found that they "go beyond or are inconsistent with the Constitution and federal law."

The decision to reverse the guidelines does not change the current U.S. law on affirmative action. It has been 40 years since the Supreme Court held in California v. Bakke that considering race in college admissions was constitutional if race was not the only deciding factor, but one of several factors in their decision.

With reversing the Obama-era guidelines, the Trump administration is clearly showcasing its position on the subject, which comes less than a week after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court.

This also comes three months after the Department of Justice showed its support for Asian American students who filed a lawsuit against Harvard University for "racial balancing" in capping the number of Asian American students it admits each year. Evidence gathered by Students for Fair Admissions is said to show the unjust selection process that the Harvard Admissions office abides by.

The focus of the investigation is concentrated on how the admissions team evaluates applicants based on race, similar to students of Asian American being discriminated against by Harvard University.

The Trump administration is arguing that to hold a certain ethnic group to a higher standard violates the Supreme Court's precedent on affirmative action.

This is not the only black mark on Harvard's admissions policies. Last month a lawsuit was filed in federal court claiming that Harvard uses a system that ranks Asian American applicants' personality traits lower than any other race.

One of the most recent cases on affirmative action regarding higher education was decided two years ago when the University of Texas at Austin was under fire for admissions discrimination.

The court held that using affirmative action in its admissions decisions was constitutional; however, Justice Kennedy noted in his opinion that the University must evaluate changing circumstances to make sure that "race plays no greater role than is necessary to meet its compelling interest."

Trump's efforts to rescind the Obama-era guidelines just add to the trend to erase landmark accomplishments of Obama's legacy and change the landscape of higher education. Since he has taken office, the president has led the assault against Title IX, a gender discrimination statute. Weeks after taking office, Trump's new DOJ reversed two policy documents related to the enforcement of Title IX.

Laquan McDonald Reduced to 'Second Class Citizen,' Says Family

The light sentence given to the officer who killed McDonald, "suggests to us that there are no laws on the books for a Black man that a white man is bound to honor," said his great-uncle.

Hours of testimony at Jason Van Dyke's sentencing on Friday ended in shock for one family, and relief and happiness for the other.

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Two Students Leave University of Oklahoma After Blackface Video Surfaces

"Obviously we've had a second incident in several years," University of Oklahoma President James Gallogly said. "It shows that there must be something systemic. We have work to do."

Screenshot/ Snapchat

Another video of a student in blackface has surfaced at the University of Oklahoma (OU).

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Senator Holds Airlines Accountable When Servicing Customers With Disabilities

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is working to stop wheelchairs from getting damaged during air travel.

TWITTER

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is leading the charge for better airline management of customers' motorized wheelchairs. Duckworth has been confined to a wheelchair since her helicopter was shot down in Iraq and she lost both of her legs.

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California Defies Trump's Order NOT to Pay Furloughed Workers Unemployment

Over 55 percent of civil service employees in the state are people of color.

Screenshot from ABC 7

President Donald Trump signed legislation on Wednesday that said all furloughed workers would receive back pay once the government reopens. However, the Trump administration has ordered states not to provide unemployment coverage to federal workers who have been required to work without pay during the partial government shutdown.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Thursday the U.S. Department of Labor sent states a letter with that mandate, according to NPR. The Department of Labor said the roughly 420,000 federal employees who are "essential" cannot file for unemployment as they are "generally ineligible."

It also reported 10,454 initial claims by federal workers for the week that ended Jan. 5, doubling the previous week's figure. Thousands more have applied since, state officials said.

Newsom said the decision by the Department of Labor's decision was "jaw-dropping."

"So, the good news is, we're going to do it, and shame on them," he said.

"From a moral perspective, there is no debate on this issue and we will blow back aggressively on the Department of Labor."

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) reports unemployment claims for one week during the shutdown are up 600 percent from the same time last year. The state has over 245,000 federal employees.

Over 55 percent of civil service employees in the state are people of color, and they are over 35 percent of the country's federal workforce.

Newsom encouraged people to continue to apply while the state figured out how to get the money. He estimated benefits that would last up to 26 weeks and provided a few hundred extra dollars a month. He said he knows it doesn't fix everything, but hopefully it helps.

His message to Trump: "Let us states do the job you can't seem to do yourself."

Some state officials said they had asked utilities and other companies to extend mercy to federal employees, and the federal Office of Personnel Management published sample letters that furloughed employees could send to creditors to ask for patience.

Texas has received more than 2,900 claims from federal workers since the shutdown began on Dec. 22, while Ohio is approaching 700. Kansas reported 445 filings, and Alabama was closing in on 500. Montana said it had logged almost 1,500.

Trump tweeted on Friday that he would be making a "major announcement" on Saturday about the government shutdown.

A senior administration official told CNN that Trump plans to offer Democrats another proposal to end the shutdown.

Reader Question: How are people you know that are furloughed workers surviving?

Black Student in Kansas Sues School District for Racial Discrimination

The dance team's choreographer told Camille Sturdivant that her skin was "too dark" to perform because she "clashed" with uniforms.

Camille Sturdivant has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the Blue Valley School District for the abuse she was subjected to as a member of the high school dance team.

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Viral Video of Daycare Employee Mistreating a Black Child Spurs Investigation

A Black toddler was subjected to having her hair pulled and being pushed by the employee.

My Little Playhouse Learning Center

In a video that has now gone viral on Instagram and Facebook, a woman is shown pushing and pulling the hair of a toddler at a daycare center.

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