doj “investigating” affirmative action at harvard, will they also investigate the “legacy admissions” for rich white kids?

October 6, 2017
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The Trump administration has a knack for looking at a situation and determining the exact opposite of the problem is the biggest cause for concern. The latest misdiagnosis comes in ithe form of an ongoing investigation into admissions practices at Harvard University, particularly as it pertains to race-based admissions.

According to BuzzFeed News, “The US Department of Justice suggested the investigation’s active status in a letter, dated Sept. 29, that was sent in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by a government watchdog group and a civil rights organization seeking records about investigations into admissions practices at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The FOIA request was made in August in response to reports that DOJ would be launching an investigation related to allegations of discrimination against Asian-American students.”

“This is further proof that Attorney General Sessions and the Trump administration will continue to invoke civil rights only to further their own political agenda — not provide equal protections for all Americans. It speaks volumes that Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department is prioritizing attacking affirmative action at a time when white nationalists are marching openly in the streets,” American Oversight executive director Austin Evers said in a statement to BuzzFeed.

That’s just rich (pun intended), given that Harvard’s incoming class of 2021 is made up of over 29 percent legacy students, according to The Harvard Crimson. Applicants who have other family members who attended Harvard are three times more likely to get accepted. And who does that benefit? You guessed it: rich white people.

“Legacy students tend to be wealthy and white, students who, as a group, are already disproportionately represented at college,” writes Jonathan Blumberg for CNBC. “The New York Times found that, at five Ivy League schools, Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale, Penn and Brown, as well as 33 other colleges, there are more students from families in the top one percent than from the entire bottom 60 percent.”

Legacy admissions practices were implemented specifically for the purpose of excluding marginalized communities. The applicants from those communities who are benefited by affirmative action, which primarily privileges white women, make hardly a dent in that trend, particularly at schools like Harvard. “Low-income students are vastly underrepresented at elite institutions,” Blumberg continues. “Nationally, 40 percent of students receive federal aid in the form of a Pell Grant, the Boston Globe reports, but they only account for an average of 16 percent of Ivy League undergraduates.”

Way to go, Trump.


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