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Racial Preferences Exposed


The Center for Individual Rights has filed a very interesting case against New York City’s Department of Education. The suit challenges New York’s policy of excluding white and Asian students from test preparation courses because of their race. What makes this case particularly interesting is that the program in question does not openly claim to exclude Asians or whites. Instead the city claims that any child who qualifies for a free school lunch can participate in this special test-prep program. Yet this claim to rely on economic criteria turns out to be false, or at least that what CIR’s suit alleges. CIR may have caught New York red-handed, since CIR’s lawyers claim to have obtained an internal memo from the city Department of Education that calls for excluding Asians and whites from the program. Here’s an article about the case, and here’s an New York Post editorial.

If CIR is right, it will not be the first time liberal elites have covertly undermined prohibitions against preferences. We’re sometimes told that race-neutral programs based on economic status can substitute for preferences. But even here, trust levels are evaporating. I wish CIR well in its suit. Public exposure is the best way to fight overt and covert preferences by race.


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