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My Brother’s Keeper: No Longer Racially Exclusive?


The President’s Task Force on the My Brother’s Keeper program issued its 90-day report today, and there are both unobjectionable and objectionable things in it. But in this post I want to flag again the issue that I highlighted before, namely that it’s a bad idea for the program to be racially exclusive, for both policy and legal reasons. So it’s interesting to read this paragraph in the report’s introduction: 

The strategies and recommendations discussed in this report are designed in accordance with the fundamental principle that Federal and federally assisted programs and services may not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, or national origin.  Nothing in this document should be read to suggest otherwise.  Consistent with that principle, My Brother’s Keeper aims to break down barriers to success and to promote increased opportunity for all, regardless of sex, race, color, or national origin.  Even in a tight budget environment, by working together to enable broad adoption of what works and to develop innovative approaches, we can continue to make progress for all our youth, including boys and young men of color, especially in communities of greatest need.

There are also a few — but just a very few — references to Asian Americans in the report.

But how do you read that paragraph? It certainly acknowledges the issue — and has the administration concluded that they really can’t slam the door in face of colorless (and Asian American) boys (and girls)? I hope so, though one could argue that the paragraph then says that, because the ultimate goal is equality, it’s not discrimination to discriminate in order to achieve it. 



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