The Corner

Berkeley’s ‘White Initiative’

The University of California–Berkeley has announced a new “White Initiative,” designed to increase the number of whites at the school. Those numbers have gone down since voters in California passed a ballot initiative that forbids discrimination and preference in, among other things, public university admissions. The new initiative aims to reverse this trend by increasing white applications and enrollment through, for example, encouraging white-only scholarship programs, to be funded by private donors. The university apparently believes that, by proceeding in this way, it is not discriminating or granting preferential treatment on the basis of “race” or “color” or “ethnicity” or “national origin,” as the law forbids. Yes, the program has a racial aim and the public university is obviously involved in it, but since the actual money for the scholarships themselves will come from non-public sources, there cannot be said to be any racial discrimination by the school.

Outrageous discrimination? Bogus legal justification? Yes, indeed — and all true, if you just change the word “white” to “African-American” in the above paragraph, as this Fox News story explains.

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