Donald Trump shows the signed executive order supporting black colleges and universities in the Oval Office, February 28, 2017. (Getty/Aude Guerrucci)

Donald Trump's Justice Department is fighting affirmative action for hurting white people

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is furthering an anti-civil rights agenda by investigating affirmative action


Matthew Rozsa
August 2, 2017 12:10PM (UTC)

The bromance between President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have soured, but that doesn't mean the president isn't supporting the most reactionary aspects of Sessions' policies.

The Justice Department's civil rights division is going to have some of its resources allocated toward lawsuits against universities over affirmative action policies perceived as hostile to white people, according to a document reported by The New York Times. The Times also reports that the internal announcement to the civil rights division explicitly asks for lawyers who would be willing to pursue "investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions."

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This policy exists as part of a larger anti-civil rights agenda being pursued by Trump and Sessions. In May, Sessions doubled down on the drug war by instructing prosecutors to "charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense." In June, Sessions discontinued the use of consent decrees in civil rights cases, which goes against traditional Justice Department practice as it makes civil rights rulings more difficult to enforce. Last month the Justice Department argued that Title VII protections don't apply to the LGBT community.

Despite these social justice policies, Sessions has mainly been in the news for his deteriorating relationship with Trump. Although the two were reported to be close friends for years, and through the 2016 election, things soured between them when Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation in March. Trump has blamed Sessions for what he perceives as a showing of weakness and even said that he wouldn't have selected Sessions as attorney general if he had known he would do that.


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Affirmative Action Donald Trump Jeff Sessions Partner Video Racism




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