In a Bengali poem, one verse roughly translates to “the maddening rage of a caged impotent.” It fits the left’s reaction to the Trump administration’s executive order banning critical race training in federal departments and lawsuit against Yale University for discrimination against white and Asian applicants.
For a long time, the overwhelming majority of sane, hardworking people had to endure being ruled by a handful of ideologues and their crackpot theories, in a long march continued unopposed. Bafflingly, for decades there was zero substantive pushback among Republican lawmakers, even from ostensibly conservative presidents. That has now changed. Whoever takes up the mantle of post-Trump conservatism, things are not going back to meek subservience.
The U.S. Department of Justice has sued Yale for discriminating against Asians and white applicants in undergraduate admissions. The lawsuit argues that qualified Asians and whites are discriminated against in favor of black applicants, and are likely to only win one-quarter of admissions compared to lesser qualified people based solely on race, in what the DOJ considers to be affirmative action.
This is an escalation on the culture war front and comes after a group of Asians sued Harvard University for discrimination. The Trump administration argues these slanted admissions policies violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and Yale might lose federal funding if it is found to be discriminating on the basis of race. Reuters reported that Yale receives more than $630 million annually from just the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The lawsuit followed two years of investigation. In a news release, Assistant Attorney General Eric S. Dreiband said, “Illegal race discrimination by colleges and universities must end,” adding that “All persons who apply for admission to colleges and universities should expect and know that they will be judged by their character, talents, and achievements and not the color of their skin. To do otherwise is to permit our institutions to foster stereotypes, bitterness, and division.”
Leftists are worried this will be the start of a conservative-led rollback of race-based affirmative action in favor of merit, after the federal government supported Asian-Americans in their lawsuit against Harvard. The DOJ simply argues that it opposes race-based discrimination and the Civil Rights Act states that federal-funded programs cannot discriminate on the basis of race, even in favor of affirmative action.
Joe Biden wants to immediately reverse the Title IX due process rules that were formed under Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. He prefers a violence against women plan. He recently stated that an eight-year-old can self-identity as transgender. These are all ideas rooted in leftist critical theory, and in a normal world, these would be reason enough to not vote for him.
It is, however, important to note the direction of conservative governments in the coming culture war. Consider the Trump administration’s executive order banning critical race theory after the extensive investigations of a journalist named Christopher Rufo.
The administration issued an executive order prohibiting any federal agency or contractor from using any form of critical race theory arguing that the United States or white people are either fundamentally racist or sexist, or that “an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously,” citing Rufo’s work. The admin has suspended such trainings and questioned race-obsessed corporate hiring goals, such as those put in place due to the Black Lives Matter protests, “to combat offensive and anti-American race and sex stereotyping and scapegoating.”
The executive order also combats concepts of “white privilege,” “systemic racism,” “intersectionality,” and “unconscious bias.” Conservatives used to losing in the culture war due to an instinctive aversion to government efforts suddenly find themselves at a curious position where they can see that they are capable of dictating how this game is played, and the majority of the people quietly support it.
For the first time in decades, the diversity bureaucrats dividing the country on the basis of race, class, and sex are on their backfoot, worried about losing federal funding and being sued. That, added with Trump administration’s rollback of Obama-era Title IX kangaroo courts, is more than anything any conservative leader has done for social conservatives in more than 30 years. Politics is about using power to enforce policy after winning an election, a lesson that conservatives across the Anglosphere forgot, and are now slowly relearning.
Polls after polls have suggested that Americans disproportionately oppose any type of affirmative action and quotas based on critical race theory. For example, Gallup argues that “Majorities said that high school grades (73%) and scores on standardized tests (55%) should be major factors in college admissions, while 50% said that the types of courses the student took should be a major factor.”
Asian and Indian Americans especially align with white conservatives to oppose racial quotas, and prefer merit. Even in California, a majority is set to reject quotas and affirmative action. Only now, for the first time and under Trump, the elected conservative leaders have paid heed to these massive demographics opposed to further divisive politics based on race.
In the tele-series “Chernobyl” about the Russian nuclear disaster, one of the most memorable scenes is when the scientist Ulana Khomyuk meets her boss to register a complaint. She knows something is wrong in Chernobyl, but is being stonewalled by this incompetent lard of a man who knows nothing other than the ideological garbage his party teaches.
She gets frustrated and cries out that she’s a nuclear physicist, and he is a cobbler. He smirks, and replies, “Yes, I used to work in a shoe factory, and now I am in charge. To the workers of the world!” For years, middle managers and bureaucrats in American academia blathering about “diversity and inclusion” have likewise kneecapped merit and quality in favor of getting to manipulate outcomes. The tables are finally turning.