Separate in Education

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The contention by the presidents of Maryland's historically black colleges and universities about the need for their schools rings false [Close to Home, Feb. 17].

Asserting that U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Abigail Thernstrom failed "to understand that a main object of the civil rights movement was to enhance educational opportunities for [blacks] by eliminating the vestiges of segregation and enhancing their educational institutions" is nothing short of revisionism.

The 1992 Supreme Court decision in United States v. Fordice did not hurt historically black colleges and universities. It upheld Title IV, on desegregation of public education, in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

There is no debate that historically black institutions have been permitted to escape adherence to Title IV specifically because they are black. What's more, they have escaped penalty while their proponents viciously castigate other institutions for lacking diversity.

It displays hubris of gargantuan proportions when those chastising Ms. Thernstrom insist that the federal government support further violation of Title IV.

Advocating race-based privileges that favor blacks while vehemently opposing nonblack enterprises doing the same is having it both ways.



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