Princeton’s efforts to combat systemic racism at the elite university has caught the attention of the Trump administration, and not in a good way.
The Justice Department announced its investigating Princeton accusing the school of lying about complying with all nondiscrimination and equal opportunity laws, reported NBC News. It also asked the university to return $75 million in federal funds its received since 2013.
Critics of the move say its an overreach.
“They are trying to destabilize efforts to address this moment of racial reckoning,” Association of American Colleges & Universities President Lynn Pasquerella told NBC News on Friday. “It seems to me an example of overreach on the part of the federal government.”
The federal crackdown comes at the same time the White House ordered federal labs to end all diversity training. Trump sees such programs as “divisive, anti-American propaganda,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“The Department of Energy has asked all the national labs, which are funded by taxpayer dollars, to suspend their diversity, equity, and inclusion training programs,” lab Director Mike Witherell of Lawrence Livermore Labs said in a memo obtained by the Chronicle.
According to the paper, Trump is playing on White fears and fomenting culture wars as part of his reelection effort against Black Lives Matter and anti-segregation laws which Trump says will bring crime to the suburbs.
The University of California runs the Lawrence Livermore Labs, a federal lab in the San Francisco Bay Area. UC Regent Eloy Ortiz Oakley called the end of diversity training at the lab and greater attention to systemic racism “unethical and harmful.”
“I continue to be concerned about how the Trump administration characterizes such important training as nonessential,” Oakley said. “Recent social unrest across the country highlights the importance of a citizenry and workforce that is knowledgeable about structural discrimination and ways that we can break down barriers to opportunity for Americans of all backgrounds.
Others criticize the labs for complying with the order and being complicit in its execution.
“While I recognize that this initiative is not coming from LBL leadership and that the lab may strongly disagree, by complying I feel that LBL is ultimately complicit with what is an unethical and harmful directive,” said Dr. Gil Rabinovici, a neurologist in UCSF’s Memory and Aging Center, said to the Chronicle.
AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our new Instagram account. Go to our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff, or submitting a story.