In the past two years, American colleges and universities have experienced an all-out assault by the Trump administration against affirmative action. While President Donald Trump has previously supported affirmative action, he has reversed course in a dramatic fashion, and his cabinet secretaries have taken advantage of the powers of the executive branch to dismantle programs and rules designed to promote racial inclusion.
For example, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos — the scion of a wealthy far-right family — is focused on overturning five decades of efforts to bring racial and ethnic diversity to colleges, while also seeking to destroy the education department’s Civil Rights mandate. While her outright malice to diversity has made headlines, DeVos is just a microcosm of the systematic and sustained effort by wealthy whites, most of whom were born into their status, to destroy affirmative action by perpetuating myths about American meritocracy.
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