President Joe Biden’s Department of Education is reversing a decision that declared racially segregated “affinity groups” to be a form of segregation.
In the last days of the Trump administration, the Department of Education determined racial “affinity groups” to be discriminatory because they treated students and staff differently based on race. Biden’s Education Department has suspended this decision.
Racial “affinity groups” are used in K-12 schools as well as higher education institutions across the country. They separate students and staff based on race to give black people a “safe space” to discuss their experiences with racism. There is a separate space for white people to learn about their “white privilege.”
A whistleblower teacher from a Chicago school district filed a complaint about “racial equity” training programs used on students and staff, which prompted an investigation into race-based groups.
School administrators at Evanston-Skokie School District were separated into two groups based on race. There was one group for white administrators and one for black administrators.
The school district also held a “Colorism Privilege Walk” that separated seventh- and eighth-grade students by race. The event directed students to stand in a line and step forward if they were white and backward if they are black. It was designed to show students how “white privilege,” “internalized dominance,” and “microaggressions” help white students get ahead.
The Department of Education Office of Civil Rights enforcement officer Carol Ashley called the school district’s exercises discriminatory.
“These materials would have led students to be treated differently based on their race, depriving them of a class free from racial recrimination and hostility,” Ashley wrote. “Such treatment has no place in federally-funded programs or activities, nor is it protected by the First Amendment.”
The whistleblower teacher from the Chicago-area was initially notified by Ashely that the school district was engaging in discriminatory behavior. On Jan. 22, the teacher received a second call from Ashley saying that her case was being suspended by the Biden administrations’ new executive order on equity and gender rights.
The executive order has also reversed a Department of Justice lawsuit brought forward by three high school female athletes hoping to block biological males from competing in girls’ sports in Connecticut.