Jim Banks and J.D. Vance–two MAGA Republicans–have introduced a new bill, “The College Admissions Accountability Act.” It would create “a dedicated office for investigating race discrimination in college admissions.” A rightwing publication calls it “the most dramatic effort yet to enforce the Supreme Court’s ban on affirmative action.”
As described in glowing terms by the Washington Free Beacon (the rightwing publication), the Act
would establish a special inspector general within the Education Department—separate from the Office of Civil Rights—to probe potential violations of the colorblind standard set forth in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, which ruled that race-conscious admissions programs violate the 14th Amendment. The bill would also bar schools that flout the decision from receiving any form of federal aid…
The bill would create a new mechanism for applicants and university employees to file discrimination claims against admissions departments. Those claims would be investigated by the special inspector general—nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate—who could then recommend enforcement actions, including the revocation of federal funds, to the secretary of education and attorney general.
The office would also submit quarterly reports to Congress on the allegations it has received and what corrective steps have been taken. That means the secretary of education and attorney general, while theoretically free to ignore the office’s recommendations, would face public pressure to lay down the law.
Universities, meanwhile, would be at constant risk of humiliation if they adopt the sort of race-based policies that have become de rigueur throughout higher education. Though focused on admissions, the bill also covers “financial aid determinations” and “academic programs,” empowering the inspector general to go after scholarships, fellowships, and research programs that exclude non-minorities.
“The federal government has given the universities free rein to discriminate against white and Asian students,” Christopher Rufo, the conservative activist behind numerous state laws banning critical race theory, said of the bill. “Senator Vance’s proposed legislation will put a stop to this.”
Rufo, you will recall, is Ron DeSantis’ go-to guy on education…
The questions just ask themselves…like, where were these proud opponents of racial discrimination when it was Black kids who were being discriminated against? (Answer: Nowhere to be found.) And what happened to those intrepid conservative warriors who were battling big government and regulatory over-reach? (Answer: It doesn’t count as over-reach if government is imposing policies that benefit White Christian guys.)
I note from the above description of the bill that these Paladins of Non-discrimination are also working hard to ensure that those greedy Black kids who somehow manage to get admitted don’t get any “extra” consideration when it comes to financial assistance.
Given Banks hostility to LGBTQ Americans, I’m only surprised that he didn’t manage to work some homophobia into his new appreciation for having government oversight and “accountability.” (Of course, I haven’t read the entire bill…)
When the Supreme Court handed down its decision on affirmative action, the Congressional Black Caucus warned that ending the consideration of race in admissions policies in higher education would have far-reaching, negative consequences. Even that Caucus, however, could not have foreseen the way White Supremicists have rushed to bully and threaten universities in order to ensure that Black applicants receive absolutely no “special” consideration. (And clearly, from the language of Banks’ bill, White guys hostile to Black kids will be the ones who get to decide what “special” consideration looks like.)
When I read the language of this bill, it prompted a twinge of nostalgia for the dear departed days of the “dog whistle.” MAGA Republicans like Banks have substituted a bugle for that whistle.
Ohio is responsible for J.D. Vance (about whom Mitt Romney recently wrote, “I don’t know that I can disrespect someone more than JD Vance”), but voters in a Hoosier Congressional district are the ones who inflicted Jim Banks on the country. Now Banks wants to take his fetid brand of MAGA fundamentalism to the U.S. Senate. WE CANNOT ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN.
As Brian Howey wrote when Banks was supporting Jim Jordan for speaker, “Indiana has a history of Senate lions; Banks is a House hyena.”
We have a chance to get rid of Banks in 2024. Democrat Marc Carmichael is the antithesis of Jim Banks; he would be a Senator Hoosiers could be proud of. He actually wants to be a Senator for ALL Indiana citizens.
Go to his website. Volunteer. Send him money. Tell your friends.
Help him defeat the hyena.