Many universities have recently announced plans to address persistent racism in our society and on their campuses. Last week, the Department of Education launched an investigation into one of these, interpreting Princeton’s commitment (as expressed by President Chris Eisgruber) to address the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow as evidence that this institution violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
The charge is at best inappropriate. With respect to the laws cited in the Department’s accusation, Princeton is in compliance. Princeton does not exclude or deny people participation in its educational programs on the basis of race, color or national origin. Non-discrimination—the thing to which Princeton and other universities attest—is not the same as eradicating racism, the thing Eisgruber