Cornell law professor launches battle against racism spawned by the left’s ‘equity agenda’

Cornell Law School professor William Jacobson isn’t a fan of racial discrimination, even when it occurs in the name of promoting racial equity.

Mr. Jacobson, who runs the Legal Insurrection blog, has unveiled the Equal Protection Project, an initiative aimed at investigating, exposing and litigating racial-preference programs that have proliferated nationwide as equity advocates seek to ensure equality of outcome, not just opportunity.

The project’s guiding principle: “The remedy for racism never is more racism.”

“Our highest ideal as a society is enshrined in the Constitution, the 14th Amendment, and federal, state and local law, which is you do not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity,” Mr. Jacobson recently told Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “And we are seeing that unfortunately, under the concept of equity, that there’s outright discrimination on the basis of race.”

The project has already filed a federal complaint against the Providence Public Schools in Rhode Island over its “Educator of Color Loan Forgiveness Program,” which provides up to $25,000 in student loan repayments for newly hired non-White teachers.

“So they are openly discriminating against new White teachers with this program. And nobody seems to blink an eye at it,” said Mr. Jacobson.

The program is funded by a grant from the Rhode Island Foundation. Applicants must identify as Asian, Black, Indigenous, Latino, biracial, or multi-racial, according to the district.

“We are pursuing it, but nobody is challenging this,” Mr. Jacobson said. “The governor is no place to be found. The attorney general is no place to be found. This is a government program to discriminate and unfortunately, that’s what has happened to the equity agenda. And we’re getting reports from around the country of these sorts of problems.”

The push for equity took off with the publication of Ibram X. Kendi’s 2019 book “How to Be an Anti-Racist.” It was further fueled by the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, which spawned an explosion of diversity, equity and inclusion departments, initiatives and consultants.

Supporters include Vice President Kamala Harris, who narrates a 2020 cartoon video explaining how equity is different from equality.

“Equality suggests, oh, everyone should get the same amount,” says Ms. Harris. “The problem with that: Not everybody’s starting out from the same place. So if we’re all getting the same amount, but you started out back there and I started out over here, we could get the same amount, but you’re still going to be that far back behind me.”

She concluded that “equitable treatment means we all wind up at the same place.”

President Biden signed an executive order on his first day in office that directed federal agencies to pursue a goal of “advancing equity for all.”

Mr. Jacobson said his project’s initial focus is challenging discriminatory policies and procedures in government, including public schools, but that he would consider taking on private-sector discrimination “if widespread and/or done in cooperation or connection” with the public sector.

He invited lawyers interested in joining his fight against racial discrimination to sign up at the website.

“This has to be a national effort,” Mr. Jacobson said. 

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