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Princeton prez admits to ‘systemic racism,’ so DeVos announces discrimination investigation

From Hollywood to pro sports to corporate boardrooms to the rioter-crowded streets of Democrat-run cities, nothing is more stylish than declaring America’s institutions guilty of “systemic racism.”

Princeton University’s pandering President Christopher Eisgruber thought he’d show that he, too, is down with the cause. In an open letter to the university community on Sept. 2, Eisgruber wrote that his school now celebrates the diversity it shunned for decades. But after several high-profile incidents of “anti-Black racism,” such as the death of George Floyd in police custody, Eisgruber added, “Racial justice demands the scholarly and practical attention of this University. Princeton contributes to the world through teaching and research of unsurpassed quality, and we must continue to find ways to bring that mission to bear against racism, and against all of the discrimination that damages the lives of people of color.

“Racism and the damage it does to people of color nevertheless persist at Princeton as in our society, sometimes by conscious intention but more often through unexamined assumptions and stereotypes, ignorance or insensitivity, and the systemic legacy of past decisions and policies,” he added. “Race-based inequities in America’s health care, policing, education, and employment systems affect profoundly the lives of our staff, students, and faculty of color.”

Eisgruber continued: “Racist assumptions from the past also remain embedded in structures of the University itself. For example, Princeton inherits from earlier generations at least nine departments and programs organized around European languages and culture, but only a single, relatively small program in African studies.”

Now, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has taken Eisgruber at his word.

Late last week DeVos announced an investigation into whether Princeton, by Eisgruber’s own admission of past and ongoing “systemic racism,” violated anti-discrimination provisions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The law specifically bans federal funding for institutions that engage in such behavior.

The Education Department, as first reported by The Washington Examiner, sent Eisgruber a letter noting: “Based on its admitted racism, the U.S. Department of Education (‘Department’) is concerned Princeton’s nondiscrimination and equal opportunity assurances in its Program Participation Agreements from at least 2013 to the present may have been false. 

“The Department is further concerned,” the letter continued, “Princeton perhaps knew, or should have known, these assurances were false at the time they were made. Finally, the Department is further concerned Princeton’s many nondiscrimination and equal opportunity claims to students, parents, and consumers in the market for education certificates may have been false, misleading, and actionable substantial misrepresentations in violation” of federal law.

The letter points out that Eisgruber became Princeton’s president in 2013, and since then the school has received $75 million in federal funding. In addition to producing reams of records, he must also give testimony under oath.  

“Based on the facts,” the letter notes, “the Secretary of Education may consider measures against Princeton for false Program Participation Agreement nondiscrimination assurances, including an action to recover funds.”

We’ll see if Princeton has to put its money where Eisgruber’s mouth is.  

PHOTO: Getty Images

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