People used to talk about “resistance” to President Donald Trump. That’s old hat. Now it’s resistance to the woke.
And we’re seeing more and more of that resistance. University of Michigan economics professor Mark J. Perry is working with numerous folks across the nation to file equal-opportunity complaints with the federal Department of Education when colleges and universities discriminate on the basis of race and sex.
Perry recounts that in three years of research, he’s found more than 1,200 Title IX and Title VI violations — and continues to uncover more. “The significant and troubling frequency of violations of federal civil rights laws in higher education demonstrates unaddressed systemic sexism and racism that needs greater awareness, exposure and legal challenges,” he writes.
“Typical and frequent” Title IX violations “that have gone unchallenged for many decades,” he says, include “female-only scholarships, fellowships, awards, study spaces, mentoring, tutoring, special freshman orientations, industry meetings, summer STEM programs, summer STEM camps, coding clubs, leadership programs, entrepreneurship programs, gym hours, etc. that operate exclusively for women while illegally excluding and discriminating against boys and men.”
Perry says that “racially segregated or racially preferential” programs and events that violate Title VI have also “become increasingly common in higher education.”
So far, he reports, the federal government has opened 218 investigations against offending schools, and 133 have been resolved in his favor. More are on the way. And even the schools that escape punishment may think twice before doing this sort of thing again.
Perry, by the way, invites people to contact him if they’d like help filing their own complaints.
Professors are suing, too. With help from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Michael Phillips, a historian at Texas’ Collin College, is suing his employer for trying to discipline him over Facebook posts critical of university policy. He’s the third Collin College professor to sue over what he calls an “atmosphere of terror.”
The proper response to an atmosphere of terror is, of course, to stand up to it. And he is.
And the American Civil Rights Project successfully forced Coca-Cola’s general counsel’s office to stop an openly discriminatory and illegal program of racial quotas. Coke had said it would only hire outside law firms that met its standards for racial makeup. Law firms doing business with Coke were supposed to present quarterly reports on the racial background of the attorneys doing Coke’s legal work — and risk losing the account if the numbers didn’t reach the quotas.
This was clearly illegal race discrimination barred by 42 US Code Section 1981 as well as other anti-discrimination laws. As the ACR Project’s Dan Morenoff put it, “It’s amazing that neither the general counsel of a large corporation like Coke, nor the large, prominent law firms the policy involved, seem to have considered its direct conflict with American civil rights laws. It’s even more amazing that so many other sophisticated American corporations have similarly disregarded obvious legal problems to adopt comparably ‘woke’ policies.”
After pressure from ACR, Coke backed down and ended the program (after claiming the loudly proclaimed policy was never really policy at all). Now ACR is writing other major corporations with similar policies — Starbucks, McDonald’s and Novartis AB — demanding that they stop the illegal discrimination too. The group is also in negotiations with Lowe’s Companies about illegal racial preferences in promotion.
Meanwhile, Nathaniel Hiers, who was fired over his criticisms of the University of North Texas’ “microaggressions” policy, is suing and won an important victory when a US District Court held that university officials could be made personally liable for the firing. They should have known that firing a professor for his speech on issues of public concern was a First Amendment violation and thus won’t be allowed to claim “good faith” immunity. A few months ago, the US Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit found University of Iowa officials personally liable for discriminating against a student religious group on similar grounds.
More lawsuits and administrative complaints are likely on the way, with similar outcomes: There’s a lot of low-hanging fruit there. Most corporate and academic officials seem to think the law doesn’t apply so long as they’re politically correct. Time for them to learn otherwise.
Glenn Harlan Reynolds is a professor of law at the University of Tennessee and founder of the InstaPundit.com blog.