The seemingly neverending story about white people trying to prove they are victims of so-called reverse racism had its latest chapter written in Texas, where a college professor sued his employer for recruiting “underrepresented” racial groups to help diversify its faculty.
How dare they!
At least, that’s apparently how Richard Lowery — a suspected MAGA sympathizer — feels since the finance professor at the University of Texas’ main campus in Austin filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the Texas A&M University System, its board of regents as well as several high-ranking university officials, the Texas Tribune reported.
The lawsuit, filed Saturday, specifically takes issue with a Texas A&M fellowship program that seeks “mid-career and senior tenure-track hires from underrepresented minority groups,” according to a description online.
“Professor Lowery sues on behalf of a class of all white and Asian men who stand ‘able and ready’ to apply for faculty appointments at Texas A&M,” the lawsuit says in part.
Because Texas A&M’s Accountability, Climate, Equity, and Scholarship (ACES) Faculty Fellows Program does not specifically name white people among the groups it recruits, Lowery’s lawsuit also claims the university’s “proclaimed goal of establishing a faculty whose racial composition attains ‘parity with that of the state of Texas’ seeks to achieve racial balancing, which is flatly illegal under Title VI and the binding precedent of the Supreme Court.”
Title VI is, of course, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 law stating, “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
What is conveniently missing from Lowery’s lawsuit is how ultra-white the professors at Texas A&M already are. According to the university’s own data, nearly 55% of its 5,144 faculty were white as recently as last year. Out of that figure, just 180 — or fewer than 4% — were Black. Hispanic faculty members nearly doubled the number of Blacks but still accounted for just almost 7% of all Texas A&M faculty. Other data shows Asians account for less than 6% of Texas A&M’s faculty.
In other words, Lowery and the white men he is suing on behalf of are already extremely overrepresented in the Texas A&M University System.
So now you can understand why Texas A&M apparently felt the need to make a commitment to diversifying its faculty. Of course, “you” clearly doesn’t include Lowery.
Texas A&M all but shrugged at the weird flex of a lawsuit by calling it an “unusual job application when Mr. Lowery says in the lawsuit he is ‘able and ready’ to apply for a faculty appointment at Texas A&M. But our lawyers will review the lawsuit, confer with Texas A&M and take appropriate action as warranted.”
Oh, did we mention that Lowery is being represented by a group whose “primary purpose was to file lawsuits to block President Biden’s policies,” as Axios put it?
That’s right, Lowery’s lawyers come courtesy of America First Legal, which was formed three mo this after Donald Trump reluctantly left office. Its founder is Stephen Miller, Trump’s influential senior adviser widely identified as the architect of a racist immigration policy that President Joe Biden’s administration has slowly but surely been rolling back. America First Legal is representing Lowery alongside Jonathan Mitchell, a former solicitor general for Texas credited for the state’s six-week abortion ban.
The struggle for Black and brown university professors to get on a tenure track has been well documented by the high-profile likes of Dr. Cornel West — who ripped Harvard University for refusing to grant the coveted indefinite academic appointment to the famous academic — and Nikole Hannah-Jones, whose public dispute with the University of North Carolina prompted her to join the faculty at Howard University, a historically Black college.
According to statistics from the data-crunching website FiveThirtyEight, a small fraction of college professors who have secured tenure is Black and brown.
To be sure, Lowery’s is not the first so-called reverse racism lawsuit and if history is any indication it most certainly won’t be the last.
Just last year, a Michigan judge ruled against a discrimination lawsuit filed by white police officers who had their feelings hurt when a ranking officer said during a “fall forum” that the Michigan State Police department was “way too white and way too male.”
Like in Texas with Lowery, Michigan State Police had announced a diversity initiative aimed at increasing the number of qualified minorities, as well as women within the police department hiring pool. But after one of the officers who sued was demoted and another fired for violating policies related to the promotion process, they believed they had been retaliated against for opposing affirmative action policies which to them was discriminatory, their lawsuit said.
The judge ultimately dismissed the lawsuit because the scorned cops did not “demonstrate the reasons underlying their respective disciplines were a pretext for unlawful race and gender discrimination or that their discipline was retaliation for their complaints about the administration’s diversity policies.”
However, also last year, David Duvall was awarded $10 million after a federal jury in North Carolina agreed with his claims that his former employer fired him because he was a white male. In his lawsuit, Duvall claimed he was fired from his job in healthcare as senior vice president of marketing and communication because of the company’s efforts to diversify some of its top leadership positions.
Duvall was replaced by two women, one Black and one white. In the lawsuit, Duvall claimed his employer violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits race and gender discrimination in the workplace.
This is America.