Program for minority pilots violates federal civil rights laws, administrative complaint says

Program for minority pilots violates federal civil rights laws, administrative complaint says

A federal civil rights complaint says California Baptist University racially discriminates in collusion with Alaska Airlines, reports The College Fix.

Its joint “True North Program” excludes whites. It seeks to enlarge the number of racial minority pilots, enabling them to be hired by Alaska Airlines.

“True North was the first-of-its-kind pilot development program in the airline industry aimed at hiring racial and ethnic minority pilots,” said an Alaska Airlines spokesman. “Partnering with CBU — who has a strong reputation in the industry for its aviation science program — is just one way Alaska is working to increase the company’s racial diversity at all levels.”

The civil rights complaint says this program violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d).

The program’s exclusion of whites also appears to violate the federal law against racial discrimination in contracts — 42 U.S.C. 1981 — which the Supreme Court ruled is violated by racial exclusion of whites, in footnote 23 of its decision in Gratz v. Bollinger (2003). That Supreme Court ruling declared unlawful a racial quota in admissions that reduced the number of white and Asian students.

Mark Perry, professor emeritus at the University of Michigan, filed the civil rights complaint against the program with the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

“The University’s program only ‘supports minority aviation students at CBU,’ but illegally excludes and discriminates against non-minority students based on their race, color, or national origin,” says Perry’s complaint.

OCR has acknowledged receiving the complaint, but has yet to open an investigation.

The complaint said, “In violation of Title VI the University’s minority-only ‘joint venture in illegal discrimination’ with Alaska Airlines (and its True North Program) illegally excludes non-minority students and discriminates against them based on their race, color, or national origin. Please investigate the University for illegal discrimination based on race and ethnicity in violation of Title VI.”

Perry thinks it is more likely than not that OCR will launch an investigation and ultimately order the university to get rid of its racial exclusion of non-white students. “I fully expect that OCR will rule in my favor and force CBU and Alaska Airlines to stop their unlawful discrimination,” he says.

He said the university has two alternatives: It can either end the program, or open it up to all racial categories in order to make it legal.

Perry says schools “frequently accept external funding that requires them to engage in illegal discrimination without doing their due diligence and conducting a proper legal review to ensure that a scholarship or program isn’t an unlawful violation of federal civil rights laws.”

He notes that college officials “aren’t even aware that discriminatory programs like True North are unlawful because that type of illegal discrimination is so widespread and systemic throughout higher education.”

LU Staff

LU Staff

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