Google is setting strict caps on the number of white and Asian students that universities can nominate for a prestigious fellowship program, a policy legal experts say likely violates civil rights law and could threaten the federal funding of nearly every elite university in the United States.
The Google Ph.D. Fellowship, which gives promising computer scientists nearly $100,000, allows each participating university — a group that includes most elite schools — to nominate four Ph.D. students annually. “If a university chooses to nominate more than two students,” Google says, “the third and fourth nominees must self-identify as a woman, Black / African descent, Hispanic / Latino / Latinx, Indigenous, and/or a person with a disability.”
That criterion, which an archived webpage shows has been in place since at least April 2020, is almost certainly illegal, civil rights lawyers told the Washington Free Beacon — both for Google and the universities. …
“The Google Fellowship program is a blatantly unlawful and immoral quota plan that pits students against one another by skin color and ethnic heritage,” said Edward Blum, the founder of Students for Fair Admissions. “Our nation’s enduring civil rights laws were passed to specifically forbid this type of racial discrimination.” …
Selective enforcement ensures Google won’t get busted:
The bet … is that “the feds won’t notice, won’t care, or won’t actually force the schools to choose between federal funding and Google’s.”
That assumption reflects the race-conscious consensus that has captured both private and public bureaucracies.
- Uber Eats in 2020 waived delivery fees for black-owned restaurants, only to scrap the policy after a lawsuit.
- In 2021, NASDAQ mandated racial quotas for all companies listed on its exchange, a rule now being challenged in the Fifth Circuit.
- And from New York to Utah to Minnesota, state public health departments have allocated scarce COVID-19 drugs based on race—even after lawyers informed them that their allocation schemes were illegal.
Those plans, like Google’s fellowship criteria, were all posted on public websites. No effort was made to hide them, suggesting that race-discriminaton — against certain groups, at least — is now the norm for many professionals.