Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Hoist Them On Their Own Petard, Betsy!

 

I’m a bit giddy with schadenfreude. It’s probably because I’m a nerd of a lawyer.

Betsy DeVos has been a terrific Secretary of Education. Yesterday, her department sent a letter to the President of Princeton about Princeton’s admission of racism. Here are some excerpts (citations omitted)

Since you became President in 2013, and in exchange for well over $75 million in federal Title IV taxpayer funds alone, Princeton University (“Princeton”) has repeatedly represented and warranted to the U.S. Department of Education (“Department”) Princeton’s compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 . . .. Title VI provides 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 assistance. Also, Princeton has made many material nondiscrimination and equal opportunity representations to students, parents, and consumers in the market for education certificates during this time.

On September 2, 2020, you admitted Princeton’s educational program is and for decades has been racist. Among other things, you said “[r]acism and the damage it does to people of color persist at Princeton . . .” and “[r]acist assumptions . . . remain embedded in structures of the University itself.” . . . Because of racism, you announced race-based “diversity” measures for hiring, procurement, teaching, fellowship, and research funding.

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 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 statute and regulation]. Therefore, the Department’s Office of Postsecondary Education, in consultation with the Department’s Office of the General Counsel, is opening this investigation.

. . .

Based on the facts, the Secretary of Education may consider measures against Princeton for false Program Participation Agreement nondiscrimination assurances, including an action to recover funds. Also, she may consider measures against Princeton for making substantial misrepresentations about the nature of its educational programs, including a fine proceeding. . . .

Wow.

So, your university is racist. Is it, Mr. Princeton President? Then your university lied to the federal government, lied to students, lied to parents, and lied to others, over and over again. Your university repeatedly violated the anti-discrimination law. Give us back all of that federal money, at least $75 million.

An article by the Washington Examiner, which includes the full letter, is here.

The letter demands voluminous records within 21 days, plus answers to written questions, plus the production of the President of Princeton and a corporate representative within 28 days for an interview under oath. A couple of the documents requests are just priceless (if you’re a nerd of a lawyer):

All records concerning, relating to, or referencing Princeton’s “systemic” and/or “embedded” racism, as those terms are used in the President’s Letter. The time frame for this request is January 1, 2013 to the present.

A spreadsheet identifying each person who has, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, been excluded from participation in, been denied the benefits of, or been subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance as a result of Princeton’s racism or “damage” referenced in the President’s Letter.

Then there’s this written question, which must be answered within 21 days:

The President’s Letter admits “Racism and the damage it does to people of color . . . persist(s) at Princeton” and racist assumptions “remain embedded in structures of the University itself.” Do these admissions mean Princeton’s nondiscrimination and equal opportunity assurances and representations to the Department and/or its students, parents, and consumers in the market for education certificates have been false and misleading? If not, why not?

Go Betsy! Strike first, strike hard, no mercy sir!

I hope that this is just the first of many such letters and investigations. I hope that the Department of Education is relentless in demanding refund of money and imposing fines for false statements.

BLM delenda est.

Published in Education
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  1. OldPhil Coolidge

    Ka boom!

    • #1
    • September 17, 2020, at 4:41 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  2. Arahant Member

    Schadenfreude! Schadenfreude! 
    Makes the whole world less annoyed.

    • #2
    • September 17, 2020, at 4:41 PM PDT
    • 18 likes
  3. Full Size Tabby Member

    This could be fun to watch!

    I’m sure a bunch of universities, government-funded social service agencies, and other entities have made this summer similar “we’re all irredeemably racist” statements pandering to the “woke” mob, statements that deserve comparison to the nondiscrimination statements as part of the contracting process.

    When pandering to an audience (in this case the “woke” mob), one should at least remember what one said while pandering to a prior audience (government bureaucrats).

    • #3
    • September 17, 2020, at 4:55 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  4. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White MaleJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This by itself is an argument for re-electing Trump – this lawsuit has to keep going beyond Jan 20th.

     

    Because you know it gets dropped day one in a Harris-Biden administration.

    • #4
    • September 17, 2020, at 5:22 PM PDT
    • 24 likes
  5. Saint Augustine Member

    Pardon me for being ignorant, I guess. But I want this to be more than just trollery, and I don’t understand what more it is exactly.

    As trollery goes, it would be magnificent. Super-hilarious and well-deserved. Rich, dark covfefe!

    • #5
    • September 17, 2020, at 5:36 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  6. The Cynthonian Member

    Go, Betsy, go!!!

    She needs to pursue this with the entire Ivy League and then work her way through the state universities. Better hire more investigators! (You want this gig, @arizonapatriot, I know you do! You can clean up the 3 major AZ state universities.)

    • #6
    • September 17, 2020, at 5:38 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  7. Arahant Member

    The Cynthonian (View Comment):
    Better hire more investigators!

    And expand the Education Department’s SWAT Team.

    • #7
    • September 17, 2020, at 5:40 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  8. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Made my day. That is the best thing I’ve read in a while. Go Betsy!

    • #8
    • September 17, 2020, at 5:41 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  9. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    The Cynthonian (View Comment):

    Go, Betsy, go!!!

    She needs to pursue this with the entire Ivy League and then work her way through the state universities. Better hire more investigators! (You want this gig, @arizonapatriot, I know you do! You can clean up the 3 major AZ state universities.)

    Interesting idea. There’s a federal false claims statute called the qui tam law that allows a private plaintiff to assert a federal claim, if the feds don’t proceed after receiving notice. I’m not sure if this would fit in the qui tam category.

    • #9
    • September 17, 2020, at 5:41 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  10. Arahant Member

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Pardon me for being ignorant, I guess. But I want this to be more than just trollery, and I don’t understand what more it is exactly.

    As trollery goes, it would be magnificent. Super-hilarious and well-deserved. Rich, dark covfefe!

    The Princeton President’s letter implies that several laws were broken in certifications done by the Federal Government and that civil rights violations may have occurred. Why would the DoEd investigate?

    • #10
    • September 17, 2020, at 5:41 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Pardon me for being ignorant, I guess. But I want this to be more than just trollery, and I don’t understand what more it is exactly.

    As trollery goes, it would be magnificent. Super-hilarious and well-deserved. Rich, dark covfefe!

    The Princeton President’s letter implies that several laws were broken in certifications done by the Federal Government and that civil rights violations may have occurred. Why would the DoEd investigate?

    The certifications were part of money from the DoEd. 

    • #11
    • September 17, 2020, at 5:51 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  12. PHCheese Member

    Aren’t we all some color or another?. So any deviation form specific requirements for anyone of any color would be discriminatory.

    • #12
    • September 17, 2020, at 5:53 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    Pardon me for being ignorant, I guess. But I want this to be more than just trollery, and I don’t understand what more it is exactly.

    It might be trollery, but it will get the attention of every college in the country. They will be very careful about their virtue signaling in the future. In the end, Princeton has good lawyers and will be able to thread the needle.

    • #13
    • September 17, 2020, at 5:57 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  14. Saint Augustine Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Pardon me for being ignorant, I guess. But I want this to be more than just trollery, and I don’t understand what more it is exactly.

    As trollery goes, it would be magnificent. Super-hilarious and well-deserved. Rich, dark covfefe!

    The Princeton President’s letter implies that several laws were broken in certifications done by the Federal Government and that civil rights violations may have occurred. Why would the DoEd investigate?

    Was the Princeton President’s letter even trying to describe any actual facts? Or was it just leftist gobbledygook used to push society leftward?

    If the point is merely to call out the leftists on their spouting idiotic ideology, I’m not sure how that’s different from trollery.

    On the other hand, maybe it’s actual philosophy. Maybe it’s something along the lines of “Your publicly uttered words actually mean something, and they entail that you’ve broken some laws; therefore you have publicly confessed to crimes. So please go ahead and fill us in on the details.”

    Trollish covfefe I can enjoy, and maybe even support. Good philosophy I can enjoy, and unambiguously approve of. I think I can understand both of those things.

    But I don’t understand what else this is in terms of law. Is there some legal aspect to this I’m missing entirely? (Maybe I’m trying too hard; maybe it doesn’t even need to be anything else!)

    • #14
    • September 17, 2020, at 6:01 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. Arahant Member

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    On the other hand, maybe it’s actual philosophy. Maybe it’s something along the lines of “Your publicly uttered words actually mean something, and they entail that you’ve broken some laws; therefore you have publicly confessed to crimes. So please go ahead and fill us in on the details.”

    Let’s go with this.

    • #15
    • September 17, 2020, at 6:03 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  16. Saint Augustine Member

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    Pardon me for being ignorant, I guess. But I want this to be more than just trollery, and I don’t understand what more it is exactly.

    It might be trollery, but it will get the attention of every college in the country. They will be very careful about their virtue signaling in the future. In the end, Princeton has good lawyers and will be able to thread the needle.

    Ah, so . . . as a legal move it warns universities to not spout so much leftist ideology because they might get in trouble with the feds if they join in the BLM “We’re racist too!” craze.

    • #16
    • September 17, 2020, at 6:04 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  17. The Cynthonian Member

    @saintaugustine,I would understand the legal issue as: the university certified itself as compliant with the relevant Title VI provisions, on which federal funding was contingent. If that certification is found to be a misrepresentation or falsification, then the DoE has grounds to demand a refund of the federal taxpayer dollars provided under the umbrella of that certification, plus any statutory financial penalties. 

    Have I summarized the legal issue correctly, @arizonapatriot?

     

    • #17
    • September 17, 2020, at 6:12 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  18. Nohaaj Coolidge

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Aren’t we all some color or another?. So any deviation form specific requirements for anyone of any color would be discriminatory.

    Your icon picture makes me think you are kinda cheesy orange. Not that there is anything wrong with that, ask our President… 

     

    • #18
    • September 17, 2020, at 6:13 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    The Cynthonian (View Comment):

    @saintaugustine,I would understand the legal issue as: the university certified itself as compliant with the relevant Title VI provisions, on which federal funding was contingent. If that certification is found to be a misrepresentation or falsification, then the DoE has grounds to demand a refund of the federal taxpayer dollars provided under the umbrella of that certification, plus any statutory financial penalties.

    Have I summarized the legal issue correctly, @arizonapatriot?

     

    That seems to be the idea. I haven’t reviewed the statutes and regulations involved.

    • #19
    • September 17, 2020, at 6:19 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  20. Saint Augustine Member

    The Cynthonian (View Comment):

    @saintaugustine,I would understand the legal issue as: the university certified itself as compliant with the relevant Title VI provisions, on which federal funding was contingent. If that certification is found to be a misrepresentation or falsification, then the DoE has grounds to demand a refund of the federal taxpayer dollars provided under the umbrella of that certification, plus any statutory financial penalties.

    Have I summarized the legal issue correctly, @arizonapatriot?

    But finding it to be false comes entirely from a leftist ideology screed that wasn’t even meant to describe any actual facts. Or do I understand the situation of the Pr. President’s letter incorrectly?

    I’m happy calling them on their nonsense, though: It wasn’t meant to describe facts, but words still have meaning, and you’ve incriminated yourselves, you silly university leftists!

    Maybe I just have a hard time thinking of that as a law thing. It seems like philosophy.

    But then–why should it be philosophy? Call a philosopher if you need it explained in detail. Law should be able to work with the ordinary meaning of English words. Maybe I should shut up!

    • #20
    • September 17, 2020, at 6:19 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Pardon me for being ignorant, I guess. But I want this to be more than just trollery, and I don’t understand what more it is exactly.

    As trollery goes, it would be magnificent. Super-hilarious and well-deserved. Rich, dark covfefe!

    The Princeton President’s letter implies that several laws were broken in certifications done by the Federal Government and that civil rights violations may have occurred. Why would the DoEd investigate?

    Was the Princeton President’s letter even trying to describe any actual facts? Or was it just leftist gobbledygook used to push society leftward?

    If the point is merely to call out the leftists on their spouting idiotic ideology, I’m not sure how that’s different from trollery.

    On the other hand, maybe it’s actual philosophy. Maybe it’s something along the lines of “Your publicly uttered words actually mean something, and they entail that you’ve broken some laws; therefore you have publicly confessed to crimes. So please go ahead and fill us in on the details.”

    Trollish covfefe I can enjoy, and maybe even support. Good philosophy I can enjoy, and unambiguously approve of. I think I can understand both of those things.

    But I don’t understand what else this is in terms of law. Is there some legal aspect to this I’m missing entirely? (Maybe I’m trying too hard; maybe it doesn’t even need to be anything else!)

    It makes for an easy legal case.

    The DOEd alleges that Princeton is racially discriminatory. The evidence is the admission of the president of Princeton that this is true. Princeton then has to rebut this. Good luck with that. Apparently, the possible sanctions include recovery of federal funds previously paid, and possible fines for misrepresentations to students, parents, and (unspecified) others.

    It’s like bringing a wrongful death case, based on the defendant’s public confession of the killing.

    • #21
    • September 17, 2020, at 6:21 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  22. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Aren’t we all some color or another?. So any deviation form specific requirements for anyone of any color would be discriminatory.

    Some colors are more equal than others, apparently.

    White isn’t a color. White is the absence of color. White is a hideous nullity, like a fish belly, especially if the fish is rotten and smelly. At least, this seems to be the theory put forward by people like Kendi and DiAngelo. Maybe I’m not clever enough to understand the nuance of their position.

    • #22
    • September 17, 2020, at 6:25 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  23. Saint Augustine Member

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    The evidence is the admission of the president of Princeton that this is true.

    I think my puzzlement stems from an idea that they never meant it when they admitted it.

    But then–if that’s what the words mean, they must have admitted it, whether they meant it or not.

    • #23
    • September 17, 2020, at 6:25 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. The Cynthonian Member

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    The evidence is the admission of the president of Princeton that this is true.

    I think my puzzlement stems from an idea that they never meant it when they admitted it.

    But then–if that’s what the words mean, they must have admitted it, whether they meant it or not.

    The president of the university is a public figure. What he or she publicly announces is not supposed to be a joke. His words are to be taken seriously. If he can’t figure that out, or thought the DoE would wink at it, then he failed to understand the current climate in higher education.

    ETA: you know, this makes me think about all the corporations who make public statements about non-discrimination in hiring when they’re recruiting. If they have now gone woke and confessed to “systemic racism,” or some similar woke thoughtcrime, then the plaintiff’s bar could have a field day with them…….

    • #24
    • September 17, 2020, at 6:29 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  25. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White MaleJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Pardon me for being ignorant, I guess. But I want this to be more than just trollery, and I don’t understand what more it is exactly.

    As trollery goes, it would be magnificent. Super-hilarious and well-deserved. Rich, dark covfefe!

    The Princeton President’s letter implies that several laws were broken in certifications done by the Federal Government and that civil rights violations may have occurred. Why would the DoEd investigate?

    Was the Princeton President’s letter even trying to describe any actual facts? Or was it just leftist gobbledygook used to push society leftward?

    If the point is merely to call out the leftists on their spouting idiotic ideology, I’m not sure how that’s different from trollery.

    On the other hand, maybe it’s actual philosophy. Maybe it’s something along the lines of “Your publicly uttered words actually mean something, and they entail that you’ve broken some laws; therefore you have publicly confessed to crimes. So please go ahead and fill us in on the details.”

    Trollish covfefe I can enjoy, and maybe even support. Good philosophy I can enjoy, and unambiguously approve of. I think I can understand both of those things.

    But I don’t understand what else this is in terms of law. Is there some legal aspect to this I’m missing entirely? (Maybe I’m trying too hard; maybe it doesn’t even need to be anything else!)

    Seems like the options are:

    1: “Yes we actually are ‘systemically racist’ ” [in which case they’re in trouble legally]

    or

    2: ” ‘Systemic racism’ isn’t real racism”. Which would be a great precedent to have on the books.

    • #25
    • September 17, 2020, at 6:53 PM PDT
    • 18 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  26. EB Thatcher

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    Maybe I just have a hard time thinking of that as a law thing. It seems like philosophy.

    If you affirm to the government that you are not discriminating and therefore receive (in just the last 7 years, the term of this current Princeton president) over $75 MILLION …. and then this same president publishes an open letter saying – we have been discriminating….then, yeah, you need to give the money back. And maybe get in trouble for lying on federal forms.

    • #26
    • September 17, 2020, at 7:09 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  27. Seawriter Contributor

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Seems like the options are:

    1: “Yes we actually are ‘systemically racist’ ” [in which case they’re in trouble legally]

    or

    2: ” ‘Systemic racism’ isn’t real racism”. Which would be a great precedent to have on the books.

    Nailed it. They either have to back away from their systemic racist bilge or lose Federal funds and repay those they already received.

    • #27
    • September 17, 2020, at 7:12 PM PDT
    • 16 likes
  28. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White MaleJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Seems like the options are:

    1: “Yes we actually are ‘systemically racist’ ” [in which case they’re in trouble legally]

    or

    2: ” ‘Systemic racism’ isn’t real racism”. Which would be a great precedent to have on the books.

    Nailed it. They either have to back away from their systemic racist bilge or lose Federal funds and repay those they already received.

    As I put it on another thread (or maybe earlier in this thread – I’m not going to go back and check)

    “No, you misunderstand. We didn’t mean the illegal kind of racism. We meant the ‘White people are bad’ kind of racism.”

     

    • #28
    • September 17, 2020, at 7:21 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  29. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    There’s actually a Bible story about this sort of false confession, in the Old Testament. In 2 Samuel 1, a man came to David from the battlefield on Mount Gilboa to report the death of King Saul and his son Jonathan. Seeking to curry favor with David, the man falsely claimed to have killed Saul (at Saul’s request). In fact, Saul had killed himself. The messenger didn’t get the reward that he expected:

    Then David said to the young man who brought him the report, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” “I happened to be on Mount Gilboa,” the young man said, “and there was Saul, leaning on his spear, with the chariots and their drivers in hot pursuit. When he turned around and saw me, he called out to me, and I said, ‘What can I do?’

    “He asked me, ‘Who are you?’ “ ‘An Amalekite,’ I answered. “Then he said to me, ‘Stand here by me and kill me! I’m in the throes of death, but I’m still alive.’

    “So I stood beside him and killed him, because I knew that after he had fallen he could not survive. And I took the crown that was on his head and the band on his arm and have brought them here to my lord.”

    Then David and all the men with him took hold of their clothes and tore them. They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the Lord and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

    David said to the young man who brought him the report, “Where are you from?” “I am the son of a foreigner, an Amalekite,” he answered.

    David asked him, “Why weren’t you afraid to lift your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?”

    Then David called one of his men and said, “Go, strike him down!” So he struck him down, and he died. For David had said to him, “Your blood be on your own head. Your own mouth testified against you when you said, ‘I killed the Lord’s anointed.’ ”

    • #29
    • September 17, 2020, at 7:26 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  30. Dave of Barsham Member

    (cribbed from my comment in the PIT)

    Devos: “Wow, you’re systematically racist? This is a confession? Ok, Susan, call the Justice Department…”

    Princeton:

    • #30
    • September 17, 2020, at 7:34 PM PDT
    • 8 likes