The logic and legal reasoning underlying the American Civil Liberty Union’s current bit of woke grandstanding is profoundly depressing. These people are lawyers. This is the caliber of legal minds we are supposed to trust to protect the Bill of Rights?
Central Michigan University eliminated its men’s track and field team. It shouldn’t matter why, but in its announcement of the move in May of 2020, the school cited budget concerns in the midst of the pandemic lockdown. This seems reasonable; when funds are tight, colleges should be spending money on education rather than sports. The controversy was launched when CMU decided this year to add a men’s golf program.
The decision, the ACLU of Michigan decided, was racist in light of the fate of track and field. In one letter, the organization protested that track and field was crucial to the Black community because it has “offered many a way out of oppressive poverty.”
I’d like to see the data on that.
Then the ACLU wrote the university president on September 16 that golf, in contrast, was a “white sport.” “Country clubs that have been the training grounds for elite golfers have historically been racially exclusive,” the letter states. “Add to that the expense of the sport and the socio-economic circumstances of many African Americans, and the reasons for the whiteness of golf are quite evident.”
So having golf available to all students regardless of race on an integrated campus is discriminatory how, exactly? Isn’t this a strange argument to be making when the best-known and most successful golfer of his generation, Tiger Woods, is black? There already was a women’s golf program, which the ACLU never found objectionable. Diversity and inclusion? Quick, name a prominent black female golfer.
If the argument being made is “If a sport excluded blacks once, its a racist sport forever,” why didn’t the ACLU object to CMU’s baseball program? Can whites object to the basketball program on basis of its being an overwhelmingly black sport today?
The ACLU appears to be saber-rattling and virtue-signaling here, as well as race-baiting. It must know that even in its most loony interpretations, a “disparate impact” claim would be laughed out of court. The group is apparently counting on the threat of being called “racist” being enough to cow university administrators into marching to the ACLU’s tune, and who knows? Given the weenie domination of most college administrations, it might work.
The downside for the ACLU is that this is one more embarrassing episode demonstrating how far the organization has fallen in integrity and seriousness.