The No-White Men Allowed MBA Programs: An Ethics Inquiry

I was considering making this an ethics quiz, but it would be too easy: of course graduate programs that practice gender and racial discrimination in admission are unethical, though the dead-ethics alarms administrators who approve such monstrosities apparently don’t think so. Thus this is an inquiry into who, what, when, and why, all addressing the question of how this could happen?

Perhaps I should rephrase that slightly: How the hell could this happen?

Yum! Brands, which owns Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC, operated a franchise owner training and business degree program at two universities, the University of Louisville (where Jack Marshall Sr. attended college until he transferred) and Howard University. The Yum! Franchise Accelerator MBA was limited, according to its materials, to “underrepresented people of color and women.” Following a federal investigation, the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education announced in a letter last week that the two universities had agreed to make the “Yum! Franchise Accelerator Fellowship is open to all eligible students regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age.”

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbid discrimination on the basis of race at institutions that receive federal funding. Did the two institutions miss it? It was in all the papers. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 forbids discrimination on the basis of sex. This, I thought, was also rather well-publicized. Not enough, apparently.

And yet here we are, or were.

Question #1: “What’s going on here?” Did the two universities really think this was OK, because the right people were being discriminated against? Did they assume that because the Biden Administration has reveled in racial and gender discrimination in so many ways already, this would be shrugged off as just one more virtuous “diversity, equity and )inclusion” initiative? Do they (and others like them in universities all over the nation really think there is good discrimination on the basis of race and gender?

Question #2: How did the universities reach this crazy decision? Did they not consult any lawyers? What competent lawyer would not say, “Uh, folks? This is illegal. Sorry!” within seconds of looking at the criteria for entering the program?

Question #3: WHY did they do this, or attempt to? Was it just to get money from Yum! Brands? ( The Marshall family will henceforth boycott the products of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, as we do not patronize unequivocally racist and sexist corporations whose activities show prejudice against the groups of which we are involuntary members.)

Question #4: WHO are these people? Are they racists? Are they Black Lives Matter supporters who feel it necessary to show that for the foreseeable future black lives must matter more than white lives? Do they have a satisfactory explanation, and if they don’t—and there isn’t one–will they be kicked to the curb, or do the alums of these schools favor illegal discrimination as long as it’s aimed at the groups that deserve to be discriminated against?

Question #5: WHEN did the American Left suddenly abandon the principles of equal treatment and fairness? When did the ringing language of Brown v. Board of Education“the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal”—become less than a cornerstone of our educational philosophy and something to be parsed and stepped around by…progressives? After all, that opinion was about public schools, and specified facilities, not programs. (Isn’t it remarkable that the intercession of the DOE would be necessary while Democrats are fearmongering that a conservative Supreme Court might overrule Brown?)

I don’t understand.


9 thoughts on “The No-White Men Allowed MBA Programs: An Ethics Inquiry

  1. It kind of makes you wonder what all these highly paid, professional university administrators are doing to earn their keep.

  2. After reading ‘Recessional’ by David Mamet, he speaks to this very subject. His opinion is that as long as this non-democratic, anarchistic group will be appeased, they will never stop.

  3. (5). It was well established by the time I started college in the late-80’s. My state school had racially segregated minority ‘lounges’ and events. Male students were not allowed to speak in some classes so the women wouldn’t be intimidated.
    (1-4) The better question is “Why do they think they can get away with this?” The answer is “Because they did.” How much a was this school fined? How many administrators were fired and lost their pensions? All the school’s legal fees were paid by the taxpayer. If the school does this again next year, what will happen? The court will tell them especially sternly not to do this again.

  4. I take a cynical position. No doubt the lawyers told them it would be struck down by the courts, but they figured, “What the heck — we’ll ride that pony until they tell us to get off.”

    YUM! brands has always been vulnerable to attacks from the Left. KFC’s founder Colonel Harlan Sanders was a man of his time, and vulnerable like so many to charges of racism and bigotry. KFC has always been sensitive to this, and by extension, the associated other brands of YUM!.

    Especially since former CEO of Papa John’s Pizza, John Schnatter, was caught merely talking about the n-word and railroaded out of town, KFC-YUM! has been falling all over itself to show how virtuous they are, from absurd support for BLM to this debacle. Their 2020 press releases might be mistaken for that of the DNC when it comes to kowtowing to the Left.

    How can this happen? Fear. Fear of what happened to another local franchise operator, and fear of the mob. Yes, they knew it would eventually get invalidated by the courts, but they got their money’s worth of virtue signalling and (temporary, trust me!) mob goodwill out of it.

    U of L was just happy to have the money, and the discrimination aspect of it bothered them not at all — a more race industry-friendly university does not exist, although the University of Kentucky, in typical fashion, tries hard to keep up.

    • Here is a question. How many white people will EVER apply to this program knowing they aren’t wanted? The restriction may have been struck down, but the faculty are still there who agreed to this and who will be hostile to any white students. White students should not expect favorable grades or letters of recommendation, making this program segregated no matter what the court says. Unless the court is willing to ban the entire program or fine the school massively, the school got its way.

      • Probably none. Generally speaking, young adults today (from what I have seen) don’t want to risk being ostracized for breaking a “taboo” even if it’s the equivalent of self-censorship.

        • It isn’t just young adults. Anyone with half a brain would avoid that. Because of grade inflation, grades are meaningless. The reputation of your institution and your letters of recommendation are the only thing that backs your degree. If the program has said you will not get a good recommendation because of the color of your skin, that program is just wasted time and money.

  5. A little bit of industry perspective here: Yum! was originally “Tricon Global Restaurants, Inc.”, which is a “spin-off” corporation, formerly the fast food division of Pepsico. They aren’t technically a subsidiary, but they have a couple of life-long contracts that indebt them to Pepsico, which is why all of Yum!’s restaurants serve Pepsi products (except A&W, because A&W root beer is technically a Coke product, but they have a dispensation for obvious reasons), and the major shareholders are basically identical.

    Cards on the table: Coke has been a whole lot more overt about their involvement in America’s culture wars than Pepsi, but they’re both neck deep. If you choose to boycott, at least you’ll probably be healthier without sugary sodas.

    • Indeed. And no doubt, your carry-over point is a good one. Such arrangements are always incestuous as hell.

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