We are continuing to pursue Missouri State U discrimination: “It’s not enough, when caught, to say ‘oops, sorry.’”
In response to prior challenge by Equal Protection Project, Missouri State U promised to open its business boot camp to all, but its president also was quoted as saying “Frankly, I still don’t think we did anything wrong.” So EPP now has filed a Civil Rights Complaint with the U.S. Dept. of Education.
As previously covered here, the Equal Protection Project (EqualProtect.org) of Legal Insurrection Foundation asked the Missouri Attorney General to investigate a business boot camp at Missouri State University that discriminated against white males, and only white males.
In reaction to substantial media coverage, MSU quickly told the media that it was changing the terms for future programs, and that future business boot camps would be open to everyone. We took that as a VICTORY – Missouri State U To Stop Discriminating Against White Males For ‘Business Boot Camp” After Equal Protection Project Complaint.
But in those public statements, MSU was not contrite and accepted no responsibility. To the contrary, MSU President Clif Smart was quoted as saying:
“Frankly, I still don’t think we did anything wrong … given that we have multiple cohorts of this going on and this was just one cohort that was limited. We won’t do that. We’ll do a better job on the marketing and information (and) dissemination side and review the process to make sure that everyone has a chance to participate, but we’re not going to exclude people.”
That sounds like MSU was upset for being caught, not for discriminating. While we were happy that the discriminatory program was changed, what good is a promise from a university that violated its own (and federal and state) anti-discrimination rules, when caught said it did nothing wrong, and appears only to have succumbed due to media attention? What will happen when the media attention fades?
So EPP felt more was needed. The Missouri Attorney General took no action, and would not even acknowledge to us that there would be an investigation. Both our first and second letters to the Missouri AG went without response.
So we have taken a next step to hold MSU responsible, by filing a Civil Rights Complaint with the Office of Civil Rights of The Department of Education (full Complaint at bottom of post). OCR has jurisdiction because MSU is a recipient of federal education funding.
Fox News Digital has covered the story:
A government watchdog organization on Friday filed a civil rights complaint against Missouri State University, A government watchdog organization on Friday filed a civil rights complaint against Missouri State University, alleging that the school’s business boot camp program illegally discriminated against white males.
The Equal Protection Project (EPP) said it was bringing the civil rights complaint against MSU for “engaging in racial- and gender-based discrimination through its sponsorship, promotion, and hosting of a small business training ‘boot camp’ that limited participation to individuals who identify as ‘BIOPOC’ … or are female. White males, and white males alone, were excluded from eligibility.” …
“The OCR should investigate this program and the circumstances under which such a blatantly discriminatory program was approved, take all appropriate action to end such discriminatory practices, and impose remedial relief,” EPP said….
After EPP filed a complaint to the Missouri Attorney General in April, MSU said the program would be offered to everyone “irrespective of their race and/or sex.” …
EPP founder William A. Jacobson said the change was a “good first step” but argued that MSU “needs to publicly and officially acknowledge its wrongdoing, and make clear what steps it will take to make amends to the people wrongly excluded based on race and sex.”
“Missouri State also needs to state whether there are any other segregated or discriminatory programs, what investigation it has done to identify such programs, and what specific steps it will take to prevent such misconduct,” Jacobson said in a statement.
“It’s not enough, when caught, to say ‘oops, sorry.’ Sunlight needs to shine on the nature of DEI activities at Missouri State, and how such a blatantly discriminatory program was allowed to happen in the first place.”
We will continue to pursue this matter, no matter how long it takes, to ensure that MSU lives up to its media promise as to the boot camp, and to the principle of non-discrimination in all its programming.
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