Breitbart.com technology editor Milo Yiannopoulos has announced the creation of a controversial race and gender-based scholarship.
According to the website, the Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant is a scholarship offered exclusively to white males “who wish to pursue their post-secondary education on equal footing with their female, queer and ethnic minority classmates.”
An American attorney spoke with Joseph Bernstein for Buzzfeed on the subject. Asking that his identity remain anonymous, the lawyer said he had been researching the legality of the fund for Yiannopoulos and that the scholarship is indeed a real thing.
The first round of $2,500 grants will be available for the 2016 school year will come from a pool that Yiannopoulos hopes will reach $125,000. He plans on offering a total of 50 grants. Yiannopoulos will make the initial donation of $25,000 himself with the remainder of the funds coming from private donors who he would not name, although he did allude that one of the first donors is among the “very famous rappers, novelists, politicians [who] are all fans of mine on the DL.”
The grants will not only offer students the financial ability to attend college but also create a network between prospective students and mentors as well as between students and their peers. Advocacy work is currently being undertaken by the founders of the grant, who also plan to release policy or research papers based on the results of the scholarship program, writes William Bigelow for Breitbart.
Yiannopoulos said he first thought of the scholarship last month “as something that would wind up social justice warriors.” He added that “all of my very best ideas start as mischievous jokes because they will wind up the right people.”
He went on to say that in 2015, males counted for less than half of the American student population. With a number of high-profile scholarships in existence for minority students, he felt that the Privilege Grant would offer white males the push they need to get them into college, arguing that he is attempting to level the playing field for white males, who he called underprivileged, adding that the group is “suffering.”
Meanwhile, a 2011 paper by financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz argues that Caucasian students receive close to three times more merit-based grants and private scholarships than minority students do.
Kantrowitz mentioned a number of scholarships only available to white students, including the Former Majority Association for Equality and the United Caucasian Scholarship Fund. However, he does conclude the paper by saying that such scholarship programs do not typically last more than a few years.
Yiannopoulos maintains that there will be no testing of race or gender to determine eligibility, and that the scholarships will be based on need and merit. “I don’t think we’re going to be hugely policing people’s skin color or demanding DNA samples. If people apply to us and they consider themselves white, that’s OK. Statistics tend to rely on self-identification.”
The application process will begin later this year with plans to expand the scholarship opportunity outside of the United States.