Moraine Valley Community College located in Palos Hills, Illinois is offering classes only available to African Americans. The courses are geared at making students feel more comfortable, but that decision is being called into question by students and parents.
College 101, a required course for all students focusing on diversity, has two sections limited to African American students. Blake Neff, reporting for the Daily Caller, noted that the federal title VI law prohibits racial discrimination in programs that receive federal funding.
"Jessica Crotty, assistant director of communications at Moraine, defended the separate sections of the course saying, "Sometimes we set aside sections for specific populations, including veterans and older students.""
The disconnect between the course's intended message and the way its being provided seems odd, notes Rob Shimshock reporting for Campus Reform. In a recent case, the mother of a student felt the segregation was out of place. She told the Chicago Tribune that "He wants to know why there are not two sections limited to Asian-American students? How about Native American students?"
This sort of segregation is not just relegated to one college. Earlier this year the University of Connecticut unveiled a plan to put 40 African American male undergraduates in one on-campus dorm. Leo Hohmann reports for WND that these voluntary segregation efforts are being met with criticism:
"Americans need to understand that this otherwise fringe ideology and extremism is now thoroughly embedded throughout the education system, from pre-k through university. Schools are no longer really doing what normal people understand as education or academics," says Alex Newman, co-author of "Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians are Using Government Schools to Destroy America's Children."
Some think this is merely a way to encourage people to draw upon shared experiences to improve learning. Margaret Lehner, vice president for institutional advancement at Moraine, is one such proponent.
The legality of the stance has been questioned by different authorities, writes Jon Street of The Blaze. Michael A. Olivas, acting president of the University of Houston Downtown, believes this is causing more trouble than it's worth and could possibly lead to a legal challenge.
Horace Cooper of Project 21, an initiative to promote the views of African-Americans whose views have not traditionally been echoed by the nation's civil rights establishment, finds these courses in line with Jim Crow laws. The actions will divide people along racial lines no matter the intent, he believes.
Cooper isn't alone in his comparison to outdated and racially recriminating laws. Carl Gallups, a popular author and radio host, finds this to be a blatant disregard of the Supreme Court's findings in the 1954 case of Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that separate but equal schooling was unacceptable.
"Wasn't their argument, which was ultimately deemed to be blatantly racist, exactly the same argument this university is now making in 2016? Of course it is. It appears this university has gone down the same road, perhaps with initial good intentions, but the same road nonetheless," says Gallups.
There are African American proponents of these sorts of views as well. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Black Student Movement called for the reinstatement of an African American only student lounge that used to exist, called the Upendo Lounge.