History course attributes GOP affirmative action stance to racism

Anthony Gockowski
Investigative Reporter

Total Shares

  • An American history course at Millersville University teaches that Republicans opposed affirmative action in the 1990’s “chiefly” because they considered it “discrimination against white people.”
  • Both the 1992 and 1996 Republican Party platforms, however, explicitly frame the position in terms of a philosophical belief in individual rights and non-discrimination.
  • An American history course at Millersville University teaches that Republicans opposed affirmative action in the 1990’s “chiefly” out of a desire to preserve white privilege.

    A screenshot of an online assignment offered in the course, which was obtained by Campus Reform, prompts students to address the reasons why “Republicans spoke out against affirmative action” in the 1990s, listing four potential responses, including claims that “the government should not engage in social engineering” and that “helping minorities was costing too much money.”

    “We will attain our nation's goal of equal rights without quotas or other forms of preferential treatment.”   

    [RELATED: POLL: Even minorities oppose affirmative action]

    Apparently, though, Republicans challenged affirmative action policies “chiefly on the grounds that...it was discrimination against white people,” according to a screenshot of the assignment.

    One anonymous student selected an alternative response, answering that the GOP opposed affirmative action primarily due to the party’s philosophical opposition to “social engineering,” provoking the online quiz to declare that “your answer is incorrect.”

    The 1996 Republican Party Platform, however, makes an explicitly philosophical case against any form of discrimination, rooting that stance in the party’s fundamental belief in individual rights.

    “The sole source of equal opportunity for all is equality before the law...Because we believe rights inhere in individuals, not in groups, we will attain our nation's goal of equal rights without quotas or other forms of preferential treatment,” the platform declares. “We scorn Bill Clinton's notion that any person should be denied a job, promotion, contract or a chance at higher education because of their race or gender.”

    The 1992 Platform employs nearly identical language, saying they “reject efforts to replace equal rights with quotas or other preferential treatment.”

    Students taking the quiz were allowed to utilize a “challenge answer” function, but the platform indicated that of the 51 students who had answered the question within the last month, none had exercised the option.

    [RELATED: Textbook claims American exceptionalism has racist overtones]

    The course, called “Contours of U.S. History,” is required for all history majors at the school and also fulfills the “G3” component of Millersville’s general education requirement.

    Currently, “Contours of U.S. History” is taught by Professor Tracey Weis, who also teaches other courses on “Afro-American History” and “Women in U.S. History,” but she did not respond to Campus Reform’s requests for comment.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski



    Anthony Gockowski

    Anthony Gockowski

    Investigative Reporter

    Anthony Gockowski is an Investigative Reporter for Campus Reform. He has previously worked for The Daily Caller, Intercollegiate Review, and The Catholic Spirit.

    More By Anthony Gockowski

    Latest 20 Articles