Civil Rights Experts Challenge Google Fellowship’s Race-Based Requirements

A fellowship hosted by Big Tech giant Google is facing heavy legal criticism due to its use of racial quotas, which critics say are unconstitutional.

Newsbusters reports that the prestigious fellowship, which offers $100,000 to students pursuing their doctorate in computer studies, requires that a certain number of students nominated for the fellowship by their university must be non-White.

“If a university chooses to nominate more than two students, the third and fourth nominees must self-identify as a woman, Black / African descent, Hispanic / Latino / Latinx, Indigenous, and/or a person with a disability,” Google states on the page describing the fellowship.

“It is illegal for Google to enter into contracts based on race under the Civil Rights Act of 1866,” said attorney Adam Mortara, who has long been a critic of affirmative action policies. “And it is illegal for universities receiving federal funds to nominate students based on race under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.”

“The Google Fellowship program is a blatantly unlawful and immoral quota plan that pits students against one another by skin color and ethnic heritage,” said Edward Blum, the founder of Students for Fair Admissions. “Our nation’s enduring civil rights laws were passed to specifically forbid this type of racial discrimination.” Such requirements for nomination and admission, Blum added, simply “pits students against one another.”

Dan Morenoff, executive director of the American Civil Rights Project, said that “Google is using its pocket-book to incentivize America’s elite universities to violate Title VI. It’s using its financial support to directly counter Congress’s policy.”

Google issued a statement in response to the criticism, insisting that the rules for its fellowship are not in violation of any law.

“Like many companies, we actively encourage a broad range of individuals to apply to our PhD Fellowship program in order to attract the widest and most representative pool of applicants possible—this follows all relevant laws and is extremely common to do,” the statement read. “Selection for the fellowships is not based on demographics in any way. Fellows receive unrestricted funding for their studies, and if they are interested in working at Google, they are welcome to apply for jobs and go through the same hiring process as any other person.”

About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: Denis Chalet/AFP/Getty Images

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