Google and IBM quietly backtrack on race-conscious exchanges in wake of Free Beacon reports

Google and IBM quietly backtrack after Free Washington Beacon reports that companies are limiting the number of white and Asian students universities can nominate for prestigious research grants, which required that half of each school’s applicants be from underrepresented minorities.

Both companies dropped the caps after lawyers told the Free tag that they probably violated civil rights laws. The scholarships, which provide graduate students with generous stipends and mentorship opportunities, still require schools to nominate a diverse pool of applicants, but no longer limit the number of whites and Asians who can apply.

Just two weeks ago, Google insisted on its nomination criteria for the Google PhD. The community was legal, describing them as ‘extremely common’ and saying they followed ‘all relevant laws’. Since then, however, the tech giant has replaced its diversity mandates with suggestions. “If more than two students are nominated,” the new nomination criteria state, “we strongly encourage additional applicants who identify as female, Black/African, Hispanic/Latino/Latino, Indigenous, and/or a person with a disability.”

The original language stated that if a university “chooses to nominate more than two students…the third and fourth nominees must identify as female, of Black/African, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx, Indigenous, and/or someone with a disability.”

Origin Criteria:

Updated Criteria:

IBM, meanwhile, quietly dropped the requirement that half of applicants complete their Ph.D. scholarship program to be “diversity applicants” – after the Free tag contacted IBM for comment – ​​and replaced it with a request for schools to “consider a diverse list of candidates”.

The original criteria posed legal problems for Google, IBM and the participating universities. Civil rights lawyers told the Free tag that the scholarships likely violated the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which prohibits racial discrimination in contracts, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits racial discrimination in schools funded by the federal government.

Asked if the company dropped its diversity requirement for legal reasons, Google spokesperson Courtenay Mencini attributed the change to a desire to “clarify our nominating criteria,” adding that the he company stood by its initial statement.

A few schools have already been the subject of civil rights complaints regarding their participation in the Google Scholarship. On August 24, emails obtained by the Free tag show, the Department of Education’s Civil Rights Office has received complaints against Harvard University, Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, University of New York, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Johns Hopkins University and Carnegie University in Melon.

The complaints allege that these schools discriminate on the basis of race and gender in nominating students for the scholarship, and demand that each apologize for the “sexism and racism in which they have engaged”.

Google and IBM’s reversals come as other companies face backlash for their own discriminatory policies, some of which are now the subject of major lawsuits. In the past two months alone, Amazon and American Express have both been hit by class action lawsuits alleging anti-white discrimination. Other companies like Coca-Cola have abandoned race-conscious policies amid legal threats from shareholders.

Some Fortune 500 companies nonetheless support programs that many lawyers say are illegal. The Free tag reported in August that Pfizer was barring whites and Asians from applying for its prestigious “breakthrough scholarship,” which Gail Heriot, a member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, called a “clear case of liability” under US law. 1964 on civil rights. When other outlets picked up the story, Pfizer followed Google’s lead and insisted it had done nothing wrong.

“All of our actions fully comply with all US employment laws,” the pharmaceutical giant told Fox Business. “We create opportunities for people without depriving them of others.”

About Cedric Lloyd

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