The more things change, the more they stay the same. Before he became the hero of the Watergate hearings, Sen. Sam Ervin (D-N.C.) was best known as a staunch segregationist, so staunch that it would warm his chilly old heart were he able to see that, 37 years after his death, segregation is back in North Carolina.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), a far-Left stronghold in a generally more conservative state, is introducing a new research fellowship that is open only to students of the preferred races. Those whose skin color is the wrong shade need not apply. How ol’ Senator Sam, who helped organize resistance to Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the 1954 Supreme Court decision that desegrated the schools, would be chuckling over his beer!
Ibram X. Kendi and Nicole Hannah-Jones should be enraged, but they won’t be. In fact, they probably think this is a fine and positive development: the Washington Free Beacon reported Monday that UNC, “whose affirmative action program, along with that of Harvard University, is under review by the Supreme Court—sponsors the Fellowship for Exploring Research in Nutrition, which accepts applications exclusively from students who are ‘Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC).’”
That’s right: No Irish Need Apply, just as in the bad old early days of the republic, and no one else, either, if your melanin content is insufficient. Segregation is back in the Tar Heel State, and back with a vengeance.
The website for “FERN: Fellowship for Exploring Research in Nutrition” explains that this is necessary because bad nutrition is racist: “Among the most pressing public health problems today are childhood and adulthood obesity, which contribute to chronic health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, and can lead to early death.”
You guessed it: racial minorities are hardest hit: “Obesity disproportionately impacts Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and other historically marginalized communities.”
However, little to nothing has been done, which UNC apparently believes is because the researchers are not generally members of these racial minority groups: “Yet people from these communities are traditionally underrepresented among researchers working to develop, research, and evaluate food and nutrition policies to address obesity.”
White researchers apparently don’t care about black people with poor nutrition: “Increased representation in food policy research is critical for developing effective, equitable, comprehensive, and culturally competent policies that address nutrition-related health disparities.”
The Free Beacon notes that this racist, exclusionary program, “which UNC Chapel Hill announced last week on its website, comes as UNC Chapel Hill and Harvard await a verdict from the Supreme Court over a lawsuit from Students for Fair Admissions, a nonprofit opposed to affirmative action. The group argues that both schools are violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans racial discrimination by the recipients of federal funds, and that UNC Chapel Hill, as a public university, is also violating the 14th Amendment, which bans racial discrimination by the government.”
The case seems clear-cut. But since it’s easy to find judges who believe that this sort of racial discrimination is altogether justified and necessary, it’s not at all clear that the verdict will be sane.
Edward Blum of Students for Fair Admissions enunciated the obvious: “It is indisputable this UNC student research program is racially exclusive and therefore is in violation of our nation’s civil rights laws.” Yes, but will anyone in power care? I have a dream that one day they will.
“I have a dream,” a man once said, “that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” He didn’t say anything in this famous speech about North Carolina, but clearly, we are not there yet. “I have a dream,” the same man said, “that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
How quaint. Come on, man! A dream like that is so 1963. This is 2022, and we have awakened. The UNC course is the cutting edge of contemporary American culture. Watch for imitators.