The Trump administration’s Justice Department has moved to abolish Obama-era affirmative action guidelines, thereby reverting to “race-blind” admission standards for colleges and universities – a change likely to impact minority students pursuing higher education.

Noliwe Rooks is an associate professor of Africana studies at Cornell University whose research focuses on race and gender in the United States. Her most recent book entitled Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education explores how race continues to effect education for minority students.

Rooks says:

“Not since the Post Reconstruction period have we seen elected officials focus so much of their legislative and political energy on dismantling legal and civil protections for American citizens who need protection from racial discrimination. In the 19th century, the focus was on stripping voting rights and access to education from America’s newest citizens, those who had a few decades before been enslaved.

“This latest news, much like the intent of the administration’s immigration efforts, is aimed at students who are black and Latino and is another action in a long line of attempts to make sure that the dream of America we hear so much about is harder for some citizens to realize than for others. If history is any instruction, this period will be viewed as a nadir.”