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Affirmative Action Gets Twisted

From George Washington University comes an unusual affirmative action case: a white employee charging his supervisor of color with discrimination. “Two former University Police officers have filed discrimination complaints against the University Police Department, alleging mistreatment based on their race,” Amy D’onofrio [1] reported in The GW Hatchet. “The officers, both men in their mid-20s, filed complaints through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—a D.C. agency that seeks to protect employees from discrimination in the workplace—alleging UPD supervisors, including Interim Police Chief James Isom, discriminated against them.”

“University spokeswoman Candace Smith said it is University policy not to comment on personnel matters, but added that GW is taking the complaints seriously and is ‘looking into the matter.’ Isom did not respond to requests for comment.

“The first officer, who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation, filed a complaint July 7 naming Isom, who is black, as the principal supervisor in the alleged discrimination. The officer was employed by the University from March until he resigned in July. He is Indian-American.

“Throughout his time at UPD, the first officer said he was given the ‘38’ patrol, in which he had to check various residential halls on campus and walk the equivalent of about six miles per shift. He said he noticed he would get the ‘38’ patrol one to three times a week – more than other officers – and said that the post is often referred to as the ‘ethnic post or African post’ by other officers.

“In addition, the officer—a GW Law School graduate—said he requested a three-week leave of absence to take the bar exam. He said Isom denied his request, though another Caucasian officer who had been hired after him was allegedly given similar leave for a different exam.”

Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia [2].

If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org [3].