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Trump Allies Plot Anti-Racism Protections — For White People

If Donald Trump returns to the White House, close allies want to dramatically change the government’s interpretation of Civil Rights-era laws to focus on “anti-white racism” rather than discrimination against people of color.

Why it matters: Trump’s Justice Department would push to eliminate or upend programs in government and corporate America that are designed to counter racism that has favored whites.

Targets would range from decades-old policies aimed at giving minorities economic opportunities, to more recent programs that began in response to the pandemic and the killing of George Floyd.


Driving the news: Longtime aides and allies preparing for a potential second Trump administration have been laying legal groundwork with a flurry of lawsuits and legal complaints — some of which have been successful.

  • A central vehicle for the effort has been America First Legal, founded by former Trump aide Stephen Miller, who has called the group conservatives’ “long-awaited answer to the ACLU.”
  • America First cited the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in February in a lawsuit against CBS and Paramount Global for what the group argued was discrimination against a white, straight man who was a writer for the show “Seal Team” in 2017.

In February, the group filed a civil rights complaint against the NFL over its “Rooney Rule.”

  • The rule — named for Dan Rooney, late owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers — was instituted in 2003 and expanded in 2022. It requires NFL teams to interview at least two minority candidates for vacant general manager, head coach and coordinator positions.


In 2021, Miller’s group successfully sued to block the implementation of a $29 billion pandemic-era program for women- and minority-owned restaurants, saying it discriminated against white-owned businesses.


Such groups have gained momentum with the Supreme Court’s turn to the right — most notably its recent rejection of affirmative action in college admissions. The court ruled that programs designed to benefit people of color and address past injustices discriminate against white and Asian Americans.

  • In 2021, a federal judge blocked a $4 billion program to help Black farmers.
  • Earlier this month, another federal judge ruled that the Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency was discriminating against white people and that the program had to be open to everyone.