Education Department recommends that colleges no longer ask applicants about criminal records

The Obama administration Education Department sent a letter to colleges and universities requesting that they no longer ask if a student has a criminal record before accepting them.

The "Dear Colleague" letter was acompanied by a pamphlet that doesn't mention the word "criminal." The new term for vicious, dangerous felons is "Justice-Involved Individuals." 

Kyle Smith is taking a dim view of this suggested policy:

An accompanying pamphlet was called “Beyond the Box: Increasing Access to Higher Education for Justice-Involved Individuals.”

So rapists, burglars, armed robbers and drug dealers aren’t criminals anymore. These folks are simply “involved” with “justice,” according to Obamanoids.

Maybe they’re right: “Criminals” is an inherently disparaging term that leads to stigmatization and decreased access to Eugene O’Neill seminars. But don’t we need to retroactively reconfigure how we think of those unfortunate souls who found themselves pursued by harsh enforcers of restrictive behavioral norms?

When you think about it, Jack the Ripper was merely a “cutlery-involved individual” while Jeffrey Dahmer was simply a “unconventional dietary-options-involved individual.”

Colleges generally ask whether applicants have criminal records, and for excellent reason. Parents probably don’t want their eager young freshperson daughter Molly living across the hall from a rapist — I mean, sexual-justice-involved individual.

King notes that when you ask college applicants about whether they brutalized, mugged or otherwise committed outrages against their fellow human beings, the ugly specter of “disparate impact” arises. The black crime rate is higher than the white crime rate, so the “Are you a criminal?” question is bound to do injury to blacks, or so goes the reasoning.

Obama is fighting the war for criminals to get closer to you on several fronts. Last month, through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, he went after landlords, threatening them with penalties if they barred criminals from living in their buildings.

In November, Obama unilaterally ordered federal agencies to strike the box asking applicants whether they had committed crimes and referred to criminals as “folks.” This would be the same president who on Oct. 25, 2010, referred to Republicans as “enemies” and suggested voters should “punish” them. Convicted rapists? They’re just “folks.”

It’s fair to argue that the criminal justice system, and society as a whole, have a strong interest in rehabilitating criminals in addition to punishing them. And Team Obama argues innocently that (the people they refuse to call) criminals deserve to get their foot in the door before the step where they are asked about their criminal history.

But this is just a step in a long-term strategy pursued by progressives, who love criminals the way little girls love Disney princesses. The goal is to sneak criminals into your apartment building or workplace or campus.

"Disparate impact" is liberal code for "racist." In the social justice world, the only thing that matters on any issue under the sun is numbers; how many blacks, how many whites, and if there's a difference, well, it's "disparate impact" and a remedy must be found.

This has led to some bizarre policy suggestions, including forcibly moving blacks into suburban white neighborhoods to "diversify" them. The "disparate impact" argument has been used extensively to justify racial quotas in colleges.

The Orwellian doublespeak that encourages the ludicrous "justice-involved individual" instead of "criminal" is just one more effort to obscure the dangerous nature of some criminals. Should a rapist be allowed to move into a dorm room across the hall from your daughter? In the name of the justice-involved individual, the answer is yes.


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