Lyndon B. Johnson issued Executive Order 11246 on Sept. 24, 1965, directing federal agencies and contractors to not only avoid discrimination but to also “take affirmative action to ensure … equal employment opportunity based on race.” Despite the promises of various Republican politicians, affirmative action remains firmly entrenched in government, higher education, and even in many private sector employers who are outside the scope of Order 11246.

The legal basis for affirmative action is tenuous at best. An executive order can be undone with the stroke of the presidential pen and discrimination on the basis of race is prohibited by the Constitution and nu-merous statutes. Yet it is now simply taken for granted that nonwhites will receive preferential treatment when they are con-sidered for employment or schooling.

Although Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should prohibit discrimination against whites, courts have often imposed a higher burden of proof on whites who allege discrimination. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, for example, regularly affirms dismissals of reverse discrimination claims on the grounds that there were no “background circumstances [to] support the suspicion that the defendant is that unusual employer who discrimi-nates against the majority.”

This is the seldom-mentioned back-drop to the Biden administration’s executive order requiring the federal government to comprehensively promote “equity.” The order gives as an example of equity “closing racial gaps in wages, housing credit, lending opportunities, and access to higher education” and generally proposes using the federal government to benefit “under-served communities, defined as:

Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; mem-bers of religious minorities; lesbi-an, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons other-wise adversely affected by persis-tent poverty or inequality.

In other words, Biden committed the federal apparatus to give preferential treatment to every group except white males, just as it has already been doing since 1965, notwithstanding the many claims that America is pervaded by systemic discrimination in favor of whites.

But the widespread acceptance of affirmative action for over half a century means nothing to those promoting equity today. They hope to transform everything touched by the federal government, not just employment. And they are quite open about discriminating against white males. Biden pledged to consider only women or minorities for the vice presidency, and he appointed a cabinet containing only one white male Protestant. That lone member of the erstwhile majority is former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a homosexual convert to the Episcopalian Church and a descendant of Maltese immigrants.

In other words, the government of the United States, at its highest level, is now bereft of any representative of the people who settled the original 13 colonies, wrested independence from Great Britain, pushed the frontier to the Pacific and the Rio Grande, and created the most powerful nation the world has yet known. The Sixth Circuit may find it “unusual” to “discriminate against the majority,” but discrimination against whites has become the Biden Administration’s apparent raison d’être, even as immigration policies pursued since 1965 promise to make those of European descent a minority for the first time in the history of the United States.

The Critical Race Theory that informs the administration’s thinking on equity insists that every racial disparity apart from the football field and the basketball court is the result of racism and that whites themselves can never be victims. Since many racial disparities, including those in sports, are the result not of insidious discrimination but of the sorting that naturally occurs when people of differing interests and aptitudes follow paths that seem best suited to them, the quest for equity will never end.

It was in the name of equity that a liberal Catholic chaplaincy was canceled at an even more liberal university, as described by Anna Keating in The Hedgehog Review. The university told Keating that “in order to be antiracist we have to have equal resources for Hindu students, Muslim students, Buddhist students, or we need to do away with Spiritual Life groups all to-gether.” If equity becomes our lodestar, every trace of the America that existed be-fore 1965 will eventually have to disappear, in order to make its despisers more comfortable in the ruins of a nation they never could have created.