Sometimes it’s impossible to escape the suspicion that Onion writers have infiltrated the Obama administration and gleefully set about reducing its anti-discrimination policies to parody, or farce.

Reading Peter Schmidt’s restrained but nevertheless devastating report in the Chronicle of Higher Education this morning on buried decision letters he unearthed from the Office of Education exonerating three universities from complaints of racial discrimination, for example, it’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry.

The most dramatic of the three cases involves the University of Missouri, with its “34 scholarship programs that considered race or national origin as a condition for eligibility, and 18 more that considered students’ race or ethnicity as ‘a plus factor’ in determining who received aid awards.”

Looking at this racially exclusive financial aid, the racialist ideologues in the Office of Civil Rights Wrongs concluded that the university’s policy of reserving some of its aid programs exclusively for blacks and favoring them in others “does not create an unduly severe or intrusive burden for students not eligible for such scholarships.”

The OCR letter, according to Schmidt,

said no scholarship had been awarded solely based on race or national origin “because other factors also are considered such as academic performance, demonstrated personal integrity, socioeconomic disadvantage, and involvement in the candidate’s school or community.” It added that the university evaluates each applicant for aid on an individual basis, in keeping with guidance handed down by the Supreme Court in its 2003 rulings in Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger….

Well of course the university had to evaluate each applicant “on an individual basis”; how else could it determine if the applicant is black?

Being a member of a minority group that is underrepresented on the campus, the letter said, “is not a guarantor of aid, nor is it the paramount factor affecting aid opportunities at the university.” In the 2009-10 academic year, it said, scholarships tied to race went to no more than 42 percent of such minority students.

Now I see. The fact that all blacks were not guaranteed financial aid and in fact some blacks did not receive race-exclusive aid means that the race-exclusive aid is not discriminatory (not excessively discriminatory?).

And where, the OCR apparently wondered, is the discrimination? After all, it concluded, it’s “clear that being ineligible for a particular race-conscious scholarship does not preclude a student from receiving other scholarship funds.”

Wow! This view of discrimination is so offensively bizarre that it’s actually beyond criticism. Simply quoting it is enough. Sorry for the mild inconvenience, Mr. Plessy, but we have another railroad car you can sit in.