I do not think that it that it is racist. There is a numerical qualification for faculty who are members. I am not certain of what it is, but I think that it is based on size of faculty.
Schools can apply. Then you have a visitation committee. I will never forget how proud I was when our three-member visitation committee at then 30,000 student Western Michigan University,
without prior notice stepped into our faculty meeting. One of the three was a professor from then 1,500 student Morehouse. We embraced. After they left, one of my colleagues said "you know him"? My reply was "yes, he is from Morehouse".