The Corner

Racial Discrimination, Preferences, and Selective Enforcement by the Obama Administration

The cumulative evidence of pervasive racialism within the administration should no longer escape the attention of congressional oversight. Although isolated instances of racial bean-counting could be found in previous administrations, racial and ethnic preferences/selectivity appears to have infected policymaking at a variety of levels within this administration. Some of the preferences are garden-variety, others far more consequential. Consider just a few: 

  • As Andy McCarthy noted a couple of days ago, there are allegations that political appointees within the Department of Justice quashed indictments against certain co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation terrorist-funding case in order to promote “Muslim outreach.”

  • The administration is in the process of paying settlements to black farmers allegedly denied loans by the USDA between 1983 and 1997 (Pigford v. Glickman). The administration has diluted the standard for qualifying for settlement payments to the level of absurdity. How absurd? There are now more than 90,000 claimants seeking compensation of at least $50,000 (one settlement alone was for $13,000,000; more than $2,250,000,000 will be paid out). The problem is that between 1983 and 1997 there were nowhere near 90,000 black farmers in the entire U.S. In fact, the USDA says that in 1997 there were only 18,500.

  • DOJ dismissed a voter-intimidation lawsuit it had already won against two members of the New Black Panther Party. Strong circumstantial evidence indicates that this wouldn’t have happened if the defendants had been white.

  • The uncontroverted testimony of two whistleblowers within DOJ shows that the administration has enunciated a policy and tolerates a practice of enforcing voting-rights laws in a racially discriminatory manner.

  • Unlawful racial preferences are embedded in multiple pieces of legislation promoted by the administration, ranging from Obamacare to Dodd-Frank.

  • Unlawful racial preferences appear in proposed regulations published in the Federal Register on almost a weekly basis.

This isn’t simply smiley-face multiculturalism run amok. When the executive branch casually engages in racial/ethnic discrimination, it shouldn’t escape the scrutiny of the other two branches.

We were told that this administration would transcend race. Instead, it seems mired in it.

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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