Obama’s Civil Rights Divisions

For the past seven years and counting the Obama administration has been engaged in a silent war on the rights of the American people at the hands of an organized network of fringe leftist lawyers working within the Civil Rights Divisions of the Department of Justice (DOJ) as well as the Department of Education (DOE). These lawyers have been unleashed under the administration to push an ideological agenda that is far outside of the American mainstream all under the banner of protecting civil rights. As noted by J. Christian Adams and Hans A. von Spakovsky of PJ Media, if a president wanted to “fundamentally transform” the nation, he would likely start with the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department because the tentacles of that Division reach into virtually every crevice of American life.

For example, Adams and Spakovsky write that “Federal statutes, under the banner of protecting civil rights, reach home lending, football stadium and theater seating, voting, elections, education, college admissions, apartment rentals, prisons, hiring practices, the use of English, special education programs, religious liberty, abortion clinic protests, arrests, law enforcement, voter rolls, insane asylums, state and local government hiring, swimming pool lift chairs, bathtub design, Spanish language ballots, school discipline, and even if boys can dress in drag in high school”. This list barely scratches the surface of the scope of the Civil Rights Division’s powers. Furthermore, it follows that issues as irrelevant as “transgender bathrooms” have now become mainstream as the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ, since 2009, has hired only radically leftist lawyers to push “equality” over such fringe non-issues. This was highlighted in the Every Single One series produced by PJ Media which documented the fact that every single one of the 113 new Justice Department lawyers hired into the Obama Civil Rights Division from January 2009 to January 2011 were politically aligned with leftist causes. This trend didn’t end in January of 2011 either as it continues to this day.

The individual attorneys hired by the DOJ serve an essential part of this administration as they are the ones who decide the cases in which they would like to pursue with the goal of pushing an ideological agenda with local law enforcement agencies and public schools feeling the brunt of this assault. The former is pushed by the lawyers within the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ and the latter within the Civil Rights Division of the DOE.

For an example of the former, look no further than the Newark Police Department as the DOJ announced on March, 30, 2016, that it had reached an “agreement with the City of Newark to reform the Newark Police Department” based upon an investigation by the DOJ that found “officers routinely used excessive force and made street stops that disproportionately affected minorities”. This was “proved” by the DOJ investigation by using a “disparate impact” claim in which it was found that “eighty-five percent of those stopped were black in a city where blacks make up 54 percent of the population”. Meaning, because blacks were stopped more than whites and because blacks make up half of the population, the Newark Police Department is guilty regardless of what the probable cause for the stop may have been. Under “disparate impact” the truth, facts, and probable cause do not matter as statistics now meet the burden of proof and reign supreme. Thus, the police department is guilty because more blacks were stopped than whites.

Under the agreement made between the DOJ and the Newark Police Department, the city of Newark must now implement comprehensive reforms in twelve separate areas. Among those reforms the agreement ensures that: 

NPD will integrate bias-free policing principles into all levels of the organization, including comprehensive training of officers and supervisors.

 

“Bias-free policing” meaning that police officer will need to be re-trained in order to understand that more whites need to be stopped and arrested in order to reconcile the statistical history of “disproportionately” targeting blacks. Once again, factual evidence need not apply.

This pattern of overreach by the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ is further reflected in a March, 17, 2016, press release by the Justice Department announcing that the DOJ and the city of Ferguson, Missouri, had reached an agreement resolving the United States’ pending lawsuit against Ferguson. The court-enforceable decree, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, aims to “remedy the unconstitutional law enforcement conduct that the Justice Department found during its civil pattern-or-practice investigation into the Ferguson Police Department (FPD) and the Ferguson Municipal Court”. Among some of the “reforms” agreed to by the FPD and the DOJ are:

Bias-free police and court practices: requiring implicit bias-awareness training of all court staff and FPD personnel and ensuring that Ferguson does not discriminate on the basis of race and other characteristics.

Moreover, the agreement further stipulates that Ferguson must establish a Civilian Review Board to “review, make findings, and recommend disciplinary action for investigation of complaints involving excessive force, abuse of authority, the use of discriminatory slurs and other misconduct.” The Civilian Review Board will also:

Review FPD policies and training plans; serve on officer hiring and promotion panels; and review crime, racial profiling and complaint data.

The goal, once again, is to force officers to re-think and second guess their own instincts given that they now must make the choice of either not arresting an individual who has committed a crime because the color of their skin or daring to arrest an individual for the crime they have committed, regardless of the color of their skin, and face the repercussions of internal investigations into accusations of your racism.

These two examples, from Newark and Ferguson, represent only a small sample of what the Civil Rights Division within the DOJ is currently doing to our law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. Yet, the DOJ is not the only Department that contains a destructive Civil Rights Division as the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) within the Department of Education is just as ideologically hell bent on pushing the radical lefts agenda.

For instance, under the Office of Civil Rights within the Department of Education (DOE), public schools will now be in violation of Title IX if they do not permit transgender students to use the locker room or bathroom of their choice. At an LGBT Summit hosted by the White House and attended by officials from seven different federal agencies in Michigan last Thursday, the DOE Assistant Secretary for the Office of Civil Rights Catherine Lhamon assured the LGBT community that the White House would be “aggressively engaged” in the fight to allow transgender students use whichever bathroom they please at school. As Peter Hasson of the Daily Caller reported, the event was co-sponsored by the activist group Equality Michigan, which has led the charge to allow schoolchildren to choose their name, gender, and bathroom without parental knowledge or input.

This radical interpretation of Title IX was in fact upheld by Judge Henry Floyd, whom Obama appointed to the fourth circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. In his ruling last week, which overturned a district court that decided in favor of the Virginia school, Judge Floyd ruled that Title IX requires that transgender students must be able to use the bathroom they feel that their gender identity best matches. Moreover, as Hasson notes, the Civil Rights Division of the DOE isn’t solely interested in pushing the White House interpretation of Title IX on Virginia schools, but schools in Illinois as well. Pushing this agenda last year, the instrumental Assistant Secretary for the Office of Civil Rights Lhamom ordered an Illinois school district to allow a biological male to use girls showers and locker rooms, threatening to pull the districts federal funding if they didn’t comply. The district promptly folded.

Next, the Office of Civil Rights turned their gaze towards Oklahoma City as the DOE announced in a press release on April, 20, 2016, that the Department of Education had reached a settlement agreement with Oklahoma City Public Schools to address the “disproportionate discipline of black students”. The agreement stems from an investigation launched by the OCR in which it was found that “black students were considerably over-represented in all of the district’s disciplinary actions”. The basis of this accusation stems from the OCR making a “disparate impact” claim on the basis of the following statistics found during the 2014-2015 school year, in which the OCR’s investigation exposed:

A high rate of black students being referred for discipline as compared with white students. Notably, black students accounted for 42 percent of in-school suspensions although they represent only 26 percent of the population.

In response, the school district has been forced to undertake a number of corrective steps, including initiating a review of its discipline policies and practices and its discipline code. The district has also been forced to create the Orwellian sounding “Office of School Climate and Student Discipline” as well as hiring a director for said Office to be staffed by three “Student Behavior Specialists“. Moreover, the agreement in part also requires the district to retain experts to advise the district on research-based strategies to prevent discrimination as well as designating an employee to serve as the districts “discipline supervisor”. In a nutshell, what the OCR division of the DOE is forcing on public schools in Oklahoma City follows the same pattern of exploitation of public schools in Illinois and Virginia.

With these examples in mind, it is no longer shocking to see how fringe issues become mainstream as Obama’s Civil Rights Divisions work to exploit society by forcing Americans, as a matter of course, to call into question the evidence of their own senses. One day its racism in the form of statistics, the next its bigotry and discrimination in the form of “non-gender neutral bathrooms”. Individual words no longer have specific meanings but stand as categorical imperatives. When you can manipulate the language by coercion and convince an otherwise sane world into believing your radical interpretations of “civil rights” are the truth, you have a formidable weapon. When that formidable weapon is backed by the power of the federal government acting under the guise of civil rights, objective truth comes to be seen as subjective. When everything is subjective, then nothing is off-limits.

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