Back to the Affirmative Action Wars…

In case you missed it the right has been reconditioning and rolling out their anti-Civil Rights crew frantically over the past several months.  One of the folks to get a shiny new paint job was Pat Buchanan – although with his vision of a white America as a precondition for continued greatness – I think he let the real cat out of the bag a little too quickly. George Will blubbering about how AA has hurt minorities… A Republican sitting a panel which dealt with discrimination gets canned – by railing against minorities… They have even have stalwart Lawn Jockeys like Larry Elder and Walter Williams de-fossilized and trotted out in a reprise of their racism shielding role for the conservative right in the 90’s.

So why all the sudden attention?

U.S. Urges Creativity by Colleges to Gain Diversity

The Obama administration on Friday urged colleges and universities to get creative in improving racial diversity at their campuses, throwing out a Bush-era interpretation of recent Supreme Courtrulings that limited affirmative action in admissions.

The new guidelines issued by the Departments of Justice and Education replaced a 2008 document that essentially warned colleges and universities against considering race at all. Instead, the guidelines focus on the wiggle room in the court decisions involving the University of Michigan, suggesting that institutions use other criteria — students’ socioeconomic profiles, residential instability, the hardships they have overcome — that are often proxies for race. Schools could even grant preferences to students from certain schools selected for, among other things, their racial composition, the new document says.

“Post-secondary institutions can voluntarily consider race to further the compelling interest of achieving diversity,” reads the 10-page guide sent to thousands of college admissions officials on Friday afternoon. In some cases, it says, “race can be outcome determinative.”

The administration issued a parallel 14-page outline on Friday for the nation’s 17,000 public school districts, explaining what government lawyers consider to be acceptable ways that educators can seek to reduce racial segregation, which has been increasing nationwide.

The two documents, issued as the presidential campaign heats up and as the Supreme Court considers whether to hear a new affirmative action case, were designed to give educators a clear administration interpretation of three high court cases that, since 2003, have limited the use of race in admissions, zoning and other school policies.

The contrast with the Bush guidelines interpreting the same three cases is stark. Where the Bush administration’s letter in 2008 states, “Quotas are impermissible,” the 2011 version says “an institution may permissibly aim to achieve a critical mass of underrepresented students.” Even in addressing the same principles, the framework is practically reversed.

Bush guidelines: “Before using race, there must be a serious good faith consideration of workable race-neutral alternatives.”

Obama guidelines: “Institutions are not required to implement race-neutral approaches if, in their judgment, the approaches would be unworkable.”

Colleges seeking to increase diversity while not running afoul of Supreme Court guidelines, the new document says, “could select schools (including community colleges) based on their demographics (e.g., their racial or socioeconomic composition), and grant an admission preference” to graduates of those schools. They could also “select high schools for partnership” based, among other things, on “racial composition of the school’s student body” and former partnerships with historically black colleges and universities”; consider race as they select students for mentoring programs; and sponsor retention or support programs that highlight, for example, “the accomplishments of Latino business leaders.”

Ada Meloy, general counsel for the American Council on Education, which represents 1,800 universities and colleges, predicted that educators would immediately begin to pursue ways to draw more racial minorities, as the new guidelines would ease fears of legal challenge.

“University administrators have been confused about how they could follow the court’s rulings and still achieve the benefits of diversity,” Ms. Meloy said. “So they will welcome this practical, step-by-step set of directions.”

For kindergarten through 12th grade, the guidelines tell school districts that they can shape policies on locating schools, drawing attendance boundaries and governing student transfers to achieve a better racial mix. For example, a school district with two elementary schools with distinctly different demographics could consider making one school serve kindergarten through second grade and the other grades 3 to 5 in order to force a better mix.

“Diverse learning environments promote development of analytical skills, dismantle stereotypes and prepare students to succeed in an increasingly interconnected world,”Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement. “The guidance announced today will aid educational institutions in their efforts to provide true equality of opportunity.”

Lee C. Bollinger, an advocate of affirmative action, was the named defendant, as president of the University of Michigan, in the two 2003 Supreme Court cases that laid down new markers on the permissible use of race in admissions. He described the new guidelines as “perfect.”

“It’s a very fair interpretation of what the court decided,” said Mr. Bollinger, a First Amendment scholar who is now president of Columbia University, “which is primarily that race can be one of many factors, and as long as your policies truly embody that approach, you’ll be fine, and can strive for diversity in all its benefits.” (more)

Eleanor Holmes Norton on Republican Darrel Issa’s Need to Investigate

 

Representative Norton points out what happened the last time right-wing iseologues controlled Congress with a Democrat President.

Seems a lot of Republicans wound up having to retire early. Neut Gingrich and Bob Livingston just to mention two…

Does Issa really want to repeat history?

Issa Declares War on Obama Administration

The Rethugs aren’t even in office yet and they are already threatening to start the same failed crap they tried with Clinton, tying the country up in investigation after investigation over nothing…

Well…We know how that total corruption of the Government ended…

9/11.

If I was AG Eric Holder right about now, I’d have 50 FBI agents so far up Issa’s tush, his Tonsils would be wearing black suits and sunglasses.

If I was a former Bush Official, like Dick Cheney, recognizing the only thing keeping my ass out of a Spanish or Nigerian Prison is President Obama’s good will…

I’d be inviting Mr. Issa to a peasant hunting expedition on a Halliburton private reserve in a corrupt and cooperative 3rd world dictatorship, or  Red Zone state.

Van Jones and Shirley Sherrod…

This is a great op-ed piece in the NYT be Van Jones. What he is saying is what a lot of Washington insiders and business people in the Washington area are saying – that the Obama Administration has allowed itself to be paralyzed by the threat of the right-wing noise machine.

The unwillingness, or inability of the Obama Administration to stand up for their people has impacted everything in every crevice and recess of the Federal Government. Your day to day, Civil Service workers are afraid to do their jobs, because they know they could be the next Van Jones or Shirley Sherrod. They can’t afford to fight back by themselves, and to pay lawyers tens of thousands of dollars to defend them. And the Administration is utterly chickenshit and wiling to throw anyone under the bus at the simple whiff of an accusation from the right…

No matter how specious.

This administration caves to media blackmail, which the right wing knows is effective anytime they add the vector of race.

Some analysts have concluded that the problem is that the Obama White House is too white. Ergo, had this White House had ANYONE at the staff level who was black, and old enough to be  familiar with history – they would have known who Shirley Sherrod was. Further, the administration could assemble an effective counter strategy beyond just turning tail and running every time right wing bullies played the race card. My feeling about Obama since the Primaries has been he just doesn’t have that “killer instinct”. As many dollars as CEOs of major corporations spend to convince the outside world that they are “nice guys” – not one of those guys got there without carrying an metaphorical razor in the hip pocket for the throats of the opposition who can’t be “made to see reason” by other means. The only real difference between organized crime and business leadership is business leaders use lawyers and MBA types, instead of big guys with baseball bats and guns to “make you an offer you can’t refuse”.

That is what is missing in this President, that is what is missing in his staff – and that is crippling his Administration’s ability to fulfill their promises.

The New Lynching, Brought to America By The Same People As The Old Lynching. The New Government, Just Like the Old Government - Which Looked the Other Way.

Shirley Sherrod and Me

I UNDERSTAND how Shirley Sherrod, the Agriculture Department official who was forced to resign last week, must have felt.

Last year I, too, resigned from an administration job, after I uttered some ill-chosen words about the Republican Party and was accused — falsely — of signing my name to a petition being passed around by 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Partisan Web sites and pundits pounced, and I, too, saw my name go from obscurity to national infamy within hours.

Our situations aren’t exactly the same. Ms. Sherrod’s comments, in which she, a black woman, appeared to admit to racial discrimination against a white couple, were taken far out of context, while I truly did use a vulgarity.

But the way we were treated is strikingly similar, and it reveals a lot about the venal nature of Washington politics in the Internet era. In my case, the media rushed to judgment so quickly that I was never able to make clear that the group put my name on its Web site without my permission. The group finally admitted that it never had my signature, but by then it was too late.

Fortunately, Ms. Sherrod has been offered a new job. But our stories offer cautionary tales to anyone interested in taking a job in national politics. Continue reading

More jobs might be created this year than during George W. Bush’s presidency.

Worse news for conservatives – the correlation between tax cuts and job growth remains utterly invisible.

Repairing The Job Machine

If the economy produces jobs over the next eight months at the same pace as it did over the past four months, the nation will have created more jobs in 2010 alone than it did over the entire eight years of George W. Bush’s presidency.

That comparison comes with many footnotes and asterisks. But it shows how the economic debate between the parties could look very different over time — perhaps by November, more likely by 2012. More important, the comparison underscores the urgency of repairing an American job-creation machine that was sputtering long before the 2008 financial meltdown.

First, the numbers: From February 2001, Bush’s first full month in office, through January 2009, his last, total U.S. nonfarm employment grew from 132.5 million to 133.5 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s an increase, obviously, of just 1 million. From January through April of this year, the economy created 573,000 jobs. Over a full year, that projects to 1.72 million jobs. Job-creation numbers are notoriously volatile, so the actual result could run above or below that estimate. But Obama administration economists are increasingly optimistic that job growth this year will exceed expectations. Few of them will be surprised if more jobs are created in 2010 than over Bush’s two terms. Continue reading

The New Jim Crow – Legally Sanctioned Job Discrimination

African-American joblessness – nearly twice the national rate – is quickly becoming the first showdown between Black leaders and the nation’s first Black president as national Black and civil right leaders raise their voices telling the Obama Administration it’s time to end the jobs crisis in the Black community.

“We’re sending a strong message to the president and Congress that we need to step up. We need immediate jobs – not some time six, eight and 10 months down the road,” National Urban League President Marc Morial said in an interview with the NNPA News Service. “African-American leaders are not just saying do something. We’re offering solutions.”

Morial has sent a letter to the Obama Administration and Congressional Leaders outlining specific recommendations for job creation as President Obama prepares for a job summit this week in the wake of national unemployment numbers that grew into double digits – 10. 2 percent – in October. In his letter, dated Nov. 24, Morial reminds the Administration that the Black community has suffered double digit jobless rates for well more than a year.

“While I applaud the Administration for publicly acknowledging the gravity of our nation’s employment situation, I would add that double-digit unemployment has been a reality for communities of color since last summer – for African Americans since August, 2008, and for Latinos since February, 2009,” he writes. “As President and CEO of the National Urban League, the nation’s oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream, I have firsthand knowledge of the tremendous obstacles these families have been facing, not just since national unemployment reached 10.2 % in October, but for over a year now.”

That’s great press – but it is a massive oversimplification of the issue. The issue is that there continues to be irrefutable and documented evidence of employment discrimination. Discrimination which is severely impacting that portion of the black population who did the right things, went to college, and developed successful resumes based on accomplishment. This is a continuation, and legacy of the Bushit Justice Department intentionally ignoring cases of real job discrimination, in favor of the racially driven search for “reverse discrimination” which produced the same results as searching for WMDs in Iraq.

But there is ample evidence that racial inequities remain when it comes to employment. Black joblessness has long far outstripped that of whites. And strikingly, the disparity for the first 10 months of this year, as the recession has dragged on, has been even more pronounced for those with college degrees, compared with those without. Education, it seems, does not level the playing field — in fact, it appears to have made it more uneven.

College-educated black men, especially, have struggled relative to their white counterparts in this downturn, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate for black male college graduates 25 and older in 2009 has been nearly twice that of white male college graduates — 8.4 percent compared with 4.4 percent.

Various academic studies have confirmed that black job seekers have a harder time than whites. A study published several years ago in The American Economic Review titled “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?” found that applicants with black-sounding names received 50 percent fewer callbacks than those with white-sounding names.

A more recent study, published this year in The Journal of Labor Economics found white, Asian and Hispanic managers tended to hire more whites and fewer blacks than black managers did.

The discrimination is rarely overt, according to interviews with more than two dozen college-educated black job seekers around the country, many of them out of work for months. Instead, those interviewed told subtler stories, referring to surprised looks and offhand comments, interviews that fell apart almost as soon as they began, and the sudden loss of interest from companies after meetings.

So the real issue here – is why hasn’t the Obama Administration put on a full court press on job discrimination?

The Van Jones Lynching

Here is one more shot at Van Jones taken by Krauthammer -

The issue now is that Van Jones apparently at one point a believer in the 9-11 “Truthers” – agroup of people who believe the Bushit Administration was complicit in the 9-11 attacks on the WTC and Pentagon.

In a country where conspiracy theories are nearly as numerous as Republican assholes, you’ll have to excuse me in believing this latest attack on the Obama Administration seems much more than the usual conservative racial politics.

But then, I also believe the Bushit Administration failed the country in it’s inaction leading up to the events of 9-11, through ignoring the numerous warnings from our Intelligence Agencies and Law Enforcement people…

And – in looking at an Administration which lied us into the Iraq War on manufactured and made up “evidence” of WMDs, promptly devolved into savage torture in contravention to every American principle and law, and established a private army operating as death squads through Blackwater, reporting to the Vice President of the United States…

Do I believe that the Bushit Administration was populated by folks capable of murdering 3,000 Americans for political gain?

You betcha.

They’ve already killed 4,000 Americans on a lie.

Hopefully the Obama Administration has the cajones to stand up to this latest round of conservative racial politics.

There quite simply, is no bipartisanship with a rabid dog.

UPDATE – 57 Advertisers have now dropped Genn Beck’s TV Show on Faux News…

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