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The Chumph Moves to Eliminate Civil Rights Enforcement

The New New Jim Crow under the Chumph and KKK Sessions…

The Chumph and Sessions work to roll back, or eliminate enforcement of Civil Rights

Trump administration plans to minimize civil rights efforts in agencies

The Trump administration is planning to disband the Labor Department division that has policed discrimination among federal contractors for four decades, according to the White House’s newly proposed budget, part of wider efforts to rein in government programs that promote civil rights.

As outlined in Labor’s fiscal 2018 plan, the move would fold the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, now home to 600 employees, into another government agency in the name of cost-cutting.

The proposal to dismantle the compliance office comes at a time when the Trump administration is reducing the role of the federal government in fighting discrimination and protecting minorities by cutting budgets, dissolving programs and appointing officials unsympathetic to previous practices.

The new leadership at the Environmental Protection Agency, for instance, has proposed eliminating its environmental justice program, which addresses pollution that poses health threats specifically concentrated in minority communities. The program, in part, offers money and technical help to residents who are confronted with local hazards such as leaking oil tanks or emissions from chemical plants.

Under President Trump’s proposed budget, the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights — which has investigated thousands of complaints of discrimination in school districts across the country and set new standards for how colleges should respond to allegations of sexual assault and harassment — would also see significant staffing cuts. Administration officials acknowledge in budget documents that the civil rights office will have to scale back the number of investigations it conducts and limit travel to school districts to carry out its work.

And the administration has reversed several steps taken under President Barack Obama to address LGBT concerns. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, for example, has revoked a rule ensuring that transgender people can stay at sex-segregated shelters of their choice, and the Department of Health and Human Services has removed a question about sexual orientation from two surveys of elderly Americans about services offered or funded by the government.

The efforts to reduce the federal profile on civil rights reflects the consensus view within the Trump administration that Obama officials exceeded their authority in policing discrimination on the state and local level, sometimes pressuring targets of government scrutiny to adopt policies that were not warranted.

Administration officials made clear in the initial weeks of Trump’s presidency that they would break with the civil rights policies of his predecessor. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review of agreements to reform police departments, signaling his skepticism of efforts to curb civil rights abuses by law enforcement officers. His Justice Department, meantime, stopped challenging a controversial Texas voter identification law and joined with the Education Department in withdrawing federal guidance allowing transgender students to use school bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity.

While these decisions have been roundly criticized by liberal activists, administration officials said that civil rights remain a priority for the Trump White House.

“The Trump administration has an unwavering commitment to the civil rights of all Americans,” White House spokeswoman Kelly Love said in an emailed statement.

But Vanita Gupta, who was the head of Justice’s civil rights division from October 2014 to January 2017, said that the administration’s actions have already begun to adversely affect Americans across the country.

“They can call it a course correction, but there’s little question that it’s a rollback of civil rights across the board,” said Gupta, who is now president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights….

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The New Jim Crow at the DOJ

There is a particularly virulent and dangerous type of white-right racist out there, who plays the white-victim game.

This type of racist is set to destroy much of Civil Rights in the country and further establish the New Jim Crow under chief racist Jeff Sessions.

The white-victim game works like this. The biggest kid in elementary school is the schoolyard bully. A Martial Arts studio opens up in the town, and some of the other kids, tired of being beat up, begin to take classes. Afraid some of his victims might be able to defend themselves, he goes to his Dad, who sits on the City Council, and convinces him to pass a law making Martial Arts studios illegal in the town because “they encourage violence”.

The white-right racist victimrat plays this game. During the Bush administration these people were put in charge of destroying the DOJ’s Civil Rights division. They spent 8 years searching for that elusive instance where a white person had been discriminated against by a minority, nearly ignoring the more than 20,000 cases a year referred to them. In years, they found exactly 1 case. During this entire time denying the existence of racism against blacks and minorities.

The DOJ under Sessions may as well be the KKK. They are becoming the enemy of the entire country.

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The new DOJ “Civil Rights” Division under Putin’s Bitch and Sessions

How Trump Will Dismantle Civil Rights Protections in America

The same way Bush did: by politicizing the DOJ.

If you talk to people who worked in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division during the George W. Bush administration about their old jobs, you might hear one of two stories. Each can be viewed as a possible prelude to what the DOJ’s “crown jewel” division is poised to go through now that Donald Trump is president and Jeff Sessions is attorney general.

The first story takes place in Ohio during the lead-up to the 2004 election, when local officials were sued over a Republican plan to send thousands of “voter challengers” to polling places in predominantly black districts. The practice, putatively aimed at identifying ineligible voters, stemmed from a controversial Ohio law that civil rights advocates considered a vestige of Jim Crow.

One person who didn’t see it that way was Alex Acosta, the head of the Civil Rights Division at the time and now Trump’s nominee for secretary of labor. Less than a week before Election Day, Acosta wrote a letter to the judge overseeing the Ohio case to express his support for the “challenger” law and to argue that its purpose was to create a “balance between ballot access and ballot integrity”—not to intimidate voters.

The surprising thing about Acosta’s letter was that no one had asked for the DOJ’s opinion. The federal government was not party to the Ohio case, and Acosta was under no obligation to comment on it; in fact, he was defying a long-standing Civil Rights Division norm by taking action on a voting issue so close to an upcoming election. The “challengers” were ultimately allowed to go to the polls. Among liberals, the episode went down as a defining example of how zealous and brazen Bush-era political appointees could be in pursuing a partisan agenda.

The second story you might hear from alumni of Bush’s Civil Rights Division concerns a litigator named David Becker, who had been working in the voting section since the tail end of the Clinton administration. In 2005, Becker decided to quit—but not before getting involved in a DOJ lawsuit that accused the city of Boston of “improperly influencing, coercing, or ignoring the ballot choices of limited-English-proficient Hispanic or Asian-American voters.”

Becker, who had years of experience helping jurisdictions make their elections accessible to minority language–speakers, believed that Republicans in the Justice Department were pursuing the lawsuit for political reasons. In a series of letters to Boston officials, Becker asserted that the case was “largely without legal merit” and was being brought, in part, because Boston had voted Democratic in the 2004 election. Though he was still working for DOJ when he first reached out to city officials, Becker offered to help them fight against the government when he left.

The Becker story is not particularly well-known. But for some conservatives, it remains a galling example of the kind of treachery that Bush’s team encountered from career civil rights staff when Republicans took over the division in 2001. Bradley Schlozman, who worked in the “front office” of Civil Rights from 2003 until 2006 and was despised by many of the former career lawyers I spoke with, recently brought it up to illustrate what he called the “extraordinary unprofessionalism” he encountered in the division as a Bush appointee.“In my opinion, these were extremely partisan attorneys who had difficulty separating their political views from their obligations to their client: the United States,” Schlozman told me.

These two stories—both of them, as it happens, about letters that probably shouldn’t have been sent—serve as a reminder of the destructive, politically polarized rancor that plagued the Bush-era Civil Rights Division. Remembered by many DOJ alums as a traumatic and humiliating low point in the division’s history, the period was marked by an unprecedented level of hostility and mutual distrust between career attorneys and the “politicals” who supervised them.

“As time went on, it became more and more abrasive and overbearing,” said Albert Moskowitz, who oversaw the criminal section of the Civil Rights Division between 1999 and 2005. Particularly during Bush’s second term, he said, “People were abused and treated terribly, and there was just no one to tell and no place to go.”

At the heart of the rift was a fundamental misalignment of goals. As one lawyer hired into the Civil Rights Division under Bush, J. Christian Adams,described it in his 2011 polemic on the Obama-era DOJ, the conflict was part of “a larger war between two camps”: “militant leftists” who believed “civil rights laws do not protect everyone equally, but only certain ‘oppressed’ minorities,” and conservatives “who support a race-blind future.”

To frame it in a slightly less bellicose way, most attorneys who joined the Civil Rights Division before the Bush administration did so because they wanted to help the federal government challenge policies that discriminated against historically marginalized groups. The conservatives in charge under Bush, by contrast, were generally skeptical of federal intervention and believed in devoting more of the division’s resources to investigating things like voter fraud and human trafficking. In applying what they called a “race-neutral” approach to enforcement, they also made a point of bringing civil rights cases on behalf of white victims.

“Even attorneys who had served the division through the Reagan years and the [George H.W.] Bush years found it unbearable,” said Kristen Clarke, who started in the division a few months before Bush took office and now leads the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Nearly a decade since Bush left office, Trump and Sessions have started making their own moves to transform the DOJ and reorient the Civil Rights Division in particular to fit with their agenda. As we look for clues about how far they’ll go, the turbulent 2000s are a reminder of just how bad it can get, and how a new political team might go about pushing the division’s long-serving career attorneys out of the way.

So far, those attorneys haven’t even been told who their new boss will be, as Trump has not yet nominated anyone to the post. In the meantime, looking back on the Bush years is a way of putting down markers—an exercise in bracing oneself and establishing a worst-case precedent against which to measure the next four years.

If they deny you your legal right to vote…Its time to “Stand Your Ground”. The Ballot…Or the bullet.

 

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2017 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Putin’s Bitch Covers His Tracks at DOJ

In another attempt at massive coverup, the Chump ordered all Obama appointed Lawyers to leave the DOJ. He is now free to appoint as many racist white supremacists as he wants to defend his base from prosecution for their hate crimes. The DOJ has just become as “fair” as the KKK at a lynching.

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Trump era US Attorneys

Trump team ousts Obama-appointed U.S. attorneys

The president had previously asked Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in New York, to stay on.

President Donald Trump’s administration asked remaining U.S. attorneys appointed by President Barack Obama to offer their resignations Friday, a seemingly abrupt move that surprised many—including the officeholders asked to leave.

At the top of that list was Preet Bharara, who oversees the powerful Manhattan office, which is known for handling high-profile Wall Street and terrorism cases. In November, Bharara met with the president-elect at Trump Tower and then held a press conference in the lobby to say that he would continue to serve the new administration.

People in the White House, however, said the dismissals had been discussed for weeks. “Been in the works for awhile. Decided to pull the trigger today,” said one senior administration official.

“We were always planning for it on about Day 50,” this person said.

The removal of U.S. attorneys has been politically fraught for years, with the midterm dismissal of eight chief federal prosecutors in December 2006 causing a firestorm that ultimately led to the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

The timing and scope of such dismissals have often led to charges and counter-charges that they violated prior precedents. President Bill Clinton’s attorney general, Janet Reno, asked for resignations in March 1993, but allowed U.S. attorneys to stay in place until their replacements could be confirmed.

It appears the Trump administration plans to handle the dismissals differently. “The attorney general has now asked the remaining 46 presidentially appointed U.S. attorneys to tender their resignations in order to ensure a uniform transition,” Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Flores said in a statement on Friday afternoon. “Until the new U.S. attorneys are confirmed, the dedicated career prosecutors in our U.S. attorney’s offices will continue the great work of the department in investigating, prosecuting, and deterring the most violent offenders.”

Flores initially declined to comment when asked if the prosecutors had to leave their posts right away, but said later Friday that the resignations were to be “effective immediately.”

While the White House initially indicated to reporters that all 46 of the remaining Obama-appointed U.S. attorneys were told to depart, a senior administration official told POLITICO Friday night that the list of which prosecutors would be told to exit was “not finalized.”

The White House has not yet lined up replacements for the Obama-era U.S. attorneys being shown the door, a senior administration official told POLITICO. Trump has not yet formally nominated anyone to a U.S. attorney post.

When the mass ouster was first announced it was unclear whether it included the Obama-appointed U.S. attorney in Alexandria, Virginia, Dana Boente, who is currently serving as acting deputy attorney general, or Trump’s nominee to serve in that position on a permanent basis, the Obama-appointed U.S. attorney for Maryland, Rod Rosenstein.

However, the Justice Department said Friday evening that Trump decided Boente and Rosenstein would continue in their posts. “The president called Dana Boente and Rod Rosenstein tonight to inform them that he has declined to accept their resignation, and they will remain in their current positions,” Flores said.

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders referred questions back to the Justice Department.

 

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White Woman at the Center of Emmit Till Murder…Admits to Lying

60 years later, the white woman who accused Emmit Till of fondling her has confessed that it didn’t happen.

Emmett Till (Wikipedia Commons)

‘Not true’: Woman admits she made up claims that led to Emmett Till’s brutal lynching

The woman at the center of the brutal murder of Emmett Till — which helped launch the civil rights movement — has revealed for the first time that she had fabricated the most sensational part of her testimony, reported Vanity Fair.

Carolyn Bryant Donham has never spoken publicly since she testified in the murder trial of her then-husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, who were each acquitted less than a month after they kidnapped, tortured and executed the black boy.

After their acquittal, the pair proudly admitted what they’d done to Look magazine, saying they basically had no choice but to kill the teenager for behaving lasciviously toward Bryant’s wife.

But Donham, who later divorced Bryant and married twice more in the following years, admitted to author Timothy Tyson that she’d made up some of the claims that led to Till’s death.

Donham was 21 years old in 1955, when she spent about one minute alone with the 14-year-old Till, who was visiting family in Mississippi from Chicago, while working in the store she owned with her husband.

The teen, whose mother called him “Bo,” bragged to his cousin and some other boys that he had a white girlfriend back home — and the boys dared him to speak to the woman working behind the counter.

A 12-year-old cousin briefly went inside but left Emmett alone with Donham for about a minute, and she later claimed Till had grabbed her and made lewd comments.

His cousin, Simeon Wright, recalled decades later that couldn’t have been possible — and, it turns out, he was right.

“That part’s not true,” Donham told Tyson, who conducted the first-ever interview with the elderly mother of two for a new book, The Blood of Emmett Till.

She also claimed Till had wolf-whistled at her, but Tyson notes that might not have been intentional because the boy had a lisp.

Donham claims she couldn’t remember anymore the rest of their brief encounter.

The interview was actually conducted in 2007, after Donham approached the Duke University scholar about helping to write her memoirs.

“That case went a long way toward ruining her life,” said Tyson, who said the Donham family reminded him of his own.

He said Donham’s views on race had changed over the years, along with much of the country’s.

“She was glad things had changed [and she] thought the old system of white supremacy was wrong, though she had more or less taken it as normal at the time,” Tyson said.

Donham told the author she “felt tender sorrow” toward Mamie Till-Mobley, who insisted on an open casket to show the world her son’s mutilated body, and she expressed something like regret about her role in his slaying.

“Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” Donham said.

Donham, who retreated back into seclusion, has also written a memoir, “More Than a Wolf Whistle: The Story of Carolyn Bryant Donham,” but it will not be available to scholars until 2038, at her request.

 

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Chicago Police Department – “In Violation of Constitution”

Rushing to produce findings before the Chumph’s KKK takes over, the DOJ just unloaded on the deeply troubled Chicago Police Department…

And built a bridge to help them get their act together.

Chicago would seem to be testament to “if the Police break the law, then so do the people”. Without a solid, standing beacon of legitimacy, honesty, and ethics in the form of Law Enforcement for and answerable to the people – Lawlessness and violence prevail.

Justice Department to find constitutional abuses by Chicago police: sources

The U.S. Department of Justice plans to announce it has found the Chicago Police Department engaged in a pattern or practice of conduct that violated the U.S. Constitution, two sources with knowledge of the investigation told the Tribune.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch will make the announcement Friday, according to the sources, but the details were still being worked out Wednesday.

It could not be learned how sweeping the conclusions of the 13-month investigation would be, but the two sources said the Justice Department found constitutional abuses of citizens by Chicago police.

The federal investigation was launched in December 2015 amid the fallout over the court-ordered release of video showing the fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald.

In announcing the investigation in December 2015, Lynch said the probe would focus on the Police Department’s use of force — including whether there were racial, ethnic and other disparities in how force was used. She also said the Justice Department would look into the police system of accountability.

Speaking to the City Club of Chicago in September, U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon said the investigation had grown into the largest such probe ever undertaken by federal authorities and was proceeding at a “record pace.”

Fardon said investigators have done a “deep dive,” analyzing “tons of data,” interviewing hundreds of people, conducting ride-alongs with officers and studying police policies.

The Tribune reported last week that the Justice Department sped up its timeline to get the report done before Democratic President Barack Obama hands over the White House on Jan. 20 to President-elect Donald Trump — a tough-on-crime, pro-police Republican.

Trump’s pick for Attorney General, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, is a longtime law enforcement advocate who has been critical of civil rights investigations that paint police wrongdoing with a broad brush.

At his Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday, Sessions said federal litigation against police departments “can undermine respect for police officers. … We need to be careful before we do that.”

“I think there’s concern that good police officers and good departments can be sued by the Department of Justice when you just have individuals within a department who have done wrong, and those individuals need to be prosecuted,” Sessions said. “Filing a lawsuit against a police department can have ramifications sometimes beyond what a lot of people think.”

Meanwhile, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has tried to get ahead of whatever findings the report makes. Last week, he said he would continue his efforts to reform the Chicago Police Department, no matter the outcome of the civil rights probe.

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2017 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Could You Pass the Voting “Literacy Test”?

Under the Chumph and Republicans we are headed bak to the days of Literacy tests to deny minority voting rights. The following is one such test of black voters used by Louisiana, Of course there were few schools for black children, which racists insisted played no part in being able to pass the test. Remember – one wrong answer, in the 10 minutes allotted to complete the test means you aren’t smart enough to vote… This test was sourced form the Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement site which contains a lot of information as well as historical artifacts. Go there, it is well worth a visit.

Voting Test 1

 

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Dear Racism – I Am Not My Grandparents…These Hands

As always I am on the lookout for sites with a fresh perspective and a new view on things. Doing this blog as fun means I am not always up on the very latest (I do tend to spend time on my other hobbies – woodworking, building, tech projects, photography)..as well as those thing income producing.

This from a recent discovery – Very Smart Brothas. The site is worth a visit. But warning – that language can be a bit overboard.

THOSE “I’M NOT MY GRANDPARENTS; YOU CAN CATCH THESE HANDS” SHIRTS ARE DISRESPECTFUL AS FUCK (AND WRONG)

I was invited to New York City Friday evening for an advance screening of the screen adaptation of Fences — August Wilson’s iconic play. Afterwards, the cast — including Denzel Washington (who also produced and directed the film) and Viola Davis — took part in a panel discussion about the story the film told, August Wilson’s genius, Pittsburgh (where each of Wilson’s plays took place), and the importance of bringing these characters and their specific truths to light.

Fences, of course, is set in the 1950s and revolves around Troy Maxson, a 53-year-old man whose entire existence is a struggle and whose every moment is a fight. There are frequent moments of levity in Troy’s life, but even those are clouded by, engulfed with, and sometimes a direct response to racial and societal adversity. He is the pipe and America is the pressure. Left to pick up his pieces are his wife (Rose), his two sons, his brother, and his best friend while each of them are also fighting against and existing within the same forces he is.

Fences is about one family in the Hill District. Well, one man in particular and how his actions affect the people closest to him. But Wilson’s work continues to resonate because his plays are snapshots into the lives of our parents and grandparents and great aunts and uncles. Troy Maxson isn’t every man, but the world that shaped him — hardening and tempering him — is the same world our ancestors existed in. And our existence today is proof of their perseverance. That their struggles weren’t for naught.

This took a level of strength and endurance and pugnacity that few of us today have had to possess. When Kendrick Lamar starts “Alright” with “All my life I’ve had to fight” there’s a bit of accepted creative hyperbole there. With Troy (and Rose) Maxson, however, that proclamation is literal. And its with this context that those “I’m Not My Grandparents” shirts (and the sentiment behind them) are so fucking disrespectful. And not only disrespectful, but wrong as fuck too.

Now, I do get why they exist. America just elected a man who seems intent on doing exactly what he said he was going to do during his campaign. To quote Charles Blow, “it would be hard to send a clearer message to women and minorities that this administration will be hostile to their interests than the cabinet he is assembling.” And this has apparently given quite a few closet racists and basement bigots the confidence to be themselves. The message the shirt is attempting to convey is “you better not try that shit with me.”

But this message can be communicated without disparaging the legacies of those who fought like a motherfucker — with words and protests and faith and actual fists — in an America that was much, much, much more hostile towards them than the one we currently exist in. To paraphrase Dr. Regina N. Bradley, a better and more appropriate shirt would say “These are my grandparents’ hands. Catch ’em if you want to.”

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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