Sixty years after desegregating the nation’s public schools, Attorney General Eric Holder said the country is far from completely eradicating racism and that subtle bigotry stings the most.
Delivering the commencement address at Morgan State University, an historically black college in Baltimore, Holder said, “Our country is stronger when all Americans are treated equally. Yet we know that boys and young men of color have historically and consistently faced some of the most severe challenges to success.”
Instead of overt discrimination that prevented black and white children from learning together, current zero-tolerance policies and disparities in the legal system can end up harming African-Americans, Native Americans and other minorities more than others, he said in frank commencement remarks.
Overt discrimination is banned, he said, and the public may overwhelmingly disparage controversial comments made by people like Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.
But the “greatest threats do not announce themselves in screaming headlines,” said Holder, the country’s first African-American attorney general.
“They are more subtle,” he added. “They cut deeper. And their terrible impact endures long after the headlines have faded and obvious, ignorant expressions of hatred have been marginalized.”
Holder listed school safety policies that end up holding back minority students, harsh sentences disproportionately handed down to non-white criminals and voter identification laws as policies that perpetuate inequality in the U.S.
The Attorney General joins the Administration in speaking up about racism with less than 3 years to go on Holder’s boss, President Obama’s second term in office….
Barack H. Obama, being the first American mixed race President has waited until the end of his run to bring something that many foolishly thought was gone after Obama’s election to office…
Racism is America, is NOT gone….
During Bush’s presidency, the Justice Department encouraged school districts to seek unitary status, said Dennis Parker, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Racial Justice Program. “They were literally writing letters to school districts inviting them to apply,” he said.
In the first year of the Obama administration — the only year with equivalent data — 10 districts were declared unitary, compared with an average 22 per year during the Bush administration. Unitary status means a judge says the district did away with a dual system of education and is free from most federal oversight.
By the time President Barack Obama got to office, there were far fewer resources for enforcing the remaining court orders, said Shaw, who worked on the transition team for the Department of Justice at the time.
Today, the Justice Department counts at least 43 school desegregation interventions during Obama’s first term.
“DOJ has recently used some of these existing desegregation orders to go after what you might call second- or third-generation racial segregation,” said Jim Eichner, managing director of the civil rights group the Advancement Project and a former attorney at the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights…..
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