Thursday, August 03, 2017

Trump/Pence Regime to Attack Affirmative Action

At the same time that he has announced that he wants to cut legal immigration to America in half - most likely meaning a decrease in non-whites admitted to the country - the Trump/Pence regime that it intends to take on affirmative action for minorities at the college level, saying that it discriminates against white students.  It goes without saying that the Trump evangelical Christian and white supremacist base of Trump's support is thrilled by both prospects.  Both moves underscore that Trump's slogan "make America great again" actually means "make America white again."  It also underscores that Trump voters are motivated first and foremost by animus towards those they deem "other" and that while evangelicals continue to pack church pews, they are the antithesis of true followers of the Gospels.  Here are highlights from the Washington Post on the planned attack on minorities:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s internal announcement indicating that the Justice Department is seeking to curb affirmative action in a university admissions case has roused President Trump’s conservative base by seizing on a longtime grievance of the right at a moment when the administration is struggling to fulfill core Republican promises.
Sessions’s apparent intention to prohibit “intentional race-based discrimination” is also a window into the direction he is pulling the department’s Civil Rights Division in his effort to reverse Obama administration policies on a range of issues, including criminal justice, policing and voting rights.
Sessions’s moves signal that the administration is embracing the base during a time of turbulence and tension, with heavy attention being paid to the concerns of the white voters who lifted Trump into the presidency.
When Trump publicly attacked Sessions last week for his decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe, conservative groups and Republican lawmakers swiftly rallied to the attorney general’s defense. They argued Sessions — more than any other Cabinet member — has delivered quickly and concretely on Trump’s priorities. . . . .  Although the president is still unhappy with Sessions, Kelly told him that Trump does not plan to fire him or want him to resign, the person said. Kelly’s call came after a week of criticism in interviews and tweets by Trump of his attorney general.
Some Republican operatives also see the affirmative action initiative as a strategic play by the White House to rally middle-class and upper-middle-class white voters, especially as the Republican agenda on Capitol Hill has stalled.
“This touches a lot of issues and talks right to the folks who look at college admissions and believe slots for their kids are being taken, whether it’s by illegal immigrants or by other groups,” said Brett O’Donnell, a veteran Republican consultant. “It strikes to the heart of how they feel college is increasingly unaffordable and sometimes impossible to get into.”
Polling reflects the unease among Trump voters. A Washington Post-ABC News poll last year showed 44 percent of registered voters who supported Trump saw “whites losing out because of preferences for blacks and Hispanics” as a bigger problem than minorities “losing out.”
[T]wo people familiar with discussions in the Civil Rights Division said the announcement came after career staffers who specialize in education issues refused to work on the investigation out of concerns it was contrary to the division’s long-standing approach to civil rights in education.
Civil rights groups Wednesday lashed out at the initiative and said Sessions may be trying to end college affirmative action programs that allow schools to promote more diversity on campus by considering race in college applications. For generations, up until the mid-1960s, African Americans were systematically denied admission to universities, they said.
In two cases, the Supreme Court has ruled that schools have a compelling interest in creating a diverse student body and may use race as one of multiple factors in admissions decisions. In June 2016, the court ruled 4 to 3 that a race-conscious admissions policy at the University of Texas was constitutional.
Critics of affirmative action say the Supreme Court rulings have left an opening to challenge race-conscious policies, and federal cases are pending against Harvard College and the University of North Carolina.
Sessions has long faced questions about his attitudes and actions regarding racial justice. In 1986, a Republican-led Senate committee rejected his nomination by Reagan for a federal judgeship amid allegations of racism. In January, civil rights groups spoke out against his nomination during a bitter confirmation hearing. For the first time, a sitting senator, Cory Booker (D-N.J.), testified against Sessions, focusing on his civil rights record.
Bannon and Miller echo the president’s instincts about what his base — which Trump calls “my people” — wants from the administration: a mix of grievance-infused politics, populism and hostility toward anything viewed as “politically correct.”
As noted in past posts, Sessions is a racist of long standing dating back to the days when he and I both lived in Mobile, Alabama, when he refused to prosecute KKK members who had lynched a young black man.  As for the media's use of the term "conservative," it should not be applied to racists and people motivated by hatred.  They need to be call what they are - racists and bigots.

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