Leadership Conference on President Bush's Civil Rights Record

By Fernandes, Julie; Russell, Malik | The Crisis, May/June 2003 | Go to article overview
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Leadership Conference on President Bush's Civil Rights Record


Fernandes, Julie, Russell, Malik, The Crisis


QUESTIONS

How did the report come about?

The report came about as the result of a growing concern from the civil rights community that while President Bush was prosecuting a very high-profile campaign against terrorism, he was at the same time pursuing an equally aggressive campaign to erode civil rights in America that wasn't getting the same kind of attention. What are some of the Bush administration most egregious attacts on civil rights? President Bush has enacted regulations that weaken the civil rights of American workers, has threatened education equity for women and girls through Title IX policies, has rejected regulatory changes to address racial disparities in federal sentencing rules, and has done a number of things in the anti-terrorism area that affect civil rights. In the area of litigation, the Bush administration filed a brief in the University of Michigan affirmative action cases arguing that the use of race as a factor in admissions is unconstitutional. [In so doing] the Bush administration took the occasion of the Martin Luther King holiday to announce to people of color all over ?America that their concerns about inclusion and equal opportunity were going to be pushed aside. The Bush administration appears to be a model for diversity - Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Rod Paige - yet no one would consider their policies progressive. I remember when Thurgood Marshall retired from the Supreme Court and somebody asked him whether...the [first Bush] administration should place a priority on replacing him with another African American, and Thurgood Marshall responded [that] a White snake is no different from a Black snake. How has the president done in forms of Black leaders and black leaders and Black and Brown coalition?

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