Another Obama Nominee With Civil Rights Enforcement Experience, Another Round Of Race-Baiting Smears


Right-wing media have a long history of leveling charges of anti-white bias at President Obama's nominees and appointees of color, smears that have now formed the basis of Republican attacks on Labor Secretary nominee Thomas E. Perez.

President Obama Chose Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Perez As His Next Secretary of Labor

Mother Jones: Perez's Adherence To Civil Rights Precedent "Makes Him A Target For The Right." Adam Serwer of Mother Jones reported Perez's "unapologetic civil rights advocacy" has drawn the ire of those who want to overturn decades of anti-discrimination law.

When Perez was nominated to head the Department of Justice's civil rights division, some congressional Republicans sought to block his confirmation over since discredited allegations regarding a voter intimidation case involving the New Black Panther Party and Perez's advocacy on behalf of undocumented immigrants. During the Bush years, the division had been marred by partisan politics and declining civil rights enforcement. But since Perez took the helm, the division has blocked partisan voting schemescracked down on police brutalityprotected gay and lesbian students from harassmentsued anti-immigrant Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio for racial profilingstood up against Islamophobia, and forced the two largest fair-housing settlements in history from banks that discriminated against minority homeowners.

Perez says he doesn't think of civil rights as a partisan issue--he takes pride in the fact that he was first hired by the civil rights division as a career attorney under President George H.W. Bush. But now that conservatives are working hard to roll back civil-rights-era legislation, Perez's unapologetic civil rights advocacy stands out and makes him a target for the right. [Mother Jones, 3/12/13]

Right-Wing Media Call Perez A "Race-Baiter" And Responsible For "Racial Animus" 

Fox News Contributor Michelle Malkin: Perez Is An "Extremist Race-Baiter." Malkin revived the non-scandal of the New Black Panther Party case that pre-dated Perez's tenure as an example of his "selectively enforc[ing] the law in a racially, not neutral way."

[Fox News, Hannity, 3/13/13]

Right-Wing Blogger J. Christian Adams: The Civil Rights Division Under Perez Is "Infested With Racial Animus." Although Perez explains established law when he notes Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act was crafted for historical victims of voter suppression, Adams rejected this as "ma[king] sense in 1965" but not today and accused Perez of believing "the Voting Rights Act shouldn't apply to white people."

[Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 3/19/13]

President Obama Chose Federal Appellate Judge Sonia Sotomayor As The Next Supreme Court Justice

The New York Times: Critics Of Sotomayor Accuse Her Of "Bias[] Against Whites." In a New York Times op-ed, SCOTUSblog founder Tom Goldstein surveyed "every single race-related" case of then-Judge Sotomayor and concluded charges of racism were baseless.

LONG past the Civil War, and a generation after the formative civil rights struggle, many of us remain incapable of having a conversation about ethnicity that does not devolve into charges of racism.

One recent example of this is the public discussion about the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, and the widespread accusations that she has been unable to dispassionately decide cases involving questions of race. In the rush to find Judge Sotomayor's "biases," critics have latched onto her decision in Ricci v. DeStefano, where she ruled in favor of New Haven's decision to discard the results of a promotion exam for firefighters because too few minorities scored high enough. Some infer from this that Judge Sotomayor must be biased against whites.

Overlooked in the hysteria over this one decision is that Judge Sotomayor considered issues of race almost 100 times as an appellate judge. Having now reviewed every single race-related case on which she sat in more than a decade on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, I've concluded that Judge Sotomayor does not allow bias to infect her decision-making. [The New York Times, 6/15/09]

Right-Wing Media Call Sotomayor A "Bigot" And "Racist"

Right-Wing Radio Host Mark Levin: Sotomayor Is A "Bigot." Levin called Sotomayor a "bigot" - before qualifying that her comment was "bigoted" - after she gave a speech in which she hoped that in race and sex discrimination cases the relevant life experience of a "wise Latina" might lead to "a better conclusion" than that of a white male.

LEVIN: [Senators] need to understand that if they vote to confirm a radical leftist -- and I will now say what I actually believe -- who is a bigot -- that's right, I said it -- then they need to pay a political price for this. [The Mark Levin Show5/26/09, via Media Matters]

Rush Limbaugh: "I'm Not Retracting It" When Informed Newt Gingrich Took Back His Claim That Sotomayor Was A "Racist." Limbaugh did not join other right-wing media in switching the "racist" smear from attacking Sotomayor personally to solely her "wise Latina" comment.

[The Rush Limbaugh Show, 6/3/09] 

President Obama Chose Former Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder As His First Attorney General

The Volokh Conspiracy: Nomination Objections To The "Obviously Qualified" Holder "Seem To Be Ideological." Contributors on the influential conservative/libertarian blog The Volokh Conspiracy argued that Holder was "a fairly conventional left-wing Democrat" and Republicans should not "fight the confirmation."

[C]abinet officers and other executive officials are supposed to follow the president's policies and take his orders. Therefore, it is important that the president be able to choose people who share his policy priorities. Conservative advocates of the unitary executive should be among the first to appreciate the importance of allowing the president to choose his own top advisers. Realistically, any attorney general nominated by Obama will likely be a liberal Democrat; after all, that is what Obama is himself.

Senators might still be justified in rejecting a cabinet nominee if he were clearly unqualified for the job, showed evidence of serious moral depravity, or had ideological proclivities that are dangerously far removed from the mainstream. I don't think Holder qualifies on any of these counts. He is obviously qualified for the job, and seems to be a fairly conventional left-wing Democrat. I'm not a fan of his apparent role in President Clinton's pardons of Marc Rich and others; but as far as I know there is no evidence that Holder did anything illegal or seriously unethical in these cases. [The Volokh Conspiracy, 11/19/08]

Right-Wing Media Call Holder A "Race-Hustler" And "Racist Punk"

Fox News Contributor Michelle Malkin: Holder Is A "Race-Hustler." In a segment questioning why Holder announced the possibility of an investigation into the shooting of Trayvon Martin, Malkin explained that an unrelated Holder speech showed his "people" are "race hustlers like Al Sharpton" and the New Black Panther Party.

[Fox News, Hannity, 4/11/12]

Right-Wing Activist And Columnist Ted Nugent: Holder Is A "Racist Punk."  In response to reports that city officials revised an entrance exam that had a disparate impact on applicants of color, Nugent railed against "racist Eric H. Holder Jr.'s Department of Injustice."

What Mr. Holder clearly wants by forcing his racist substandards on the good citizens of Dayton is to ensure people he favors get a fair shake at becoming cops by lowering the standards to such a degree that there might as well not be any entrance exams.

Before long, the question "Can you tie your shoes?" will be deemed racially insensitive.

Dayton residents had better hope Mr. Holder does not encourage members of the racist New Black Panther Party to move to Dayton and become police officers where they could then legally intimidate white citizens without fear of reprisal from Mr. Holder's Department of Injustice. If the citizens complained, he could scold them and call them "racial cowards."

Leaving aside that Mr. Holder's Department of Injustice should stay the heck out of Dayton's entrance exam standards (which were already pathetically low), the issue that should boil the blood of Dayton residents is that their tax dollars will pay the salaries of public employees who are functionally illiterate - the very bottom of the barrel.

So much for excellence, right, Eric the racist?


Maybe President Obama will come to Dayton and have a beer with angry citizens and try and assuage their concerns. What the president should do is fire the racist punk Mr. Holder for a pattern of ugly racist statements and behavior.

Unfortunately, Mr. Holder passed Mr. Obama's low, low standards.

Racism lives, and it lives in the Obama crony administration. How sad. [The Washington Times, 3/14/11]

House Republicans Allege "Mismanagement" And "Racism" At The Department Of Justice Civil Rights Division

Houston Chronicle: Accused Of Convening To "Embarrass Tom Perez," House GOP "Slams" The Civil Rights Division Under Perez's Supervision "As Racist." Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee "hurled charges of racism" at Perez's division in a recent hearing, echoing right-wing media figures.

GOP lawmakers hurled charges of racism and preferential treatment at the Department of Justice unit assigned to combat those ills --the civil rights division.

The charges flew at a Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday morning. Former Justice Department employees drew on past experiences and a March Inspector General's report on allegations of race-related issues.


[Conservative legal pundit Hans] Von Spakovsky said the department was not race-neutral in choosing which voting cases to prosecute and said the IG report revealed hiring practices biased towards political liberals. Von Spakovsky now works at the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation.

Two other witnesses joined Von Spakovsky's condemnations, both from conservative-aligned groups--The Election Law Center and The Liberty Counsel. A fourth witness, a law professor at the University of Michigan, largely disagreed with Von Spakovsky's characterizations.

During the hearing, visibly upset lawmakers grilled the witnesses. They often interrupted them, sometimes each other, and sometimes insisted the witnesses answer with simple yes or no despite witness protestations.

The IG report did not agree with Von Spakovsky's and other critics' assessments. The report examined the division from 2001 to 2011. [Houston Chronicle4/17/13]

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