“Obama To Unleash Racial-Preferences Juggernaut”
If your organization has a policy or practice that doesn’t benefit minorities equally, watch out: The Obama administration could sue you for racial discrimination under a dubious legal theory that many argue is unconstitutional.
President Obama intends to close “persistent gaps” between whites and minorities in everything from credit scores and homeownership to test scores and graduation rates.
His remedy — short of new affirmative-action legislation — is to sue financial companies, schools and employers based on “disparate impact” complaints — a stealthy way to achieve racial preferences, opposed 2 to 1 by Americans.
Under this broad interpretation of civil-rights law, virtually any organization can be held liable for race bias if it maintains a policy that negatively impacts one racial group more than another — even if it has no racist motive and applies the policy evenly across all groups.
This means that even race-neutral rules for mortgage underwriting and consumer credit scoring potentially can be deemed racist if prosecutors can produce statistics showing they tend to result in adverse outcomes for blacks or Latinos.
Remind me again, this equality of outcome thing: That’s quasi-socialist, is it not? Or am I just being an unhelpful Visigoth in need of a Wikipedia cite from a sober, realistic Republican pragmatist to set my Hobbity self straight?
Already, Attorney General Eric Holder has used the club of disparate-impact lawsuits to beat almost $500 million in loan set-asides and other claims out of the nation’s largest banks.
In addition to the financial settlements — which include millions in funding for affordable-housing activists — Bank of America, Wells Fargo and SunTrust have all agreed to adopt more minority-friendly lending policies.
Though the administration seeks equal credit outcomes, regardless of risk, across the entire banking industry, it doesn’t have to sue every bank to achieve its goal. As a prophylactic against similar prosecution, IBD has learned the American Bankers Association recently advised its 5,000 members to give rejected minority loan applicants a “second look,” which it says “can result in suggested changes in underwriting standards.”
Also, the administration sent a chill through the financial industry earlier this year when it announced its new credit watchdog agency will join Justice, as well as HUD, in using the disparate-impact doctrine to enforce civil-rights laws.
Okay, let’s just stop right here so I can say this: what they are proposing in a form of “compassionate racialism,” which is nothing more than racism. It is the progressive’s real-life policy version of those tongue-in-cheek affirmative action bake sales put on by campus Republicans.
It is demonstrably unconstitutional — which in no way means it won’t be deemed in perfect keeping with the spirit of the framers by some leftwing hack judge — and it is an attempt to enforce a kind of conformity of outcome that is anathema to our system of government and the entire history of the American experiment.
I will not live under such a system — one in which, theoretically at least, a teacher can be sued by the federal government if the blacks or Latinos in her class consistently under perform — which will necessitate a special grading system for each ethnic group.
This is repulsive. It is un-American in every sense. And it speaks to the intellectual befouling of our country by the real racists — those who continue to use racial politics to claim votes rather than to fix legitimate problems in racial disparity using the principles of liberty and personal autonomy, and the methodologies of free-market capitalism.
Obama wants to say that putting one’s thumb on the scale for particular ethnic groups is a form of social justice that will be defended by punitive law. That’s bullshit. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s bullshit worth staging sit-ins and marches over.
For the irony.