The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) said Wednesday that its worst fears about Attorney General Jeff Sessions are becoming reality, with CBC Chair Cedric Richmond (D-La.) highlighting a New York Times report about the Justice Department’s latest assault on communities of color with its plan to investigate affirmative action admission policies at universities that discriminate against white students.
— CBC (@OfficialCBC) August 2, 2017
“Instead of standing up for himself to a president who called him ‘very weak’ and ‘beleaguered,’ Attorney General Sessions has chosen to pick on minority students who are in pursuit of a college education, opportunity and the American Dream,” Richmond said, referring to President Trump’s recent criticisms of the AG.
“In doing so, he’s appealing to the lowest common denominator in our country, people who wrongly believe that minority students who benefit from efforts to promote diversity and equality are ignorant, undeserving and unqualified.”
In an internal announcement to the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division obtained by the The New York Times on Tuesday, the DOJ is looking for lawyers interested in working for a new project on “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”
The Hill added:
The news reports sparked outrage amongst civil rights groups. Late Wednesday, Richmond accused Sessions of re-litigating the United States Supreme Court case last year that upheld affirmative action policies at the University of Texas at Austin in which the court said race could be considered along with merit-based criteria in admissions decisions.
“Now, Attorney General Sessions wants to turn back the clock to the darker days in our history when minority students couldn’t get into the schools of their choice because of racist admissions practices,” he said.
“In addition to this attack on Affirmative Action, Attorney General Sessions has taken steps to increase voter suppression, promote private prisons, revive the failed war on drugs, and incentivize mass incarceration, which hurts families and communities. The CBC is strongly opposed to these efforts and will continue to push back on DOJ’s obvious attempts to limit the rights of communities of color.”
In a statement earlier in the day Wednesday, a DOJ official said the document was a “personnel posting” and “does not reflect a new policy or program or any changes to longstanding DOJ policy.”
“Whenever there’s a credible allegation of discrimination on the basis of race, the department will look into it,” the official said.