Thursday, June 21, 2007

Speaking of racism...

Just heard of this story from The Stranger's blog - apparently, the Bush appointee in charge of the civil rights division of the Justice Department has been found to have fired a handful of successful civil rights attorneys in the department in order to "make room for some good Americans."

Which, as we know, means Americans who did not vote for John McCain in the Republican primary:
"[Bradley] Schlozman raised the question of partisan politics bluntly in the fall of 2004, they said, when asking appellate supervisors about the 'loyalty' of division lawyer Angela Miller, who had once clerked for David. B. Sentelle, a conservative federal appeals judge. He told Miller's bosses that he learned that she voted for McCain in the 2004 Republican primary and asked, 'Can we still trust her?'"
And that's how they treat Republicans! The Washington Post makes clear that the entire Civil Rights division of the Justice Dept. has languished under Schlozman's "leadership."
"The Bush administration, largely under Schlozman, hired seven members as replacements or additions to the 14-lawyer appellate section where Stevens, Calderon and Kwong worked (former civil rights attorneys who say they were dismissed for political reasons). They included six whites, one Asian and no African Americans." (keep in mind this is the civil rights division)

"Appellate lawyers said that before Schlozman arrived, the small staff enjoyed a collegial work environment generally free of partisanship. Its lawyers concentrated on framing constitutional arguments for pending judicial decisions on hot-button issues such as voting rights, racial discrimination and religious freedom."

"Schlozman and several deputies also took an unusual interest in the assignment of office responsibility for appellate cases and, according to the lawyers and one of the supervisors, repeatedly [taking] cases away from career lawyers with expertise and [handing] them to recent hires whose résumés listed membership in conservative groups, including the Federalist Society."
Fortunately, Schlozman is no longer at the post where he did this terrible puppetry for the Bush Administration, and two of the four attorneys profiled in the Post story are back at their old jobs.

Unfortunately, Schlozman left his civil rights job because he was appointed the interim U.S. attorney in Missouri. His tenure there reflected his job performance with the Civil Rights division:
"...[Schlozman] was hired without any prosecution experience, and [he] brought voter-fraud charges against a liberal voting organization five days before the election in a heated congressional race."
Today, the man works with the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys. Splendid.

Perhaps one of many reasons racism persists in our society is that our leaders continue to feed it through incompetent, unethical governance.

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