Robert Reich: 4 Steps Trump Is Taking to Crush Civil Rights Gains
Trump’s budget isn’t just about massive tax cuts for rich and major cuts in assistance for the poor. He also wants to roll back civil rights. Under his proposed budget:
1. The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice – which has long investigated hate crimes, voter suppression, and other forms of discrimination – would lose at least 121 positions.
2. The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program – in charge of policing against discrimination by companies with federal contracts – would be eliminated altogether. That’s 600 positions. (Just last September, the office reached a $1.7 million settlement with tech giant Palantir for discriminatory hiring practices.)
3. The Environmental Protection Agency’s environmental justice program – which combats higher-rates of pollution in communities of color – would be eliminated.
4. The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights – charged with investigating discrimination in America’s schools – would be drastically cut. The Trump administration itself has admitted these cuts will hamper its ability to conduct investigations.
Trump has made clear his priorities: Benefit the most comfortable Americans and stick it to the most vulnerable.