It’s Not About Affirmative Action – It’s About The Census

Today the New York Times announces;

Justice Dept. to Recharge Enforcement of Civil Rights

Seven months after taking office, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is reshaping the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division by pushing it back into some of the most important areas of American political life, including voting rights, housing, employment, bank lending practices and redistricting after the 2010 census.

The first thing that struck me in this article was that the Obama Administration has decided to enforce policies – not people.

As part of this shift, the Obama administration is planning a major revival of high-impact civil rights enforcement against policies, in areas ranging from housing to hiring, where statistics show that minorities fare disproportionately poorly. President George W. Bush’s appointees had discouraged such tactics, preferring to focus on individual cases in which there is evidence of intentional discrimination.

So, if you are a person that has been intentionally discriminated against, your case will not be the focus of this Administration. The good of many vs. the few argument is how the Administration will argue this point. Which works unless you are one of the few.

As this Administration has released information over the past months, I have come to look at what they’re trying to minimize as that’s shown to be exactly what their focus is in reality. In this case I immediately noticed the almost nonchalant inclusion of the census redistricting.

Redistricting the will be accomplished by the 2010 Census will be overseen by the Department of Justice pursuant to Section 5 of the Voters Rights Act and according to the National Journal Magazine;

But in recent years Section 5’s most important impact has been less benign. It has been used to pressure covered states and localities to adopt extreme racial gerrymanders to create more safe districts for black and Hispanic politicians.

Section 5 could have a large impact on the redrawing of thousands of election districts after next year’s census. It virtually requires nine mostly Southern states and portions of five others (called “covered jurisdictions”) to submit their redistricting plans — as well as all other changes in voting rules, right down to moving a polling place across the street — for “prescreening” by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

The Administration is ‘bulking’ up the DOJ to ensure they have the might they’re going to need to ensure they can control yet another aspect of the Census. The modifications that can be achieved could accomplish more ‘change’ that almost any other aspect of this Administration. Changes that will impact our lives for years to come.

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