A member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has written to Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan (R), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, warning that Joe Biden’s sweeping executive order embedding radical woke equity ideology in all agencies of the executive branch is a “Trojan Horse” that represents “a major step toward socialism.”
Writing as a single member of the commission, Peter Kirsanow highlighted in his letter, dated March 2, to Jordan that, while “the key promise of civil rights statutes is equal opportunity, [t]hey do not promise equal outcomes.” [sic]
Since we are all different, the only way to achieve equal outcomes is by putting a thumb on the scale, i.e., through some form of discrimination.
Discrimination on the basis of skill, hard work, and proficiency is necessary and lawful. Discrimination on the basis of immutable characteristics unrelated to performance is idiotic and unlawful.
The latter form of discrimination is precisely what is required by this executive order.
Biden’s latest Executive Order installs “equity” czars in every federal government agency and converts the entire Executive Branch into a DEI cult.
We at AFL are vowing relentless opposition to this racist effort to divide our citizens. https://t.co/eIcKD1TdHl
— America First Legal (@America1stLegal) February 18, 2023
Citing Sec. 10 of Biden’s radical attempt to make over most federal agencies into what America First Legal termed a “woke DEI cult,” the commissioner condemned the definition of “equity” Biden adopted in his executive order, i.e.:
… the consistent and systematic treatment of all individuals in a fair, just, and impartial manner, including individuals who belong to communities that often have been denied such treatment, such as Black, Latino, Indigenous and Native American, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander persons and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; women and girls; LGBTQI+ persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; persons who live in United States territories; persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality; and individuals who belong to multiple such communities.
“There are multiple problems with, and questions raised by, this definition,” Kirsanow, a labor and employment attorney, argued. “First, why the use of the term ‘equity’ instead of ‘equality?’ Clearly, because ‘equality’ means treating everyone the same, and ‘equity’ means ensuring that outcomes are the same.”
He observed to Jordan that had Biden truly intended to ensure all Americans have “equal opportunity,” he would have simply used the “existing language of Title VII,” which states discriminating against any employee “because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” is “unlawful.”
“The fact that the executive order does not simply adopt the language of Title VII emphatically demonstrates that the order is not about equality or nondiscrimination,” Kirsanow explained. “It is about something wholly different and pernicious.”
“Second, entire segments of the American population are effectively excluded from the executive order’s definition of ‘equity’? he continued. “Among them are whites, seniors, men and boys, members of majority religions, and the able-bodied.”
Fox News host Tucker Carlson similarly stated on his show following the release of the executive order that it amounts to a situation whereby every American, except “straight white males,” will “qualify for one of Joe Biden’s many protective categories.”
“Practically speaking, we know that the drafters of this executive order are unconcerned with which groups are doing comparatively well or poorly,” Kirsanow wrote to Jordan. “This is simply an excuse to redistribute jobs, salaries, and prestige away from disfavored groups and toward favored (politically useful) groups.”
Regarding the sweeping nature of the executive order, the commissioner noted that “nearly the entirety of the federal government is devoted to propagating ideological imperatives enforced by innumerable teams of DEI officers”:
Senior officials must engage in racial discrimination to achieve “equitable” outcomes or face poor performance reviews. The agency designees fulfill the same role as Soviet political officers – ensuring that if anyone has a thought or impulse that contradicts the party line, he will be quickly reminded that his career can be ruined.
“Again, make no mistake: racial discrimination will be required,” Kirsanow asserted. “The federal government has bent over backward to hire and promote minorities during my entire 40+-year career as a labor and employment lawyer and federal official. The only remaining solution to the ‘problem’ of insufficient numbers of minorities in preferred positions is to prevent members of disfavored groups from fulfilling their potential.”
The commissioner informed Jordan of at least two reasons why Congress must address Biden’s executive order.
“First, the executive order essentially upends the civil rights statutes,” he observed. “It is the province of Congress, not the executive branch, to pass legislation. This executive order, on its own terms, completely rewrites the civil rights statutes, laws and regulations regarding contracting and funding, and the civil service system.”
“Second, the substance of the executive order is unconstitutional,” Kirsanow continued. “The executive order directs federal agencies to deliberately discriminate on the basis of race. This violates the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments’ guarantees of equal protection. The guarantee of equal protection is a guarantee to individuals, not to groups.”
The commissioner recommended Congress “hold hearings about the executive order,” and “forbid any appropriations from being expended on” anything discussed in the order.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that the goal of this executive order is to remake the federal government and, as a consequence, the entire country,” Kirsanow concluded. “I urge Congress to take immediate action to defend the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection to individuals and Congress’s own constitutional prerogatives as the legislative branch of government.”
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Susan Berry, PhD is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Joe Biden” by The White House.