It’s hard not to watch Republicans own themselves in public, again, even as the clock ticks down the hours until the government shuts down due to their dysfunction. But for a moment, let’s talk about a branch of the government that is actually doing something for The People.
Supposedly, we have these three branches of government to to ensure the government is effective and citizens’ rights are protected. Insert sad joke here. But one branch is doing something to protect citizens’ rights, and predictably, it’s the executive branch; the lone branch of government that is still reliably doing its part of the job of functioning effectively and protecting citizens’ rights.
In these perilous times as antisemitic incidents have hit the “highest level ever recorded” according to an Anti-Defamation League audit, the Biden-Harris administration has already taken over 100 actions to specifically address antisemitism. In addition, Thursday morning the Administration announced that for the first time, federal agencies are making it clear in writing that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “prohibits certain forms of antisemitic, Islamophobic, and related forms of discrimination in federally funded programs and activities,” according to a White House fact sheet.
The Administration will ready staff at eight federal agencies, including Housing and Urban Development, the Departments of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Labor, Treasury, and Transportation, work to inform communities of their rights and how to file a complaint, as well as help entities that are prohibited from discriminating in these ways to explain their legal responsibilities.
The fact sheet goes on to note how else it will help: “Each agency today is clarifying the ways in which Title VI covers discrimination on the basis of shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics, including certain forms of antisemitism, Islamophobia, and related forms of bias and discrimination. These actions were developed with support from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and provide details about how these protections may cover individuals of many different faith traditions, such as people who are Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Hindu, or Buddhist. Agency fact sheets are being translated into Yiddish, Hebrew, Arabic, Punjabi, and other languages to ensure that a diverse array of populations can access this vital civil rights information, and additional languages will be available upon request.”
Action from the executive branch is often limited in scope to how laws and rules will be interpreted, so they are clarifying that Title VI covers discrimination on the basis of shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics, which includes certain forms of Islamophobia and antisemitism and other related acts of bias.
Racism, bigotry, antisemitism and gender based hate are on the rise in the United States, aided and inflamed by unrestrained hate speech coming from mostly right wing personalities.
As some of those personalities are in the House ignoring their duty to fund the government while humiliating themselves with an impeachment inquiry in which their own witnesses are refuting Republican claims, President Joe Biden is doing his job.
It’s way past time for House Republicans to do theirs.
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Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump.
Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.
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