It’s an article of faith among Democrats that the Trump administration did not enforce America’s civil rights laws. It’s also nonsense.
As I have demonstrated, under President Trump the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, led by Eric Dreiband, vigorously enforced federal civil rights laws on behalf of all groups protected by these laws. The evidence is here.
The beef of left-liberals against the Trump DOJ’s enforcement effort has nothing to do with alleged lax enforcement of laws protecting Blacks Hispanics, women, or LGBT individuals. Their grievance is that the DOJ also took action to combat unlawful discrimination against Whites.
It’s easy to overlook another group protected by federal law, disabled individuals. This group cuts across racial and gender lines, but is not predominately Black or Latino.
Thus, while the left doesn’t mind enforcing the rights of the disabled, it doesn’t mind not enforcing them, either.
For example, the Obama administration wasn’t interested in taking action against Amtrak, even though that railroad failed to meet its obligation to provide proper access for the disabled to its stations. Under the law, Amtrak had until 2010 to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which was passed in 1990. It failed to do so.
So in 2016 when a college student named Thomas Morgan, who uses a wheelchair, wanted to visit his family, he found that the Amtrak station in the town where he attended school was inaccessible. There was no wheelchair access. The only way to board the train was by stairs.
It was the Trump DOJ that finally acted to force Amtrak to comply with the ADA. Following an investigation, it filed suit against the company. As a result, Amtrak reached an agreement with the Justice Department to make stations accessible, as well as to provide training to staff on ADA requirements.
In the last fiscal year, the company says it spent $109 million on ADA-related design and construction improvement projects. And it has plans during the next ten years to design at least 135 stations to be accessible, to complete construction at 90 of those stations, and to have at least 45 more under construction.
The settlement means that individuals with mobility disabilities will be able to travel freely. This is an important civil right. In its absence, people with disabilities cannot enjoy the full economic, social, and cultural benefits of America.
That’s of little or no concern to the racial “equity” crowd. For example, when Vanita Gupta, Biden’s new associate attorney general nominee, headed the civil rights division, it did nothing to enforce the ADA against the perennially non-compliant Amtrak.
There’s no reason to believe that the race-obsessed Gupta will be more solicitous of the disabled this time around. The same is true of Kristen Clarke, Biden’s nominee to head the civil rights division. If anything, she’s an even more wild-eyed race warrior than Gupta. Clarke’s focus is likely to be on imposing racial quotas throughout the land and on undermining the ability of local police departments to fight crime.
Things may be looking up for under-qualified Blacks and criminals of all race, creeds, and colors. However, disabled individuals and many others protected by federal civil rights law will probably have to fend for themselves.