Unsung But Courageous Black Americans Heroes Who Changed History

Every Black History Month, we celebrate the same cast of historic figures. These are the civil rights leaders and abolitionists whose faces we see plastered on calendars and postage stamps. This year we are focusing instead on seminal Black figures who don’t often make the history books. They are a few of the unsung heroes.

Culled from the CNN

Audre Lorde:
1934-1992
Her fierce poetry celebrated Black women

Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet. ”That’s how Audre Lorde famously introduced herself.
Her career as a teacher and a writer spanned decades and though she died almost 30 years ago, much of the work she left behind is still cherished and quoted today.


Born to immigrant parents from Grenada, Lorde was raised in Manhattan and published her first poem while still in high school. She served as a librarian in New York public schools before her first book of poetry was published in 1968.
In her work, she called out racism and homophobia and chronicled her own emotional and physical battle with breast cancer. Her writing also humanized Black women in a way that was rare for her time.
As a Black queer woman, Lorde sometimes questioned her place in academic circles dominated by White men. She also battled with feminists she saw as focusing primarily on the experiences of White middle-class women while overlooking women of color.
—Leah Asmelash,

Ella Baker
1903-1986
She risked her life to rally activists in the Deep South

She played a major role in three of the biggest groups of the civil rights movement, but Ella Baker somehow still remains largely unknown outside activist circles.
Baker grew up in North Carolina, where her grandmother’s stories about life under slavery inspired her passion for social justice.
As an adult, she became an organizer within the NAACP and helped co-found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the organization that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led. She also helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
For her efforts, Baker has been called the “mother of the civil rights movement.”
Baker was best known not as a frontline leader but a mentor to some of the biggest leaders in the movement. She taught volunteers that the movement couldn’t depend solely on charismatic leaders and empowered them to become activists in their own community.
This is the approach that guided SNCC when it embarked on its Freedom Summer voter registration drive in Mississippi in 1964. Baker often risked her life going into small Southern towns to organize.
“The major job,” she once said, “was getting people to understand that they had something within their power that they could use.”
—John Blake

Gordon Parks
1912-2006
His photos chronicled the African American experience

For much of the mid-1900s, it seemed like the world learned about Black America through the eyes of Gordon Parks.
His creative endeavors were astoundingly versatile. Parks performed as a jazz pianist, composed musical scores, wrote 15 books and co-founded Essence magazine.

He adapted his novel “The Learning Tree” into a 1969 film, becoming the first African American to direct a movie for a major studio, and later directed “Shaft,” a hit film that spawned the Blaxploitation genre.
But he reached his artistic peak as a photographer, and his intimate photos of African American life are his most enduring legacy.
—Harmeet Kaur

Marsha P. Johnson
1945-1992
She fought for gay and transgender rights

The late Marsha P. Johnson is celebrated today as a veteran of the Stonewall Inn protests, a pioneering transgender activist and a pivotal figure in the gay liberation movement. Monuments to her life are planned in New York City and her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey.

During her lifetime, though, she wasn’t always treated with the same dignity.
When police raided the New York gay bar known as the Stonewall Inn in 1969, Johnson was said to be among the first to resist them. The next year, she marched in the city’s first Gay Pride demonstration.
But Johnson still struggled for full acceptance in the wider gay community, which often excluded transgender people.The term “transgender” wasn’t widely used then, and Johnson referred to herself as gay, a transvestite and a drag queen. She sported flowers in her hair, and told people the P in her name stood for “Pay It No Mind” – a retort she leveled against questions about her gender
Her activism made her a minor celebrity among the artists and outcasts of Lower Manhattan. Andy Warhol took Polaroids of her for a series he did on drag queens.
—Harmeet Kaur,

Jane Bolin
1908-2007
The first Black woman judge in the US.

Jane Bolin made history over and over. She was the first Black woman to graduate from Yale Law School. The first Black woman to join the New York City Bar Association. The nation’s first Black female judge.
The daughter of an influential lawyer, Bolin grew up admiring her father’s leather-bound books while recoiling at photos of lynchings in the NAACP magazine.
Wanting a career in social justice, she graduated from Wellesley and Yale Law School and went into private practice in New York City.
In 1939, New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia appointed her a family court judge. As the first Black female judge in the country, she made national headlines.
For the compassionate Bolin, the job was a good fit. She didn’t wear judicial robes in court to make children feel more at ease and committed herself to seeking equal treatment for all who appeared before her, regardless of their economic or ethnic background.
In an interview after becoming a judge, Bolin said she hoped to show “a broad sympathy for human suffering.”
—Faith Karimi, C

Constance Baker Motley
1921-2005
The first Black woman to argue before the Supreme Court

Constance Baker Motley graduated from her Connecticut high school with honors, but her parents, immigrants from the Caribbean, couldn’t afford to pay for college. So Motley, a youth activist who spoke at community events, made her own good fortune.
A philanthropist heard one of her speeches and was so impressed he paid for her to attend NYU and Columbia Law School. And a brilliant legal career was born.

Motley became the lead trial attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and began arguing desegregation and fair housing cases across the country. The person at the NAACP who hired her? Future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Motley wrote the legal brief for the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education case, which struck down racial segregation in American public schools. Soon she herself was arguing before the Supreme Court – the first Black woman to do so.
Over the years she successfully represented Martin Luther King Jr., Freedom Riders, lunch-counter protesters and the Birmingham Children Marchers. She won nine of the 10 cases that she argued before the high court.

Motley maintained her composure even as some judges turned their backs when she spoke.
“I rejected any notion that my race or sex would bar my success in life,” Motley wrote in her memoir, “Equal Justice Under Law.”

Charles Richard Drew
1904-1950
The father of the blood bank

Anyone who has ever had a blood transfusion owes a debt to Charles Richard Drew, whose immense contributions to the medical field made him one of the most important scientists of the 20th century.
Drew helped develop America’s first large-scale blood banking program in the 1940s, earning him accolades as “the father of the blood bank.”
Drew won a sports scholarship for football and track and field at Amherst College, where a biology professor piqued his interest in medicine. At the time, racial segregation limited the options for medical training for African Americans, leading Drew to attend med school at McGill University in Montréal.

He then became the first Black student to earn a medical doctorate from Columbia University, where his interest in the science of blood transfusions led to groundbreaking work separating plasma from blood. This made it possible to store blood for a week – a huge breakthrough for doctors treating wounded soldiers in World War II.

In 1940, Drew led an effort to transport desperately needed blood and plasma to Great Britain, then under attack by Germany. The program saved countless lives and became a model for a Red Cross pilot program to mass-produce dried plasma.

Ironically, the Red Cross at first excluded Black people from donating blood, making Drew ineligible to participate. That policy was later changed, but the Red Cross segregated blood donations by race, which Drew criticized as “unscientific and insulting.”

Drew also pioneered the bloodmobile — a refrigerated truck that collected, stored and transported blood donations to where they were needed.

All Souls Don’t Rest in Peace—So Long Rush Limbaugh

It is amazing how this numbskull—some empty-headed vandal who dropped out of Southeast Missouri State University after a miserable two-semester attendance—could captivate about 15 million listeners a week who tuned in for his daily three-hour program. 

_____________________

I have not had this in a long time, but this day, I honestly felt that Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Merlot would perfectly suit the occasion. So immediately after the death of the conservative talk show radio scoundrel, Rush Limbaugh, was announced, I went into a celebration mode.

With glasses of this wild but soft, delicate, herbal, and silky ruddy liquid, and of course, over some jungle-roasted groundnuts, I watched YouTube videos of Limbaugh’s numerous tommyrots―hate speeches and conspiracy tales. I celebrated all day, and I was glad I did. Because, aside from the Saw-Scaled Vipers, COVID-19, and Donald Trump, the only other evil that I hate with a passion is this brute called Rush Limbaugh.


Aside from the Saw-Scaled Vipers, COVID-19, and Donald Trump, the only other evil that I hate with a passion is this brute called Rush Limbaugh.

― Dr. Anthony Obi Ogbo


I already know. We should “Never speak ill of the dead” because, at the least, death is supposed to humble us all. I understand that literature. In fact, in my very Christian community and African culture, there is this unwritten law that people should not say bad things about those who have died. This is to honor the solemn period and show respect to the deceased by forgetting and forgiving their bad actions while remembering only their good ones.

Rush Limbaugh died on 17th February 2021, which saw news headlines going gaga with contrasting messages over the value and legacy he lived. He was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer and finally gave up at 70. But for 32 years, this dude facilitated fiery rhetoric that infiltrated political discourse across America with schismatic contention. He hated a united America.

He shot at core governmental policies and causes that are relevant to African Americans and other minorities.

He was brutal throughout his career, targeting Blacks and minorities and documenting and destroying them through lies and treacheries. He shot at core governmental policies and causes that are relevant to African Americans and other minorities. He specifically disliked everything Black and targeted with racist attacks every admired and respected people of African descent, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Colin Powell, Barack Obama, and many others.

Of course, the world saw how this man targeted Obama—the first African American President of the United States, whom he referred to as “Halfrican American.” He proceeded with a mischievous campaign that Obama was not Black but a Kenyan Arab. He questioned everything about Obama, including his birth, education, and family tree, and recurrently used “Barack the Magic Negro”―an obsolete Jim Crow-era anti-Black term, as background music. He once suggested that James Earl Ray (the confessed assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr.) deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor. He also suggested that the NAACP should have riot rehearsals: get a liquor store and practice robberies.

It is amazing how this numbskull—some empty-headed vandal who dropped out of Southeast Missouri State University after a miserable two-semester attendance—could captivate about 15 million listeners a week who tuned in for his daily three-hour program. I must confess, Limbaugh had a unique subject composition and delivery style that makes his show a perfect hub for the White Supremacists. He would announce his target or policies, initiate the news matter in the most distorted manner, and meticulously trash-talk his conspiracy theories to further woo a clueless flock of listeners who often believed him even when he faked a cough.

Ironically, he died of lung cancer after downplaying the dangers of smoking.

Today, Limbaugh is no more. Ironically, he died of lung cancer after downplaying the dangers of smoking. Then he was a front-runner of Covid-19 denial media bigots. He repeatedly lied about the coronavirus and despicably suggested that the virus was nothing more than a stunt by people opposed to President Donald Trump.

Those who benefited from his idiocy praised him. For instance, his wife, Kathryn Limbaugh, did what any wife of a villain would do. She eulogized him as, “An extraordinary man. A gentle giant. Brilliant, quick-witted, genuinely kind, extremely generous, passionate, courageous, and the hardest-working person I know.”

Former President Donald Trump issued a statement that read in part: “Rush was a patriot, a defender of Liberty, and someone who believed in all of the greatness our country stands for.” Former Vice President Mike Pence, who also benefited from Limbaugh’s nonsense, commemorated him in a series of tweets. He tweeted, “For more than 30 years, no one did more to educate, inform, inspire, and just plain entertain Americans about the issues of the day than Rush Limbaugh.”

While conservatives across the nation mourned Limbaugh, his victims also took to social media to celebrate his demise. In one of over a thousand tweets lampooning him, comedian Paul F. Tompkins tweeted, “If I had to say something positive, I guess I’m glad Rush Limbaugh lived long enough to get cancer and die.” Bishop Talbert W. Swan II, president of a Massachusetts branch of the NAACP, shared his thoughts in a reply to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s tweet eulogizing Limbaugh. According to Bishop Swan II, “Rush Limbaugh was a despicable racist. He was a vile, repugnant white supremacist who denigrated Black people, mocked those dying of AIDS and other diseases, and stoked the flames of bigotry and hatred. Our country has lost one of its most wicked voices. Praise God.”

Judi Ketteler, author of Would I Lie to You? The Amazing Power of Being Honest in a World That Lies wrote, “People who have made a living out of spreading outrageous lies are generally not stupid. They are experts at self-deception.” In the Rolling Stone, Bob Moser wrote, “How the right-wing talk radio icon corrupted the Republican Party, spread hate, racism, and lies, and laid the groundwork for Trumpism.” NPR Houston Public Media, David Folkenflik, “Before right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, before Fox News, there was Limbaugh.”

As I write, the body of Rush Limbaugh lies lifelessly awaiting a process that will finally commit him to Mother Earth. No doubt, he left this earth with his destructive attitude, and racist demeanor.

In society, generally, we would want all departed souls to rest in peace. Some very holy Christians would advocate praying and forgiving their enemies, haters, oppressors, or bullies to pacify the Gospel according to Matthew 5:44, that we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. On the contrary, Isaiah 48:22 declared, “’There is no peace,’ says the Lord, ‘for the wicked.’” Therefore, from the spiritual perspective, all souls don’t rest in peace—not a wicked soul like Limbaugh, who spent his entire lifetime lying, conniving, hating, and destroying other souls.

For a man whom the Devil blessed with just two major Hobbies: Insults and Cigars, and who ironically died of Cancer, going to Hell makes sense.

Also, individuals must not be bullied for their opinions about the dead. They must not be scorned for celebrating the death of their predators. In the dominion of organizational politics, death is what gives the victim solace over the dictators. Thus, victims must not be discouraged from rejoicing over the death of those monsters who make their lives miserable.

Limbaugh has vehemently hurt my people, and for me, it is so long, Dude. It is understandable if he makes it to Hell. For a man whom the Devil blessed with just two major Hobbies: Insults and Cigars, and who ironically died of Cancer, going to Hell makes sense.


♦ Anthony Ogbo, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor at Texas Southern University is the author of the Influence of Leadership (2015)  and the Maxims of Political Leadership (2019). Contact: anthony@guardiannews.us

Chief Martins Agbo’s Relief Items Benefit Area Youth and Widows

By Chijioke Ogbodo

Women especially widows and the youth in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria, have every reason to be thankful to God during the just concluded 2020 Yuletide and 2021 New Year festivity as providence smiled on them through one of their sons, Hon Martins Agbo, also known as Global, the Deputy Chairman of Nkanu East Local Government Council.

The good tidings started with a Football Tournament tagged “Gburugburu Unity Cup” for the people of Idodo Court Area, sponsored by Chief Martins Agbo.

In an exclusive chat with GMTNews correspondent during the events, the philanthropist and Managing Director of M. N. Global Ltd, who admonished the youth to eschew all vices and embrace the virtues of old, further stated that positive self-development is a panacea to the ills of the society.

He said the driving force in embarking on the humanitarian gestures was to thank God for His grace on him and to show his appreciation for the privileged honor done him by the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to make it possible for him to become the Deputy Chairman of his Local Government Council, Nkanu East.

Furthermore, he added that it was to appreciate and honor his late mother, Nnokar’Igwe, who died 34 years ago, on January 4, 1986, when he was still very tender, noting that God’s favor, his father, Chief…, care of other women and dint of determination and hard work on his part, brought him to his current status in life. 

“God rewards every genuine effort of man, I encourage our young men and women to always strive to improve on themselves so as to become good citizens that make the society better…”

“I give God all the glory because, without Him, I would be nothing, having lost my mother in 1986 when I was very small and didn’t know anything. God, women like them and my father, brought me to where I am today”.

He also paid a glowing tribute to his immediate boss, Engr. Uche Nwobodo, Nkanu East Local Government Council Chairman.

Women especially widow numbering over 250 received food items including bags of rice and wrapper each.

“In honor of my late mother, I started palliatives distribution to widows and the less privileged women in 2020, so this is the second edition and it will now become an annual event, and we shall improve as the years get by”.

Hon. Agbo who himself was an active footballer in Ubahu while growing up, sponsored the football tournament in which the 1st position Gold trophy was lifted by the Owo team, Silver was carted away by Ubahu, while in 3rd place (Bronze) was won by Amankanu.

The best player award of the tournament went to Chijioke MBA, the best goaltender was Ndubuisi Nnaji, while the prize for the highest goal scorer went to Pius Chidera.

Motorcycles empowerment which was distributed to beneficiaries through a raffle draw were won by Emmanuel Ani, Emeka Ogbodo, Samuel Amobi Chukwu, and Onyedịkachukwu Nnamani of Amechi-Idodo, Amankanu, Ubahu, and Owo respectively.

In their separate remarks, HRH Igwe Hyacinth Edeani of Ohani Amechi-Idodo, Rt. Hon. Chukwunonso Egbo, Councilor for Owo Ward, and Dr. Mgbenkemdi, an ESUT lecturer, thanked Chief Martins Agbo for his magnanimity, being the first elected official from the area to extend such philanthropy to the ordinary people, and being humble.

The finals of the football tournament and distribution of palliative items which held simultaneously the same day were attended by important personalities including Chief Ikechukwu Ubagu, former Chairman of Nkanu East Local Government Council, Stanley Okeke, former Chairman of Awgu Local Government Council, Chief Nnamdi Nwafor, PDP Enugu East zonal Chairman, Rt. Hon Donatus Onovo, Councilor representing Amechi-Idodo/Oruku-Umuode Ward, HRH Igwe Benneth Ikenna of Amankanu among many others.

Trump’s Long History of Racism, from the 1970s to 2020

By German Lopez

If you ask President Donald Trump, he isn’t racist. On the contrary, he’s repeatedly said that he’s “the least racist person that you’ve ever encountered.”

Trump’s actual record, however, tells a very different story.

On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly made explicitly racist and otherwise bigoted remarks, from calling Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists, to proposing a ban on all Muslims entering the US, to suggesting a judge should recuse himself from a case solely because of the judge’s Mexican heritage.

The trend has continued into his presidency. From stereotyping a Black reporter to pandering to white supremacists after they held a violent rally in Charlottesville, VA, to make a joke about the Trail of Tears, Trump hasn’t stopped with racist acts after his 2016 election.

Most recently, Trump has called the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus the “Chinese virus” and “Kung flu” — racist terms that tap into the kind of xenophobia that he latched onto during his 2016 presidential campaign; Trump’s own adviser, Kellyanne Conway, previously called “Kung flu” a “highly offensive” term. And Trump insinuated that Sen. Kamala Harris, who’s Black, “doesn’t meet the requirements” to run for vice president — a repeat of the birther conspiracy theory that he perpetuated about former President Barack Obama.

This is nothing new for Trump. In fact, the very first time Trump appeared in the pages of the New York Times, back in the 1970s, was when the US Department of Justice sued him for racial discrimination. Since then, he has repeatedly appeared in newspaper pages across the world as he inspired more similar controversies.

This long history is important. It would be one thing if Trump misspoke one or two times. But when you take all of his actions and comments together, a clear pattern emerges — one that suggests that bigotry is not just political opportunism on Trump’s part but a real element of his personality, character, and career.

Trump has a long history of racist controversies

Here’s a breakdown of Trump’s history, taken largely from Dara Lind’s list for Vox and an op-ed by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times:

1973: The US Department of Justice — under the Nixon administration, out of all administrations — sued the Trump Management Corporation for violating the Fair Housing Act. Federal officials found evidence that Trump had refused to rent to Black tenants and lied to Black applicants about whether apartments were available, among other accusations. Trump said the federal government was trying to get him to rent to welfare recipients. In the aftermath, he signed an agreement in 1975 agreeing not to discriminate to renters of color without admitting to previous discrimination.

The 1980s: Kip Brown, a former employee at Trump’s Castle, accused another one of Trump’s businesses of discrimination. “When Donald and Ivana came to the casino, the bosses would order all the Black people off the floor,” Brown said. “It was the eighties, I was a teenager, but I remember it: They put us all in the back.”

1989: In a controversial case that’s been characterized as a modern-day lynching, four Black teenagers and one Latino teenager — the “Central Park Five” — were accused of attacking and raping a jogger in New York City. Trump immediately took charge in the case, running an ad in local papers demanding, “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE!” The teens’ convictions were later vacated after they spent seven to 13 years in prison, and the city paid $41 million in a settlement to the teens. But Trump in October 2016 said he still believes they’re guilty, despite the DNA evidence to the contrary.

1991: A book by John O’Donnell, former president of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, quoted Trump’s criticism of a Black accountant: “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money is short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. … I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault, because laziness is a trait in Blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.” Trump later said in a 1997 Playboy interview that “the stuff O’Donnell wrote about me is probably true.”

1992: The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino had to pay a $200,000 fine because it transferred Black and women dealers off tables to accommodate a big-time gambler’s prejudices.

1993: In congressional testimony, Trump said that some Native American reservations operating casinos shouldn’t be allowed because “they don’t look like Indians to me.”

2000: In opposition to a casino proposed by the St. Regis Mohawk tribe, which he saw as a financial threat to his casinos in Atlantic City, Trump secretly ran a series of ads suggesting the tribe had a “record of criminal activity [that] is well documented.”

2004: In season two of “The Apprentice,” Trump fired Kevin Allen, a Black contestant, for being overeducated. “You’re an unbelievably talented guy in terms of education, and you haven’t done anything,” Trump said on the show. “At some point you have to say, ‘That’s enough.’”

2005: Trump publicly pitched what was essentially “The Apprentice: White People vs. Black People.” He said he “wasn’t particularly happy” with the most recent season of his show, so he was considering “an idea that is fairly controversial — creating a team of successful African Americans versus a team of successful whites. Whether people like that idea or not, it is somewhat reflective of our very vicious world.”

2010: In 2010, there was a huge national controversy over the “Ground Zero Mosque” — a proposal to build a Muslim community center in Lower Manhattan, near the site of the 9/11 attacks. Trump opposed the project, calling it “insensitive,” and offered to buy out one of the investors in the project. On “The Late Show With David Letterman,” Trump argued, referring to Muslims, “Well, somebody’s blowing us up. Somebody’s blowing up buildings, and somebody’s doing lots of bad stuff.”

2011: Trump played a big role in pushing false rumors that Obama — the country’s first Black president — was not born in the US. He claimed to send investigators to Hawaii to look into Obama’s birth certificate. Obama later released his birth certificate, calling Trump a “carnival barker.” The research has found a strong correlation between birtherism, as the conspiracy theory is called, and racism. But Trump has reportedly continued pushing this conspiracy theory in private.

2011: While Trump suggested that Obama wasn’t born in the US, he also argued that maybe Obama wasn’t a good enough student to have gotten into Columbia or Harvard Law School, and demanded Obama release his university transcripts. Trump claimed, “I heard he was a terrible student. Terrible. How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard?”

For many people, none of these incidents, individually, may be damning: One of these alone might suggest that Trump is simply a bad speaker and perhaps racially insensitive (“politically incorrect,” as he would put it), but not overtly racist.

Culled from the Tribune

Trump Administration Civil and Human Rights Rollbacks

Since Trump took office in January 2017, his administration has worked aggressively to turn back the clock on our nation’s civil and human rights progress. Here’s how.

2017

On January 27, Trump signed an executive order – the first version of his Muslim ban – that discriminated against Muslims and banned refugees.

On January 31, under new Chairman Ajit Pai’s leadership, the Federal Communications Commission refused to defend critical components of its prison phone rate rules in federal court – rules that were ultimately struck down in June.

On February 3, Trump signed an executive order outlining principles for regulating the U.S. financial system and calling for a 120-day review of existing laws, like the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The order was viewed as Trump’s opening attack on consumer protection laws.

On February 3, the FCC rescinded its 2014 Joint Sales Agreement (JSA) guidance, which had led to the only increase in television diversity in recent years.

On February 3, FCC Chairman Pai revoked the Lifeline Broadband Provider (LBP) designations for nine broadband service providers, reducing the number of providers offering broadband and thus decreasing the competitive forces available to drive down prices.

On February 7, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy supporting H.J. Res. 57, a resolution under the Congressional Review Act to overturn a Department of Education accountability rule that clarifies states’ obligations under the Every Student Succeeds Act. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights opposes this resolution.

On February 9, Trump signed three executive orders “to fight crime, gangs, and drugs; restore law and order; and support the dedicated men and women of law enforcement.” The orders, though vague, were viewed suspiciously by civil rights organizations.

On February 10, Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell of Washington wrote to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos after the centralized resource website for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) became inaccessible to the public for more than a week. On February 17, DeVos issued a statement blaming the previous administration for neglecting the site.

On February 21, the Department of Homeland Security issued a memo updating immigration enforcement guidance, massively expanding the number of people subject to detention and deportation. The guidance drastically increased the use of expedited removal and essentially eliminated the priorities for deportation.

On February 22, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights jointly rescinded Title IX guidance clarifying protections under the law for transgender students.

On February 23, Attorney General Sessions withdrew an earlier Justice Department memo that set a goal of reducing and ultimately ending the department’s use of private prisons.

On February 27, the Department of Justice dropped the federal government’s longstanding position that a Texas voter ID law under legal challenge was intentionally racially discriminatory, despite having successfully advanced that argument in multiple federal courts. The district court subsequently rejected the position of the Sessions Justice Department and concluded the law was passed with discriminatory intent.

On March 6, the Department of Justice withdrew its motion for a preliminary injunction against North Carolina’s anti-transgender HB 2 law.

On March 6, Trump signed a revised executive order restricting travel to the United States by citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen and drastically cutting back refugee admissions.

On March 6, a week after Trump called on lawmakers to repeal the Affordable Care Act during his address to Congress, House Republicans released a proposal to replace the ACA with a law that would end the Medicaid program as we know it and defund Planned Parenthood.

On March 6, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed ending the collection of data on LGBTQ individuals with disabilities, removing questions on LGBTQ demographics from the Centers for Independent Living Annual Program Performance Report survey.

On March 10, the Department of Housing and Urban Development withdrew a survey proposed in the Federal Register meant to assess the efficacy and replicability of HUD-funded programs to address LGBTQ youth homelessness. According to its own data, 40 percent of young people experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ, so ensuring that its programs are adequately meeting the needs of young LGBTQ people is critical to HUD meeting its own mission. After significant public outcry, the assessment survey was eventually reinstated.

On March 13, the Department of Health and Human Services released a draft of the annual National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants, which gathers data on people who receive services funded through the Older Americans Act. HHS’s draft collection instrument omitted the questions on sexual orientation and gender identity asked on the previous year’s survey. After receiving nearly 14,000 comments on the data collection proposal and after facing bipartisan opposition from Congress, HHS restored the question on sexual orientation but omitted a question that yielded information on gender identity.

On March 16, the Trump administration released a budget blueprint that proposed a $54 billion increase in military spending that would come from $54 billion in direct cuts to non-defense programs. The blueprint also proposed spending $4.1 billion through 2018 on the beginnings of construction of a wall through communities on the U.S.-Mexico border.

On March 17, the Department of Housing and Urban Development removed links to four key resource documents from its website, which informed emergency shelters on best practices for serving transgender people facing homelessness and complying with HUD regulations.

On March 22, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy supporting H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights opposes. The White House issued a statement supporting the Senate’s motion to proceed to this legislation on July 24.

On March 27, Trump signed a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, which repealed a Department of Education accountability rule finalized last year that would clarify states’ obligations under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

On March 27, Trump signed a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, which repealed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order. The order, signed by President Obama, represented a much-needed step forward in ensuring that the federal contractor community is providing safe and fair workplaces for employees by encouraging compliance with federal labor and civil rights laws, and prohibiting the use of mandatory arbitration of certain disputes.

On March 29, the U.S. Census Bureau asserted that there was “no federal data need” to justify the collection of sexual orientation and gender identity data in the American Community Survey (ACS). The bureau’s original submission to Congress included a table suggesting that it planned to collect data on sexual orientation and gender identity in the ACS starting in the next iteration of the survey – but by the end of the day, the bureau hastily removed any reference to these topics in a revised submission. During the Obama administration, at least four federal agencies asked the bureau to add these questions.

On March 29, The Washington Post reported that the Department of Education decided to terminate the Opening Doors, Expanding Opportunity grant program, which helps local districts devise ways to boost socioeconomic diversity within their schools.

In a March 31 memo, Sessions ordered a sweeping review of consent decrees with law enforcement agencies relating to police conduct – a crucial tool in the Justice Department’s efforts to ensure constitutional and accountable policing. The department also tried, unsuccessfully, to block a federal court in Baltimore from approving a consent decree between the city and the Baltimore Police Department to rein in discriminatory police practices that the department itself had negotiated over a multi-year period.

On April 3, Attorney General Jeff Sessions tried to back out of a consent decree to address civil rights violations by the Baltimore Police Department.

On April 11, the administration proposed removing a question from the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) regarding preschool suspension and expulsion. Without access to valid and reliable data, parents, advocates, educators, service providers, researchers, policymakers, and the public will not have the information they need to ensure early childhood settings are developmentally appropriate and nondiscriminatory.

On April 13, Trump signed a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, which overturned the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ final rule updating the regulations governing the Title X family planning program – a vital source of family planning and related preventive care for low-income, uninsured, and young people across the country.

On April 14, the Department of Justice voluntarily dismissed its lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s anti-transgender HB 2 after the law was modified – although private challenges continued.

On April 26, Trump released an outline of a tax reform plan that was viewed largely as a tax giveaway for the wealthy and big corporations.

On April 26, Trump signed an executive order directing Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to conduct a study on the federal government’s role in education.

On May 2, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy supporting H.R. 1180, the Working Families Flexibility Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights opposes.

On May 4, Trump signed an executive order that he claimed overturned the Johnson Amendment (though it did not), which precludes tax-exempt organizations, including places of worship, from engaging in any political campaign activity and would curtail the contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act.

On May 11, Trump signed an executive order creating the so-called Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity headed by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has a history of trying to suppress the vote in Kansas.

On May 12, Sessions announced in a two-page memo that DOJ was abandoning its Smart on Crime initiative that had been hailed as a positive step forward in rehabilitating drug users and reducing the enormous costs of warehousing inmates.

On May 23, Trump released his fiscal year 2018 budget that included massive, unnecessary tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations, which would be paid for by slashing basic living standards for the most vulnerable and by attacking critical programs like Social Security Disability Insurance, Medicaid, food assistance, and more.

On May 23, Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget proposed eliminating the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and transferring its functions to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This would have impeded the work of both the OFCCP and the EEOC as each have distinct missions and expertise, and would have thereby undermined the civil rights protections that employers and workers have relied on for almost 50 years.

On June 5, Trump released an infrastructure plan that focuses on putting public assets into private hands, creating another giveaway to wealthy corporations and millionaires at the expense of working families and communities.

On June 6, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued unclear new instructions on transgender student discrimination.

On June 8, OCR’s acting head sent a memo to OCR staff discouraging systemic investigations in favor of individual investigations of discrimination.

On June 14, DeVos decided to delay implementation of and to renegotiate the Borrower Defense to Repayment and Gainful Employment regulations – important regulations that had been designed to protect students from predatory conduct by for-profit schools.

On June 14, the Department of Education withdrew, without explanation, a 2016 finding that an Ohio school district discriminated against a transgender girl.

On June 15, the administration rescinded President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, an initiative that – had it gone into effect – would have offered a pathway to citizenship for immigrant parents with children who are citizens or residents of the United States.

On June 27, Labor Secretary Acosta requested information on the Obama-era overtime rule, signaling his intent to lower the salary threshold of the overtime rule.

On June 27, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy supporting H.R. 3003, the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights opposes.

On June 27, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy supporting H.R. 3004, Kate’s Law, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights opposes.

On June 28, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division sent a letter to 44 states demanding extensive information on how they maintain their voter rolls. This request was made on the same day that President Trump’s so-called Commission on Election Integrity sent letters to all 50 states demanding intrusive and highly sensitive personal data about all registered voters.

On July 24, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy supporting H.J. Res 111, a resolution under the Congressional Review Act to overturn the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s final rule on forced arbitration clauses. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights opposes the resolution. The White House issued a statement on October 24 opposing the Senate companion resolution.

On July 26, Trump declared in a series of tweets that he was barring transgender people from serving in the military. He followed through with a presidential memo on August 25, though the issue is still being challenged in the courts.

On July 26, the Department of Justice filed a legal brief arguing that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation – a decision that contravened recent court decisions and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidance.

On August 1, The New York Times reported that the “Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants.” In a move without recent precedent, this investigation and enforcement effort was planned to be run out of the Civil Rights Division’s front office by political appointees, instead of by experienced career staff in the division’s educational opportunities section.

On August 2, Trump announced his support of Republican-backed legislation that would slash legal immigration in half over a decade.

On August 7, the Justice Department filed a brief in the Supreme Court in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute arguing that it should be easier for states to purge registered voters from their rolls – reversing not only its longstanding legal interpretation, but also the position it had taken in the lower courts in that case.

On August 28, Sessions lifted the Obama administration’s ban on the transfer of some military surplus items to domestic law enforcement – rescinding guidelines that were created in the wake of Ferguson to protect the public from law enforcement misuse of military-grade weapons.

On September 5, Sessions announced that the administration was rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

On September 7, the Department of Justice filed a brief with the Supreme Court in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission arguing that businesses have a right to discriminate against LGBTQ customers.

On September 12, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy supporting H.R. 3697, the Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights opposes.

On September 15, the Department of Justice ended the Community Oriented Policing Services’ Collaborative Reform Initiative, a Justice Department program that aimed to help build trust between police officers and the communities they serve.

On September 22, DeVos announced that the Department of Education was rescinding guidance related to Title IX and schools’ obligations regarding sexual violence and educational opportunity.

On September 24, Trump issued the third version of his Muslim ban which, unlike the previous versions, was of indefinite duration.

On September 27, the Trump administration and Republican leadership in Congress unveiled tax principles that would provide trillions in dollars of unnecessary tax cuts to millionaires, billionaires, and wealthy corporations.

On October 2, DeVos rescinded 72 guidance documents outlining the rights of students with disabilities, though it wasn’t until October 21 until the public learned of the rescissions.

On October 4, the Department of Justice filed a brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia asking the court to dismiss a lawsuit against the president’s transgender military ban.

On October 5, Sessions reversed a Justice Department policy which clarified that transgender workers are protected from discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

On October 6, the Department of Justice issued sweeping religious liberty guidance to federal agencies, which will create a license to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals and others.

On October 8, the White House released a list of hard-line immigration principles – a list of demands that included funding a border wall, deporting Central American children seeking sanctuary, and curbing grants to sanctuary cities, effectively stalling any possible bipartisan agreement on a bill to protect Dreamers.

On October 12, Trump signed an executive order to undermine health care and, later that day, announced that he would end subsidies for certain health care plans.

On October 27, the Department of Education announced it was withdrawing nearly 600 policy documents regarding K-12 and higher education.

On November 1, Trump signed a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, which repealed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s rule on forced arbitration. Overturning the rule will enable big banks, payday lenders, and other financial companies to force victims of fraud, discrimination, or other unlawful conduct into a “kangaroo court” process where their claims are decided by hired arbitration firms rather than by judges and juries – harming consumers and undermining civil rights and consumer protection laws.

On November 6, the Trump administration announced it will terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Nicaragua.

On November 14, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy supporting H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights opposes. The White House subsequently issued statements supporting this legislation on November 30 (the Senate version) and on December 18 (the conference report).

On November 16, the Federal Communications Commission voted to gut Lifeline, the program dedicated to bringing phone and internet service within reach for people of color, low-income people, seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities, with particularly egregious consequences for tribal areas. They also voted to eliminate several rules promoting competition and diversity in the broadcast media, undermining ownership chances for women and people of color.

On November 20, the Trump administration announced it would terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation in 18 months for approximately 59,000 Haitians living in the United States.

On November 24, Trump appointed Mick Mulvaney as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). As a member of Congress, Mulvaney supported abolishing the consumer bureau and has in the past referred to the CFPB as a “sick, sad” joke.

On December 4, the Department of Labor proposed changing its longstanding position codified in regulation that prohibited employers from pooling together tips and redistributing them to workers who don’t traditionally earn tips.

On December 12, the Department of Justice wrote to acting Census Bureau Director Ron Jarmin requesting a question about citizenship on the 2020 Census. It was an untimely and unnecessarily intrusive request that would destroy any chance for an accurate count, discard years of careful research, and increase costs significantly.

On December 21, it was reported that Sessions rescinded 25 guidance documents, including a letter sent to chief judges and court administrators to help state and local efforts to reform harmful practices of imposing fees and fines on poor people.

2018

On January 4, Sessions rescinded guidance that had allowed states, with minimal federal interference, to legalize marijuana. This move will further reignite the War on Drugs.

On January 8, Trump re-nominated a slate of unqualified and biased judicial nominees, including two rated Not Qualified by the American Bar Association.

On January 8, the administration announced it would terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for nearly 200,000 Salvadorans.

On January 11, the Trump administration released new guidelines that allow states to seek waivers to require Medicaid recipients to work – requirements that represent a throwback to rejected racial stereotypes.

On January 12, the Trump administration approved a waiver allowing Kentucky to require Medicaid recipients to work.

On January 16, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under Mulvaney’s leadership announced it would reconsider the agency’s payday lending rule.

On January 17, the administration announced its decision to bar citizens from Haiti from receiving H2-A and H2-B visas.

On January 18, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a proposed rule to allow health care providers to discriminate against patients, and within the department’s Office for Civil Rights, a new division – the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division – to address related claims.

On January 18, the CFPB abruptly dropped a lawsuit against four online payday lenders who unlawfully made loans of up to 950 percent APR in at least 17 states.

On January 25, the Census Bureau announced that the questionnaire for the 2018 End-to-End Census Test will use race and ethnicity questions from the 2010 Census instead of updated questions recommended by Census Bureau staff. This suggests that the Office of Management and Budget will not revise the official standards for collecting and reporting this data, despite recommendations from a federal agency working group to do so.

On February 1, The New York Times reported that the Department of Justice was effectively closing its Office for Access to Justice, which was designed to make access to legal aid more accessible.

On February 1, reports surfaced claiming Trump’s Labor Department concealed an economic analysis that found working people could lose billions of dollars in wages under its proposal to roll back an Obama-era rule – a rule that protects working people in tipped industries from having their tips taken away by their employers.

On February 1, multiple sources reported that acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Mick Mulvaney had transferred the consumer agency’s Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity from the Supervision, Enforcement, and Fair Lending division to the director’s office. The move essentially gutted the unit responsible for enforcing anti-lending discrimination laws.

On February 2, the Trump administration approved a waiver allowing Indiana to require some Medicaid recipients to work.

On February 12, the Trump administration released its Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposal, which would deny critical health care to those most in need simply to bankroll the president’s wall through border communities. The proposal would also eliminate the Community Relations Service – a Justice Department office established by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – which has been a key tool that helps address discrimination, conflicts, and tensions in communities around the country.

On February 12, the Trump administration released an infrastructure proposal that would reward the rich and special interests at the expense of low-income communities and communities of color and leave behind too many American communities and those most in need.

On February 12, BuzzFeed News reported that the U.S. Department of Education would no longer investigate complaints filed by transgender students who have been banned from using the restrooms that correspond with their gender identity. On the same day, the department released a statement saying Trump’s budget “protects vulnerable students” – a dubious claim.

On February 26, the U.S. Department of Education proposed to delay implementation of a rule that enforces the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The rule implements the IDEA’s provisions regarding significant disproportionality in the identification, placement, and discipline of students with disabilities with regard to race and ethnicity.

On March 5, the Trump administration approved Arkansas’ request to require some Medicaid recipients to work.

On March 5, the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education released a new Case Processing Manual (CPM) that creates greater hurdles for people filing complaints and allows dismissal of civil rights complaints based on the number of times an individual has filed.

On March 5, a Department of Housing and Urban Development memo announced Secretary Ben Carson’s consideration of revising the agency’s mission statement and removing anti-discrimination language and promises of inclusive communities.

On March 12, Attorney General Sessions announced the Justice Department’s ‘school safety’ plan – a plan that civil rights advocates criticized as militarizing schools, overpolicing children, and harming students, disproportionately students of color.

On March 14, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy supporting H.R. 4909, the Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights opposes.

On March 23, Trump issued new orders to ban most transgender people from serving in the military – the latest iteration of a ban that he had initially announced in a series of tweets in July 2017.

On March 23, Trump signed a spending bill that included the STOP School Violence Act, which civil rights organizations are concerned will exacerbate the school-to-prison pipeline crisis, further criminalize historically marginalized children, and increase the militarization of, and over-policing in, schools and communities of color.

On March 26, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that he had directed the Census Bureau to add an untested and unnecessary question to the 2020 Census form, which would ask the citizenship status of every person in America.

On April 3, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos restored recognition of for-profit school accreditor ACICS, which the prior administration had terminated as a federal aid gatekeeper based on ACICS’s documented failures to set, monitor, or enforce standards at the schools it accredited, including the now-defunct Corinthian, ITT, and FastTrain.

On April 6, Attorney General Sessions announced that he had notified all U.S. Attorney’s offices along the southwest border of a new “zero tolerance” policy toward people trying to enter the country – a policy that quickly, and inhumanely, separated hundreds of children from their families.

On April 10, a federal official announced that the Department of Justice was halting the Legal Orientation Program, which offers legal assistance to immigrants.

On April 10, Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies to push for work requirements for low-income people in America who receive federal assistance, including Medicaid and SNAP.

On April 11, the Bureau of Justice Statistics announced that it will stop asking 16- and 17-year-olds to disclose voluntarily and confidentially their gender identity and sexual orientation on the National Crime Victimization Survey.

On April 17, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy supporting S.J. Res. 57, a resolution under the Congressional Review Act to repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s guidance on indirect auto financing. The sole purpose of the resolution is to undermine the ability of the CFPB to enforce laws against racial and ethnic discrimination in auto lending, which is why The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights opposes it.

On April 25, Secretary Ben Carson proposed changes to federal housing subsidies that could triple rent for some households and make it easier to impose work requirements.

On April 26, the Trump administration announced it would terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation in 12 months for approximately 9,000 Nepalese immigrants.

On May 3, Trump signed an executive order creating a White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative tasked with working on “religious liberty” issues across federal agencies. The order deleted protections for beneficiaries receiving federally funded services from religious groups.

On May 4, the Trump administration announced it would terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation in 18 months for approximately 57,000 Honduran immigrants.

On May 7, the Trump administration approved New Hampshire’s request to require some Medicaid recipients to work or participate in other “community engagement activities.”

On May 11, the Federal Bureau of Prisons released changes to its Transgender Offender Manual that rolled back protections allowing transgender inmates to use facilities, including bathrooms and cell blocks, that correspond to their gender identity.

On May 13, The New York Times reported that the Department of Education had “effectively killed investigations into possibly fraudulent activities at several large for-profit colleges where top hires of Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, had previously worked” by reassigning, marginalizing, or instructing its fraud investigators to focus on other matters.

On May 18, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced it would be publishing three separate notices to indefinitely suspend implementation of the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule.

On May 21, Trump signed a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, which repealed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) guidance on indirect auto financing.

On May 21, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy supporting S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights opposes.

On May 22, the Trump administration issued a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) designed to block access to health care under Title X and deny women information about their reproductive health care options.

On May 24, Trump signed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, which will undermine one of our nation’s key civil rights laws and weaken consumer protections enacted after the 2008 financial crisis. The law rolls back more expansive Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data requirements for banks that generate fewer than 500 loans or lines of credit each year, thereby exempting 85 percent of banks and credit unions.

On May 24, the Department of Education announced that it does not plan to implement rules designed to protect students in online degree programs from being taken advantage of by schools that load students up with debt but offer useless degrees, and instead plans to delay implementation of the rules and rewrite them.

On June 6, Mick Mulvaney fired all 25 members of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Consumer Advisory Board.

On June 8, a Department of Justice filing argued that the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions are unconstitutional. The brief was signed by Chad Readler, a Justice Department official who Trump nominated (and Senate Republicans confirmed) to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

On June 11, Attorney General Sessions ruled that fear of domestic or gang violence was not grounds for asylum in the United States.

On June 11, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director L. Francis Cissna announced the creation of a denaturalization task force in a push to strip naturalized citizens of their citizenship.

On June 11, the Department of Justice announced that it would delay implementation of a permanent program for collecting information on arrest-related deaths until Fiscal Year 2020, a full five years after the Death in Custody Reporting Act was signed into law and two years after DOJ last published its near-final compliance guidelines.

On June 12, the Department of Justice sued the state of Kentucky to force it to “systematically remove the names of ineligible voters from the registration records.” This voter purge lawsuit was filed one day after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Ohio’s voter purges in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute.

On June 18, Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, announced that the United States was withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council.

On June 27, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy supporting H.R. 6139, the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights opposes.

On July 3, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded guidance from the Departments of Justice and Education that provides a roadmap to implement voluntary diversity and integration programs in higher education consistent with Supreme Court holdings on the issue.

On July 10, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced cuts to navigator funding for outreach to hard-to-reach communities for the fall 2018 Affordable Care Act open enrollment period.

On July 25, the Department of Education proposed new borrower defense rules, which would further exacerbate inequalities – making the already unfair and ineffective student loan servicing system even more harmful to all students, particularly to borrowers of color. The proposal would strip away student borrower rights, end key deterrents of predatory school conduct, and make it nearly impossible for students hurt by school misconduct to get loan relief.

On July 26, the Trump administration failed to meet a court-ordered deadline to reunite children and families separated at the border.

On July 30, Jeff Sessions announced the creation of a religious liberty task force at the Department of Justice, which many saw as a taxpayer funded effort to license discrimination against LGBTQ people and others.

On August 10, the Department of Labor encouraged the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) staff to grant broad religious exemptions to federal contractors with religious-based objections to complying with Executive Order 11246, and deleted material from a prior OFCCP FAQ on sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination protections that previously clarified the limited scope of allowable religious exemptions.

On August 13, Secretary Ben Carson proposed changes to the Obama-era Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, which aimed to combat segregation in housing policy.

On August 15, the Federal Register published a Trump administration proposal to restrict protest rights in Washington, D.C. by closing 80 percent of the White House sidewalk, putting new limits on spontaneous demonstrations, and opening the door to charging fees for protesting.

On August 29, The New York Times reported that the Department of Education is preparing rules that would “narrow the definition of sexual harassment, holding schools accountable only for formal complaints filed through proper authorities and for conduct said to have occurred on their campuses. They would also establish a higher legal standard to determine whether schools improperly addressed complaints.”

On August 30, the Department of Justice filed an amicus brief opposing Harvard College’s motion for summary judgement in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard, choosing to oppose constitutionally sound strategies that colleges and universities use to expand educational opportunity for students of all backgrounds.

On September 5, the Trump administration sent sweeping subpoenas to the North Carolina state elections board and 44 county elections boards requesting voter records be turned over by September 25. Two months before the midterm elections, civil rights advocates worried this effort would lead to voter suppression and intimidation.

On September 6, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services announced a proposal to withdraw from the Flores Settlement Agreement. The Flores Agreement is a set of protections for underage migrant children in government custody.

On September 13, the National Labor Relations Board proposed weakening the “joint-employer standard” under the National Labor Relations Act, which would make it difficult for working people to bring the companies that share control over their terms and conditions of employment to the bargaining table.

On October 1, a policy change at the Department of State took effect saying that the Trump administration would no longer issue family visas to same-sex domestic partners of foreign diplomats or employees of international organizations who work in the United States.

On October 10, the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed ‘public charge’ rule was published in the Federal Register. Under the rule, immigrants who apply for a green card or visa could be deemed a ‘public charge’ and turned away if they earn below 250 percent of the federal poverty line and use any of a wide range of public programs.

On October 12, the Department of Justice filed a statement of interest opposing a consent decree negotiated by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to overhaul the Chicago Police Department.

On October 15, Trump vetoed a resolution, passed by both chambers of Congress, that would have terminated his declaration of a national emergency on the southern border with Mexico.

On October 16, the administration released its fall 2017 Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The document details the regulatory and deregulatory actions that federal agencies plan to make in the coming months, including harmful civil and human rights rollbacks.

On October 19, the Department of Justice ended its agreement to monitor the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County and the Shelby County Detention Center in Tennessee, which addressed discrimination against Black youth, unsafe conditions, and no due process at hearings.

On October 21, The New York Times reported that the Department of Health and Human Services is considering an interpretation of Title IX that “would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with” – effectively erasing protections for transgender people.

On October 22, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new guidance on the Affordable Care Act’s 1332 waivers that would expand a state’s flexibility to establish insurance markets that don’t meet the requirements of the ACA.

On October 24, the Department of Justice filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that federal civil rights law does not protect transgender workers from discrimination on the basis of their gender identity.

On October 30, Axios reported that Trump intends to sign an executive order to end birthright citizenship. In a tweet the following day, Trump said “it will be ended one way or the other.”

On October 31, the administration approved a waiver allowing Wisconsin to require Medicaid recipients to work. It was the first time a state that did not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act was allowed to impose work requirements.

On November 5, the Department of Justice filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to circumvent three separate U.S. Courts of Appeals on litigation concerning the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

On November 7, on his last day as Attorney General, Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum to gut the Department of Justice’s use of consent decrees.

On November 8, the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice announced an interim final rule to block people from claiming asylum if they enter the United States outside legal ports of entry.

On November 8, the Department of Labor rolled back guidance issued by the Obama administration that clarified that tipped workers must spend at least 80 percent of their time doing tipped work in order for employers to pay them the lower tipped minimum wage.

On November 16, the Department of Education issued a draft Title IX regulation that represents a cruel attempt to silence sexual assault survivors and limit their educational opportunity – and could lead schools to do even less to prevent and respond to sexual violence and harassment.

On November 23, the Office of Personnel Management rescinded guidance that helped federal agency managers understand how to support transgender federal workers and respect their rights (initially issued in 2011 and updates several times since), replacing it with vaguely worded guidance hostile to transgender working people.

On December 11, Trump declared that he would be “proud to shut down the government” – which he did. It resulted in the longest government shutdown in U.S. history (35 days), which harmed federal workers, contractors, their families, and the communities that depend on them.

On December 14, BuzzFeed News reported that the Department of Housing and Urban Development was quietly advising lenders to deny DACA recipients Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans.

On December 18, the Trump administration’s School Safety Commission recommended rescinding Obama-era school discipline guidance, which was intended to assist states, districts, and schools in developing practices and policies to enhance school climate and comply with federal civil rights laws.

On December 21, following the recommendation of Trump’s School Safety Commission, the Departments of Justice and Education rescinded the Dear Colleague Letter on the Nondiscriminatory Administration of School Discipline. Both departments jointly issued the guidance in January 2014.

2019

On January 3, The Washington Post reported that the Trump administration is considering rolling back disparate impact regulations that provide anti-discrimination protections to people of color, women, and others.

On January 4, The Guardian reported that the Trump administration has stopped cooperating with and responding to UN investigators over potential human rights violations in the United States.

On January 23, the Department of Health and Human Services granted a waiver to South Carolina to allow state-licensed child welfare agencies to discriminate in accordance with religious beliefs.

On January 25, the Department of Homeland Security began implementing the Migrant Protection Protocols – also known as the Remain in Mexico policy – which forces Central Americans seeking asylum to return to Mexico, for an indefinite amount of time, while their claims are processed.

On January 29, the Department of Justice reversed its position in a Texas voting rights case, saying the state should not need to have its voting changes pre-cleared with the federal government. Career voting rights lawyers at the department declined to sign the brief.

On February 6, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – under the direction of Trump-appointed Director Kathy Kraninger – released its plan to roll back the central protections of the agency’s 2017 payday and car-title lending rule.

On February 15, Trump announced that he would declare a national emergency on the southern border – an attempt to end-run the Congress in order to build a harmful and wasteful border wall.

On February 22, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule to significantly undermine the Title X family planning program’s ability to properly serve its patients and to provide its hallmark quality care. The rule’s provisions will have far-reaching implications for all Title X-funded programs, the services provided, and the ability of patients to seek and receive high-quality, confidential family planning and preventive health care services.

On February 25, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights supports.

On February 26, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing H.J. Res. 46, a resolution terminating the national emergency on the southern border declared by President Trump, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights supports. On September 25, the White House issued a statement opposing the Senate’s companion resolution.

On March 5, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing H.R. 1, the For the People Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights supports.

On March 7, the Department of Labor issued a proposed revision to the overtime rule, which proposes to raise the salary threshold to an amount ($35,308) far lower than the Obama Labor Department’s previously finalized rule ($47,476).

On March 11, the Trump administration released its FY 2020 budget proposal, which requested $8.6 billion for a southern border wall, requested an inexplicably and irresponsibly low figure for 2020 Census operations, and proposed deeply troubling cuts to the social safety net – including cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and SNAP.

On March 12, the Department of Defense issued guidance for enacting the transgender military ban to begin in 30 days.

On March 25, the Trump administration said in an appeals court filing that the entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down.

On April 11, the Trump administration ordered all federal agencies to put important policy decisions on hold until they have been reviewed by the White House, making it take even longer for independent regulators to respond to problems like risky lending practices.

On April 12, Politico reported that the Trump administration will not nominate (or renominate) anyone to the 18-member U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

On April 17, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed a rule (eventually published on May 10) seeking to restrict housing assistance for families with mixed-citizenship status. The agency’s own analysis showed that the proposal could lead to 55,000 children becoming temporarily homeless.

On April 19, the Department of Health and Human Services published a proposal to reverse an Obama-era rule that required the data collection of the sexual orientation and gender identity of youth in foster care, along with their foster parents, adoptive parents, or legal guardians.

On May 2, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a final rule to allow health workers to cite religious or moral objections to deny care to patients, which will substantially harm the health and well-being of many people in America – particularly women and transgender patients.

On May 6, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a final rule targeting home care workers – who are mostly women of color – designed to stop them from paying union dues and benefits through payroll deduction.

On May 6, the Office of Management and Budget proposed regulatory changes that could result in cuts in federal aid to millions of low-income Americans by changing how inflation is used to calculate the definition of poverty.

On May 20, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing H.R. 1500, the Consumers First Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights supports.

On May 22, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed changing the Obama-era Equal Access Rule to allow homeless shelters to deny access based on a person’s gender identity.

On May 24, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a proposed rule to weaken the non-discrimination protections (Section 1557) of the Affordable Care Act. The rule, if implemented, would harm millions of people in America by allowing health care providers to deny care to marginalized communities and worsen already existing health disparities.

On June 3, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights supports.

On June 6, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a final rule that delayed the compliance date for the agency’s 2017 payday and car-title lending rule.

On June 10, acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan announced that immigration hardliner Ken Cuccinelli was the new acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Five months later, the new acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, named Cuccinelli to be the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. A federal judge and the Government Accountability Office, respectively, said that Cuccinelli’s appointments were illegal.

On June 12, Trump asserted executive privilege to block congressional access to documents related to the addition of an untested citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

On June 21, it was reported that Trump had directed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to conduct a mass roundup of migrant families. The following day, the president announced that the raids were delayed, but has continued to threaten them.

On July 1, the Department of Education rescinded the “gainful employment” rule that identified higher education programs that routinely left students with unaffordable debt. The rule had been designed to ensure that students who needed to borrow loans were able to reap the benefit of their investment in education.

On July 3, the Department of Housing and Urban Development removed requirements that applicants for homelessness funding maintain anti-discrimination policies and demonstrate efforts to serve LGBT people and their families, which had been included in Notices of Funding Availability for several prior years.

On July 8, the State Department created the Commission on Unalienable Rights aimed at providing review of the role of human rights in American foreign policy. Seven of the appointees to commission have disturbing anti-LGBT records.

On July 15, the administration moved to end asylum protections for most Central American migrants – deeming anyone who passes through another country ineligible for asylum at the U.S. southern border.

On July 15, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing H.R. 582, the Raise The Wage Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights supports.

On July 23, the Trump administration published a notice in the Federal Register that expands expedited removals to a wider range of undocumented immigrants. The move threatens same-day deportation for anyone who cannot immediately show they have been in the United States continuously for two years without a hearing, oversight, review, or appeal. It also threatens to trigger massive racial profiling and roundups for immigrants and citizens in the United States.

On July 23, the Trump administration proposed a rule that could cut more than 3 million people from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – or food stamps – after Congress blocked similar efforts in 2018.

On July 25, Attorney General William Barr announced that the federal government will reverse a nearly two-decade moratorium to resume the federal death penalty.

On July 31, Bloomberg Law reported that the Department of Housing and Urban Development plans to issue a proposed rule to amend the agency’s “disparate impact” regulations that provide anti-discrimination protections to people of color, women, and others. If enacted, millions of people in America would be more vulnerable to housing discrimination – with fewer tools to challenge it. The proposal was officially published in the Federal Register on August 19.

On August 7, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided seven food processing plants in Mississippi and arrested 680 undocumented immigrants – representing the largest workplace raid in more than a decade. The raids – part of this administration’s dangerous, anti-immigrant agenda – left some children parentless and locked out of their homes after school.

On August 12, the administration announced its final “public charge” rule, which makes it more difficult for immigrants who come to the United States legally to stay as permanent residents if they have used (or are viewed as likely to use) public benefits.

On August 13, Bloomberg Law reported that the Department of Justice is urging the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to change its position and urge the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that businesses can discriminate against LGBTQ workers.

On August 15, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) unveiled a proposal that would allow government contractors to fire LGBTQ employees, or workers who are pregnant and unmarried, based on the employers’ religious views.

On August 16, the Department of Justice filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not prohibit discrimination against transgender people. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions previously reversed an Obama-era DOJ policy which clarified that transgender workers are protected from discrimination under Title VII.

On August 16, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services sent letters, first reported in the Boston area, stating that the agency will no longer consider most deferrals of deportation for people with a serious medical condition – asking people in extreme medical need to leave the country within 33 days.

On August 19, the Department of Justice filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that the Trump administration acted lawfully when it rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September 2017.

On August 21, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan announced that the administration was moving forward with new rules aimed at ending the decades-old Flores settlement agreement that ensures constitutional protections for children in immigrant detention facilities. Without the protections of Flores, the government can hold immigrant children indefinitely, and in prison-like conditions, with no hope for a timely release and no mandate for appropriate care of traumatized children.

On August 23, the Department of Justice filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not prohibit discrimination against gay, lesbian, and bisexual people.

On August 23, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Attorney General Barr promoted six judges to the Board of Immigration Appeals, which sets binding policy for deportation cases. All six of the judges have high rates of denying immigrants’ asylum claims, and four of them fill seats that the Trump administration created in 2018.

On August 28, the Trump administration announced that some children born to U.S. military members and government employees working overseas wouldn’t automatically be considered U.S. citizens.

On August 30, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced final new “borrower defense” regulations that rolled back protections for student borrowers against predatory recruiting and other school misconduct put in place in 2016.

On September 3, the Trump administration announced that it would divert $3.6 billion of funding for military construction projects to fund the president’s harmful and wasteful wall along the southern border.

On September 11, multiple reports confirmed that the Trump administration would not grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Bahamians impacted by Hurricane Dorian. The denial of protected status follows the Trump administration’s termination of the TPS designation for several other countries.

On September 17, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing H.R. 1423, the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights supports.

On September 19, the Department of Education proposed removing gender-based harassment – including harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and nonconformity with gender stereotypes – from the Civil Rights Data Collection’s definition of harassment or bullying on the basis of sex.

On September 23, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan announced that the administration would soon end a federal immigration policy (commonly referred to as “catch and release”) that allows migrant families seeking asylum in the United States to remain in this country while their asylum applications are pending.

On September 24, the Department of Labor released its final overtime rule, which raises the salary threshold to an amount far lower than the Obama Labor Department’s previously finalized rule.

On September 27, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division filed a statement of interest in defense of a Roman Catholic archbishop’s decision that led to the firing of a gay, married teacher – yet another move by the Trump administration to use religion as a shield against core anti-discrimination principles that protect LGBTQ people.

On October 1, the Department of Agriculture unveiled a new proposal to take away some state flexibility in setting benefit levels under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – the administration’s third attempt in the past year to kick people off food stamps.

On October 4, Trump signed a proclamation to deny visas to legal immigrants who are unable to prove they will have health care coverage or the ability to pay for it within 30 days of their arrival to the United States.

On October 7, the Department of Labor released a proposed tip rule that would eliminate the “80/20 rule,” which says that when a tipped worker is assigned non-tip-generating ‘side work’ that takes up more than 20 percent of their time, the employer can’t take the tip credit and must instead pay the worker the full minimum wage.

On October 22, a Department of Justice proposal published in the Federal Register proposed to begin collecting DNA samples from immigrants crossing the border, creating an enormous database of asylum-seekers and other migrants.

On October 23, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing H.R. 4617, the Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights supports.

On October 25, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a new policy to narrow who can qualify for waivers of fees associated with applications for green cards, U.S. citizenship, work permits, and other benefits.

On October 25, Attorney General William Barr issued two decisions, made through his certification power, that will limit immigrants’ options to fight deportation.

On November 1, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a rule to undo requirements that its grantees ensure that federal taxpayer dollars are not used to fund discrimination.

On November 1, the Department of Education issued a final regulation permitting religious colleges and universities to ignore nondiscrimination standards set by accrediting agencies.

On November 18, the Social Security Administration published in the Federal Register a proposal to slash Social Security disability benefits – which could cut benefits for up to 2.6 million people with disabilities.

On December 3, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights supports.

On December 10, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) revealed a proposed rule that would prohibit the use of official time by union representatives to assist in federal workplace anti-discrimination claims.

On December 11, memos obtained by NPR revealed that Secretary Betsy DeVos overruled career staff in the Department of Education’s Borrower Defense Unit, who recommended to the department’s political leadership that defrauded student borrowers deserve no less than full relief from their student debts (the secretary instead provided only partial or no relief to most such borrowers).

On December 12, the Trump administration approved a waiver allowing South Carolina to require most Medicaid recipients to work.

On December 18, Attorney General William Barr announced the launch of Operation Relentless Pursuit, which was projected to funnel $71 million to law enforcement in seven cities – Albuquerque, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Memphis, and Milwaukee – under the guise of combating violent crime. Operation Relentless Pursuit replicates the most devastating aspects of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which flooded America’s streets with cops and dramatically increased incarceration rates, especially in Black and Brown communities.

On December 27, HuffPost reported that the Department of the Interior removed “sexual orientation” from a statement in the agency’s ethics guide regarding workplace discrimination.

On December 30, the Department of Labor announced a proposed rule setting out new standards for when the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs could issue predetermination notices for preliminary findings of discrimination. The rule would make it more difficult to identify and remedy potential discrimination in federal contractor and subcontractor workplaces, negatively impacting the right of federal contract workers to be free from unlawful employment discrimination.

2020

On January 3, the Trump administration filed a brief in June Medical Services v. Gee, urging the Court to allow a Louisiana abortion access law to go into effect. The civil rights community filed briefs urging the Court to strike down the restrictive law, highlighting the law’s impact on Black women.

On January 7, the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a proposal that would gut the agency’s 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule. HUD’s proposal would leave people of color, women, and other protected communities already harmed by unfair and unequal housing policies at a further disadvantage.

On January 13, The Washington Post reported that the Trump administration would divert $7.2 billion of funding from the Pentagon to fund the president’s harmful and wasteful wall along the southern border.

On January 13 (and subsequently on February 11 for the Senate companion resolution), the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing H.J. Res 76, a resolution under the Congressional Review Act to overturn Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s borrower defense rule. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights supports this resolution.

On January 13, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing H.R. 1230, the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights supports.

On January 16, nine federal agencies issued proposed rules eliminating the rights of people receiving help from federal programs to (i) request a referral if they have a concern or problem with a faith-based provider and (ii) receive written notice of their rights. The changes would encourage agencies to claim broader religious exemptions to deny help to certain people while receiving federal funds.

On January 23, the Department of State announced a new regulation aimed at denying pregnant people visas to prevent them from traveling to the United States. The regulation represents an attack against pregnant people living in countries without access to the Visa Waiver Program and immigrant women, particularly those of color, and with low incomes.

On January 30, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released block grant guidance to allow states to cap Medicaid spending – essentially putting forward the notion that we should ration health care for the most vulnerable people in our nation.

On January 31, the Trump administration announced an expansion of its Muslim ban, which will expand restrictions on additional countries including Myanmar (also known as Burma), Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania.

On February 5, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing H.R. 2474, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights supports.

On February 10, the Trump administration released its Fiscal Year 2021 budget proposal, which included $1 trillion in cuts to Medicaid and the ACA over 10 years, cuts to SNAP by $182 billion over 10 years, cuts assistance for some people with disabilities through Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income, and reduces the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program by $21 billion over 10 years, among other drastic cuts.

On February 13, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed to amend the Equal Participation of Faith-Based Organizations rule that removes safeguards to prevent discrimination.

On February 14, the Trump administration announced the deployment of law enforcement tactical units from the southern border as part of an arrest operation in sanctuary cities across the country. This includes the deployment of members of the elite tactical unit known as BORTAC, which acts as a Border Patrol SWAT team.

On February 20, the White House published a memo (dated January 29) signed by Trump that granted Secretary of Defense Mark Esper the authority to ignore the collective bargaining rights of civilian employees working for the Department of Defense.

On February 25, the Department of Justice sided with the plaintiff, Students for Fair Admissions, to oppose race-based affirmative action at Harvard University in a friend-of-the-court brief filed in the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

On February 26, the Department of Homeland Security expanded two pilot programs, the Humanitarian Asylum Review Process (HARP) for Mexican nationals and Prompt Asylum Claim Review (PACR), that fast-track the asylum process for migrants at the U.S. border. The American Civil Liberties Union argues that both programs deny asylum seekers due process since it is nearly impossible for the migrants to access legal help.

On February 26, the Department of Justice created a Denaturalization Section in its immigration office to prioritize stripping citizenship rights from naturalized immigrants who commit certain crimes.

On February 27, the Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in support of a Kentucky wedding photographer who is challenging a city ordinance banning businesses from discriminating against gay customers. The photographer, Chelsey Nelson, refused to photograph same-sex weddings due to her religious beliefs.

On February 28, the Department of Justice proposed regulations increasing fees for immigrants and requiring asylum seekers to pay a $50 fee to have their cases heard in court. Fees for permanent residence permits would increase by $990, to a total of $2,750, and the cost for naturalization of new citizens would increase by $445, to $1,170.

On March 6, the Department of Justice issued a rule saying that DNA data samples from migrants taken into federal custody after trying to cross the U.S. border can be stored and shared among federal agencies.

On March 10, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing H.R. 2486, the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights supports.

On March 17, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs announced a decision to temporarily exempt and waive certain affirmative action requirements connected to federal contracts for coronavirus relief.

On March 20, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention imposed a 30-day restriction on all nonessential travel into the United States from Mexico and Canada – an effort, led by Stephen Miller, to use public health laws to reduce immigration.

On March 24, Attorney General William Barr signed a statement of interest arguing against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s transgender athlete policy, which allows athletes to compete as the gender with which they identify.

On April 20, the Trump administration extended its March 2020 CDC rule on border restrictions until May 20, 2020.

On April 22, Trump signed an executive order to temporarily ban the issuance of green cards to people seeking permanent residency in the United States – a move that was viewed as a shameless manipulation of the pandemic to justify the administration’s xenophobic policies.

On April 30, the Department of Education issued guidance, flouting congressional intent under the CARES Act, that directs school districts to share millions of dollars designated for low-income students with wealthy private schools.

On May 6, the Department of Education released its final rule on Title IX that raises the bar of proof for sexual misconduct, bolsters the rights of those accused, and introduces new protections that include sexual harassment. If the rule takes effect, it will silence sexual assault survivors and limit their educational opportunity.

On May 12, the Department of Agriculture appealed an injunction that blocked the agency from proceeding with cuts to the SNAP program (food stamps). The new requirements, if the USDA wins its appeals, would strip 688,000 Americans of their food benefits.

On May 12, the Department of Health and Human Services eliminated sexual orientation and gender identity and tribal data collection in the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS, which collects case-level information on all children in foster care and those who have been adopted with title IV-E agency involvement).

On May 14, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing H.R. 6800, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights supports.

On May 15, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights sent a letter of impending enforcement action to the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and six school districts declaring that Title IX requires schools to ban transgender students from competing in school sports based on their gender identity and threatening to withhold funding from Connecticut schools if they do not comply.

On May 19, the Trump administration announced the indefinite extension of its CDC order that allows federal authorities at the border to immediately return migrants to their home countries.

On May 26, the Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in an Alabama federal court in support of the state’s onerous absentee ballot requirements that put Black voters and voters with disabilities at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 29, Trump vetoed a bipartisan resolution to overturn a Department of Education rule and hold Secretary DeVos accountable for failing to provide relief to students defrauded by for-profit colleges.

On May 29, Trump issued a presidential proclamation aimed at restricting the entry of graduate students and researchers from China.

On June 1, police officers and the National Guard dispersed peaceful protesters outside the White House using teargas and flash-bang explosions so that Trump could pose for photos, while holding up a Bible, in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church.

On June 3, the Department of Justice filed a brief in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to allow religious-affiliated adoption agencies to refuse child placement into LGBTQ homes. The Justice Department is not a party to the case.

On June 12, the Department of Health and Human Services issued its final rule rolling back the non-discrimination protections (Section 1557) of the Affordable Care Act. The rule will promote discrimination in medical care.

On June 14, The Washington Post reported that the Department of Housing and Urban Development will propose a rule that would roll back Obama-era guidance requiring single-sex homeless shelters to accept transgender people.

On June 15, a 161-page regulation from the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice was published in the Federal Register that would make it exceedingly difficult for migrants to claim asylum in the United States.

On June 19, the Department of Justice filed a statement of interest arguing that the Equal Protection Clause permits Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which bars trans girls and women from school sports teams.

On June 22, Trump issued a proclamation to expand and extend his April 22 order that suspends some immigration from outside the United States. The new proclamation extends the initial green card ban in the April proclamation until December 31, 2020, and includes additional significant restrictions on several categories of temporary guest worker visas.

On June 24, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights supports.

On June 24, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing H.R. 7120, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights supports.

On June 24, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy supporting H.R. 3985, the Just and Unifying Solutions To Invigorate Communities Everywhere (JUSTICE) Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights opposes.

On June 25, the Trump administration filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that the entire Affordable Care Act should be invalidated – saying “the remainder of the ACA should not be allowed to remain in effect.” The brief was filed in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

On July 7, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued its final rule on payday and car-title lending – undoing consumer protections and threatening to devastate communities of color that are already facing the worst fallout of the pandemic.

On July 7, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights issued a notice in the Federal Register proposing changes to the Civil Rights Data Collection, including removal of several questions regarding school and district characteristics, discipline, school finance and data disaggregation.

On July 8, the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice issued a proposed rule that would bar asylum seekers from countries with disease outbreaks. The proposal does not say whether it would only apply during a global pandemic, but instead would depend on determinations made by the Attorney General and Homeland Security secretary in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services.

On July 14, the Department of Justice filed a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate Medicaid work requirements in Arkansas after a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously upheld a lower court ruling that blocked the work requirements.

On July 14, the federal government carried out its first execution in more than 17 years and has since carried out four additional executions during Trump’s presidency.

On July 15, the Trump administration finalized a rule proposed by the White House Council on Environmental Quality to change how the federal government implements the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA is the federal law, signed by President Nixon in 1970, that safeguards air, water, and land by requiring environmental assessments of major infrastructure projects. The Trump administration’s rule limits the number of projects that require in-depth environmental review and no longer requires federal agencies to weigh a project’s vulnerability to climate change or impact on global warming.

On July 16, the Commission on Unalienable Rights (the formation of which was announced in July 2019 by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo) released a draft report to the public. Experts described the report as undermining decades of human rights progress.

On July 21, Trump signed a memorandum attempting to ban undocumented immigrants from counting toward congressional apportionment following the 2020 Census.

On July 23, Secretary Carson terminated the Obama-era Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, replacing it with a new rule called “Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice.” AFFH aimed to combat segregation in housing policy.

On July 28, acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf issued a memorandum to drastically curtail the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program while the agency decides whether to rescind the program completely. The memo is in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June 2020 that found the administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act when it rescinded the program in September 2017.

On July 30, NPR reported that the U.S. Census Bureau would be cutting census door-knocking a month short. On August 3, the bureau released a statement confirming that both field data collection and self-response would be ending a month early on September 30.

On August 6, Trump appointed J. Christian Adams to serve on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) and was sworn in one week later. Adams, who was a member of the president’s sham voter suppression commission, was appointed to the USCCR on the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.

On August 8, Trump signed a series of politically motivated executive actions amid the coronavirus pandemic. One of the memos he signed defers payroll taxes from September through December 2020. Trump also said that, if reelected, he would permanently terminate the payroll tax. In a letter to Senate Democrats on August 24, Stephen Goss, chief actuary of the Social Security Administration, said that such a move would deplete Social Security by mid-2023.

On August 18, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) signaled its intent to create burdensome new rules for its conciliation process that could tip the scales in favor of employers and potentially expose workers who file workplace discrimination claims, as well as potential witnesses, to retaliation.

On August 19, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) released an updated draft policy on gender and women’s empowerment that eliminated any reference to transgender people or contraceptives.

On August 21, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing H.R. 8015, the Delivering for America Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights supports.

On August 26, Eric Dreiband, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, sent letters to the governors of Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York (all Democrats) requesting information under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) about the coronavirus response of public nursing homes in their states. The move, which occurred during the Republican National Convention, was viewed as a political move targeting Democrats to distract from the president’s failed response to the pandemic.

On August 26, the Department of Education issued a “Dear Educators and Stakeholders Letter” announcing the withdrawal of eight guidance documents, including in its rationale that previous support the department expressed for diversity was advocating for “policy preferences and positions beyond the requirements of the Constitution and Title VI.”

On August 31, the Department of Education issued a notice in the Federal Register that it had rescinded almost 100 guidance documents issued since the 1990s.

On September 2, Trump sent a memorandum to the attorney general and the director of the Office of Management and Budget that threatened to pull federal funding from “anarchist jurisdictions” – cities “that are permitting anarchy, violence and destruction.” This was also viewed as a political move targeting cities where people are protesting police brutality and systemic racism.

On September 3, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued an opinion letter abandoning its long-standing interpretation of Section 707 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

On September 4, the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a final rule that severely weakens the disparate impact tool under the Fair Housing Act, which will make millions of people more vulnerable to housing discrimination.

On September 4, Russell Vought, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, sent a memo to the heads of executive departments and agencies instructing them to end anti-racist trainings that address white privilege and critical race theory – caalling them “divisive, anti-American propaganda.”

On September 8, the Department of Justice filed a brief in support of an Indiana Catholic school that was sued for firing a teacher in a same-sex marriage.

On September 8, a whistleblower complaint from a Department of Homeland Security official alleged that top DHS officials, including Chad Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli, directed analysts to downplay threats from violent white supremacy and Russian election interference.

On September 17, the AP reported that the Department of Education is threatening to withhold some federal funding from Connecticut school districts if they follow a state policy that allows transgender girls to compete as girls in high school sports.

On September 22, Trump issued an executive order prohibiting federal agencies, federal contractors, and grantees from engaging in anti-discrimination workplace diversity trainings the Administration deemed “divisive.”

On September 22, the Department of Labor proposed a rule that would make it easier for employers to misclassify workers and deny them minimum wage and overtime protections.

On September 24, the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued its final rule to gut the disparate impact tool under the Fair Housing Act, which will make it harder to challenge systemic racism by housing providers, financial institutions, and insurance companies that deprive people of the services and opportunities they need.

On September 30, the State Department told Congress that it would allow only 15,000 refugees to resettle in the United States in the 2021 fiscal year, which began the following day.

On October 1, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy opposing H.R. 8406, the HEROES Act, which The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights supports.

On October 6, Microsoft revealed that the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) contacted the company over its commitments to increasing diversity. According to Microsoft, “the OFCCP has focused on whether Microsoft’s commitment to double the number of Black and African American people managers, senior individual contributors and senior leaders in our U.S. workforce by 2025 could constitute unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, which would violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.” The OFCCP contacted Wells Fargo for the same reason.

On October 8, a Justice Department memo suspended all diversity and inclusion training for the department’s employees and managers in compliance with Trump’s recent executive order banning anti-bias trainings.

NOMINEES

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights opposed the following Trump nominees:

Confirmed:

Pending:

Withdrawn:

  • Ryan Bounds, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Mark Green, Secretary of the Army (now a member of the U.S. House)
  • Jeff Mateer, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • Matthew Petersen, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • Andrew Puzder, Secretary of Labor
  • Brett Talley, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama

Returned to the president, not re-nominated:

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights expressed serious concerns about the following nominations/appointments:

  • Stephanos Bibas, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
  • Janet Dhillon, Chair, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Kurt Engelhardt, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Daniel Gade, Member, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • James Ho, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Candice Jackson, Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education
  • Roger Severino, Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services
  • Amul Thapar, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

On November 21, 2017, The Leadership Conference spoke out about reports that Thomas Brunell would be appointed to serve as deputy director of the U.S. Census Bureau, saying that his “appointment would undermine the credibility of the bureau’s role as a fundamentally nonpartisan statistical agency.” Brunell withdrew from consideration on February 12, 2018.

In a March 2019 report, The Leadership Conference Education Fund commented on the appointment of Jeffrey Anderson. On November 21, 2017, the president announced his intent to appoint Anderson, a fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute, as director of the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Anderson had no prior criminal justice experience, and his sole statistical experience appeared to be the creation of a college football strength-of-schedule ranking system.

On May 13, 2019, The Leadership Conference announced opposition to judicial nominees who refused to state unequivocally that the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision was correctly decided. On August 20, 2020, The Leadership Conference wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee urging members not to advance the slate of nominees to the United States Sentencing Commission that Trump announced on August 12, 2020.

On August 20, 2020, The Leadership Conference wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee urging members not to advance the slate of nominees to the United States Sentencing Commission that Trump announced on August 12, 2020.

Culled from The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights & The Leadership Conference Education Fund.

Blacks for Trump — An Obnoxious Case of Imbecility

An African proverb says that a man who is not mindful of how his father died is most likely to become of victim of the exact thing that killed his father. This expression holds true when we view in awe, the deliberate ignorance, and blind emotional path many of my African American brethren are taking. President Donald J Trump has neither displayed any act of love nor exhibited a readiness to drive the course of uniting Americans as one indivisible nation geared for Greatness!


BY ANTHONY OBI OGBO

These selfish morons trivialize the blood of their forebears that have constantly watered the tree of liberty.  


The fact that this President arrogantly refuses to denounce white supremacy during a presidential debate —instead, he told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by”—is enough for him to lose the support of the entire Black Community. Indeed, because the African-American Community has spent its entire origin fighting against racial discrimination and injustice in America, Trump’s obsession with the supremacists would have rendered him the worst enemy of the Black race.

Trump’s Long History of Racism, from the 1970s to 2020

Trump Administration Civil and Human Rights Rollbacks


That is not all. This President started lying even before he was sworn-in, exaggerated his economic gains for African Americans which he actually inherited from his predecessors. He fraudulently paraded inaccurate figures during his regime to substantiate his transformation of the Black Economy. Of course, there was a reduction in Black unemployment, but much of the progress came during the Obama Administration. Household median income also was higher for blacks before Trump took office. Please, Factcheck these statistics!


What is more? Donald Trump’s action is not just insulting to the entire Black race, but an abomination to the African ancestors for an established racist to sit among supposedly Black spiritual leaders, and avow that his Administration has done more for the Black community than any other President since Abraham Lincoln!


So, when Black Pastors walked out from a meeting with Trump to fraudulently sell him as a “Chosen” leader, it became obvious that these idiots have been shamelessly compromised. And these same Black Evangelicals would close their eyes, and claim to hear God. Hear God? They are deaf, sickeningly selfish, and economically self-centered! Are you there?
In fact, the Greenville pastor, John Gray, came back to compare to his meeting Trump to Jesus. What a travesty of spirituality. Most abominable! Today, a few Black celebrities have been on President Trump’s Campaign payroll, corroborating wicked conspiracy theories with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner to woo Black voters. These selfish morons trivialize the blood of their forebears that have constantly watered the tree of liberty. Greed is keeping them blind!


Please note that there is nothing wrong with African-Americans exercising their rights to not only join any political party but also to legitimately make their choices regarding policies and politics. However, how they make those choices matter.


Out of greed, selfishness, and ignorance, these stooges came up with a discreditable self-destructive Vote-Trump Campaign option that might pose devastating consequences to themselves, their communities, and their unborn generation.


The existence of Core Black conservative associations is not new, for even the Republican Party has for years sustained a substantial African-American membership base. However, we have a million reasons why Donald Trump, the incumbent President currently sweating a reelection battle, is considered dangerous — not just to the country, but also to people of color. And that is why I am calling out the moronic options of “Blacks for Donald Trump” and all other African American entities who are blindly supporting Trump.


Whereas these idiots are out there spreading Trump’s conspiracy gospels, it must be noted that from Economy and Education — to criminal justice, the policies rolled out by this regime are not just hurting African Americans and other people of color, but also would persist for years in its ravaging influences if nothing is done to halt it. Evil conspiracies kill generations before they are born.


To Donald Trump Campaign spin-doctors, know that TRUTH and FACTS will always wipe off the most portent conspiracies to obliviousness! One day, we shall reflect on the events of the season, and close it out with a Biblical phrase “And it Came to Pass…”!


I am not a prophet, but watch out for the self-damaging repercussions of your sightless choices!


♦ Anthony Ogbo, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor at Texas Southern University is the author of the Influence of Leadership (2015)  and the Maxims of Political Leadership (2019). Contact: anthony@guardiannews.us

Establishment of the office of Election Administrator in our County

Dear Harris County Election Administrator:

I am writing to recap and expand on my recommendations to the Harris County Commissioners Court, regarding the establishment of the office of Election Administrator in our County.


By Carroll G. Robinson

First, under the law, once the Commissioners Court creates the office of Election Administrator, it will be the Harris County Election Commission that will have the power to hire and fire the election administrator, not Commissioners Court.

The members of the Election Commission are the County Judge, County Clerk, Tax Accessor Collector, Harris County Democratic Party Chair and Harris County Republican Party Chair.

Four of the five members of the Harris County Election Commission are Democrats and include Ann Bennett the Tax Accessor-Collector and Chris Hollins the Interim County Clerk. Once a new County Clerk is elected, they will replace Chris Hollins on the Election Commission. This is why I am supporting Teneshia Hudspeth for County Clerk. I hope that all the Harris County Democratic Party Precinct Chairs will also support putting her on the November ballot as the Democratic Party candidate for the job.

Second, Commissioners Court and the Harris County Election Commission should create a 15-member Community Advisory Board composed of both Republican and Democratic precinct chairs and other community leaders to participate in the hiring process for the election administrator.

This process should be similar to the process utilized by community colleges and universities when they hire a new President or Chancellor. There should be community forums to introduce the top two or three candidates to the public so that voters can ask the candidates questions and the candidates can understand that public interaction with voters would be an essential part of their duties.

Third, the Advisory Board should remain in place after the hiring process and the Election Administrator should be required to meet with the Advisory Board on a quarterly basis every year.

Fourth, the Election Administrator should be required to report to and brief Commissioners Court at least thirty (30) days before all elections and provide an after-action report to both Commissioners Court and the Advisory Board within sixty days following an election.

Fifth, the County Attorney should specifically be designated General Counsel for the office of Election Administrator. The County Attorney should be required to designate an Assistant County Attorney to work full time in the office of the Election Administrator.

Sixth, any and all changes in election polling locations proposed by the Election Administrator must be discussed in advance with the Community Advisory Board and be subject to pre-clearance by the County Attorney before any such changes could be implemented.

Seventh, the Election Administrator and their office should be subject to an annual performance evaluation and a sunset review every five (5) or ten (10) years.

Finally, the office of Election Administrator should be charged with the responsibility of achieving 100% voter registration among the voter eligible population of Harris County by 2025.

It is my belief that if these structural safeguards are adopted and implemented as a part of the creation of the office of Election Administrator, in Harris County, the voice of the community will be enhanced and the rights of the voters elevated and better protected.

Thank you and God Bless Houston. For constructive dialogue, you may contact me directly >>>

Carroll G. Robinson, Esq.

Hon. Robinson is the former Chairman, City of Houston Transportation, Technology and Infrastructure Committee; Former Vice Chairman, Houston-Galveston Area Council Transportation Policy Council (H-GAC TPC) and Associate Professor of Public Administration, Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, Texas Southern University.

Have Black Women Finally Been Included in, “We the People”?

When the United States Constitution was completed on September 17, 1787, women and people of color were arguably excluded and marginalized. The first three words of the Preamble—“We the People”—were written to affirm that the government of the United States exists to serve its citizens. Moreover, it proclaims who is adopting the Constitution. This poses a conundrum for Black women because it suggests that we intentionally adopted provisions that purposely underserved us. Or, as the late Hon. Barbara Jordan once said, “I felt somehow for many years that George Washington and Alexander Hamilton just left me out by mistake.”



By LATRESHIA A. HAMILTON

Still, a Black woman’s presence on the presidential ticket and in the White House—by itself—is not enough. Black women are not interested in tokenism and symbolism. Systemic change is required.


When the Framers of the Constitution drafted the governing document during the Constitutional Convention, enslaved African Americans, then-referred to in the text as “other persons,” were counted as three-fifths of a free person for taxation and congressional representation purposes. This was done under the Three-Fifths Compromise proposed by delegate James Wilson of  Pennsylvania and seconded by Charles Pinckney of South Carolina. However, such a compromise would later be repealed by the ratification of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Despite the initial stature relegated to us, in recent years, Black women have become a powerful voting bloc. In 2008, with the help and support of Black women, Barack Obama became the first African American ever elected president of the United States. Moreover, during the 2018 midterm elections, 55% of non-Hispanic Black women turned out to vote, a slightly higher share than for the total voting-age population. According to the Pew Research Center, Black women voted for Democratic congressional candidates 92% of the time. Meaning, African American women voted for Democratic candidates at a higher rate than any other demographic—across gender, race, and ethnicity—in the United States.

Nonetheless, the Democratic Party has overlooked and undervalued the support of Black women. However, that could change under a Joseph R. Biden Administration.

In his campaign promise to “Build Back Better,” Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden has vowed to prioritize the full inclusion of and equality for women—particularly women of color.

As President, Mr. Biden has said that he “will pursue an aggressive and comprehensive plan to further women’s economic and physical security and ensure that women can fully exercise their civil rights.” Specifically, The Biden Agenda for Women will improve economic security, expand access to health care and tackle health inequities, help women navigate work and families, end violence against women, and protect and empower women around the world.

To hold steadfast to his promise, Joe Biden knows that he must enlist the help of Black women. In doing so, his first order of business was selecting Senator Kamala Harris of California as his running mate, making her the first-ever African American woman and the first woman of Asian descent nominated for vice president by a major political party.

On August 19th, Senator Harris accepted the Democratic Party’s historic vice-presidential nomination. If elected, Harris would be the sixth African American woman to ever enter the line of succession for the presidency of the United States, behind former cabinet members Patricia Roberts Harris, Hazel R. O’Leary, Alexis M. Herman, Condoleezza Rice, and Loretta E. Lynch.

Biden was astute in naming Senator Harris as his running mate. Not only does Senator Harris have a multicultural background, but she is uniquely aligned with the African American community in a way that no president or vice president has ever been before. Senator Harris attended Howard University, a historically black university and the so-called “Mecca” of Black education, and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the first historically African American Greek-letter sorority.

Still, a Black woman’s presence on the presidential ticket and in the White House—by itself—is not enough. Black women are not interested in tokenism and symbolism. Systemic change is required. To improve the quality of life for Black women and their families, transformative laws, policies, reforms, and initiatives must be put in place.

Biden pledged that, if elected president, he would nominate the first African American woman to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Vice President Biden is cognizant of the necessary changes that must take effect to empower Black women and he has a plan.

After becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee, Biden pledged that, if elected president, he would nominate the first African American woman to the U.S. Supreme Court. Such a nomination and subsequent Senate confirmation would not only be historic, but it has the potential to have a generational impact on the judicial system—especially the criminal justice system, the African American community, and our Nation.

Additionally, Biden has vowed to address the gender and racial wage gap that disproportionately impacts women of color, particularly Black women.

On average, Black women make $0.62 (cents) for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. According to Equal Pay Day, Black women had to work an additional seven and a half months this year, on top of the 12 months they worked last year, to make as much as their white male, non-Hispanic counterparts in 2019.

Such statistics are staggering given that 80% of Black women are the primary breadwinners for their household, roughly two-thirds of Black women are the head of households, and a large percentage of Black women have a high debt-to-income ratio due to student loans.

On August 13th, Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, Vice President Biden acknowledged the discrepancy by stating, “Black women are the backbone of their families, communities, our economy, and our country. And we will ensure they earn the pay, and the dignity and respect they deserve.”

In addition, Biden’s “Lift Every Voice” proposal for Black America can make far-reaching investments in ending health disparities by race. African Americans have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), Blacks (and Latinos) in the U.S. are three times more likely to become infected than their white counterparts. Additionally, Black (and Latino) people are nearly twice as likely to die from the virus as white people.

Per the CDC, “long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put many people from racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19.” Underlying factors that contribute to these increased risks include discrimination, healthcare access and utilization, occupation, educational, income, and wealth gaps, and housing.

Suffice it to say, several issues are plaguing the African American community and must be addressed in the upcoming election.

On November 3rd, Americans will cast their ballots to decide who will be President and Vice President for the next four years. Black women are at a critical juncture because, in large part, we have a say in who that will be. The Black community has a lot at stake in this election—education, healthcare, the economy, environmental justice, criminal justice, and voting rights. Black women have to be forward-thinking in deciding who to vote for.

If Black women are to be included in “We the People,” we must elect leaders who will ensure and guarantee our full inclusion, participation, and representation in the democratic process. I urge you to consider what Black women stand to gain under a Joseph R. Biden Administration.

LaTreshia A. Hamilton, J.D. is a lawyer, writer, and global affairs professional from Houston, Texas. She holds a Juris Doctor from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, a Master of Arts in Global Affairs from Rice University’s James A. Baker, III Institute for Public Policy and the School of Social Sciences, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Texas Tech University.

To contact this author directly, please click >>>

$65,000 offered to settle Houston’s high-profile Sex Assault Case

Explosive Court Records reveal Olagundoye’s $65,000.00 offer to settle his sexual assault accuser

By Staff Refpoter

In a case now sitting on the First Court of Appeals Houston, Texas (No. 01-20-00334-CV), records have revealed a failed last-minute attempt by the defendant, Mr. Olushegun Olagundoye to pay-off his accuser. According to the “Transcription of Audio Recording” of Defendant’s Offer to Settle (marked Exhibit A), Mr. Olagundoye through his lawyer negotiated a $65,000.00 pay-offbut according to the meno, “he just doesn’t want the Nigerian community to know that he paid a bunch of money.”

Settlement document retrieved from the court system: “These exhibits published as trial documents are a justification for why this case may still be sitting on the docket for jurisdictive actions of the First Court of Appeals Houston, Texas. These settlement arrangements are also consistent with allegations that Mr. Olagundoye may have settled similar cases in the past.”


In another similar correspondence over their settlement advances, Mr. Olagundoye, through his attorneys, requested a confidentiality agreement. This agreement would assure that International Guardian Publisher, Dr. Anthony Ogbo will, “retract previous articles about the case in some agreed manner and agree not to publish any future articles about the case or the settlement.” This request was, however, was never conveyed to both the Guardian and its Publisher, apparently because it was rejected by the Plaintiff.

A separate document obtained by our newsroom showed how the Plaintiff, Brenda Ezenagu rejected this offer, telling her attorney that she would prefer justice before any monetary figures. “I want the world to hear my voice because I know some people are victims of Mr. Shegun’s sexual slavery, assault, and rape,” this email revealed.


A separate document obtained by our newsroom showed how the Plaintiff, Brenda Ezenagu rejected this offer, telling her attorney that she would prefer justice before any monetary figures. “I want the world to hear my voice because I know some people are victims of Mr. Shegun’s sexual slavery, assault, and rape,” this email revealed.

More exhibits retrieved from the Court system: transcripts of audio recordings of settlement offers.


These exhibits published as trial documents are a justification for why this case may still be sitting on the docket for jurisdictive actions of the First Court of Appeals Houston, Texas. These settlement arrangements are also consistent with allegations that Mr. Olagundoye may have settled similar cases in the past.

■ Images of redacted content in the Plaintiff’s medical records.
According to the petition, “the Court had allowed egregious redaction of Plaintiff’s medical records, shielding the jury from seeing, according to the document, “the diagnoses, orthopedic tests to which Plaintiff was positive, discussion Plaintiff had with the treating physicians, discharge, prognosis, opinions, and findings.”


Other documents retrieved from the Court also revealed yet another disagreement. The Court had allowed egregious redaction of Plaintiff’s medical records, shielding the jury from seeing, according to the document, “the diagnoses, orthopedic tests to which Plaintiff was positive, discussion Plaintiff had with the treating physicians, discharge, prognosis, opinions, and findings.” All these and many more constitute Course No. 01-20-00334-CV currently sitting on First Court of Appeals Houston, Texas.


Mr. Olagundoye of Kinghaven Counseling Group was sued by a former employee, Ezenagu, Nkeoma Brenda in 2016 for sexual assault and battery. The petition showed three causes of action, namely, Assault Battery, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, and Violation of Texas Labor Code/Laws. Olagundoye generally denied all of Plaintiff’s claims against him.


In the early stages of this case, Attorneys for the Plaintiff – the Gbenjo Law Group had filed a motion requesting that Judge Engelhart recuses himself, alleging multiple allegations of interests with the opposing counsel Sean Greenwood which indeed might impair a fair process. Ms. Gbenjo argued that it is highly unlikely that the Judge would rule against people who enjoyed affinity or consanguinity with him, such as the Greenwoods. Judge Engelhart, however, denied Plaintiff’s Motion and kept himself in the case.
To access information regarding this case, please visit:

To access information regarding this case, please visit:

■ 01-20-00334-CV FIRST COURT OF APPEALS HOUSTON, TEXAS (CHRISTOPHER PRINE CLERK)

■ 201633668 – EZENAGU, NKEOMA BRENDA vs. OLAGUNDOYE, OLUSHEGUN B (Court 151)

Houston Mayoral runoff: Sylvester Turner devours Tony Buzbee to reclaim incumbency

Mayor Sylvester Turner thanks his supporters and talks about his plan for the next four years during his runoff election night watch party on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, in Houston.

Anthony Obi Ogbo | International Guardian Houston, TX

Houston’s Mayor, Sylvester Turner last night, redeemed his tenure in a voting runoff when he smashed his rival Tony Buzbee to end a contentious electioneering moment. According to results released by the Harris County Clerk’s Office, Mayor Turner cleared the polls with a 56.04% of the votes, leaving his rival gasping with an insufficient 43.96%. 

Mr. Buzbee who equally addressed his supporters has not conceded as of press time.

From the start of the campaign till the Election Day, polls have consistently favored Mayor Turner over a lineup of challengers, but Mr. Buzbee’s overzealous rivalry infiltrated the voting populace with division and resentment.  His campaign had choreographed  a thread of sensational publication teasers, stories, media Ads, and destructive memes, accusing Mayor Turner of  unethically hiring a 31-year-resident in an airport’s Executive Internship Program.  

Mr. Buzzbee aided by a clique of media reporters amplified these claims, calling for a full investigation of Mayor Turner. He also took advantage of a pending issue between the City and Fire Fighters, accusing the incumbent of gross neglect of the police, firefighters, and flood victims. 

Mayor Turner countered with ads showing Mr. Buzzbee’s DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) mug shots and depicting his rival as ethically unfit. Though Mr. Buzzbee’s drunken-driving was dismissed, the Turner Campaign launched corruption allegations, airing television ads accusing the millionaire lawyer of donating to  the district attorney’s campaign in exchange for dismissal of his drunken-driving case.

Even as the Houston firefighter union voted unanimously to endorse Mr.  Buzbee in this runoff, his campaign struggled feverishly to defend a string of clueless actions and proposals. For instance, Mr. Buzbee’s contribution of almost $10 million to his campaign; his association with Donald Trump; and his political romance with Houston’s most outspoken anti-gay activist Dr. Steven Hotze were very extreme values inconsistent with Houston’s diverse populace.

To make matters worse, Mr. Buzbee’s vowed to fire a highly rated Police Chief, Hubert “Art” Acevedo and replace him with someone focused on “increasing more patrols instead of political grandstanding.” This was after Acevedo called out federal lawmakers over lackadaisical gun culture. This was where this contender dug his grave.

As of press time, Houston Mayoral runoff has been fought and won, with Mayor Turner tearing Mr. Buzbee apart to reclaim his tenure. He has been Houston Mayor since 2016 after he defeated King in a runoff election in 2015.  By late Saturday evening, Mayor Turner had already given a victory speech promising to represent every Houstonian as usual, irrespective of any affiliation. Mr. Buzbee who equally addressed his supporters has not conceded as of press time.

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