Skip to comments.Democrats Stonewall Ed Civil Rights Nominee As Anti-Semitism in Schools Rises 94%
Posted on 03/05/2018 6:46:12 AM PST by MarvinStinson
Democratic obstruction in the Senate has left the Department of Education without leadership in its office of civil rights at a time when anti-Semitism has risen by 94 percent in U.S. schools.
Kenneth Marcus, the Trump administration's nominee to be assistant secretary for civil rights, has been stalled since Oct. 30. Marcus is the founder and president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing civil rights of the Jewish people.
Marcus was not confirmed out of the Senate HELP committee until last month on a party line vote and now awaits confirmation before the entire body.
Anti-Israel groups are opposing Marcus's nomination for his work at the Brandeis Center combatting the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) of Israel movement.
Palestine Legal, a leading activist for BDS that has drafted resolutions for BDS groups on college campuses brought before student governments, has opposed Marcus, as well as the Arab American Institute, which is led by James Zogby, who has referred to Israelis as "Nazis."
Palestine Legal condemned the 12-11 vote to confirm Marcus in the HELP committee on Jan. 18, calling Marcus "anti-civil rights, anti-free speech," and "dangerous."
It is unclear when a vote for Marcus will reach the full Senate floor. Democrats have used procedural hurdles in the Senate to block Trump nominees by forcing the Republican majority to spend 30 hours of floor time on each nomineeunless there is unanimous consent.
Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.), the ranking member of the HELP committee, has been blamed for leading the obstruction effort to block nominees. A senior Democratic staffer to Murray on the HELP committee, which oversaw the first steps of Marcus's nomination, said, "We don't care about anti-Semitism in this office."
While the permanent position to lead the civil rights division remains vacant, news broke this week that anti-Semitism is surging throughout America, particularly in K-12 schools.
The Anti-Defamation League released its audit of 2017, finding anti-Semitic incidents overall increased by 57 percent, with a total of 1,986 incidents.
"Anti-Semitic incidents took place in a wide variety of locations, including places of business, private homes, public areas such as parks and streets, Jewish institutions, schools, and colleges/universities," the ADL said. "Although the largest number of incidents typically occur in public areas, in 2017 K-12 schools surpassed public areas as the locations with the most anti-Semitic incidents, at 457 incidents being reported in K-12 schools and 455 in public areas."
This represented a "dramatic increase" of 94 percent in K-12 schools and an 89 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents on college and university campuses with 204 events.
Incidents in K-12 schools included hundreds of reports of vandalism, including swastikas "drawn or scratched into school facilities or drawn on Jewish students notebooks."
"In many cases, the swastikas in 2017 were accompanied by phrases like Hitler was not wrong,' Heil Hitler,' Kill all Jews,' and No Jews,'" the report said.
Marcus has years of experience working at the United States Commission on Civil Rights and in the Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development. While at OCR he defended the rights of Arab Muslims, Jewish Americans, and Sikhs to practice their religion free from harassment.
Democrats and Republicans alike have praised Marcus for being "eminently qualified" for the position and for "taking a stronger approach to enforcing civil-rights laws" during the Bush administration.
Aside from Marcus, the Department of Education still has no permanent deputy secretary for education or general counsel. Only three officials have been confirmed to the department since Betsy DeVos became secretary.
I live in a city with a fairly high Jewish population and I do know of one egregious antisemitism act in a local high school that didnt get into the news. A friend of mines son had to leave the football team and change schools to play for another team. He was being harassed by his own team for being Jewish. He tried to tough it out but the threats were getting worse making him want to quit his sport.
That whole damned department needs to go away. And WTH is a civil rights department-within-a-department good for? Just to stir up trouble!
Looks like the RATS are writing off the Jews...or thinking that like the Blacks and Hispanics, they are considered safe and reliable voters.
That means dumb as posts!
You must be pro BDS and pro PLO to be a democrat today.
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
Wrong qualifications. If Marvin Quattlebaum can't be confirmed because he's a white Presbyterian, common sense requires Kenneth Marcus not be confirmed as well. They aren't qualified based on race, Marcus possibly religion.
On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 200 national organizations committed to promoting and protecting the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States, and the 31 undersigned organizations, we are writing to urge opposition to the confirmation of Kenneth Marcus to serve as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. Mr. Marcus has not demonstrated a willingness and ability to enforce civil rights law and protect all students in our country from discrimination and he is therefore unsuited to lead the Department of Educations Office for Civil Rights.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has a unique responsibility to enforce core nondiscrimination laws in schools. These laws were passed by Congress in response to the widespread denial of equal protection and equal opportunity by states, districts, and schools. Although considerable progress has been made in the decades since these laws were passed, they continue to serve a vital function in the face of ongoing discrimination.
The Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights serves as the agencys chief legal advisor on civil rights matters and is responsible for leading the Department of Educations work to:
These enforcement, policy, and data responsibilities have considerable impact on whether or not students constitutional and statutory rights to equal protection under the law are meaningful and whether marginalized students receive the supports and attention they deserve to achieve their dreams. And they are core to the work of the Department of Education.
Mr. Marcus own record of anti-civil rights positions and his failure to articulate clear support for robust civil rights enforcement during his confirmation hearing are all the more troubling given the anti-civil rights actions of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and President Trump. Students and families deserve an Assistant Secretary who will represent their interests, enforce the law, and stand up to the Trump-DeVos discriminatory agenda.
Mr. Marcus has written previously about limiting the use of disparate impact claims,  despite it being a well-established and essential method for identifying and addressing facially neutral policies that have a significant negative effect on students of color. When asked during his confirmation hearing if he, as Assistant Secretary, would intervene in an instance where Black students in a school district were receiving lower quality teachers, fewer books, fewer AP classes, and fewer educational resources than White students, Mr. Marcus would not say that he would step in. Mr. Marcus has also opposed affirmative action and equal opportunity initiatives, including in an amicus brief filed by the Brandeis Center, an organization for which he is founder and president, with the Supreme Court in the Fisher case in which the Brandeis Center argued that public institutions should not be allowed to use race-conscious admissions programs. Mr. Marcus attitudes and beliefs fail to demonstrate a commitment to protecting students of color from discrimination, as is required under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Mr. Marcus has not demonstrated an understanding of and commitment to the rights of immigrant children and language minorities in our schools. When provided a clear example during his confirmation hearing of a hypothetical school policy denying noncitizen five-year-olds access to kindergarten, Mr. Marcus was unable or unwilling to demonstrate his understanding that those actions violated those childrens civil rights. Mr. Marcus response in the hearing, and the absence of a previous record of support, fail to demonstrate a commitment to protecting immigrant and language minority children from violations of the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Mr. Marcus, in his previous role as acting assistant secretary at OCR from 2002 to 2004, was involved in the development of regulations governing single-sex education that relied on sex stereotypes. During his confirmation hearing, Mr. Marcus supported Secretary DeVos rescission of important guidance clarifying the responsibilities of educational institutions in cases of sexual assault and he would not commit to continuing to publish the list of colleges and universities under investigation regarding sexual assault. These actions fail to demonstrate a commitment to protecting students from sex discrimination as is required under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Also, while previously serving at OCR, Mr. Marcus expressed significant concern for a student who might be subject to harassment based on religion, but expressed no similar concern about a students right to be free from harassment based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Additionally, during his confirmation hearing Mr. Marcus failed to demonstrate an understanding of Title IXs inclusion of gender identity in its protection from discrimination based on sex and gave evasive answers that did not acknowledge the overwhelming case law on the subject. These actions fail to demonstrate a commitment to protecting LGBTQ students from discrimination as is required under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Mr. Marcus record with regard to the rights of students with disabilities as articulated in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is lacking. During his testimony before the committee there was no indication that Mr. Marcus would stand up to Secretary DeVos agenda to roll back systemic investigations, undermine regulations, and cut resources from the Office for Civil Rights. Given that students with disabilities, in addition to experiencing direct disability-based discrimination, may also experience compounding discrimination as students of color, immigrants or language minorities, women or girls, or LGBTQ people, and that complaints of discrimination based on disability generally make up almost half of all OCR complaints, the absence of remarks specifically undermining rights under Section 504 and Title II are small comfort to students with disabilities.
In his work since his service at the Department of Education, Mr. Marcus has sought to use the OCR complaint process to chill a particular political point of view, rather than address unlawful discrimination. In addition to the concerns this activism raises about students First Amendment rights to free political speech, an individual with his background should have a better appreciation for both the limited resources available to investigate complaints as well as the need to focus agency attention on unlawful discrimination that denies students equal access to education, including discrimination based on religion.
During his confirmation hearing, Mr. Marcus was asked by Senator Murray to name a single example of something President Trump has said or done when it comes to discrimination or womens rights or civil rights you disagree with. In response, in spite of President Trumps numerous offensive, inappropriate and widely denounced remarks, Mr. Marcus offered only I couldnt say, senator. Whether this exchange reflects Mr. Marcus own support for the presidents statements regarding White supremacists and his attacks on marginalized American communities, or Mr. Marcus unwillingness to offer a critique even when he disagrees, Mr. Marcus only reinforced his unsuitability to lead the Office for Civil Rights and protect students from discrimination.
The Senate HELP Committee has a unique responsibility to ensure that the Department of Education faithfully and effectively implements and enforces federal laws, protects the interests of the nations students, and ensures that individuals nominated to serve in the department are qualified, prepared to fulfill their duties, and committed to upholding federal law and the Constitution. The person responsible for leading the Office for Civil Rights must be absolutely committed to respecting, valuing, and protecting every single student in this country without regard to LGBTQ status, race, home language, gender, religion, disability, or immigration status. Our nations laws, economy, future, and children deserve no less.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
American Federation of Teachers
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Asian Americans Advancing Justice
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund
Feminist Majority Foundation
Human Rights Campaign
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
League of United Latin American Citizens
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE)
National Bar Association
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Council of Jewish Women
National Education Association
National Urban League
National Women’s Law Center
People For the American Way
Poverty & Race Research Action Council
Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
Southern Poverty Law Center
UnidosUS, formerly NCLR
 See: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1462431
 Disparate impact is included in the regulations for Title VI, 34 C.F.R. § 100.3(b). It is used by OCR to address claims of discrimination based on race. See https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201401-title-vi.html; https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201612-racedisc-special-education.pdf; https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-resourcecomp-201410.pdf.
 See: http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/12-05-29_Gura_Final_Fisher_Brief.pdf
 For a description of the rights of noncitizen children, see: http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/12-05-29_Gura_Final_Fisher_Brief.pdf
 See: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/04/us/administration-proposes-same-sex-school-option.html
 See: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/religious-rights2004.html
 See: http://www.newsweek.com/department-education-office-civil-rights-report-455752
 See: http://m.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/Standing-up-for-Jewish-students-325648
Same old same old. My father got that in school and on the street, I got that in school and on the street, and my grandfather got it in Odessa where he worked as an apprentice tailor. Doesn’t really matter whether there’s a bureaucratic muckety-muck in place or not.
Time to end dept of ed. Let the states pay their own freight
Kenneth Marcus, the Trump administration's nominee to be assistant secretary for civil rights, has been stalled since Oct. 30. Marcus is the founder and president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing civil rights of the Jewish people... Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.), the ranking member of the HELP committee, has been blamed for leading the obstruction effort to block nominees. A senior Democratic staffer to Murray on the HELP committee, which oversaw the first steps of Marcus's nomination, said, "We don't care about anti-Semitism in this office."
He has all the right enemies.
In response, in spite of President Trumps numerous offensive, inappropriate and widely denounced remarks, Mr. Marcus offered only I couldnt say, senator.
Whether this exchange reflects Mr. Marcus own support for the presidents statements regarding White supremacists and his attacks on marginalized American communities, or Mr. Marcus unwillingness to offer a critique even when he disagrees, Mr. Marcus only reinforced his unsuitability to lead the Office for Civil Rights and protect students from discrimination.
Don’t just tell us. Tell American Jews, who vote Democrat and donate to Democrats
“Looks like the RATS are writing off the Jews”
They wrote them off years ago. The universities 10 or so years ago. You can’t be pro PLO and pro Jewish. Why any Jew would still vote Democrat is an utter mystery to me.
Just like in Pre-War Germany, the Jews bent over backwards to be Good Germans and accepted assurances that the Anti-Jew laws were mere oversights that would soon be corrected.
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