NEWS ONE NOW: TRUMP SLASHES FIVE DECADES OF CIVIL RIGHTS PROTECTION IN 2018 BUDGET; "NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE PRESENTS: STATE OF BLACK AMERICA TOWN HALL" AIRS TONIGHT ON TV ONE
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- This morning on News One Now, host and managing editor Roland Martin interviewed Tanya Clay House, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary, P-12 U.S. Department of Education, and republican political strategist Rina Shah Bharara about the significant cuts to civil rights agencies in President Trump's 2018 budget. The Education Department's Office of Civil Rights, which investigates discrimination charges in school districts nationwide, would eliminate more than 40 staffers from their jobs, the EPA would close its environmental justice program, and the Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs will fold into the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The environmental justice program aids minority communities dealing with the effects of pollution in their neighborhoods, and the office of Federal Contract Compliance programs audits federal contractors to ensure there's no discrimination in the workforce.
"What we're really seeing is that this is a budget that really speaks to what their true belief is. We've always talked about how the budget is a moral document, and essentially that's what this is," says House. "You can say that you believe in civil rights, that this is something you want to protect, but when you, in your budget, want to eliminate over 10 billion dollars from the Department of Education's budget...this is cruel, it's disheartening, and frankly it's a morally deficient budget that undermines the concept of what it is that we should believe in - that education is a civil right."
Adds Bharara, "It's a very simple message here of what he's done - he's slashing. That's what his base likes. What's wrong here is that there is so much beneath the surface that makes America great. The federal government is there to protect our civil rights - that's not something we should be debating in 2017. It should be bipartisan in that we need to be protecting our civil rights, not slashing offices which help ensure that they're protected."