Would A President Joe Biden Institute Systemic Racism In Our Legal System?

Would A President Joe Biden Institute Systemic Racism In Our Legal System?

Many policies outlined on the Biden-Harris platform are eerily close to the dangerous proposals put forth by 'How To Be An Antiracist' author Ibram X. Kendi.
Ben Weingarten
By

The prospects for justice as the Founders envisioned it under a prospective Biden-Harris presidential administration are poor. On matters of race, in particular, the injustice the ticket is poised to sow could lead to untold damage to the country.

Candidate Joe Biden has repeatedly refused to definitively answer whether he would pack the Supreme Court — which would rubberstamp his radically left agenda. Running mate Kamala Harris had a tyrannical reign as California’s top cop. Neither of these bodes well for equal justice should the two win.

The threat is heightened given a recent report indicating that Biden is also considering at least three individuals for U.S. attorney general with checkered records on adherence to the rule of law: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who punctuated his disastrous, deadly, and dictatorial coronavirus response by threatening to banish Jews from their synagogues; former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, who played a leading role in Spygate and was later fired for rank insubordination; and a former Georgia state Rep. Stacey Abrams, who explicitly embraces identity politics, and has yet to concede a legitimate election two years after her defeat.

No matter who a potential President Joe Biden would tap to head the Department of Justice, among their most consequential likely mandates will be implementing an “anti-racist” agenda that is likely to undermine the stated mission of the office and tear at the fabric of our society.

A little-noticed passage of the Joe Biden-Bernie Sanders Unity Agenda, released this summer, makes this clear. The Agenda’s Economic Unity Task Force Recommendations begins with a section titled “Racial Equity.” Its authors assert:

We need a comprehensive agenda for communities of color with ambition that matches the scale of the challenge and with recognition that race-neutral policies are not a sufficient response to race-based disparities. We need proactive anti-discrimination detection and enforcement. On day one, we are committed to taking anti-racist actions for equity across our institutions, including in the areas of education, climate change, criminal justice, immigration, and health care, among others.

“Anti-racist” policy then would undoubtedly alter the justice system, with which each of these areas interacts. The 2020 Democrat Party Platform codifies this view with a similar language. In it, the party “recognize[s] that race-neutral policies are not sufficient to rectify race-based disparities. We will take a comprehensive approach to embed racial justice in every element of our governing agenda.”

Biden was ahead of the curve. Several weeks before the release of the Biden-Sanders Unity Agenda, which predated the party platform, he tweeted his plan for “Black America,” with a note that “Race-neutral policies are not a sufficient response to race-based disparities.” The notion that disparities are race-based, and that race-neutral policies — that is, policies rooted in colorblindness — are insufficient to deal with such differences, emanates from anti-racism, which puts critical race theory on steroids.

By one definition, critical race theory “combines progressive political struggles for racial justice with critiques of the conventional legal and scholarly norms which are themselves viewed as part of the illegitimate hierarchies that need to be changed.” Critical race theorists consider the law a tool of white supremacy and privilege and therefore seek to remedy it by tailoring law to standards of racial and social justice.

Anti-racists take a wider view. Their leading exponents argue that America consists of two camps: So-called anti-racists, who accept the proposition that not just the law but all of America is systemically racist, that all inequities can be explained by the American system, and who therefore devote themselves to overturning the American system, and racists — everyone else.

In other words, this is a revolutionary ideology that seeks to foment an existential racial struggle leading to an “anti-racist” triumph. It manifested itself in the form of the foot soldiers flooding our streets this summer.

Ibram X. Kendi, the author of The New York Times bestselling “How to be an Antiracist” and putative leader of the anti-racist movement, reduces all differences in societal outcomes to race. In Kendi’s view, “there’s only two causes of racial inequity: either there’s something wrong with people, or there’s something wrong with power and policy.”

The Biden campaign seems to channel Kendi when it says “Race-neutral policies are not a sufficient response to race-based disparities.” It explicitly calls for “anti-racist action” via the Biden-Sanders Unity Agenda. The question is, to what end? Kendi has an answer. He believes that discrimination is an acceptable policy for ensuring societal outcomes comport with a society’s racial makeup. He states:

The defining question is whether the discrimination is creating equity or inequity. If discrimination is creating equity, then it is antiracist. If discrimination is creating inequity, then it is racist. . . . The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.

Kendi calls for America to pass a constitutional amendment that “constitutionalize[s] the idea that a racial inequity is caused by a racist policy.” The amendment would establish a Department of Anti-Racism “comprised of formally trained experts on racism and no political appointees,” who would:

Preclear all local, state and federal public policies to ensure they won’t yield racial inequity, monitor those policies, investigate private racist policies when racial inequity surfaces, and monitor public officials for expressions of racist ideas. The DOA would be empowered with disciplinary tools to wield over and against policymakers and public officials who do not voluntarily change their racist policy and ideas.

Is this what the Biden-Sanders Unity Agenda drafters were referring to when they spoke of “proactive anti-discrimination detection and enforcement?”

As Coleman Hughes rightly concludes in his devastating review of “How to be an Antiracist,” Kendi’s amendment is “openly totalitarian.” While it would corrode the rule of law, violating the constitutional amendments along which it would reside, its practical consequences would be equally grave. It would unleash a Woke Gestapo on society.

It would pit peoples of different races against each other by explicitly privileging one over another based on skin color, rather than treating all individuals as equals in the eyes of the law. It would undermine liberty and justice for everyone.

Given that they have clearly been influenced by this kind of critical race theory, what do Biden and his staffers make of Kendi’s views? Are they willing to dutifully put the pseudo-philosophy they have embraced into practice? The answer is most likely yes.

Already, the Biden agenda supports de-policing black communities to the detriment of law-abiding black citizens, robbing blacks of prosperity through imposing all manner of anti-capitalist economic policies, and instituting an agenda that at core reflects a condescending paternalism towards blacks that is disempowering, demoralizing, and ultimately destructive.

In the first presidential debate, President Donald Trump was asked about his opposition to critical race theory. Fairness demands that candidate Biden be asked, similarly: “Will you support Kendi’s critical race theory amendment to the Constitution? If not, will you implement critical race policies, and what policies specifically will that consist of?”

If Americans still believe in equal rights for all, and special privileges for none — of justice blind to color and all else but the merits — then they must hear the former vice president’s answers to these questions.

Ben Weingarten is a Federalist senior contributor, senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, and fellow at the Claremont Institute. He was selected as a 2019 Robert Novak Journalism fellow of the Fund for American Studies, under which he is currently working on a book on U.S.-China policy. You can find his work at benweingarten.com, and follow him on Twitter @bhweingarten.

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