Does Obama’s “Stimulus” Discriminate Against Minorities?

Yes, according to the view of “civil rights” that is dominant in the Obama administration.

The Associated Press reports today that minority firms are getting “less stimulus” funds than they deserve.

Hispanic and black businesses are receiving a disproportionately small number of federal stimulus contracts, creating a rising chorus of demands for the Obama administration to be more inclusive and more closely track who receives government-financed work.

Latinos and blacks have faced obstacles to winning government contracts long before the stimulus. They own 6.8 and 5.2 percent of all businesses, respectively, according to census figures. Yet Latino-owned business have received only 1.7 percent of $46 billion in federal stimulus contracts recorded in U.S. government data, and black-owned businesses have received just 1.1 percent.

And that “pot of money is just a small fraction of the $862 billion economic stimulus.”

Thus it would appear that the Obama administration is guilty of perpetuating the very sort of “structural inequalities” that the Obama administration promised to cure.

As I argued here last July,

the liberal solution to “structural inequality” is to regard “all employment policies or practices … that have a disparate impact as by definition discriminatory by virtue of their disparate impact alone,” and now the Civil Rights Division is gearing up to impose that solution. [As the New York Times] reports,

the division’s acting head, Loretta King, sent a memorandum to every federal agency urging more aggressive enforcement of regulations that forbid recipients of taxpayer money from policies that have a disparate impact on minorities.

… And here, last August:

Fulfilling the wet dreams of liberals and the worst fears of conservatives, the Obama Justice Department is hiring 50 additional lawyers in the Civil Rights Division while shifting its focus to disparate impact enforcement. “As part of this shift,” the [New York Times] reported,

the Obama administration is planning a major revival of high-impact civil rights enforcement against policies, in areas ranging from housing to hiring, where statistics show that minorities fare disproportionately poorly. President George W. Bush’s appointees had discouraged such tactics, preferring to focus on individual cases in which there is evidence of intentional discrimination.

This shift is an effort to restructure American society by requiring racial proportionality everywhere, and hence it destroys any basis for believing that Obama would be a post-racial president, putting bitterly controversial racial politics behind us.

If Obama believes what he and his administration say about “civil rights,” he now must believe that he has become the nations’s Discriminator in Chief.

Say What?