Congress has to choose a side: Trump or the civil rights of all Americans
Don't eliminate the Civil Rights Division !
2017 could be the year Civil Rights dies in this country.1 For the past 50 years the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice has protected the rights of all Americans--including voting rights, the rights of Black folks and other people of color, women, people with disabilities, and religious minorities.2 And now, Donald Trump wants to eliminate all of that.
Hours after being sworn in, Trump announced that over the next 10 years, he will cut over 10 trillion dollars from the country’s budget.3 The Civil Rights Division will take major hits, and could possibly be eliminated. This is clear and blatant racism in action.We have to fight back and create a firestorm of pressure. Republicans in districts that rely heavily on the votes of Black people and other people who care about our rights will need to stand on the side of justice. And Democrats will have to pick a side : Trump or the civil rights of all Americans. The road ahead is long and the journey won't be without struggle, but we can save the Civil Rights Division with your help, dear friend. Will you sign this petition ?
The Civil Rights Division has a long legacy of fighting for the freedoms we all deserve. Our movement leaders, known and unknown, fought and organized selflessly for years to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1957--and this sparked the creation of the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ.4 For them, this meant access to equality and equity for future generations -- us. Cutting this division is a slap in the face to the struggle and resistance of Black folks in this country. Civil rights protect every citizen in this country, not just the marginalized and oppressed. To cut its funding shows the priorities of this administration: they’d rather spend money building a wall than protecting the rights of anyone who isn’t a wealthy white man.5
The Civil Rights Division exposed the Ferguson criminal justice system for extorting money from poor Black folks with a scathing report issued after the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr. in 2014. They investigated the Baltimore Police Department after the killing of 25-year-old Freddie Gray in 2015. And the report uncovered rampant racism and sexual assault. The Civil Rights Division even forced policing reform with a consent decree in Cleveland after the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice and 37-year-old Tanisha Anderson in 2014. The department currently enforces similar decrees around the country to guarantee crucial civil rights victories like school desegregation and voting rights.
We know the fight for our freedom isn’t over--just in the first two weeks of Trump’s presidency we saw over 300 acts of violent hate crimes. White nationalist are literally trying take away our rights to live, breathe, and be in our communities. So there’s no way we can afford to cut out the one federal agency that’s been fighting against hate.
Until justice is real,
Arisha, Rashad, Scott, Malaya, Enchanta, and the rest of the Color Of Change team
- “Trump budget draft target cops, crime victims, ” The Marshall Project, 01.19.2017. https://act.colorofchange.org/go/7307?t=6&akid=6763.1942551._hLlAo
- “U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights division accomplishments 2009-2012 ,” Department of Justice,">https://act.colorofchange.org/go/7308?t=8&akid=6763.1942551._hLlAo
- “Trump team prepare drastic cuts” The Hill, 1.19.2017 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/7309?t=10&akid=6763.1942551._hLlAo
- “The Civil Rights Act of 1957, ” House of Representatives, http://act.colorofchange.org/go/7311?t=12&akid=6763.1942551._hLlAo
- “Trump signs order for Mexico border wall” Aljazeera, 1.25.2017 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/7312?t=14&akid=6763.1942551._hLlAo