Federal Employment Discrimination: A Failure of Presidential Leadership

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The Coalition For Change, Inc. (C4C) comments on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's recent findings on the increase of federal job discrimination complaints. The civil rights group calls for President Obama to send a firm and unequivocal statement on the issue of racial discrimination in the federal sector----that it will not be tolerated and that managers will be held accountable.

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A recently released report on the Federal workforce by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) found that Federal job discrimination complaints increased by nearly 4 percent in fiscal 2010 over the previous year. These findings come as no surprise to the Coalition For Change (C4C), Inc., a civil rights group that monitors and exposes racial discrimination in the Federal Government. http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/7-6-11.cfm

According to C4C acting President Philip Taylor, “during the past two years, the C4C has received an increase in telephone calls and emails from minority Federal employees, from all over the country complaining of racial discrimination and retaliation by Federal managers."
Taylor states, "these disturbing EEOC findings prove that President Obama has failed to acknowledge and address discrimination and retaliation in the Federal Government. His administration must set a tone that racial discrimination and retaliation will not be tolerated in Federal employment. More importantly, his administration must send a clear and unambiguous message that Federal managers will be held accountable for such disruptive and illegal conduct. While some civil rights organizations have given the Obama administration a pass on issues adversely affecting the African-American community, we are not. We hold this President and his administration accountable for the deplorable discriminatory and retaliatory practices that are taking place in the Federal Government against all employees, but especially African-Americans." http://coalition4change.org/exposed.htm

Taylor cites the case of a white supervisor at the Department of Interior where an administrative judge ruled against Interior in a discrimination case, finding that a supervisor called African American subordinates "monkeys." The judge noted that this white supervisor, Craig Littlejohn who improperly intefered with the selection process of an African-American male and moved African-American employees out of the headquarters offices, displayed a “discriminatory animus” toward African-American employees under his supervision (EEOC No. 570-2008-00625X). "Incredulously, Department of Interior attorneys appealed the judge’s ruling," Taylor said. "Having endured a painstakingly long and costly process, and after prevailing at the EEOC, the plaintiff was subjected to the appeals process because of leadership that is tolerant of and apparently supportive of racism and retaliation at the helm of the Department of Interior. Rather than putting an end to this legal quagmire, the Department continued to pursue this case and its defense of Mr. Littlejohn, simply because it has limitless resources – tax payer dollars. This plaintiff and his family like countless others must suffer while justice is delayed and denied. The plaintiff is not made whole and the supervisor is not held accountable for his unlawful behavior. To the best of our knowledge, Mr. Littlejohn remains gainfully employed at Interior.” In a July 11, 2011 letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the C4C made an inquiry into Mr. Littlejohn’s current employment status with that Department.

At the signing ceremony of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson, a southerner, stated that racial discrimination cannot continue. According to President Johnson, “Our Constitution, the foundation of our Republic, forbids it. The principles of our freedom forbid it. Morality forbids it. And the law I sign tonight forbids it.” For nearly three years, the C4C has been waiting for President Barack Obama, an African-American, to make such a firm and unequivocal statement on the issue of racial discrimination in his government—that it will not be tolerated and that managers will be held accountable.

About the C4C:

The Coalition For Change, Inc. (C4C), a public interest group, serves as an informational support network for present and former Federal employees injured as a result of workplace discrimination. The C4C’s mission is to expose and eradicate racism in the Federal government thus fostering efficiency, effectiveness and transparency in Federal programs and operations. To learn more about the C4C and to view video entitled: Racism In The Federal Government (A-Z) go to http://www.coalition4change.org


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Ward Jordan
The Coalition For Change, Inc. (C4C)
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