Race-Baiting Perez Would Enforce Hiring Quotas At Labor

Posted 06:15 PM ET
IBD Editorials

Racial Politics: By putting his civil-rights pit bull in charge of the Labor Department, the president thinks he can force businesses to hire minorities amid record joblessness. But he'll only alienate employers more.

Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez is a radical race-baiter who's already estranged the nation's largest lenders by falsely accusing them of racism in the most egregious antibank witch hunt in history.

Under threat of prosecution, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, SunTrust Bank and dozens of other lenders have been forced by Perez to meet easy-lending benchmarks in the inner city.

In his own words, he's using them to "repair" and "rebuild" entire "minority communities" devastated by the recession.

The financial McCarthyism has spooked thousands of other bankers into conducting "second reviews" of previously rejected loan applications.

All across the nation, lenders are "getting their numbers right" — that is, meeting self-imposed racial quotas — to fend off charges of racism in a replay of the reckless social policies that led to the mortgage crisis.

The charges are based on flimsy "disparate impact" claims. This dubious doctrine is Perez's weapon of choice for persecuting bankers, whom he's actually likened to cross-burning klansmen.

He sees any standard, no matter how racially neutral and fairly applied, to be racist if it results in a "statistically significant" share of minorities failing to get loans or even good deals on loans.

Or failing to get jobs. Yes, we are about to enter phase two of this witch hunt, because Perez also views employment tests — no matter how neutral and evenly administered — as potentially discriminatory.

Perez already has threatened lawsuits against companies using criminal background checks to screen new hires. Why? They can lead to a "disparate impact" on minority applicants.

With Perez at Labor's helm, don't count on the cable guy or plumber you let in your home not being a felon. Chances are the cable company and the plumbing contractor will pass on the background check to avoid a federal lawsuit.

Also expect more companies waiving pre-employment tests needed to hire qualified workers.

Labor already has sued Kraft and Gerber for requiring plant workers to take basic tests as a condition of employment. It claimed the tests had a "disparate impact" on minority applicants.

Both companies settled by agreeing to give rejected minorities hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation.
As secretary, Perez would no doubt launch a race-baiting witch hunt against any employers who use such hiring standards, just as he's done against bankers employing basic underwriting standards.

And the result will be similar, with all employers taking "proactive steps" to prevent perceived workplace discrimination — and federal persecution.

The president is promoting Perez because they're grinding the same ax.

In his pre-presidential campaign manifesto, "The Audacity of Hope," Obama argued for "completing the unfinished business of the civil rights movement, namely, enforcing nondiscrimination laws in such basic areas as employment, housing and education."

Added Obama:

"Anyone who thinks that such enforcement is no longer needed should pay a visit to one of the suburban office parks in their area and count the number of blacks employed there."

You see, your numbers aren't right; and he wants Perez to make sure you get them right.

Perez At Labor Helm Would Do To All Employers What He Did To Bankers - Investors.com